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Monday, April 07, 2014

2014 Chevrolet Malibu

PRICE : For 2014 Chevrolet Malibu $22,340

In the past, the Chevy Malibu has been stuck in the role of a second-string athlete trying to move up the depth chart. Essentially, it was a good midsize sedan competing with some truly great family cars with bigger names. Last year's redesign, however, boosted the Malibu's stats in this hugely competitive class, as it made significant strides in refinement, feature availability and fuel economy. The 2014 Chevrolet Malibu sees a few more upgrades that further its appeal, including a more distinctive front end design, increased rear-seat legroom and a more fuel-efficient mainstream engine. This year also brings a slight shuffling of trim levels and equipment.

Even if you're considering just a base-model Malibu, you won't get the feeling that you're settling. The cabin has a handsome design, good noise isolation and quality soft-touch materials. Most models also come standard with Chevy's MyLink system, which features a touchscreen interface that integrates with your smartphone to allow voice control, streaming music through Bluetooth audio and Internet radio compatibility and various hands-free text-messaging capabilities.

As far as what's under the hood, there's quite a variety, with a thrifty mild hybrid on one end and a stout turbocharged four-cylinder engine on the other. The hybrid powertrain on the Malibu Eco model earns an impressive 29 mpg EPA combined rating. However, thanks to the addition of a stop-start system and various other engine changes, Chevrolet Malibus with the mainstream, non-hybrid 2.5-liter four-cylinder (with nearly 200 horsepower) now earn the same combined mpg rating. As a result, Chevrolet decided to discontinue the more expensive mild-hybrid Eco model early in the model year.

However, all Malibus with the 2.5-liter engine also wear an Eco badge this year, so you'll want to check closely to understand whether the car you're considering is one of the small handful of 2.4-liter mild-hybrid Eco models built for 2014 or, more likely, a Malibu with the conventional 2.5-liter engine. Either the 2.5-liter or the available, 259-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged engine are solid options, as they provide strong performance and admirable fuel efficiency along with greater trunk capacity than the hybrid Malibu Eco (its trunk is smaller  to accommodate an under-floor battery pack).

If you're shopping for a midsize family sedan, making a choice isn't going to be easy given the vast spread of qualified candidates. The 2014 Chevrolet Malibu should meet most of your requirements, but family cars like the dramatically styled Ford Fusion, the polished Honda Accord and the fuel-efficient Nissan Altima have more all-around appeal. The Hyundai Sonata, Kia Optima, Mazda 6 and Volkswagen Passat have also earned strong accolades in our testing. Although the Chevrolet Malibu doesn't have any significant advantages over these competitors, it's still a good prospect and, particularly with this year's upgrades, worth scouting during the search for your next family car.


The new ‘Bu has a reshaped nose that softens the old look, changes the grille design and adds more chrome accents to mark it apart from some of the blander Japanese entries, like the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord . The look also expresses Chevy’s new nose style as seen on the latest Impala and SS models, among others. The language consists of a heavy-handed application of shapes and flowing creases in the bumper plastic, as well as projector-beam headlights in the absolute top corners of the nose for a wider stance on the road.

Instead of equally emphasizing the grilles above and below the bowtie badge, the new model adds chrome trim to just the lower grille, which is now rounder and deeper than on previous Chevrolets . The hood crests more sharply and extends further forward to give a modern, clean appearance that the previous cars lacked. The effect is successful overall, but may still be too similar to the original 2008 Malibu’s appearance for some tastes.

The sides of the car are unchanged and still feature a nice rising swage line from the front bumper that flows through the now-chrome door handles. The exterior mirrors now have turn signal repeaters in their outer edges, something that helps mark out premium cars and a feature that also has real-life active safety benefits of making the car more visible to others when turning or changing lanes.

From the profile, the rear end vaguely recalls the 2005 BMW 5-series around the carved-out trunk line and the shape of the rear lights from the side. From the rear view, however, this is clearly no BMW . A four-pack of ’squircle’ LED brake lights try too hard to recall Chevrolet’s performance models, but do offer a nice light signature at night under braking.

The Malibu’s rear end is much nicer than the bland tail of the latest Impala . As ever, GM style comes in two flavors: boring or hideous.

The front is missing the must-have LED day-time running lights that new car shoppers like, but forthcoming Eco and Turbo variants may address this missing feature.


The interior of the Malibu keeps the style and of the design e older model, while updating some of its tech packages, offering new color combos and introducing better materials. Overall, the interior - in the photos - seems very narrow, something us Americans certainly don’t like. The packed console is a good example of the pinched dimensions – the cup holders are small and there’s no room for two together so one lives way back behind the clunky shifter. Showing some touch with reality, the console does pack two cubbies that are perfect for smartphones and deep enough to keep things from flying around the cabin.

The center stack looks ultra-cheap in its rounded, silver plastic trim, but the controls within seem logical with large buttons that are flush to the smooth surface and paired with five knobs to make easy adjustments to the basics. Front and center, and framed in a piano black shroud that looks decent, is Chevy’s latest MyLink touchscreen to control infotainment.

The big question mark is the double rainbow dashboard that has faux vents across its full width, ribbed to match the actual air vents at the edges. It’s one of those design touches that probably seemed like a cool idea to a design student on his computer, but in real life it just looks like there’s a giant gap between the top and lower halves of the dashboard.

The new Malibu has more than 1 inch of extra rear legroom versus last year, but is still down more than 4 inches versus the larger 2008 model.
Ambient interior lighting creates a quasi-premium indigo light effect on the inside of the car at night. Interesting surfaces and new faux-wood designs are also in the cards for 2014, but only previous GM drivers will feel like this is a truly classy or premium cockpit.


► Year:2014
► Make:Chevrolet 
► Model:Malibu 
► Price:$22000
► Engine:inline-4
► Transmission:Six-speed Automatic
► Horsepower @ RPM:196
► MPG(Cty):23
► MPG(Hwy):35
► Torque @ RPM:186
► Energy:iVLC
► Displacement:2.5 L
► 0-60 time:8.3 sec. (Est.)
► Top Speed:130 mph

New Features :

► Standard 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine
   ► Standard automatic start/stop system
   ► Improved fuel economy
   ► More powerful optional turbocharged engine
   ► Refined suspension tuning
   ► Revised styling, new interior trim, more rear-seat room
   ► Available Siri Eyes Free technology with hands-free texting
   ► Enhanced safety technologies

The Chevy Malibu has had some equipment adjustments to go along with its cosmetic and performance changes. It carries a slightly lower base price to bring it more into line with vehicles like the Nissan Altima, Hyundai Sonata, and Kia Optima--but that fleet-ready version omits some formerly standard features, or doesn't include them in the base configuration as those other sedans do.

For 2014, the Malibu LS comes with standard air conditioning; power windows, locks, and mirrors; cruise control; an AM/FM/CD player; steering-wheel controls; keyless entry; tilt/telescope steering; and 16-inch wheels. Off the list are Bluetooth with audio streaming, a USB port, and satellite radio.

To get those features, you'll have to move into the LT trim level, which adds a 7.0-inch LCD touchscreen and Chevy’s new MyLink connectivity system. MyLink connects to the driver's smartphone, allowing them access to mobile apps like Pandora streaming audio or Stitcher podcast streaming. This year, the system also adds Siri Eyes Free mode, for Apple iPhone users, and text-to-voice translation.

Turbo LT models get 18-inch wheels; a power driver seat; steering-wheel audio controls; and remote start. The Malibu LTZ has the most extensive standard features, at a base price of $28,590 for the four-cylinder or $30,925 for the turbo. It gets 18-inch wheels, fog lamps, LED taillamps, leather seats, heated front seats, power front seats with lumbar adjustments, remote start, and a power sunroof.

Options on the LT and LTZ models include a safety package with forward-collision alerts and lane-departure warnings, and this year, blind-spot monitors. Malibu LT sedans can be ordered with leather-trimmed seats and heated front seats. The Malibu LTZ can be ordered with keyless entry and pushbutton start, HID headlamps, memory front seats, and 19-inch wheels.


The 2014 Malibu drives better than the 2013 Chevy Malibu, and that's unusual. It's only been a year since the sedan was new, but with the competition sporting higher gas mileage and more taut handling, change was needed.

As a result, the Malibu drops the battery-assisted Eco drivetrain entirely, and its base four-cylinder moves into a new generation that's better than both the Eco and the former base four-cylinder. The new unit's a 2.5-liter four, just like before, but it's much more efficient, if not as quiet to wind up. It delivers 196 horsepower--about the same as the Kia Optima or Hyundai Sonata--and teams up with a six-speed automatic. With direct injection and stop/start baked in, this setup has similar acceleration compared to the 2013 model but with more ambient noise generated by the injection system. It's still smoother than the Koreans, and runs out 0-60 mph times in the 8-second range while it delivers gas mileage rated at 25/36 mpg--in the same range as those other sedans, the Fusion, and just a couple of miles per gallon lower than the best-in-class Nissan Altima.

The four-cylinder is paired to a six-speed automatic, and it's a savvy piece, with smart kickdowns and smooth upshifts. We do wish Chevy outfitted it with paddle-shift controls, not the dumb lever-mounted click switch that's all but useless at any speed.

The optional engine is a well-worthwhile turbocharged four, with 259 hp and 295 pound-feet of torque, the latter up substantially from 2013. It's also mated to the six-speed automatic, and has a 0-60 mph time of about 6.3 seconds. Straight-line performance is clearly in the right leagues, and the powertrain feels flexible across a wide range of driving scenarios--it's quiet enough in highway cruising, and the automatic's geared to accommodate some sporty driving. The turbo also lacks paddles, a maddening choice for a sedan presuming to be sporty.

More than in the past, the Malibu's handling is a reason to seek it out. In all the versions we've driven thus far, the Malibu's electric power steering has great responses and a measure of feedback that's just not found in, say, the Optima and Sonata. It doesn't feel detached--it goes where you point it, no further, no closer. It's also not overly weighted, another of the gimmicks that's worked its way back into sedans as automakers make the switch to electric steering. It's still not as precise as the Passat's hydraulic steering, but it's a big part of the reason the Malibu feels "small" to drive.

Chevy's addressed complaints about the Malibu's ride quality and handling with a revised suspension tuning for 2014. Better damping gives the Malibu a bit more of the fluid ride of competitive cars, somewhere between the softly composed Altima and the tightly wound Fusion. It lean less aggressively in corners, and in general feels more in harmony with the steering. It's no Ford, and no Nissan, and that's fine--it's more consistent in feel.


The 2014 Chevrolet Malibu's base 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine offers plenty of power to move with traffic, in both suburban driving and at highway speeds. Together with various other engine changes, the new-for-2014 stop-start system significantly improves fuel economy, and it works so seamlessly and quietly that most drivers will scarcely notice its presence.

The available turbocharged 2.0-liter engine brings an entirely different level of performance, allowing the Malibu to bolt away from stoplights like a true sport sedan and pass effortlessly on two-lane roads. The trade-off is mediocre city fuel economy, but if you value V6-like acceleration, this engine won't disappoint.

The 2.4-liter Eco model's mild-hybrid system operates seamlessly, seldom reminding the driver of its existence. Unfortunately, the 2.4-liter four-cylinder that provides the majority of the motivation on the Eco model sounds unrefined and feels sluggish in real-world driving, despite respectable acceleration numbers for the class. The culprit is the automatic transmission, which is overeager to shift into top gear and reluctant to kick down when needed.

Chevrolet put a lot of effort into giving the Malibu a supremely quiet cabin, and we consider it a successful mission. This on-road serenity is particularly noteworthy on the highway, where the Malibu offers a well-composed ride that smooths out bumps without making you feel isolated from the driving experience. Handling is about what you'd expect for a family sedan: confidence-inspiring, but we wouldn't call it fun. The steering is responsive enough and offers an appropriate amount of weighting, but provides little driver engagement in the way it feels.


Complaints about back-seat space sent the Chevy Malibu back to the drawing board for the 2014 model year, just a year after it first went on sale. The changes don't substantially fix the issue, and in a way make them worse.

In front, the Malibu can claim truly great front seats, some of the best GM has ever fitted to a mainstream sedan. Like the Cruze and Sonic, the Malibu's chairs have deep pocketing and lots of room and means for adjustment. Compared to the previous-generation Malibu sold through 2012, it's night and day: this version has low-slung seats that work perfectly with the low-cowl dash. There's ample room for taller drivers, too, thanks to a telescoping wheel with a long travel.
The Malibu's active headrests get special notice, since they don't jut forward as far as those on some competitive models. It's a problem we're finding on more new vehicles as automakers seek out top crash-test ratings.

The news has never been great in back, but Chevy has retrimmed and reshaped the back bench seat to make the objective numbers stack up better against cars like the Hyundai Sonata and Ford Fusion, two top competitors. There's an additional 1.25 inches of knee room carved out of the front seatbacks and scooped out of the bench, according to Chevy. According to us, the new seat design aggravates the short-and-low feel we got from the previous take. Adult knees will be much higher than the seat itself, and will have less support under the leg, too. It's really not much larger than a Dodge Dart; both rest on the smaller end of the wheelbase race in the mid-size class, and neither has the palatial spread-out room of a Passat or an Accord.

In other small ways, the Malibu's been carefully shrunk. The center console has two cupholders and two slots for smartphones that also beautifully hold a deck of Pop Tarts. Flick the protruding niblet under the LCD touchscreen and the panel flips up, revealing a storage space--albeit one without a USB port or power point, where you might expect them. They're in the center console, which doesn't have any rear-facing air vents on its backside for back-seat passengers. Trunk space is better, with more than 16 cubic feet of storage space.


Most 2014 Chevrolet Malibus come with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that puts out 196 hp and 186 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed automatic driving the front wheels is standard, as is an automatic stop-start feature that shuts off the engine when you're stopped to save fuel. The EPA estimates fuel economy at 29 mpg combined (25 mpg city/36 mpg highway): good numbers for a four-cylinder midsize sedan.

The mild-hybrid Malibu Eco model comes with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder paired to a small electric motor. It produces 182 hp and 172 lb-ft of torque. Unlike a full hybrid, the mild-hybrid Malibu Eco cannot propel itself using electricity alone. Instead, the electric motor modestly aids acceleration and powers vehicle accessories. The Eco model also features a six-speed automatic transmission and an automatic stop-start system. EPA-estimated fuel economy is the same as the 2.5-liter engine, at 29 mpg combined (25 mpg city/36 mpg highway). These numbers are considerably less than what you'd get from a full hybrid sedan.

Note that Chevrolet will phase out the 2.4-liter Eco model early in the 2014 model year. Subsequently, all Malibus with the 2.5-liter engine will wear Eco badges. If you're looking at a 2014 Chevy Malibu with Eco badging, you'll want to confirm exactly which engine is under the hood.

Meanwhile, the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine is only offered on the 3LT and 2LZ trims. It produces 259 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque, and uses the six-speed automatic. Fuel economy registers an EPA-estimated 24 mpg combined (21 mpg city/30 mpg highway).

In Automotive News performance testing, the 2.4-liter Malibu Eco went from zero to 60 mph in 8.2 seconds -- an average time for a four-cylinder family sedan.


Chassis and suspension updates inspired by the all-new 2014 Impala also contribute to the 2014 Malibu's more refined driving experience, including rebound springs that are internal to the struts. They enable more refined calibration of the dampers for a smoother overall ride, while also improving body roll control and weight transfer during acceleration or turning. That helps keep the wheels planted, contributing to a more precise, controlled feel - especially while cornering.

Fuel-saving electric power rack-and-pinion variable-effort power steering is standard and enables nearly effortless low-speed maneuvers and a higher degree of steering feel at higher speeds. Revised, higher-effort calibrations for 2014 were engineered to improve the overall steering feel. Also, the Chevrolet Malibu's brake system has been revised to provide a more confident feel.

Additional chassis control technologies include four-channel anti-lock brakes, full-function traction control, four-corner electronic stability control, electronic brake force distribution, brake assist system, corner brake control, hydraulic brake fade assist and drag torque control.


The 2014 Chevy Malibu comes standard with antilock brakes, stability and traction control, front knee airbags, front side airbags, rear side airbags and side curtain airbags. Also standard is the OnStar telematics system, which includes automatic crash notification, on-demand roadside assistance, remote door unlocking and stolen vehicle assistance. A rearview camera is available, as is a safety package with forward collision warning, lane departure warning, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert systems.

In Automotive News brake testing, a Malibu Eco stopped from 60 mph in 119 feet, which is a few feet better than average.

In government crash testing, last year's similar Malibu earned five out of five stars for overall crash protection, with five stars for total frontal impact protection and five stars for total side impact protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the Malibu its highest possible rating of "Good" in the moderate-overlap frontal-offset, side impact and roof strength tests. It was also rated Good for its seat/head restraint design in rear-impact testing. In the Institute's new small-overlap frontal-offset test, the Malibu scored a second-lowest "Marginal" rating, though in fairness not many cars have done well in this relatively new test.


For the 2014 model year, the Chevy Malibu loses what had been its most fuel-efficient "Eco" powertrain--but in its place, a revamped four-cylinder almost equals the Eco for real-world mileage.

The outgoing mild-hybrid Eco delivered 25 miles per gallon city, 37 mpg highway. Chevy also had a standard four-cylinder that delivered 22/34 mpg.

The new 2.5-liter four-cylinder in the base 2014 Malibu--it replaces both of those powertrains--is rated at 25/36 mpg, or 29 mpg combined. It reaches those figures through direct injection and stop/start control. Other gas-saving features, like aerodynamic front-end shutters and lower-rolling-resistance tires, are carried over.

The Malibu with the turbocharged 2.0-liter four is rated by the EPA at 21 miles per gallon city, 30 miles per gallon highway, or 24 miles per gallon combined.


Video by : Youcar

By : Automotive News & Super Modified Sports Cars

Posted by : Shahen Tharammal

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