2014 Chevrolet Malibu is now roomier and more fuel efficient

Article by Christian A., on June 1, 2013

General Motors unveiled the 2014 Chevrolet Malibu as it is trying to reverse its sale slide in the mid-sized car market. According to the company, the 2014 Malibu is now roomier and more fuel efficient. Although the midcycle enhancements come usually after three or four years, Chevrolet decided to do them after just one year since the car was launched.

The 2014 Malibu comes with a revised front and featuring a bolder grille inspired by the 2014 Impala and the Traverse crossover, but also with more space for the passengers. GM altered the rear seat cushions in order to allow passengers to sit deeper in the rear seats. As a result GM squeezed an extra 1.25 inches of knee space for back seat passengers.

The center console was also redesigned and it is now longer and includes pair of cupholders and dedicated storage for two cell phones. Other key enhancements include an improved 2.5-liter engine delivering 196 hp (145 kW) and 186 lb-ft og torque (253 Nm). GM says that the engine will get an estimated 23 mpg city / 35 highway. 

An improvement of 1 mpg over the 2013 Malibu (22 mpg city / 35 mpg highway). Moreover, the 2014 Malibu also gets the optional 2.0-liter turbo engine, which delivers 14% more torque than its predecessor.

The 2.0-liter engine pumps out 259 hp (193 kW) and 295 lb-ft of torque (400 Nm). In order to boost fuel economy, the 2014 Malibu comes with engine shut-off system for stop-start traffic. The suspension was also improved with enhancements borrowed from the Impala, in order to provide a more refined ride.

In terms of safety, the 2014 Malibu has already achieved the highest possible ratings. In 2013 for example, it received from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety its Top Safety Pick rating. With the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, this model obtained the 5-Star Overall Vehicle Score under the New Car Assessment Program.

Even with these ratings, Chevrolet made sure to put in additional safety features for this latest offering like the Rear Cross Traffic Alert and the Side Blind Zone Alert. Fitted as standard for the Malibu are 10 air bags with a rearview camera system included. Under the 2014 Malibu, both the suspension and the chassis have been updated with the 2014 Impala serving as the inspiration.

As a result, the new Malibu has a driving experience that is more refined. The brand also revealed that rebound springs have been added which are internal to this model’s struts. The modifications allow the calibration of the vehicle’s dampers to be more refined and thus result in an overall ride that is truly smoother.

This also enhances the body roll control and improves the weight transfer that occurs during turning or when accelerating. Because of this, the wheels are planted, allowing for a more controlled and precise feel, a good quality to have especially when cornering. The changes were not limited to the chassis as the brand made sure to put in extra chassis control technologies.

Examples include the brake assist system, drag torque control, electronic brake force distribution, and the four-corner electronic stability control. Included as well as the corner brake control, full-function traction control, hydraulic brake fade assist, and four-channel anti-lock brakes. Another feature included as standard is the rack-and-pinion variable-effort power steering, which is electric-powered and which helps save fuel.

When running at higher speeds, this feature ensures a higher degree especially when it comes to steering feel. It also provides almost effortless maneuvers under low speed. The change in the calibration for this version had been done in order to enhance the overall steering feel. That said, the brake system was modified as well to allow for a more confident feel.

Press Release

2014 Chevrolet Malibu is Roomier, More Efficient

DETROIT, Friday, May 31, 2013 – Chevrolet today unveiled the 2014 Malibu – a roomier, more refined and more efficient execution of its midsize sedan. Updated styling, a revised interior, a new 2.5L standard engine and suspension enhancements highlight the changes. It goes on sale this fall.

"The 2014 Chevrolet Malibu builds on the strengths established by the all-new 2013 Malibu to make it a stronger choice for customers," said Mark Reuss, president, General Motors North America. "The midsize sedan segment is the most contested in the industry and we're not sitting still with the 2014 Chevrolet Malibu."

The new and enhanced features include:

  • Revised front-end appearance
  • Roomier rear seat, with 1.25 inches (31.7 mm) more knee room
  • Redesigned center console
  • New 2.5L engine with variable valve lift control and start/stop technology helps deliver estimated fuel economy of 23 city / 35 highway – a 5-percent improvement in city mileage and 3-percent greater highway efficiency
  • Nearly 14 percent more torque from the available 2.0L turbo engine – 295 lb-ft of torque (400 Nm) – engineered for a greater feeling of power on demand
  • Suspension enhancements derived from the all-new 2014 Impala engineered to contribute to a more refined driving experience
  • New available Side Blind Zone Alert and Rear Cross Traffic Alert safety features

Malibu's revised front-end appearance is influenced by the all-new Impala, creating a more cohesive look across Chevrolet's sedan lineup. The front fascia features a new, more prominent lower grille and the hood extends down and over the leading edge of a narrower upper grille. The grille openings – with black grille texture – are wider and accented with chrome.

Inside, redesigned seats contribute to greater rear-seat space and greater comfort. The front seatbacks are shaped to improve rear-seat knee room, while new cushion sculpturing and revised cushion material allow passengers to sit deeper in the rear seats. Approximately half an inch was trimmed from the front of the rear seat cushion, for greater comfort behind passengers' legs.

The Malibu's redesigned center console has a longer armrest designed for greater comfort, along with a pair of cup holders and dedicated storage for two cell phones.

"We made changes within 18 months, demonstrating an unprecedented commitment to make the Malibu the best car it can be," said Ken Kelzer, executive chief engineer, global full-size and midsize cars. "The 2014 Malibu has been engineered to deliver more precise ride and handling that is on par with more expensive sports sedans."

More efficient, powerful powertrains
An all-new Ecotec 2.5L Intake Valve Lift Control DOHC four-cylinder engine with direct injection is the 2014 Malibu's standard engine. Its variable intake valve actuation enhances efficiency and helps lower emissions, while also enhancing low-rpm torque, for a greater feeling of power at lower speeds. When the iVLC system operates in low-lift mode, the engine pumps only the air it needs to meet the driver's demand. The system switches to high-lift mode at higher speeds or under heavy loads, providing the full output capability of the engine.

New start/stop technology shuts down the 2.5L engine to save fuel when the Malibu stops momentarily, such as at stoplights, contributing to an estimated 5-percent increase in city fuel economy. The engine automatically starts again when the driver takes his or her foot off the brake. An auxiliary battery powers electric accessories such as the climate system, power windows and radio during engine restarts.

The new 2.5L is SAE-certified at 196 horsepower (145 kW) and 186 lb-ft of torque (253 Nm). Revised transmission shift points and quicker shifts also enhance the feeling of performance – while delivering greater refinement.

Additionally, the 2014 Malibu's available 2.0L turbo engine delivers nearly 14 percent more torque than its predecessor. It is SAE-certified at 295 lb-ft (400 Nm). New engine calibration and tuning account for the improvement, making the Malibu 2.0L turbo's torque the best in the segment, even among competing six-cylinder-engines. The result is a stronger feeling of acceleration from a stop and a greater feeling of power on demand in almost all driving conditions.

The 2.0L turbo also produces an SAE-certified 259 horsepower (193 kW).

Chassis refinements
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 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.

Enhanced safety
New Side Blind Zone Alert and Rear Cross Traffic Alert safety features are offered, adding to the protection from a car that received a 5-Star Overall Vehicle Score in the New Car Assessment Program from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and a 2013 Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Both are the highest ratings possible.

Malibu also comes with 10 standard air bags and an available rearview camera system.

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