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.