Chevrolet had just re-launched the Malibu in 2013 to present a gorgeous mid-sized sedan that has a lot to offer but with such long standing names to compete with as Honda Accord and Nissan Altima, the engineers at Chevrolet had their work cut out for them to make the 2014 version even better. Offering a much sleeker look, a great deal more room in the back seat and a largely improved suspension this year’s version of the Malibu is out to take over the market.
To go along with the impressive upgrades for the Malibu is the accolades including standing tall as a winner of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) award for Top Safety Pick Plus in the mid-sized sedan category. The Malibu does offer a nice quiet ride and with the improved suspension easily takes care of both road noise and imperfections affording the occupants a smooth and quiet ride throughout their driving experience. Steering is quick and responsive in this car offering plenty of feedback and ease of handling.
One of the best new features is the start-stop feature which vastly improved fuel economy by cutting the power when idling allowing for a fuel savings to help money stay in the owner’s wallet. Rather than a full hybrid the Malibu Eco model is offered with GM’s eAssist using a lithium-ion battery and small motor-generator which also shows a start-stop feature.
Starting off the engine lineup with the Eco the engine comes in with a 2.4-liter inline four-cylinder engine paired with the eAssist system. This engine setup brings 182 horsepower and 172 lb.-ft. of torque plenty of power to get the car going wherever it needs to and pass easily on the highway. Matching this setup with the six-speed transmission that has a manual-shift mode brings in a decent fuel economy at 25 city/36 hwy mpg.
Next up is the standard model of Malibu with sports a 2.5 liter inline four-cylinder engine, a popular choice at Miami Chevrolet, showing up with 196 horsepower and 186 lb.-ft. of torque. By partnering this engine with the same six-speed transmission as the Eco model the fuel efficiency is a decent 23 city/35 hwy for the base model Malibu.
At the top of the power list for the Malibu is an impressive 2.0-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine bringing in the power at 259 horsepower and 295 lb.-ft. of torque. Using this engine the car really moves and shows some seriously impressive quickness on the road. Once paired up with the same transmission as the other two the fuel efficiency does drop to 21 city/30 hwy mpg, but the additional power can make it worth the extra fuel costs.
Offering a truly upscale feel inside the cabin the Malibu offers plenty of room for all riders along with beautiful trim accents with metallic silver and chrome throughout. All controls are well placed and easily used by the driver and the driver seat offers an eight-way power operation with a four-way power lumbar support function. Adding to the interior appeal is a very large trunk space to carry a family on the annual vacation or load up a month’s worth of groceries.
Adding a much more prominent grill and sweeping wrap-around headlights gives the Malibu a very menacing front end indeed. Offering an excellent array of sweeping curves and sharp edges married together in harmony allows the Malibu to show off as one very attractive car with plenty of curb appeal, a term usually reserved for houses and not cars.
The Malibu comes in three possible trim levels LS, LT which includes the Eco eAssist model, and LTZ with a different group of standard features for each one. For the base LS model the car comes with a six-speaker audio system that has satellite radio included, cruise control, remote keyless entry, and Bluetooth connectivity. Working up to the LT model the standard offerings add a seven-inch touch screen with MyLink, a USB port, Bluetooth audio streaming and a power driver’s seat. At the top of the list, the LTZ model will offer additionally a power passenger seat, heated front seats, and leather upholstery. All of the Malibu models show up with great safety features, helping to with the IIHS award with ten airbags and six-months of OnStar service with automatic crash response.
Some optional equipment is available depending on the trim level chosen and they include such added features as a navigation system, a power sunroof, a backup camera, and leather upholstery. Adding the Advanced Safety Package really helps the driver out by adding a blind-spot monitoring system, a forward-collision alert system, a lane-departure warning system, and rear cross-traffic alert. To up the ante for the sound system the vehicle also offers a nine-speaker Pioneer system to really blast the sound inside the car.
The base model Malibu LS will fetch an asking price just under $23,000 which is really affordable for all the space, comfort and features included. The LT starts at a little more at $26,000 and that is still quite a steal at that price for all the car for the money. Loading up the Malibu in the LTZ with all the options added will bring the price into the mid-$30,000’s which is still very affordable for this outstanding mid-sized sedan that will now feel like a luxury car with all the added technology and safety features.
The 2014 Chevrolet Malibu offers owners a fantastic car at a very reasonable price. Winner of the IIHS safety award the Malibu is certain to protect the occupants to the best of its engineering and equipment. Anyone in need of a great sedan for family driving or a daily commute need look no further than the Malibu to fill this need.