KBB Editors' Overview
By KBB.com Editors - Updated Date: 8/22/2013
Just one year after an all-new Malibu was launched to take on the hotly contested midsize-sedan market, Chevrolet has moved quickly to already update the car due to its lukewarm reception. It's not that the Malibu was a bad sedan, it just didn't shine among great ones like the Honda Accord, Ford Fusion and Nissan Altima. This segment has never been more competitive, and only a few can be the cream of the crop. For 2014, the Chevy Malibu aims to rise with sleeker design, a roomier back seat, and improved suspension. While still not the sportiest or most stylish sedan out there, the Malibu deserves kudos for its quiet ride and a variety of powertrains that includes a turbo engine and a fuel-saving mild hybrid.
You'll Like This Car If...
If you are looking for an unpretentious family sedan that is laudably quiet and comfortable, the Malibu deserves a test drive.
You May Not Like This Car If...
The Chevy Malibu is a sedan in need of an X factor. While competent overall, it doesn't have the beauty of the Ford Fusion or Kia Optima, the 40-plus mpg fuel economy of the Camry Hybrid or Volkswagen Passat diesel, or the sheer does-everything-right finesse of the Honda Accord or Nissan Altima.
What's New for 2014
2014 Malibu models with the standard gasoline engine get fuel-saving start-stop technology to cut down on idling, and turbo models' torque has been increased to 295 lb-ft. The sedan's front end design has been tweaked, while rear-seat kneeroom has grown. Suspension and chassis tweaks aim for a smoother ride.
Chevy's Malibu is notably quiet and composed. Those two traits are among its best, and they remain true whichever of the three powertrains you choose. The standard 4-cylinder offers a sufficient 196 horsepower. Modifications now offer slightly higher fuel economy reaching an estimated 35 mpg on the highway. A new start-stop feature for this engine enhances efficiency in city driving by cutting power instead of idling at stoplights. Turbocharged Malibus now make a hearty 295 lb-ft of torque for better overall performance. Instead of offering a full hybrid, the Malibu Eco offers GM's eAssist, which consists of a lithium-ion battery and small motor-generator. The system uses a start-stop feature like the one implemented for the standard engine, in addition to a motor-generator that supplies 15 extra horsepower during heavy acceleration. Intriguing as the system may be, fuel economy tops out at 36 mpg, barely beyond the standard powertrain and below that of several competitors.
BLIND ZONE ALERT
This safety feature has finally made its way to the Malibu, and it can save your bacon on crowded roads. The system works by constantly monitoring the rear side zones where other vehicles often can't be seen. When detected, an icon alerts the driver to the danger of changing lanes.
MYLINK INFOTAINMENT SYSTEM
Chevrolet's MyLink infotainment system features one of the most user-friendly multimedia interfaces on the market. MyLink's various features, including smartphone integration for Pandora and Stitcher, Bluetooth streaming audio and a comprehensive Gracenote database for simple music related voice-commands, are clearly displayed on a large 7-inch touch screen that flips open to reveal a hidden storage compartment.
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