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2014 Chevrolet Malibu

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2014 Chevrolet Malibu Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 7.1

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.

Driving the Malibu
Driving Impressions

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.

2014 Chevrolet Malibu Details
2014 Chevrolet Malibu photo Interior

The Malibu's 5-passenger cabin has an airy, upscale feel in which available leather seating and soft-touch surfaces complement metallic silver trim and chrome accents. For 2014, Chevy has increased rear-passenger kneeroom by redesigning the front seatbacks. The front seats themselves are adequately comfortable, with the driver’s seat offering 8-way power adjustability and 4-way power-operated lumbar support. Though appealing in appearance, the placements of chrome accents are not ideal, as they create considerable glare on sunny days. At over 16 cubic feet, trunk space is impressive (Eco models have about three cubic feet less).

Exterior
2014 Chevrolet Malibu photo

In addition to gaining suspension enhancements derived from the Impala full-size sedan, the 2014 Malibu's front end aesthetics have also been influenced by its bigger brother. The Malibu's grille is now more prominent, and the windswept headlight housings frame headlights that resemble eagles' eyes. At the rear, the Malibu features two pairs of red taillight housings that have a familial resemblance to those of recent Camaros. Top-trim LTZ versions feature sporty dual stainless-steel exhaust tips.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2014 Malibu comes in three major trims: LS, LT and LTZ, with the Eco eAssist model within the mid-trim LT grouping. On the least-expensive end, LS models come with features such as 6-speaker audio with AM/FM/CD/satellite radio, cruise control, remote keyless entry, and Bluetooth phone connectivity. Stepping up to LT trims brings a 7-inch touch-screen with MyLink, a USB port for audio devices, Bluetooth audio streaming and a power driver's seat. Top-line LTZ versions enhance comfort with a power passenger seat, heated front seats and leather upholstery. All 2014 Malibus have 10 airbags and a 6-month trial of GM's OnStar safety and communications system with automatic crash response.

Optional Equipment

Depending on trim level, you can equip Chevy's midsize sedan with navigation, a power sunroof, a backup camera and leather seating. The Advanced Safety Package includes blind-spot monitoring, forward-collision alert, lane-departure warning, and a rear cross-traffic alert. Those seeking a premium audio system can opt for a 9-speaker Pioneer setup.

Under the Hood

The Chevy Malibu offers a trio of engine choices: 1. The base 2.5-liter Ecotec 4-cylinder that has been enhanced for 2014 with variable intake valve actuation and auto start-stop for better fuel economy. 2. A powerful 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder. 3. The 2.4-liter 4-cylinder paired with GM’s eAssist system found in Eco model. The Malibu’s lone transmission offering is a 6-speed automatic with a manual-shift mode. All models are front-wheel drive. On Eco models, the compact eAssist battery resides behind the rear seats. The 15-horsepower electric motor assists the 182 horsepower engine, though it is not capable of independently driving the front wheels like a traditional hybrid. All versions of the Malibu can run on regular unleaded, though premium is recommended for the turbo model.

2.4-liter inline-4 eAssist hybrid
182 horsepower @ 6,200 rpm
172 lb-ft of torque @ 4,900 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 25/36 mpg

2.5-liter inline-4
196 horsepower @ 6,300 rpm
186 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy, estimated: 23/35 mpg

2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4
259 horsepower @ 5,300 rpm
295 lb-ft of torque @ 5,200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/30 mpg

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2014 Chevrolet Malibu Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.2
Out of 10

Based on 149 Ratings for the 2013 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.2/10
    Quality
    8.5/10
  • Reliability
    8.9/10
    Performance
    8.3/10
  • Comfort
    8.3/10
    Styling
    8.5/10

Best of the 4 I have owned !

By on Wednesday, June 29, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 6,300

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "it's simply a bad-a** car !!"

Cons: "no complaints"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"The 2016 Chevrolet Malibu Limited LT1 has made many technological advancements since I purchased my first 1998 Malibu and then a second 1999 Malibu and then a third 2014 Malibu LS I still have my 1998 Malibu and yes it still runs. I mainly use it in the winter due to the high milage. I have made it safe to my destination in blizzard conditions including many ice storms. My 2016 is over the top and I love it!! Thank you Chevrolet!! > A lifetime customer . I have also made many recommendations to friends, family, and colleagues !!"

Ignore the naysayers!

By on Monday, June 6, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 6,300

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Styling, Power, Comfort, Pioneer Stereo,Mood Light"

Cons: "Plasticy interior, hard door armrests, keyless sta"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I went into the Malibu with very low expectations after reading disaster reviews like Motor Trend's. I left scratching my head over what they were thinking. Is the car a bit on the smaller side of midsize sedans? Sure, but it's not awful like journalists are making it out to be. Anyone under 5'10" would be perfectly comfortable in the back seat, which is extremely comfortable on the road with the sporty yet smooth ride. The 2.0 Turbo has lots of power and throws you back in your seat with a small touch of the gas. The Pioneer 9-Speaker stereo with MyLink infotainment sounds amazing, with LOTS of bass and good midrange and treble. The car also looks amazing, and a lot of people have been shocked when they see the Chevy logo on the front. I also like the Camaro-inspired gages and taillights. This is a great car!"

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Good Value Vehicle

By on Wednesday, May 25, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 17,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Great Price, mpg, quiet,"

Cons: "smallish backseat, sits very low to the ground,"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"I bought this car new for around 16K off the lot, what value, compared to much smaller cars. The vehicle gets good gas mileage, rides nice. My only complaints would be smallish back seat and it sits a little low. For the price it is a great value car that is comfortable to drive."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

A Great Price for a Great Car

By on Monday, May 23, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 39,900

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "It is a luxury car in disguise. Beautiful design."

Cons: "Sluggish tranmission, complexity in the car"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I have just recently purchased this car from a dealer trading in my 2001 Pontiac Sunfire. Looking for cars I could find no better deals then those being offered by Chevy in the way of the Malibu, Cruze, and the Spark. Two of those are just a little too tiny. So far the Malibu has been a real dream to drive. The features offered go above and beyond from lane assist, to myLink, to heated seats and a very classy interior. I love what the car has to offer so far! There are only two items that I am not absolutely in love with and that is the transmission can be somewhat sluggish at times, especially noticeable on deceleration surprisingly. Additionally it can take a bit of getting used to trying to manage the cluster of buttons and features at times. Otherwise this car has been a real dream come true. I started off looking for an SUV for additional storage space to help me move my things around, but i was able to compromise when I found all that the car had to offer."

Good car. no problems from day 1. Enjoyed driving.

By on Friday, May 20, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 31,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Enjoy driving, good info screen, good deal"

Cons: "No cons - make a convertible!"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"LT2 package. All the bells & whistles I could want. Sunroof screen kept it quieter than most. Good steering response. I was used to my 4-wheel drive pick-up, so snow driving left a little to be desired, but that was understood going in. All-in-all, I've enjoyed driving the car. It's a lease, so now it's time to move on."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

2013 Malibu

By on Wednesday, May 4, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 41,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Huge trunk space"

Cons: "Poor back seat legroom"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"Happy with purchase. Feels like driving a more expensive car. Was able to get all the options I wanted at a reasonable price. Recently had an issue with a wheel bearing, which is becoming common with this model at the mileage I'm at. Gas mileage is what I expected. Average between 23-26mpg with a combination of city and highway."

3 people out of 5 found this review helpful

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