Four reasons why the 2014 Chevrolet Malibu just got better
The Chevrolet Malibu has had its own nameplate since 1978 and started as a rear-drive mid-size sedan. The car is marketed primarily in the U.S. but the new Malibu was introduced as a global car in 2012. The new 2014 Chevrolet Malibu continues to advance as GM has revealed a new car with updated styling and features that may get Malibu fans excited. The 2014 Malibu gets new a roomier cabin, updated styling, a new 2.5-liter engine and suspension changes to improve driving dynamics. The 2014 Malibu gets some of it’s new refinements from the all-new Impala.
New front end styling
It starts up front with the new Malibu getting new front end styling that is directly influenced from the new Impala. The front end features a more prominent lower grille and the hood extends down and over the leading edge of a narrower upper grille. The grille openings feature a black grille texture and are wider and accented with chrome.
GM needed to update the aging Malibu and it looks like the new mid-size sedan gets significant upgrades beyond a new exterior facelift. “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.”
New interior upgrades
Sitting still will kill an automaker and GM made big improvements to the Malibu to keep it moving forward. The 2014 model is roomier with the rear seat getting an additional 1.25 inches in knee room. It also features a redesigned center console and seats that contribute to greater comfort for occupants. The new console now includes two cupholders and dedicated storage for two cellphones.
A new 2.5-liter powerplant
The new Malibu comes standard with a new Ecotec 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that comes with the latest direct injection. GM says the new powerplant is 5 percent more fuel-efficient due to the stop/start technology. The new four-cylinder is rated at 196 horsepower (145 kW) and has 186 lb-ft of torque (253 Nm). Additionally, the 2014 Malibu’s optional 2.0-liter turbo engine delivers nearly 14 percent more torque than its predecessor. It is SAE-certified at 295 lb-ft (400 Nm).
The 2014 Malibu gets a more refined driving experience that was also influenced by the all-new 2014 Impala. Those refinements include rebound springs that are internal to the struts. GM says they enable more refined calibration of the dampers for a smoother overall ride. They also limit body roll and control weight transfer during acceleration or turning. This will help the new Malibu stay planted in the corners.
GM’s Ken Kelzer, executive chief engineer, gives a pretty bold statement when he says, “The 2014 Malibu has been engineered to deliver more precise ride and handling that is on par with more expensive sports sedans.” We will see if the additional chassis control technologies that include four-channel anti-lock brakes, full-function traction control, and four-corner electronic stability control will put the new Malibu in sport sedan territory.
Overall, it looks like GM has made the all-new 2014 Chevrolet Malibu a global contender in the mid-size sedan segment. With updated styling, a revised interior, a new 2.5-liter engine and suspension enhancements, it might just get buyers excited. But can it compete with sport sedans? The new Malibu goes on sale this fall.