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William Maley

Chevrolet News:Revealed! 2014 Chevrolet Malibu

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William Maley

Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com

May 31, 2013

The current Chevrolet Malibu hasn't been getting any love from anyone. Read any review (includingours) and you'll find the Malibu has a tight backseat, subpar fuel economy, and a number of other shortcomings. This isn't helped by sales faltering a bit. Chevrolet knew they needed to fix this quickly and today, introduced a refreshed 2014 Malibu which addresses many shortcomings.

Outside, the 2014 Malibu gets a new front end to be more in line with the new Chevrolet look. There is a narrower top grille and a larger bottom grille. Inside, Chevrolet says the Malibu's backseat gains an extra 1.25 inches of knee room thanks to redesigned front seat backs, shorter bolsters, and new cushioning in the backseat.

Mechanical changes begin with a new 2.5L four-cylinder producing 196 horsepower and 186 pound-feet of torque. Fuel economy stands at 23 City/35 Highway, an increase of one MPG across the board. The 2.5L also gains a new stop-start system. The turbo 2.0L sees a 14 percent increase in torque (295 pound-feet). Horsepower remains the same at 259. The six-speed automatic sees new programming that improves shift points for faster shifts.

Engineers also tackled the Malibu's suspension with new tuning for the struts and springs, and new calibrations for the steering to improve feel.

The 2014 Malibu arrives at dealers in the fall.

Source: General Motors

William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

Press Release is Page 2


2014 Chevrolet Malibu is Roomier, More Efficient

  • Fuel-saving start-stop technology added to standard model
  • Rear knee room improved by 1.25 inches
  • Chassis and suspension developments enhance drive experience

DETROIT, Friday, May 31, 2013 – Chevrolet today unveiled the 2014 Malibu – a roomier, more refined and more efficient execution of its midsize sedan. Updated styling, a revised interior, a new 2.5L standard engine and suspension enhancements highlight the changes. It goes on sale this fall.

"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."

The new and enhanced features include:

  • Revised front-end appearance
  • Roomier rear seat, with 1.25 inches (31.7 mm) more knee room
  • Redesigned center console
  • New 2.5L engine with variable valve lift control and start/stop technology helps deliver estimated fuel economy of 23 city / 35 highway – a 5-percent improvement in city mileage and 3-percent greater highway efficiency
  • Nearly 14 percent more torque from the available 2.0L turbo engine – 295 lb-ft of torque (400 Nm) – engineered for a greater feeling of power on demand
  • Suspension enhancements derived from the all-new 2014 Impala engineered to contribute to a more refined driving experience
  • New available Side Blind Zone Alert and Rear Cross Traffic Alert safety features

Malibu's revised front-end appearance is influenced by the all-new Impala, creating a more cohesive look across Chevrolet's sedan lineup. The front fascia features a new, more prominent lower grille and the hood extends down and over the leading edge of a narrower upper grille. The grille openings – with black grille texture – are wider and accented with chrome.

Inside, redesigned seats contribute to greater rear-seat space and greater comfort. The front seatbacks are shaped to improve rear-seat knee room, while new cushion sculpturing and revised cushion material allow passengers to sit deeper in the rear seats. Approximately half an inch was trimmed from the front of the rear seat cushion, for greater comfort behind passengers' legs.

The Malibu's redesigned center console has a longer armrest designed for greater comfort, along with a pair of cup holders and dedicated storage for two cell phones.

"We made changes within 18 months, demonstrating an unprecedented commitment to make the Malibu the best car it can be," said Ken Kelzer, executive chief engineer, global full-size and midsize cars. "The 2014 Malibu has been engineered to deliver more precise ride and handling that is on par with more expensive sports sedans."

More efficient, powerful powertrains

An all-new Ecotec 2.5L Intake Valve Lift Control DOHC four-cylinder engine with direct injection is the 2014 Malibu's standard engine. Its variable intake valve actuation enhances efficiency and helps lower emissions, while also enhancing low-rpm torque, for a greater feeling of power at lower speeds. When the iVLC system operates in low-lift mode, the engine pumps only the air it needs to meet the driver's demand. The system switches to high-lift mode at higher speeds or under heavy loads, providing the full output capability of the engine.

New start/stop technology shuts down the 2.5L engine to save fuel when the Malibu stops momentarily, such as at stoplights, contributing to an estimated 5-percent increase in city fuel economy. The engine automatically starts again when the driver takes his or her foot off the brake. An auxiliary battery powers electric accessories such as the climate system, power windows and radio during engine restarts.

The new 2.5L is SAE-certified at 196 horsepower (145 kW) and 186 lb-ft of torque (253 Nm). Revised transmission shift points and quicker shifts also enhance the feeling of performance – while delivering greater refinement.

Additionally, the 2014 Malibu's available 2.0L turbo engine delivers nearly 14 percent more torque than its predecessor. It is SAE-certified at 295 lb-ft (400 Nm). New engine calibration and tuning account for the improvement, making the Malibu 2.0L turbo's torque the best in the segment, even among competing six-cylinder-engines. The result is a stronger feeling of acceleration from a stop and a greater feeling of power on demand in almost all driving conditions.

The 2.0L turbo also produces an SAE-certified 259 horsepower (193 kW).

Chassis refinements

Chassis and suspension updates inspired by the all-new 2014 Impala also contribute to the 2014 Malibu's more refined driving experience, including rebound springs that are internal to the struts. They enable more refined calibration of the dampers for a smoother overall ride, while also improving body roll control and weight transfer during acceleration or turning. That helps keep the wheels planted, contributing to a more precise, controlled feel – especially while cornering.

Fuel-saving electric power rack-and-pinion variable-effort power steering is standard and enables nearly effortless low-speed maneuvers and a higher degree of steering feel at higher speeds. Revised, higher-effort calibrations for 2014 were engineered to improve the overall steering feel. Also, the Malibu's brake system has been revised to provide a more confident feel.

Additional chassis control technologies include four-channel anti-lock brakes, full-function traction control, four-corner electronic stability control, electronic brake force distribution, brake assist system, corner brake control, hydraulic brake fade assist and drag torque control.

Enhanced safety

New Side Blind Zone Alert and Rear Cross Traffic Alert safety features are offered, adding to the protection from a car that received a 5-Star Overall Vehicle Score in the New Car Assessment Program from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and a 2013 Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Both are the highest ratings possible.

Malibu also comes with 10 standard air bags and an available rearview camera system.


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... you couldn't have just put the Impala face on the Malibu GM.... was that going to be too hard?

I like the new face of the Malibu a lot. I'm glad they differentiated it from the Impala. Now the Cruze, Malibu and Impala are clearly separated yet have that familiar "family" look to them.

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I actually really like the new face of the car. Way better than what it was. Way to go GM!

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Not digging the new face. Upset they left the TGIFridays/Outbacks "your-table-is-ready" buzzer LED taillamps. Very upset they left the interior the way they did. Smartphone holders, good. The ridges in the dual cockpit look... no. The plood, no. Power improvements, good. Fuel economy, good... although I'm surprised with start/stop tech, they still didn't get higher from the city. And now the Malibu turbo has more torque than the 2014 Regal GS? Bad.

EDIT: ... unless the numbers they gave for the 2014 Regal Turbo/GS were premature and it'll be like the Malibu, 259/295 instead of what they said originally for the Regal, 259/260.

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Well they could not do the mini me face on the BU from the Impala. The car is much more narrow and I do not think it would have translated as well. Keep in mind I am a Impala fan so if I think they could have done it. Nuff said.

The back seat may not look like a lot of room but every little bit helps. Better packaging was an issue on this car. Since the Chapter 11 GM has been doing some better packaging. Keep in mind this car was done long ago and till they change platforms they have hard point limits. I expect this car to be replace in the not too distant future as this segment is too important to leave hanging or getting stale if you can afford to compete.

The added torque is as much for more MPG. In my tune where GM added more torque GM found more MPG with the DI Turbo engines. Getting the car up to speed faster and getting off the gas gave them added MPG. The Di does not put out fuel coasting in gear per the GM Engineer from the performance division that did the Turbo Tune kits for GM. I expected to see it pop up in production cars at some point for the added MPG. I saw 1-2 MPG added with a gain of 65 FT LBS. They may have been limited with their Premium Recommended status.
Note I saw where GM is working on tune kits for the 2.0. I fully expect them to show up for the Bu, Regal and ATS. Two Maps and a flash and you can easily add over 300 HP and at least in the case of the Solstice 5 speed they gave it 340 FT LBS.

Other things like no lift shift and Launch control can be added with the flash.

The nose is much better than it was as it has taken the tall hood and made flow much better into the rest of the car. It was not radical surgery but it should be enough to help re launch this car with the better engines and suspensions as they should have done the first time. Notice no mention of the Eco or at least I have not seen anything state yet.

This is not a home run but it will work till the next car is ready. GM is not going to lead this segment but they will not be left behind either. It is a good car just in a segment with some very good cars. Once the Cruze and Camaro are done I expect this segment to be revisited.

I expect the Regal GS to get rerated or if they keep it down the AWD may be to blame. I suspect it may not be the same one on the Opel OPC since it did not jack the price much. I have a feeling they may have put in a more cost effective system as the OPC has a very expensive AWD system.

If anything the AWD will launch the car better as the Bu will not be able to put it down so well unless they add launch control. The front wheels with that much torque unload so easy and the weigh transfers to the rear wheel. I have had the SS spin it's tires at over 50 MPH when I have kicked it down. The first time it scared me as I saw a light on the dash and the engine felt like it cut out. I saw the light and the message of the loss of traction in the DIC. I note too I had crummy OR Pilots that had traction issues. My new Goodyears hook up much better but I have picked up a little more torque steer. It is a trade off I will gladly take.

GM just now needs to market the hell out of this car.

I hope someone makes a tuner that will by pass this start stop crap. I am not a big fan of it. It may be because I am older but I just have not had any great love for the ones I have driven over the years.

Edited by hyperv6

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I don't mind the new face on the car. Every Chevy car getting the Impala face or Traverse face would be boring. The stacked grille look still has some life to it. I don't think the changes will be make the car competitive enough, though.

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I like the new face better than the old one, doesn't solve the car's profile issues though, but nothing short of a longer wheelbase would fix that. Interesting that they redesigned the center console, I wonder if the original design got a lot of complaints? I like the inclusion of a handbrake and he smartphone holders, although it looks like it lost those storage cubbies either side of the console.

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I like the new front end more than the old one, I still dislike the back end since nothing changed there. The new front is better to me, but the Impala looks way better, but more importantly, the Fusion, Sonata and Optima still look better and that is the real competition because the Camry and Accord will sell no matter what.

They made good improvements, but they did so to a car that was in the back of the class. The Malibu is probably still average at best, but the Mazda 6 is getting a lot of awards and good press, the Passat is loved by auto journalists, the new Accord has been well received, the Camry sells no matter what and is back to it's 400,000 a year pace, the new Altima is strong, the Fusion really stepped up and sells nearly 30,000 a month, and the Sonata/Optima are still strong sellers. I still don't think the Malibu is better than any of those cars.

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I am really impressed though how far this class of cars has come in the past 10-15 years. Look back at a 2002 Malibu and how terrible it was compared to the interior in this car. Or the Altima, Sonata, or Taurus of the late 90s, to early 2000s and how terrible they were. Most of this class was cloth seats and plastic wheel covers and power locks and windows were your luxury features. Now they all have 17"-18" alloys, sat-nav, touch screens, leather seats with stitching, voice control, lane keep assist, etc. Cars have come a long way.

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Will need to see the nose in person....

Agree with the others though...many cars are still ahead of it. But the start/stop part might help if it gives numbers better than it shows ( which GM tends to do)

So we shall see..

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... you couldn't have just put the Impala face on the Malibu GM.... was that going to be too hard?

I'm assuming it's because the Malibu is a world model (and the Impala isn't), so it gets a face w/ the Chevy world model styling cues like the Sonic, etc...

Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar

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Though... these "smart phone" holders are a sharp touch...

gallery_10485_659_172260.jpg

I like those cubbies.... looking at how narrow the center console area is, I can see how most cars in this class would benefit from a column shift and dash handbrake release, free up center console space...

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Though... these "smart phone" holders are a sharp touch...

gallery_10485_659_172260.jpg

I like those cubbies.... looking at how narrow the center console area is, I can see how most cars in this class would benefit from a column shift and dash handbrake release, free up center console space...

The 2013 had an electronic parking brake and a wider center console. I actually prefer this new arrangement; the old one seemed odd.

Those slots would be perfect for inductive phone charging. And if they fly out during a crash, no worries--there's OnStar.

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New face looks better, still not a fan of the taillights. The hints being bandied made me think this would be something more. Honda did the same thing with their Civic "emergency redesign".

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The hints were mostly speculation by the public so I am not too surprised. I expected more till I saw some of the prototypes in Camo and you could not see it all but you could tell it was not a Impala nose.

I really do not have an issue on the tail lights other the large area of red. Some bezels around them in black or some other color would help off set the large area of cheap looking red plastic.

The only car in this segment that looks any better is the Ford. The rest while not hideous are nothing I wish had a GM plate on it.

Toyota is plain, Honda boring, Nissan generic, The Kia and Hyundai to me are ugly and in many ways very cheap feeling. Slam the rear door of a Optima and listen to it ting unless they have finally addressed it but they are stull ugly.

This was a quick fix for a car that will not be like this in 4 years. The key is for GM to hold on. I expect they will offer packages that will make this car a great value to move product. That is the reason people buy the Kia/Hyundai twins as they are cheap and offer a lot for the money.

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The only non-ugly Hyundais are the Genesis (sedan) and Equus.

It is true that Hyundai/Kia are pushing out the metal for cheap in order to gain market share. Honda/Toyota/Nissan did that back in the 70s and 80s, and look where they are now. I am glad that GM are out of the move the metal for a loss business. While the new(er) Malibu fixes many of the 12/13s shortcomings, one thing does need to change . . . . the price. Trim prices by $750-1000 on all models and sell them like there is no tomorrow. The Malibu (NOT the Impala, a rather '14 impressive car) should be the midsizer that makes Chevy a true force in the marketplace again and should be by far the biggest seller (trucks aside).

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The Malibu is the mid size car not the Impala. The market has shifted what once was Mid Size is now full size like the Impala. The SS is just a novelty RWD car anymore.

The Malibu will never be cheap but if they can under cut the others prices and not lose any quality that is what will work. Hyundai and Kia are doing it now but they show the lack of refinement in areas and other issues that come up in required long term maintenance like timing belts vs. chains etc.

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The console E-brake lever is fine in a sports car, but in a mid-size sedan it's just a fashion (??) trapping. Space is a premium here, and an electronic or under-dash e-brake makes imminently more sense. That space could've been a small lidded compartment. A console lever certainly doesn't add functionality or ease of use or any other positive. And frankly, that leather boot is just a difficult-to-keep-clean debris catcher. The rest of the console does add function & looks pretty good- just eliminate the brake handle.

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The console E-brake lever is fine in a sports car, but in a mid-size sedan it's just a fashion (??) trapping.

I assume they use a console parking brake lever because it's cheap...nothing 'fashionable' about it..and a console pull lever is what the standard control is world wide in cheap midsizers.., since this is a world car, they standardize such controls.

Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar
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An under-dash pedal is going to be cheaper than any console lever with it's leather boot, nicer handle etc., so the console lever has to be costlier. Why spend more for the exact same function AND less space- I can only conclude it's the fashion-ality of being more "sporty". If it's standardization for the rest of the markets, boo I say.

As to standardizartion; the more you make yourself like everything else, the less compelling your pitch to buy your widgit is. However, show a real advantage to your approach (more room/storage in the console area) and you've earned yourself notice.

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Well then I guess by Honda's got everyone beat.

2012-Honda-Pilot-Interior.jpg

I find a console lever much better than a floor mounted one. Firstly, most floor mounted ones have a pedal and a separate release = more parts whereas the console lever is one unit. Secondly, its much more convenient having it at right at hand level near the shifter than having to reach down for the release every time you use it. If you live on a hilly area and use it a lot, that would be inconvenient. I know, I used to live in such an area. Its not as big of a deal in an automatic since it gets used less, but I think it looks nice and is more functional regardless. Couldn't imagine having a floor mounted parking brake on anything with a manual.

This particular lever is nicely trimmed too. And sure, if you use it at the construction site like a truck or never bathe, or are a slob and spill things all the time or insist n eating that Triple Whopper with extra sauce in the car, then yes it'll get dirty, but then so will anything else in the interior, including the floor pedal and hand release for a floor mounted parking brake. They making interior care products for a reason.

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RE the manual, I can see that. However, since only like 5% of the vehicles sold are manuals, not sure that should be a guiding principal.
The floor brakes I'm used to, like in the prior gen Malibu- have no separate release; it's push on, push off. I believe a lot of recent cars are this way, I could be wrong. Easy fix tho.
AFA debris, people don't ususally shed french fries & general detritus under their dash NEARLY as much as over the console. Besides, that pedal is... under the dash- with the ubiquitous console, only the right rear passenger has a chance to see such.

My bottom line is it's not used that much on average, it performs the exact same function in either location at identical speed & ease, yet one is tucked into an area where it's out of sight & by the (95% of the time) idle left foot, and other other is under the elbow of both front occupants. I guess it's just me.

It is nicely trimmed, tho.

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      "I love it when a plan comes together." Hannibal from the A-Team.
      I wasn't expecting to get back into a review vehicle for some time as the Detroit Auto Show tends to reduce the number of vehicles available - they're reserved for those coming out-of-state and OEM representatives. I thought next month is when I would begin my rotation once again. But a surprise email this morning from General Motors asking if I was able to take a 2019 Chevrolet Silverado today. Of course!
      This particular Silverado is an LT Trail Boss Crew Cab with the 5.3L V8 and eight-speed automatic transmission. Base is $48,300 and my as-tested price comes to $55,965 with a few option packages like the Convenience package (front bucket seats, dual-zone climate control, and heated steering wheel).
      First Impressions?
      Even though it may appear the truck is black, it is actually painted a dark blue (blame my iPhone). Even though I'm not sold on the design on the Silverado as a whole, the Trail Boss make it look aggressive. Interior looks a rehash of the one seen in the previous Silverado. Material quality is better, but I was kind of hoping more in terms of design. 5.3L V8 doesn't feel muzzled when leaving a stop or needing to accelerate quickly - THANK YOU GM! Haven't quite figured out how to open the power tailgate. Spent a few moments just pressing the button and not having the tailgate come down. Need to some reading in the owners manual. I'll be trying my best to update this piece with other observations and impressions throughout the week. You can also drop some questions below if you want to something about the truck.
      Gallery: 2019 Chevrolet Silverado LT Trail Boss Crew Cab
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