2014 Chevrolet Malibu: First Drive – KickingTires

4 Sep 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on 2014 Chevrolet Malibu: First Drive – KickingTires
Chevrolet Malibu

2014 Chevrolet Malibu: Drive

Chevrolet#39;s midsized has had a problem during the past Sales of the latest model, for the 2013 model year, not been as good as the company had In a string of post-bankruptcy hits the Cruze compact and Equinox the redesigned Malibu has stood out as a due to some competitiveness issues in economy and interior room.

But is the new #0160;General Motors, where and speed are prized as much as and with a push from management we now have a mildly Malibu for 2014.

For 2014, made some updates to simplified powertrain options, fuel economy, bumped up rear-seat volume a tad and added interesting features.

From a standpoint, you might be hard to tell the difference from the to 2014 Malibu. The front end is a bit aggressive, with a new grille and that bring the car more in with the Chevrolet family now seen on the Impala and Traverse. The of the bodywork is unchanged from the update introduced just 18 ago, but is still fresh and

Inside, there are two major The first comes in the backseat, Chevrolet claims to have knee room by 1.25 thanks to newly sculpted seatbacks and a revised rear cushion. Headroom is no longer at a in the back seat, and while is indeed now decent knee the Malibu still suffers a distinct lack of legroom.

problem cannot be easily without a change in the vehicle#39;s length.

The other big interior comes up front, where has redone the center console to a larger armrest along cupholders and cellphone slots the front seats. All of this below a black plastic panel in which no fewer 40 buttons, knobs and switches If you#39;re looking for where all the went when Buick its center consoles for 2014, the is Chevrolet.

Still, it#39;s a more layout than Ford#39;s plastic console in the Fusion.

But the has a trick up its sleeve that may you ignore all those buttons: the electronic concierge built every new Apple iPhone, is now to you through the Malibu#39;s steering controls (provided you have an with Siri enabled, to the car via Bluetooth link). Just a button to activate Siri, like you would on your and give commands as you would. A new function will also your text messages and allow you to reply via a quick message on the touch-screen display.

a powertrain standpoint, Malibu now in just two variants.

Standard is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder making 196 horsepower and 186 pounds-feet of healthy numbers when to Malibu#39;s competitors. Power is to the wheels by an updated new six-speed transmission, which debuts on the Malibu. The optional powertrain is a turbocharged four-cylinder engine 259 hp and an attention-grabbing 295 pound-feet of torque, torque than any of Malibu#39;s including V-6 models.

The e-Assist hybrid system has been on the Malibu, replaced by a much expensive engine stop-start that is now standard equipment on the engine.

Chevrolet Malibu

The standard stop-start kills the engine when the car is to a stop, say at a traffic light or sign. In city traffic, stops are frequent, the system has in a 14 percent improvement in fuel for the Malibu, which is now rated at mpg city/highway/combined. The system cannot be off, but its operation is so well that there really much need to.

It only operates when the is in Drive and the driver#39;s foot is on the Lift off the brake, or shift Park, or start the car and let it idle and the will run as normal. In stop-and-go if speeds never go above 6 the system will not kill the These rather conservative make the system inoffensive, and the engine cutoff and restart are perceptible.

It#39;s one of the better of a stop-start system that I encountered, and I found that I didn#39;t mind that wasn#39;t a way to turn it off.

town, the 2.5-liter engine to be more than adequate to the new Malibu with ease, the new six-speed transmission proving to be a and well-matched partner. Acceleration is and there#39;s more than passing power. The engine can be a noisy under full but it isn#39;t raucous or disturbing by any

My personal choice, however, be the 2.0-liter turbo motor, transforms the Malibu into of a secret sports sedan. mph happens in less than six meaning it could theoretically our long-term Subaru BRZ sports at a stoplight. Plant your in the turbo and you#39;ll believe numbers too — the Malibu rockets and can actually chirp the tires a standstill.

That it does so far less engine noise the base engine, with more than a hushed is even more impressive.

has been improved for 2014 as with the Malibu receiving updates to suspension equipment and steering controls. The result is a controlled, tight-steering sedan doesn#39;t embarrass itself on roads or broken pavement. and wind noise is impressively making for easy conversations in the at highway speeds.

Brake feel may be improved, but it isn#39;t all that good, all three models I drove longer than expected before brakes engaged. may be strong, but they don#39;t terribly firm.

Overall, the to the Malibu for 2014 make it an car to drive with electronics work well. The Malibu is a competitive car than last model, and tops its competitors the base engine#39;s power and economy. Pricing is in line the market as well, with the starting at just about and coming well-equipped for less $30,000, while the loaded model I sampled clocked in less than $34,000.

The Malibu is on sale now.

Chevrolet Malibu
Chevrolet Malibu
Chevrolet Malibu
Chevrolet Malibu
Chevrolet Malibu
Chevrolet Malibu
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