2014 Chevrolet Malibu Expert Review

3.5 Overall Score
Performance 3.5 Comfort 4.0 Styling 3.5 Value 2.9

Editor's Overview

Just one year after an all-new model debuted, a tepid welcome has spurred Chevrolet to again update the Malibu midsize sedan for 2014. The changes aim to make a good car score higher points as it competes with exceptional sedans like the Honda Accord and Ford Fusion.

You'll Like The 2014 Chevrolet Malibu 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 The 2014 Chevrolet Malibu 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

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.

Interior Features

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 Features

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.

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.

Pricing Notes

The 2014 Malibu midsize sedan has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price starting just under $23,000 for a base model and around $26,000 for a mid-level version. Load up a high-end LTZ, and you can reach the mid-$30,000 mark. At its base price, the Malibu is in line with rivals such as the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, Nissan Altima, Ford Fusion and Hyundai Sonata. The all-wheel-drive Subaru Legacy starts a few hundred below for a model equipped with an automatic transmission, while a base Chrysler 200 and Dodge Avenger can be had for under $21,000. Before buying, be sure to check the Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for their Chevy Malibu. Resale value is not a strong point for the Malibu. Its long-term value is predicted to drop noticeably quicker than that of segment leaders such as the Honda Accord and Ford Fusion.

Notable 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.

Notable Options

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.

Favorite Features

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.

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

Editors' Notes

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.

Road Test Video Reviews

2014 Chevrolet Malibu Owner Reviews

4.37
350 Reviews
50% 39% 9% 1% 1%
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Chevy Malibu, amazing for road trips.

I love my Chevy Malibu! It is extremely comfortable and nice to drive. The seats are not uncomfortable to sit in for any extended amount of time. Driving the Malibu is very comfortable and easy. It gets amazing gas mileage for long trips it makes spending money on gas a much easier expense to handle. The Malibu is very roomy as well. It has lots of room in the trunk to carry anything you need. It is also extremely comfortable for passengers in the backseat. There is a lot of legroom to make you comfortable. My Chevy Malibu has great speakers as well. It makes listening to music fun and a great experience. The Chevrolet Malibu is a very stylish car as well. It looks modern and expensive but it is actually quite the opposite of that. It was a very affordable car to purchase. Cruise control is extremely easy to use in the Chevrolet Malibu. It makes driving long-distance is a lot easier and more comfortable as well. I feel very safe in my Chevrolet Malibu. The seatbelts function well the backseat is also a great place to buckle and your children and feel safe doing so. The cupholders are also a great addition to the car. Having many cup holders around is important when driving around passengers especially having them in the back. Cloth seats inside of the Chevrolet Malibu are easy to keep clean and look great as well. Overall it is an amazing car and I hope to have it for many years to come.

- Kam D

Even though the car is small, it has A LOT of room.

The gas last a long time if you do not travel far of course. And it does not need much gas either.. I never spend more than $30 for gas. The car is reliable. I never had a problem or issue when it came to the car. With this car, you are less likely to have car troubles. This car has sensors for everything. If there is not enough air in the tires or you need an oil change, the car will let you know. You are able to move the seats forward, raise it up, or bend the seats back. The buttons are easy to use. The images on the buttons are pretty explanatory. The volume buttons on the steering wheel are important. It helps with hands free driving. It would help if the Bluetooth did the same. The only thing I do not like is that the car is Bluetooth, but you cannot listen to music. All the car does is let you talk on the phone through Bluetooth. Also there are not vents in the back, so if anyone is sitting in the back it will be too hot. In Arizona is gets dangerously hot so air conditioning is extremely important. The vents in the front are a little annoying. The vents don't let air blow likes it's supposed to. The shape is just weird and I do not like it.

- Brenda D

Very satisfied overall! However, there are pros and cons.

I am very satisfied with almost all aspects of my vehicle. It is comfortable and very reliable! The technology in the car is easy to use and easy to understand. However, I would change a couple things. It would be nice to have more space to put things. I am a single mom with a school aged son and it would be nice if my car didn't always feel so cluttered. Also, the Bluetooth in the car can sometimes not function properly. For example, if someone calls me and it goes over the speaker in my car via Bluetooth and I try to transfer it to handset, I have to push the transfer button on my screen about 3 times before it's successful. That can be very frustrating at times especially when I'm trying to focus on the road. Also, if I am trying to play a video on YouTube or any other app besides Pandora, that also takes a few tries before it will work. One more thing I would change is the view restrictions. The rest end of this vehicle comes up so high that at times it is difficult to see what I need to see out of my rear view mirror. These are minor details that I would change but overall I love this vehicle!

- Shayla P

Great starter car that is spacious and great on gas.

This is a great car. Rides smooth, pretty fast, and great on gas. Nice size great starter car. The only thing I dislike is that it didn't have touch screen or navigation. Other then that I love my car. Roomy trunk space. The driver seat has a lot of different adjusting that will suit any driver big or small. It also comes with manual drive option even though it is mainly an automatic car. I never used that function though. It does has Bluetooth as an option to link your phone so that you can talk and drive. However you could not listen to music through it. You would have to use an aid cord. Another thing I didn't like. It come with everything power; windows locks. However the passenger seat was manual to move forward and back. Headrest was pretty comfy even though I am short I never really use it. The body and build is great. Auto light feature also it has the option of everything on the meter board. Where u can see how many miles you have till you would have to get gas. It lets you know if you are low on oil. Also it is pretty great at alerting you even when it is a slight engine problem.

- Denise M

The pros and cons of my Malibu.

I love the size and color most of all. I do a lot of gardening, and the trunk of my car can hold 4 bags of mulch or six bags of garden soil, along with ten 3 gallon containers of flowers. I also keep a container in the trunk with emergency clothes and rain gear. The back seat lets down to carry large items. I like that there are cup holders in the front and back seats. I love the backup camera. What I do not like is that the car is a magnet for accidents. The windshield was cracked by a rock before the dealer tags were removed. A teenager on the phone changed lanes without looking and hit my back door, before the dealer tags were moved. Then a lady decided she need to stop at the back on the far right side of the street, so she changed lanes from the far left side and ran into my back door. The car has a smooth ride, and it doesn't let a lot of noise in when the windows are up. I get 28 miles to the gallon inside the city, and 32 on the highway.

- Doris B

If you are looking for a great first car, the Chevy Malibu has everything.

My Chevy Malibu is a great reliable car. The engine is quiet and when I drive and press firmly enough on the breaks, the engine was turn off to conserve gas. The seats are extremely comfy, and are great to sleep on, especially during road trips. The one main problem I have with my car, is that no matter how many times I change the windshield wipers, none of them work extremely well at getting the water off completely. It's still safe to drive, however, I'm not sure why this is an issue. I love the cruise control on the car and the fact that you can adjust the volume on the steering wheel as well. The headlights can be adjusted to either turn on automatically or manually, which is another great feature. Over all, the Malibu is a solid car with all the comforts and features you would want in a standard car.

- Catherine B

Chevy Malibu lots of pluses and a few negatives.

So far I have not experienced any problems with my car. It performs very well it seems to be a better car for the highway as it is a comfortable ride. Some of the interesting features of the car are the eco mode which turns off the car when I am at a light. This does not happen all the time. I am not sure if it is how hard I break the car at a light or when it feels it needs to stop the engine. It has a huge trunk in the back. I live in Chicago and it has survived the Chicago winter so far. It has an ice mode that senses if it possibly could be icy on the road. The pick up on the car is not so great so if you like to press on the gas after being stopped it may not satisfy you. It has a 15 gallon gas tank so takes quite a bit of fuel to fill it up. It does seem like a gas guzzler though.

- Rose F

Start/stop not great but overall a good car

The car drives very well for a family vehicle. It does not have a lot of 'get up and go' which I have had to adjust to a bit. The stop/start system was a little strange at first, and I can't really tell how efficient it is in saving fuel. But that little battery in the trunk that controls it will make a lot of things seem wrong with your car if it dies. If it starts to die your entire electric system will restart once you let off the break. Just go change the battery. Also, the trunk pop button is on the back of the car next to the top light in the center of the trunk lid. I had to google where it was. Overall, the car is very comfortable and spacious. It works well for road trips with 4 people and the trunk space is awesome. I love the features it has showing oil life and all of that.

- Kristen J

Comfortable and Lots of room

I love the room for driver and seat comfort. The car has been very reliable and I do a lot of driving for my job. I have had not major problems in 5 years just brakes, bearings which could be my driving style. I did not get tinted windows which I didn't notice at the dealership. I do not have a rear view camera which is needed related to the vehicle's blind spots. One thing I don't like it when you open the trunk in rain or if snow is on the trunk it falls into the trunk and gets everything wet. I also wish the back window had a wiper not just a defrost. When it rains it is hard to see out the window. Otherwise solid vehicle and lots of room for back seat passengers. There are technology plugs available and Bluetooth as well.

- Ruth P

Great safety features, roomy and comfortable sedan

As far as performance, I love my Malibu. It gets great gas mileage and is roomier than the Hyundai Elantra that I had considered, especially in the back seat. It came equipped with great safety features, including backup sensors but I wish it had a backup camera. The bluetooth that came stock could be upgraded, too. It connects to your phone only for calls, not audio so you can't stream Pandora or anything else over your car stereo. The only other issue is the aux cord connection has known issues and becomes loose. When I contacted Chevy about it, they knew exactly what I was referring to and told me it's a known issue, though no recall was ever performed.

- Rushell T

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