For 2014, the Chevrolet Malibu receives a variety of upgrades. Inside, you'll find added rear-seat legroom and a new center console with more storage. Outside, there's new front-end styling. The 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine receives various tweaks, including a stop-start system, that increase its combined fuel economy rating to match that of the mild-hybrid 2.4-liter Eco powertrain. Chevrolet will phase out the mild-hybrid Eco model early in the model year, but afterward, all Malibus with the 2.5-liter engine will wear an Eco badge. Chevy has also revised the optional turbocharged engine to produce 295 pound-feet of torque, a 35 lb-ft gain, and retuned the car's suspension for better ride and handling characteristics.
performance & mpg
Most 2014 Chevrolet Malibus come with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that puts out 196 hp and 186 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed automatic driving the front wheels is standard, as is an automatic stop-start feature that shuts off the engine when you're stopped to save fuel. The EPA estimates fuel economy at 29 mpg combined (25 mpg city/36 mpg highway): good numbers for a four-cylinder midsize sedan. In Edmunds performance testing, the 2.4-liter Malibu Eco went from zero to 60 mph in 8.2 seconds -- an average time for a four-cylinder family sedan.
The 2014 Chevy Malibu comes standard with antilock brakes, stability and traction control, front knee airbags, front side airbags, rear side airbags and side curtain airbags. Also standard is the OnStar telematics system, which includes automatic crash notification, on-demand roadside assistance, remote door unlocking and stolen vehicle assistance. A rearview camera is available, as is a safety package with forward collision warning, lane departure warning, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert systems.
In Edmunds brake testing, a Malibu Eco stopped from 60 mph in 119 feet, which is a few feet better than average.
In government crash testing, last year's similar Malibu earned five out of five stars for overall crash protection, with five stars for total frontal impact protection and five stars for total side impact protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the Malibu its highest possible rating of "Good" in the moderate-overlap frontal-offset, side impact and roof strength tests. It was also rated Good for its seat/head restraint design in rear-impact testing. In the Institute's new small-overlap frontal-offset test, the Malibu scored a second-lowest "Marginal" rating, though in fairness not many cars have done well in this relatively new test.