After a lackluster 2013 redesign, Chevy gives an emergency refresh to its Malibu sedan that adds more torque and rear seat leg room.
The mid-size family sedan market has never been more competitive, a fact that Chevrolet seemed to have somewhat forgotten when it unveiled the eighth-gen Malibu for the 2013 model year. The bottom line is that the car was underdeveloped and rushed to market, and due to the negative reviews, Chevy ordered an emergency refresh. What you're looking at now is the result, as the 2014 Malibu has received some minor exterior updates but the most important improvements lie under the hood and in the back seat.
For starters, the standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder with 196 horsepower and 186 lb-ft of torque now has a start-stop system that helps to improve fuel economy to 23/35 mpg city/highway, a one-mpg improvement over last year's model. The 2.0-liter turbo four remains optional but for 2014 has been given a solid 14 percent boost in torque, now totaling 295 lb-ft which Chevy claims is best-in-class. But perhaps one of the biggest complaints of the 2013 Malibu was the lack of rear seat passenger space. For this year, Chevy engineers managed to squeeze an additional 1.25 inches of knee room thanks to shorter bolsters, redesigned front seat backs and new cushioning that also improves comfort.
Front seat passengers get a new center console with longer armrests.The restyled front grille now bears a stronger resemblance to that of the new Impala and there are a number of other minor cosmetic updates that help give the Malibu a more upscale look overall. There are also a number of chassis and suspension updates that help improve body roll control as well as more precise steering feel. Official pricing hasn't been announced, but expect the 2014 Malibu in showrooms in the coming months.