Chevy Malibu: A player among midsize family sedans
Good luck if you're out there shopping for a midsize family sedan. The choices are numerous and the final decision could be an agonizing one as you pass on a lot of fine options and make the ultimate selection.
And the lingering thought after signing the endless amount of paper work - you're not totally confident it's the right one.
Thanks to a redesign a year ago, the Chevrolet Malibu got itself into the midsize sedan mix. The new Malibu arrived with new engine choices, a different appearance and offered nice safety and entertainment features.
But guess what? Sales didn't improve, which must greatly bother the folks at Chevy who believe the Malibu deserved a better fate. Yet opinions on vehicles don't change overnight. And the Malibu, while not a bust, just didn't, and still doesn't possess the reputation of some heavy hitters in the class.
2014 Chevrolet Malibu
- Performance: 2.5-liter, four-cylinder, 196 horsepower; turbocharged four-cylinder, 259 horsepower
- Mileage estimate range: 25-36 mpg
- Price: $22,140 to $29,850
- Warranty: 3 years/36,000 miles; drivetrain 5 years/100,000 miles; roadside assistance 5 years/100,000; corrosion 6 years/100,000
Family sedans like the Ford Fusion, Hyundai Sonata, Kia Optima and Nissan Altima have grown in stature, while the Mazda 6, Honda Accord and Volkswagen Passat continue to receive strong accolades.
Give Chevy credit, it changed and made the 2014 Malibu even better. An attractive sedan already, the Malibu added to its curb appeal with a more distinctive front end. Inside, the vehicle has more rear legroom and is also devoid of any hard surfaces, an unwanted Malibu trait in the past.
However, the most notable change overall is the addition of a more efficient fuel-saving engine. The Malibu now averages 25-36 mpg. The Malibu comes standard with an automatic stop-start feature that will shut down the engine when the car is stopped, which saves fuel.
Standard equipment on the base model includes keyless entry, air-conditioning (with humidity sensor), tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a power driver-seat height adjuster, OnStar, Bluetooth phone connectivity, and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player.
The standard engine for the front-wheel drive Malibu is a 2.5-liter, four-cylinder that produces 196 horsepower and 186 pound-feet of torque, in conjunction with a six-speed automatic. Even though it's a four-cylinder, the Malibu delivers good performance.
For a little more punch and excitement, try the 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Note that's it's only offered on the 3LT and 2LZ trims. The turbo model features 259 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque.
A third option is the Malibu Eco model, which will reportedly be fazed out of the lineup early this year. It has a 2.4-liter, four-cylinder paired with a small electric motor that produces 182 horsepower and 172 pound-feet of torque. The Eco is not considered a full hybrid because the vehicle can't operate solely on electricity.
Any of the four trim models provide good road manners, and are both composed and quiet. The smooth ride doesn't get too bothered by the bumps and the driver is offered a good feel for the road and solid braking.
We like the 2014 Chevrolet Malibu. Yet it certainly doesn't distance itself from the competition. However, what the Malibu does is offer a lot of upside that should make it an option when out there shopping for a good midsize family sedan.
Placer County News HeadlinesSierra Shoot Out Water Polo Tournament in RocklinThe Sierra Shoot Out Water Polo tournament is back for another year at Sierra College. The junior college has hosted this high school tournament for over 20 years
What is Slowing the California Housing Recovery?Realtor, Julie Jalone of MagnumOne Realty in Roseville, writes about why the California and Sacramento housing markets are not expanding as fast as expected. Find out what Julie thinks is contributing to a slower real estate market.
Circus Vargas in Roseville this September Roseville,CA -- Get ready for the ultimate entertainment extravaganza for all ages as the circus comes to Roseville.
Hot Pink Fun Run in Downtown Roseville September 28thRegistration is now open for the 7th Annual Hot Pink Fun Run, a family-friendly run, walk and fun zone on Sunday, September 28, 2014.
Monty Python's Spamalot at Roseville TheaterSPAMALOT tells the legendary tale of King Arthur's quest to find the Holy Grail. However, diverting a bit from the true story, this hilarious musical
High Marks for Sierra College Energy Tech StudentsThe Sierra College Energy Technology students who took the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners Entry-level exam in June 2014, all passed.
Multiple Sclerosis Becomes Counselor's AssetDuring most of the '70s, Kathe Skinner, now a 65-year-old licensed marriage family therapist in Colorado Springs, Colorado, couldn't figure out what was wrong with her body.
Placer Water Agency Eyes $7 Billion Bond OpportunityFunding for water resource improvements in Placer County could be possible if California voters support the $7.12 billion bond issue on the Nov. 4 ballot, it was
Napa Earthquake Victims Urged to Hire Licensed ContractorsEarthquake: The Contractors State License Board (CSLB) is urging residents of Napa Valley and surrounding areas to only hire California-licensed contractors
8 Arrested in Roseville Police Drug and ID Theft OperationRoseville Police detectives, following up on a Roseville drug case, searched a home in Sacramento and found evidence of methamphetamine sales and identity theft involving scores of victims.
Placer County Republican Party Announces EndorsementsThe Placer County Republican Party has announced the following endorsements in local races for the November 2014 election.
Federal Subpoena Served to Placer County Sheriff's OfficeThe Placer County Sheriff's Office has received several inquiries about employee internal investigations and a federal subpoena.