• May 31, 2013
The Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix – an event that first returned to the Motor City last year, to somewhat embarrassing results – kicks off today, with the big race events happening Saturday and Sunday. But before any of Chevy's Bowtie-badged race cars hit the track, we were able to get our first in-person look at the refreshed 2014 Malibu – a vehicle getting a host of upgrades after just one model year.

Until we actually get some behind the wheel time, won't be able to tell if the mechanical upgrades have indeed made for an improvement over the coldly received 2013 model, but based on what General Motors executives told us at the unveiling this morning, things sound more promising. For starters, the 2.0-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine gets a healthy boost in torque, swelling to 295 pound-feet from 259. What's more, the chassis has been slightly retuned, following updates that Chevy engineers put on the larger Impala, and the base 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine now benefits from start/stop, marking GM's first application of this technology in a non-hybrid (read: eAssist) vehicle.

The base 2.5-liter engine now benefits from start/stop, marking GM's first application of this technology in a non-hybrid vehicle

Visually, the tweaks to the Malibu's front fascia are indeed noticeable, though we can't say for sure if they're actually improvements (the front-end styling was never a huge issue with the old car for us, after all). Still, the revised grille and headlamp treatment adds a bit more aggression to the schnoz, and the slimmer grille opening above the Bowtie badge does bring the Malibu more in line with the other vehicles in the company's stable. No other visual changes have been given to the updated sedan, and that's sort of a shame, since our only real design complaints concerned the rear fascia with its oddly squared-off, Camaro-inspired taillamps.

Inside, material fit and finish is mostly carryover, as is the overall design of the cabin. The big changes, however, will be noticed by rear occupants, where there's an additional 1.25 inches of knee room. After sitting in the car during today's presentation, we can say that the better materials on the front seat backs and more comfortable rear bench are indeed welcome changes.

Pricing has yet to be announced, but we expect that to drop closer to the car's on-sale date this fall. For now, scroll down to read any details you may have missed, and check out our full gallery of live images, above.
Show full PR text
2014 Chevrolet Malibu is Roomier, More Efficient

- Fuel-saving start-stop technology added to standard model
- Rear knee room improved by 1.25 inches
- Chassis and suspension developments enhance drive experience

DETROIT, Friday, May 31, 2013 – Chevrolet today unveiled the 2014 Malibu – a roomier, more refined and more efficient execution of its midsize sedan. Updated styling, a revised interior, a new 2.5L standard engine and suspension enhancements highlight the changes. It goes on sale this fall.

"The 2014 Chevrolet Malibu builds on the strengths established by the all-new 2013 Malibu to make it a stronger choice for customers," said Mark Reuss, president, General Motors North America. "The midsize sedan segment is the most contested in the industry and we're not sitting still with the 2014 Chevrolet Malibu."

The new and enhanced features include:

- Revised front-end appearance
- Roomier rear seat, with 1.25 inches (31.7 mm) more knee room
- Redesigned center console
- New 2.5L engine with variable valve lift control and start/stop technology helps deliver estimated fuel economy of 23 city / 35 highway – a 5-percent improvement in city mileage and 3-percent greater highway efficiency
- Nearly 14 percent more torque from the available 2.0L turbo engine – 295 lb-ft of torque (400 Nm) – engineered for a greater feeling of power on demand
- Suspension enhancements derived from the all-new 2014 Impala engineered to contribute to a more refined driving experience
- New available Side Blind Zone Alert and Rear Cross Traffic Alert safety features

Malibu's revised front-end appearance is influenced by the all-new Impala, creating a more cohesive look across Chevrolet's sedan lineup. The front fascia features a new, more prominent lower grille and the hood extends down and over the leading edge of a narrower upper grille. The grille openings – with black grille texture – are wider and accented with chrome.

Inside, redesigned seats contribute to greater rear-seat space and greater comfort. The front seatbacks are shaped to improve rear-seat knee room, while new cushion sculpturing and revised cushion material allow passengers to sit deeper in the rear seats. Approximately half an inch was trimmed from the front of the rear seat cushion, for greater comfort behind passengers' legs.

The Malibu's redesigned center console has a longer armrest designed for greater comfort, along with a pair of cup holders and dedicated storage for two cell phones.

"We made changes within 18 months, demonstrating an unprecedented commitment to make the Malibu the best car it can be," said Ken Kelzer, executive chief engineer, global full-size and midsize cars. "The 2014 Malibu has been engineered to deliver more precise ride and handling that is on par with more expensive sports sedans."

More efficient, powerful powertrains

An all-new Ecotec 2.5L Intake Valve Lift Control DOHC four-cylinder engine with direct injection is the 2014 Malibu's standard engine. Its variable intake valve actuation enhances efficiency and helps lower emissions, while also enhancing low-rpm torque, for a greater feeling of power at lower speeds. When the iVLC system operates in low-lift mode, the engine pumps only the air it needs to meet the driver's demand. The system switches to high-lift mode at higher speeds or under heavy loads, providing the full output capability of the engine.

New start/stop technology shuts down the 2.5L engine to save fuel when the Malibu stops momentarily, such as at stoplights, contributing to an estimated 5-percent increase in city fuel economy. The engine automatically starts again when the driver takes his or her foot off the brake. An auxiliary battery powers electric accessories such as the climate system, power windows and radio during engine restarts.

The new 2.5L is SAE-certified at 196 horsepower (145 kW) and 186 lb-ft of torque (253 Nm). Revised transmission shift points and quicker shifts also enhance the feeling of performance – while delivering greater refinement.

Additionally, the 2014 Malibu's available 2.0L turbo engine delivers nearly 14 percent more torque than its predecessor. It is SAE-certified at 295 lb-ft (400 Nm). New engine calibration and tuning account for the improvement, making the Malibu 2.0L turbo's torque the best in the segment, even among competing six-cylinder-engines. The result is a stronger feeling of acceleration from a stop and a greater feeling of power on demand in almost all driving conditions.

The 2.0L turbo also produces an SAE-certified 259 horsepower (193 kW).

Chassis refinements

Chassis and suspension updates inspired by the all-new 2014 Impala also contribute to the 2014 Malibu's more refined driving experience, including rebound springs that are internal to the struts. They enable more refined calibration of the dampers for a smoother overall ride, while also improving body roll control and weight transfer during acceleration or turning. That helps keep the wheels planted, contributing to a more precise, controlled feel – especially while cornering.

Fuel-saving electric power rack-and-pinion variable-effort power steering is standard and enables nearly effortless low-speed maneuvers and a higher degree of steering feel at higher speeds. Revised, higher-effort calibrations for 2014 were engineered to improve the overall steering feel. Also, the Malibu's brake system has been revised to provide a more confident feel.

Additional chassis control technologies include four-channel anti-lock brakes, full-function traction control, four-corner electronic stability control, electronic brake force distribution, brake assist system, corner brake control, hydraulic brake fade assist and drag torque control.

Enhanced safety

New Side Blind Zone Alert and Rear Cross Traffic Alert safety features are offered, adding to the protection from a car that received a 5-Star Overall Vehicle Score in the New Car Assessment Program from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and a 2013 Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Both are the highest ratings possible.

Malibu also comes with 10 standard air bags and an available rearview camera system.

Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world's largest car brands, doing business in more than 140 countries and selling more than 4.5 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature spirited performance, expressive design, and high quality. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 182 Comments
      raughle1
      • 1 Year Ago
      Better. Mostly.
      Jmaister
      • 1 Year Ago
      hey wut you know, a chevy mid sizer that looks half decent, i like. alot. cudos chevy.
        Renaurd
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Jmaister
        So do I, I hated the old front end but this looks great.
      Cruising
      • 1 Year Ago
      Handsome looking car, that interior is very impressive looking in the photos rather upscale. Glad to see buttons and knobs. I use to be iffy about the tail lights but I actually think they give the car some identity of it's American roots, Eurocentric design is hot right now with the domestic sedans but something like those tail lights is a nice touch of bold American styling but I can understand why some people may not like it.
      Andrew L
      • 1 Year Ago
      no rear HVAC vents? isn't that kind of a standard in mid size sedans?
      ZOZ
      • 1 Year Ago
      come on guys. What did you expect? It's just a facelift, not a totally new design. Supposedly the target market is the same.
      Domenico Monti
      • 1 Year Ago
      They did a good job. Honestly even when the 2013 model came out it was generally nicely designed. This emergency update was somewhat needed. So in the end they took a decent mid-size car and turned it into a better mid-sized car.
      dukeisduke
      • 1 Year Ago
      The power from the 2.0 turbo is impressive, but I don't know if the styling changes will be enough to save it from also-ran territory. But, I have seen more of the '13s on the road lately, so maybe the changes will move the needle in the right direction. As for the rear seat roominess tricks, Ford did the same thing with the Contour/Mystique twins back in the '90s - the rear seat room on early models were terrible, so they scooped out the front seatbacks, redesigned the floorpan, so feet would fit under the front seats, and pushed the rear seat back further.
      john m
      • 1 Year Ago
      So they changed one of the areas that didn't need changing. I liked the old front but this new front looks good too. Too bad they couldn't put this new front end on the Chevy SS. If there was ANY car in GM's lineup that needed a new front end it's the SS. I seem to remember that nobody liked the rear of the Malibu but there doesn't seem to be any changes there.
      mazeroni
      • 1 Year Ago
      Good news, the incentives on the Malibu aren't going anywhere. The great thing about this redesign is the current 2013 Malibu stuffing dealer lots is going to be available for thousands under invoice. If you want a large sedan that you can keep for 10 plus years with no resale value, the 2013 Malibu for you. If you want a 2014 wait 3 months for them to fill up dealer lots then pick one up for thousands under invoice.
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
        • 1 Year Ago
        [blocked]
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
        Chip
        • 1 Year Ago
        I\'m sure no one on here has heard that one yet.
        DK
        • 1 Year Ago
        ...or you could downgrade to a Camry?
          Yeah yeah
          • 1 Year Ago
          @DK
          They get knocked for being boring, in large part because you see so many of them it would soon seem boring no matter what they looked like, but there is no denying a Camry is a very good car. I kind of like the Malibu too. I think among the mid-sized cars the Camry and Malibu have a lot in common. Both aim more to the comfortable cruisers side of things as opposed to sporty and sharp handling, and both have EPA mpg ratings that are a little behind the leaders, though still good. They would be my top two recommendations for someone looking for comfort and quietness in this class.
      brianfl33916
      • 1 Year Ago
      Lets face it. If was a little more boring looking and had a Toyota badge on it people would buy it.
    • Load More Comments