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2014 Chevy Malibu Refreshed After Just One Year

6/3/2013
Chevrolet is making changes to the 2014 Malibu midsize family sedan, just one year after a completely redesigned 2013 Malibu went on sale. The automaker has revised the car's styling, interior comfort, and mechanicals for the 2014 model year.

"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. Mark Reuss, president, General Motors North America, added, "The midsize sedan segment is the most contested in the industry and we're not sitting still with the 2014 Chevrolet Malibu."

Starting on the outside, the 2014 Chevy Malibu has a restyled front end, with a new front fascia featuring a redesigned grille and a new look that makes it appear that the hood extends further forward than before.

Inside, the new 2014 Malibu is equipped with redesigned seats that improve rear comfort while adding 1.25 inches of additional rear-seat knee room, according to Chevrolet. A new center console design also debuts, including two dedicated storage slots for smartphones, two cupholders, a hand-operated parking brake, and a longer front armrest. In addition to these modifications, the new 2014 Malibu is offered with side blind-zone alert and rear cross-traffic alert technologies in order to improve safety.

Chevrolet has also upgraded the Malibu's mechanical package. According to Kelzer, "The 2014 Malibu has been engineered to deliver more precise ride and handling that is on par with more expensive sport sedans."

The changes start under the hood, where a new 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine is standard equipment, making 196 horsepower and 186 lb.-ft. of torque. That's less than last year's 2.5-liter 4-cylinder, but this new engine includes automatic start/stop technology to help conserve fuel, and Chevrolet estimates the 2014 Malibu will return 23 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway. Those figures amount to a 1-mpg increase each over last year's car.

The Malibu Turbo is also more powerful for 2014. Its 2.0-liter, turbocharged 4-cylinder engine is still rated to deliver 259 horsepower, but a 14% bump in torque (to 295 lb.-ft.) should result in greater response when the accelerator pedal is pressed.

In addition to these changes, Chevrolet has modified the Malibu's transmission to provide what the automaker characterizes as quicker shifts and improved refinement. Chevrolet also says it has re-tuned the Malibu's electric steering, brakes, suspension, and chassis to help deliver on the company's claim that its midsize family sedan rides and handles like a more expensive sport sedan.

The updated 2014 Malibu goes on sale this fall, in LS, LT, and LTZ trim levels. Despite the upgrades for 2014, prices are not expected to rise dramatically.

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