Chevy’;s Malibu delivers on all fronts — except styling
DIGITAL EDITOR ANDREW STOY: Chevy engineers and designers have to be incessantly cursing the Ford Fusion right now. Soon after all, they’;ve built what’;s undoubtedly the best midsize car Chevrolet has ever provided, only to see a 5 percent drop in 12 months above year income. Ford’;s striking, brilliantly executed Fusion is the explanation why the Malibu drives just as properly as the Fusion, is competitively priced, and offers an arguably far better suite of infotainment gear in MyLink, but the auto looks positively dowdy beside the sleek Fusion.
If you are a Chevy die-tough, although, you’;re in luck: The Malibu is a quiet, cozy midsizer with rock-solid chassis really feel and a wonderful blend of overall performance and drivability from its 4-cylinder/6-velocity automated combo. Chevy claims 36 mpg is feasible on the highway, and the automobile never feels underpowered in spite of modest numbers — the transmission performs for a residing on difficult acceleration, but shifts are swift and nicely isolated.
What sells midsize sedans — other than “the deal,” anyway — is tools, and our $ 30K Malibu tester had every characteristic we could fairly request. Navigation, heated leather seating, remote start and all the electronic nannies needed to promote a automobile these days were existing and nicely integrated. A lot more importantly, rear seat area was fine for my rapidly increasing young children and their booster seats.
The Chevy Malibu is merely a nice location in which to invest commuting time. What it is not is a trend statement — that was not a difficulty in the midsize sedan section until finally Fusion came along and let any putz with a down payment buy a pseudo Aston Martin.
Luckily for Chevrolet, sheetmetal is effortless to adjust, and the Malibu’;s fundamental engineering and dynamics are exceptional. Now they just have to make it pretty.
ASSOCIATE EDITOR GRAHAM KOZAK: This Malibu is a solid midsizer — something I did not truly count on from Chevy, but most likely need to have right after the Cruze and the Impala. It seems and feels compact that is a good visually, though backseat passengers may not enjoy it (in spite of a reworking, it remains more cramped than its rivals back there).
Andy mentions the bounty of characteristics, and which is what I consider is going to appeal to consumers far more than seems or efficiency. $ 30,000 gets you almost almost everything except an upgraded engine here. In reality, it had just about every little thing the loaded Buick Regal GS did on paper except AWD, and it expenses about $ 15K significantly less. Different end goals, diverse customers, I know, but you do seem to be to get a honest quantity for the money here.
Possibly less crucial to characteristic-craving customers? On-road behavior. It was difficult to get a truly feel for all the inputs and feedbacks on wintry public streets, but almost everything felt a little bit boring, nearly the opposite of the synthetic in excess of-boosted-ness we’;re so utilised to these days. The 2.5-liter didn’;t appear anemic, for instance, but there was an odd resistance to the throttle and wheel that did not sit right with me. I would like to try out the 2.-liter turbo upgrade, which will get a healthy 63-hp boost.
Take this all with a grain of salt, even though, because it may possibly have just been traction and stability management attempting to keep me pointed straight.
All in all, I feel relaxed recommending this automobile more than its Japanese rivals the place interior layout and quality are concerned, however it is much more of a wash when it comes to overall performance. The Germans, by which I suggest VW, compete fiercely with the Passat it isn’;t the most fascinating vehicle, but its one.8-liter turbo felt far more keen than the naturally aspirated 2.5-liter right here, and the interior felt much more open and spacious. It isn’;t going to have all the active security gear, even though.
ASSOCIATE EDITOR JAKE LINGEMAN: The 6th-generation Chevrolet Malibu was a hit the streets in 2008. It wasn’;t a halo vehicle for the business, but it had to be one of Chevy’;s most common vehicles at least for a couple of many years.
In 2013 Chevy redesigned the car once more. Stylists massaged the front and rear bumpers, and personally I feel they made the sheetmetal search worse than it did ahead of. The utility and worth, nevertheless, remained.
The 196-hp 2.5-liter 4-cylinder strains a bit in the 3,500-pound sedan, although I was also slogging by way of ice and snow, revving the engine a bit higher than I need to. Even so, I imagined the transmission was a small wonky and hunted for gears. I recognize that it truly is tuned for economy, but it seemed like it required to downshift almost every time I came near the gasoline pedal.
The suspension and steering are excellent considering how mundane the automobile is, which I located during the couple of times when the roads permitted me to test them. The Malibu is sprung remarkably stiffly, which makes for a somewhat bouncy but satisfying ride. When I did find a dry spot, I was in a position to stage the automobile exactly where I desired it to go, with no much hard work.
The interior was up to snuff for a automobile in the $ 20K-$ 30K range, though there was a respectable amount of plastic covering. The heated seats were excellent in the polar weather, and the 4-cylinder warmed up swiftly and aided defrost my window within 10 minutes.
Even with the super-slick Ford Fusion on the streets, this is still a whole lot of vehicle for the income. It’;ll match a family members of 4, or 5, without a lot complaint. And it will get you 36 mpg on the highway, if you happen to be gentle. For a Chevy household, this could be their lone transportation.
EDITOR WES RAYNAL: The 2014 Chevrolet Malibu 2LT has just a single heck of a heater and the bun warmers are outstanding. On this very cold morning, it was a homerun in my book.
It also drives nicely, quiet and relaxed, and I would argue folks buying for a midsize sedan want exactly that. The Epsilon II chassis is excellent, rock reliable, soaks up nasty street hazards, and the 4-cylinder supplies decent oomph. The turbocharged 4 would most likely be my individual selection for far better efficiency/mpg stability in my opinion. I also think MyLink is between the much better infotainment programs on the marketplace. The auto seems competitively priced.
This specific automobile is outfitted essentially how I’;d spec out a single for myself (yet again, I’;d most likely opt for the turbo 4) with navigation, heated seats, backup camera and remote start. The cockpit components are as very good as the competition and it all looks properly screwed with each other. It all feels tight, rattle free of charge, and cruises down the street quietly and comfortably.
It is tough out there in midsize-sedan land with the Honda Accord and Mazda 6 and Ford Fusion all undertaking battle. They are outstanding automobiles. What’;s the class formula? That would be value for income, comfort, quiet operation, risk-free/inoffensive styling and better than average road manners. By people measures the Malibu is in the game.
Is it fun to drive? Not so significantly. Will shoppers care? Hugely doubtful. At the finish of a hectic day one particular could do worse.
Base Value: $ 26,040
As-Examined Cost: $ 29,900
Drivetrain: 2.5-liter I4 FWD, 6-pace automatic
Output: 196 hp @ 6,300 rpm, 186 lb-ft @ 4,400 rpm
Curb Excess weight: 3,532 lb
Fuel Economic system (EPA City/Highway/Combined): 25/36/29 mpg
AW Observed Fuel Economy: 24.8 mpg
Choices: Electronics and enjoyment package including audio method, Pioneer premium 9-speaker, 250 watt amplifier, rear vision camera system, moldings, body-colour bodyside, energy outlet, 120 volt, universal property remote, inside rearview mirror, car dimming, ease net, trunk ($ 1,175) leather bundle which includes seat trim, leather appointed, front passenger energy seat adjuster, driver and front passenger heated seats ($ 1,000) advance security bundle such as forward collision alert, lane-departure warning, side blind zone alert, rear cross visitors alert ($ 800) audio method with navigation, AM/FM CD player, 7-inch shade touchscreen ($ 795)
Get much more auto news, critiques and opinion each day: Indicator up to have the Autoweek Day-to-day Drive delivered appropriate to your inbox.