Midsize car; Built in USA
  • 4-door sedan
  • 4-door sedan
  • transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $9,800 – $19,800*

2014 Chevrolet Malibu

2014 Chevrolet Malibu

2014 Chevrolet Malibu

2014 Chevrolet Malibu

  • Fuel economy
  • Quietness
  • Ride/handling
  • Rear-seat room
  • Visibility

The Malibu is dynamically as good or better than most competitors, and it ranks at or near the top of the class for ride quality, refinement, quietness, and interior design. Weak spots include rear legroom, and trunk space in Eco models because of the space occupied by the eAssist system’s battery pack. Also, Eco’s EPA numbers barely beat those of some regular gas-powered competitors and don’t come close to matching those of most rival hybrids or diesels. Malibus with the smooth 2.5-liter engine deliver decent performance and extra trunk space at lower cost, with the added opportunity to go a little lower (LS) or higher (LTZ) in equipment levels as buyers’ budgets allow. The very refined turbo adds substantial muscle but doesn’t feel appreciably sportier than the other models. Of the various Malibus, our nod goes to the 2.5-liter model. Overall, this car is a solid effort, but it faces a class full of strong competitors. Malibu deserves a serious look, but be sure to check out the other midsize sedans too.


Malibu, Chevrolet’s mainstream midsize sedan, was redesigned for 2013. Also redesigned that year, were three of its main rivals–the Ford Fusion, Honda Accord~Sedan, and Nissan Altima. Other competition for the American-made Malibu includes the Hyundai Sonata, Kia Optima, and Toyota Camry.

The redesigned 2013 Malibu was about the same overall length as its 2008-2012 predecessor, but it was 2 inches wider. Wheelbase shrank 4.5 inches from the previous Malibu, which may help explain why the new car had a bit less front and rear seat legroom than the car it replaced.

Malibu got freshened styling, along with new engines and new features. New was the Malibu “Eco,” which employed a gas/electric drivetrain as well as a performance-oriented Turbo model. Both the Eco and Turbo were available in two trim levels.

The Malibu LS, LT, and LTZ came with a brand new 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine with 197 horsepower. The Eco paired a 2.4-liter gasoline 4-cylinder engine with a battery-powered electric motor for a combined 182 horsepower. Unlike many hybrids, the Eco was incapable of running solely on the battery. GM’s “eAssist” system shut the gas engine off at a stop and instantly restarted it when the driver released his or her foot from the brake pedal.

The 3LT and 2LTZ used a new 259-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine. The previously available V6 engine was discontinued.

All Malibus were front-wheel drive and had a 6-speed automatic transmission.

The Chevrolet Malibu had a standard complement of expected and federally mandated safety features. Lane-departure warning and forward-collision alert were optional.

Yearly Updates

2014 Malibu
For 2014, rear knee room was said to have been increased by 1.25 inches. An “eAssist” system, that shut the engine off at a stop and instantly restarted it when the driver released the brake pedal, was added to the 2.5-liter engine. Blind-spot alert and rear cross traffic alert were newly available safety features. Also, front styling was revised.
2015 Malibu
After its redesign for 2013 and a significant freshening for 2014, the Chevrolet Malibu saw just one change of note for 2015: the addition of 4G LTE Internet connectivity with a Wi-Fi hotspot to the OnStar communications system. Malibu was redesigned for 2016.


transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive

The LS, LT, and LTZ came with a brand new 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine with 197 horsepower. For 2014, the 2.5-liter engine gained the Eco’s eAssist engine start/stop for better fuel economy.

dohc I4/electric
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 2.4/145
Engine HP 182
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 172
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed automatic 25/37 29
dohc I41
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 2.5/153
Engine HP 197
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 191
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed automatic
6-speed automatic
Turbocharged dohc I4
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 2.0/122
Engine HP 259
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 260-295
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed automatic 21/30

1. 2.5-liter engine gained start/stop for 2014 and EPA estimates rose to 25/36.

Road Test

Eco acceleration is good from a stop and at least adequate in all other situations. The electric assist motor not only improves response to throttle inputs, it also helps the Eco maintain speed on hills without the transmission having to downshift to a lower gear. Chevrolet estimates a 0-60-mph time of 8.7 seconds, which feels about right. The 2.5-liter engine and 6-speed automatic deliver smooth, responsive performance with good acceleration from a stop. The 2.0-liter turbo engine is strong and provides spirited acceleration. Again, the engine is laudably smooth with excellent throttle response and is well matched to the automatic transmission.

In Consumer Guide testing, a Malibu Eco averaged 29.4 mpg and a 2.5-liter model returned 26.5 mpg, each in an even mix of city and highway driving. No opportunity to measure a turbocharged Malibu. The Eco and 2.5-liter Malibus use regular-grade gas. Premium is recommended for the 2.0-liter turbo.

Malibu does a fine job of blending comfort and control, and is one of the better riding midsize sedans. The suspension is able to smother all but the largest bumps, and even the bigger ones are handled without harshness. Tire size has little apparent effect on ride quality.

Malibu’s steering is smooth with the right amount of power assist for any driving situation, but some testers wish it offered better road feel. The car handles confidently with minimal body lean in the corners. Brakes are strong with good pedal feel.

Quietness is a strong point. Wind and road noise are quite low at highway speeds, though rough pavement brings on noticeable tire roar. The Eco’s engine note is fairly prominent at idle, but it fades into the background under cruise conditions. It produces a rich, muted growl under acceleration. The 2.5-liter engine makes itself heard in full-throttle acceleration, but it sounds smooth and quickly quiets down in steady-state driving. The turbocharged engine is impressively refined, and is nearly silent in most driving conditions.

Basic audio controls include power/volume and tuning knobs and a handful of physical buttons that are within easy reach. Some audio functions are governed by virtual “buttons” on the radio’s touchscreen that are relatively large and generally clearly marked. Climate controls consist of dials for temperature and fan speed, along with pushbuttons for mode selection. All are easy to reach and convenient to use. MyLink in one LTZ test car had difficulty recognizing some voice commands, even when carefully enunciated.

Details are another Malibu strength. Many interior surfaces are padded, and particularly in the available two-tone colors, look upscale. So does the trim, which can be in simulated metal or wood with chrome accents. Ice-blue ambient lighting fans out across the instrument panel and into the front doors. Some testers note that hard plastics are apparent in places, but overall the interior has a quality look and feel.

Up front, comfortable seats offer plenty of legroom. Headroom is good too, but taller folk may wish for more room in sunroof-equipped Malibus. Visibility is somewhat of a mixed bag. Some testers complain of wide front and side roof pillars that block quite a bit of the view, but others find visibility out the sides better than expected. A high trunk and relatively small rear window make rear visibility more challenging than it ought to be.

Back seat comfort is not a strong suit. A 6-footer can sit behind another, but only if the front seat is well forward of its rearmost setting. If a front seat is all the way back, leg room behind it is skimpy at best. Outboard seating positions have some contouring, but the center position straddles a floor hump and is best left for short trips. Headroom is sufficient for 6-footers.

The battery for the Eco’s eAssist system takes up much of the back wall of the trunk. As a result, volume is reduced, and only the driver-side seat back folds down to reveal a shoebox-size opening 9 inches above the level of the trunk floor. Cargo capacity is otherwise adequate, though less than in most midsize rivals. Trunk volume in 2.5-liter and turbo models is 3.1 cubic feet greater than in the Eco, and runs back all the way to the rear seats. In all Malibus, the trunklid’s sickle hinges are covered to prevent cargo damage. Interior storage is impressive, consisting of a glovebox, smallish console box, small bins on each side of the console, a small bin and covered cupholders in the console, a covered left-side dash bin, and another storage area hidden behind the tip-up radio/navigation screen.


Model Tested: 2013 Malibu 1LTZ 2.5

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.


Acceleration - 6
Fuel Economy - 7
Ride Quality - 7
Steering/Handling - 6
Quietness - 7


Controls/Materials - 7
Room/Comfort Front - 6
Room/Comfort Rear - 5
Cargo Room - 5


Value - 8

Total: 64


4-door sedan
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
107.8 191.5 73.0 57.6 3393
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
16.3 18.5 5.0
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
39.0 37.5 42.1 36.8
4-door sedan
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
107.8 191.5 73.0 57.6 3589
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
13.2 15.8 5.0
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
39.0 37.5 42.1 36.8
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 2013 Chevrolet Malibu 4-door sedan


(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
Front Passenger Injury - 4

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
Rear Passenger Injury - 5


(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision N/A
Injury N/A
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

Engine noise
Description: Some vehicles have incorrect pistons which can cause noise, rough running, and bent valves.
Description: Power windows may be misaligned and move slowly or not at all. (2013-14)
Description: Faulty main or rod bearings may cause engine to seize. (2013-14)
Transmission problems
Description: Torque converter clutch could stick. (2013)
Brake lights
Description: Brake lights may remain on after vehicle has been turned off and drain the battery. (2014)

Recall History

2013 Malibu
Description: Transmission gear selection may not be illuminated. The driver could inadvertently select the wrong transmission position.
2013 Malibu
Description: The wiring harnesses for the power front seats may chafe against the seat frame. The exposed wires could result in unintended movement of the seat or fire.
2013 Malibu
Description: One or more rear suspension bolts may not have been properly tightened and could cause sudden changes in vehicle handling.
2013 Malibu
Description: Turns signals may fail to operate, although the there is no indication to the driver that the signals are not operating normally.
2013 Malibu
Description: After hard braking, a sensing and diagnostic module may reset itself. This could cause the curtain side airbags to deploy during aggressive turning. Additionally, the airbags and seatbelt pretensioners may not deploy in a crash.
2013-14 Malibu with sunroof
Description: The sunroof switch is not sufficiently recessed and may be pressed inadvertwently.
2014 Malibu with 2.5-liter engine
Description: Vehicles may lose power-brake assist.
2014 Malibu
Description: Incorrect brake rotors may have been installed resulting in brake pads detaching from the caliper.
2014 Malibu
Description: The transmission-shift-cable adjuster may disengage from the shift lever. A shift lever in Park may not engage Park for the transmission and the vehicle could roll.
2014 Malibu
Description: Heating and air conditioning controls may stop working, preventing the windshield defroster from working.
2015 Malibu
Description: Front-side -airbag inflators could rupture during deployment and spray passengers with shrapnel.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.


Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.