Seat Time: 2014 Chevrolet Malibu 2LZ

April 21st, 2014 at 8:30am

2014 Chevrolet Malibu

Seat Time is a chance for us to share our impressions of vehicles being tested in the Autoline Garage and at media previews from around the globe.

Manufacturer: General Motors
Make: Chevrolet
Model: Malibu 2LZ
Model Range: 4-door sedan
Competitors: Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Ford Fusion
Trim Levels: LS, LT, LTZ
Price Range: Base: $22,140. Price as tested: $35,995
Made in: Kansas City, KS
Drivetrain: 259 hp, 2.0 l turbo I-4 w/ 6-speed automatic
EPA Ratings: 21 city/30 highway/24 combined. Observed: 21.7 mpg.

Read on for John McElroy‘s final impressions of this vehicle

Notable Features:

  • 2014 Chevrolet MalibuForward collision warning system
  • Lane departure warning
  • HID headlamps

Final Impression:

Yikes! I almost choked when I looked at the price of this car. Yes, it’s competitive with other fully-loaded competitors in its class, but $36,000 for a Malibu is more money than I’d ever spend on this car.

That’s not to say it’s a bad car, it’s not. In fact, I rather liked the Malibu.

This is a very quiet and comfortable sedan, with firm seats but a compliant suspension. If you need peace and security for your daily commute, this car has a lot to offer. I especially like the way the turbocharged engine drives, providing quick response and no noticeable lag in everyday driving situations.

But I thought the fuel economy was rather disappointing. This is a common problem with turbocharged engines and we’ve encountered the same problem with Ford’s EcoBoost four bangers. I love the driveability the turbos provide, but they don’t deliver the kind of fuel economy you get from the CVTs in the Honda Accord or Nissan Altima, which will literally provide another 10 mpg better than the turbos.

It all depends what you’re after in a car. if you want a comfortable, quiet family sedan with a nice amount of power on tap, then look no further than the Malibu. But if fuel economy is driving your decision, keep looking.

8 Comments to “Seat Time: 2014 Chevrolet Malibu 2LZ”

  1. Ken Postlewaite Says:

    Too much money. A Buick Regal Turbo would everything better for less money. I’m a Malibu fan but that price is simply out of the class.

  2. w l simpson Says:

    I thoroly wrung out the previous series , was greatly impressed w/quiet & good handling ride . I hope they continued that platform.
    GM missed a great opportunity in notoffering a Malibu wagon even if wagons are so Passay .<g
    Designers should aspire to continuous improvement rather than change.

  3. Dave Foley Says:

    I mean no disrespect to #1 because he is talking about this specific car, but I’ve never understood people when they complain in general terms about a ‘lower’ brand overlapping the price of an ‘upper’ brand within the same company.

    I’m okay with the price of this Malibu overlapping with the Buick. Just as I’m okay with higher end Buick’s out pricing a lower Cadillac. Every car company does it, so why not here. It’s not about the logic of a pricing strata. It’s about fitting the personality of the buyer.

    As the old saying goes “Some people just aren’t Cadillac people”. Same goes for Buick and Chevrolet too, and the ‘losing’ sale could go either way too.

  4. swm Says:

    A nice car – so long as you don`t have to sit in the back seat.

  5. Ron Paris Says:

    John: Your conclusion that turbocharged engines “don’t deliver the kind of fuel economy you get from the CVTs in the Honda Accord or Nissan Altima, which will literally provide another 10 mpg better than the turbos” is something akin to comparing apples and oranges! While the Chevy’s conventional torque converter automatic no doubt contributes to the mpg disparity you refer to here, the induction difference is another matter entirely.

  6. DZ28 Says:

    John, couldn’t agree more. Rented a 14 Malibu LT for a business trip few weeks back. Great road car with the base 4 cylinder that managed all of 25 mpg. I truly enjoyed the Malibu from a ride and powertrain standpoint however I can imagine the turbo motor struggling to achieve decent MGP. The price however is nuts! Who would pay that price when the Chevy SS with LS3 is $10K more and represents 2-3 times the car; fuel mileage aside. My 14 SHO with Ecoboost is terrible on fuel economy and I’m going back into a Holden product (Chevy SS) with naturally aspirated V8.

  7. Ted A Roberts Says:

    One thing I need to tell people on why I bought a 2013 Malibu lt2 It saved about 4 grand .over a Camray se because everyone thinks its no good I love it and so does anyone who has rode in it. But maybe I am not a good judge but I have found memories of my 1968 Malibu 350 300 HP motor and some how the new one makes me fell like I was a punk kid again.

  8. Arnold Says:

    They will be offering huge incentives for this car.