The standard powertrain for most of the Malibu lineup in 2014 is a 2.5L 4-cylinder engine and 6-speed automatic transmission. The new engine has direct injection and overhead cams, with stop/start technology. It makes 196 horsepower and 186 pound-feet of torque on regular-grade gas. The premium engine is a 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder which makes 259 horsepower. It is also mated to a 6-speed automatic. Both engines should return relatively good fuel economy, with the 2.5L achieving up to 36 mpg on the highway.
The 2014 Malibu comes in a full range of trims, including basic LS, mid-range LT and top-of-the-line LTZ. Remote keyless entry, cruise control and tilt/telescopic steering adjustment are among many standard features at the base LS level, while LT models include upgraded wheels, Bluetooth, projector headlamps plus optional step-up packages that include heated seats and remote start. The LTZ includes more luxurious dress-ups, heated side mirrors, power leather seats and automatic climate control. LT and LTZ trims include MyLink, a touch-screen-based system that serves as a hub for hands-free connectivity with smartphones, or media players connected by USB cable. It has integrated applications for Pandora and Stitcher internet radio services.
Across the model line, the Malibu gets a swoopy dual-cockpit interior design, with much-upgraded materials; its exterior design has also been refreshed to fit in with other Chevy models like the Camaro and Cruze. One of the design highlights of the interior is a radio face that swivels outward, then up and in, to reveal a large storage space behind.
There are eight standard airbags on all 2014 Malibu models, and separate rear thorax bags will also be optional. A safety package is available, featuring a blind spot warning system, rear cross traffic detection and forward collision alert. A rear view camera is also available.