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The Chevrolet Malibu gets many small updates for the 2014 model year. Engines have been updated, the front fascia receives a redesign and a couple of new features sneak their way into the lineup. The big news for the engine is stop/start technology, which shuts the engine off any time the car is stopped. The moment the driver touches the gas pedal, the car restarts and rolls away like normal, without having used any gas while idling. Normally a premium feature, stop/start technology comes on any Malibu equipped with the base 2.5L engine. Chevrolet's MyLink system has also been upgraded with a Siri hands free mode that can read text messages to busy drivers. Finally, a little bit more knee room has been added for rear seat passengers.
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.