Used Car Review

2014 Chevrolet Malibu: Used Car Review

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Used 2014 Chevrolet Malibu LT
Used 2014 Chevrolet Malibu
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author photo by Ron Sessions January 2015

A facelift using styling cues from the larger Impala gave the 2014 Chevrolet Malibu a fresh look, while repackaging the rear-seat area provided rear passengers with more legroom. Chevrolet also made fuel-saving stop/start standard on the base 2.5-liter 4-cylinder, recalibrated the optional turbo 4-cylinder engine for more torque, and added Siri Eyes Free mode and text-to-voice features to the MyLink infotainment system. After building a short run of 2014 Malibu Ecos, the eAssist system was phased out. Fitted with a standard 10 airbags, the 2014 Malibu garnered a 5-star crash-test rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and took home Top Safety Pick honors from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

What We Like

Freshened front styling; less-cramped rear seat; quiet cabin; 2.0-liter turbo performance; comfortable front seats; well-balanced ride and handling; MyLink infotainment

What We Don't

Busy interior layout; uneven transmission shifting; heavy for its size; slow voice-command response

Fuel Economy & Engine Specs

The 2014 Chevrolet Malibu has three available powertrains. Standard on all but the Malibu Eco is a 2.5-liter dual-overhead-camshaft (DOHC) 4-cylinder with four valves per cylinder and direct injection. New for 2014 on the base 2.5-liter is a stop/start system that shuts off the engine at stoplights for improved fuel economy. It produces 197 horsepower and 191 lb-ft of torque on regular unleaded gas and has an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rating of 25 miles per gallon in the city and 36 mpg on the highway with the standard 6-speed automatic transmission.

Available on LT and LTZ models is a turbocharged 2.0-liter DOHC turbo 4-cylinder, which produces a V6-like 259 hp. Recalibration raises peak torque from 260 to 295 lb-ft for 2014. Premium fuel is recommended, and it is EPA-rated at 21 mpg city/30 mpg hwy with the 6-speed automatic.

Chevy also produced a handful of Eco gas-electric hybrids for 2014. This model uses a small, 15-hp electric motor/generator and a 0.5-kwh lithium-ion battery to boost the power and efficiency of a 182-hp 2.4-liter DOHC 4-cylinder engine. A stop/start system shuts off the engine at stoplights to save fuel, and grille shutters close to improve aerodynamic efficiency on the highway. The Eco is EPA-rated at 25 mpg city/36 mpg hwy with a 6-speed automatic transmission, which is the same as the base 2.5-liter with stop/start.

Standard Features & Options

The 2014 Chevrolet Malibu is available in LS, LT, LTZ and Eco trims.

Typical LS equipment includes air conditioning, a power driver's seat, cruise control, cloth seat trim, a tilt-telescopic steering wheel, remote keyless entry, Bluetooth, OnStar communication system, a 6-speaker AM/FM/CD stereo with an MP3 decoder and steering-wheel audio controls, automatic headlamps, 16-inch alloy wheels, stability and traction control, anti-lock brakes, a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine with a 6-speed automatic transmission and power door locks, windows and mirrors.

Moving up to the 1LT adds a 7-in touchscreen audio system with MyLink and voice recognition, SiriusXM satellite radio, Bluetooth streaming, a USB port, premium cloth seats, carpeted floor mats, and Pandora, Stitcher and Gracenote capability. Upgrading to the 2LT adds a leather-wrapped shifter, 18-in alloy wheels, driver's seat power lumbar, dual-zone automatic air conditioning, foglamps, heated mirrors and remote engine starting. The 3LT features the 2.0-liter turbo engine.

The range-topping LTZ comes standard with heated leather front seats, a leather-and-wood-trimmed steering wheel, a power passenger seat, LED tail lamps, a chrome-tipped exhaust, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and a trunk cargo net. It's also available with a power moonroof, the 2.0-liter turbo engine, a navigation system and 19-in alloy wheels.

The Eco is a limited-production fuel economy model with electric assist from a 15-hp electric motor/generator and lithium-ion battery, low-rolling resistance tires, 17-in alloy wheels, a stop/start system and shutters behind the grille that close at highway speeds. MyLink infotainment and automatic air conditioning are also standard.


Revised front-end styling and improved rear-seat room helped boost sales for 2014. The Malibu is Chevrolet's second-best-selling sedan, and with lease returns coming back into the used-car market, there should be a good supply of pre-owned examples to choose from.

To get an idea of the 2014 Malibu's price range, check out You can also search the AutoTrader Classifieds to see what models are for sale in your area.


The NHTSA has announced the following recalls for the 2014 Malibu:

Malibu models with the 2.5-liter engine and stop-start may lose power brake assist, increasing crash risk.

Rear brake rotors may have been installed in the front, reducing braking ability.

The transmission shift indicator may disengage from the shift lever and not indicate the actual gear the transmission is in. The car can roll away if it's not actually in the Park position.

The defroster may be inoperable when the car is first started, decreasing visibility.

Recall repairs are required by law, even if the vehicle is out of warranty. Your dealer can check to see if the repairs were performed, and if not, will fix the car at no charge to you.

Safety Ratings & Warranties

NHTSA rated the 2014 Chevrolet Malibu with five stars for frontal and side impacts.

The IIHS gave the 2014 Malibu a Good rating for protection in all impacts.

General Motors covered the 2014 Malibu with a 3-year/36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty, a 5-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty with roadside assistance, 6-year/100,000-mile corrosion-perforation warranty and 2 years/24,000 miles of free maintenance.

Chevrolet certified pre-owned (CPO) cars cannot have more than 75,000 miles on the odometer and must be 5 years old or less. Every CPO Malibu undergoes a 172-point inspection. Those that pass receive a 12-month/12,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty, plus whatever remains on the transferable, original 5-year/100,000-mile powertrain coverage. Also included is a 2-year/30,000-mile maintenance plan with roadside assistance.

Other Cars to Consider

Honda Accord -- The Honda Accord is a roomy and fun-to-drive midsize sedan. Its 278-hp 3.5-liter V6 adds zippy performance, and the base 185-hp 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine is EPA-rated at 27 mpg city/36 mpg hwy with the continuously variable automatic transmission.

Volkswagen Passat -- The interior of the U.S.-built Passat is cheaper-looking than previous models, but offers a roomy cabin and large trunk. Engine choices include a 140-hp 2.0-liter 4-cylinder turbodiesel capable of 43 mpg hwy, a new 170-hp 1.8-liter turbo 4-cylinder gas engine and a 280-hp 3.6-liter V6.

AutoTrader's Advice

The 2014 Malibu offered crisper styling and increased rear-seat legroom compared to the weak-selling 2013 model. It maintained the 2013 model's impressive ride and handling, quiet cabin, the latest in Chevrolet infotainment systems and top-rated safety. We would suggest a nicely equipped LT or LTZ with the base 2.5-liter or optional 2.0-liter turbo engine. The 2.5-liter base engine with stop/start gets the same 25 mpg city/36 mpg hwy EPA fuel economy rating as the now-discontinued Eco model without the latter model's added cost, complexity and reduced trunk space. Look for a Chevrolet certified pre-owned car, when available, and check with the dealer to make sure that the 2014 Malibu you're considering has had any safety-recall items resolved.

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Used 2014 Chevrolet Malibu LT
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2014 Chevrolet Malibu: Used Car Review - Autotrader