2014 Chevrolet Malibu

In a curious move, Chevrolet has given it’s D-segment Chevrolet Malibu a facelift just a little over one and a half years after the current 8th generation rolled off the assembly line in October 2011. We featured the original pre-facelift car in our Seoul 2013 live coverage earlier this year.

The 2014 Chevrolet Malibu competes against cars like the Toyota Camry in the US market, while the larger Chevrolet Impala tackles the likes of the Toyota Avalon.

The US market must be really competitive right now, as earlier we saw a facelift for the USDM Civic fast-tracked as well. According to GM North America president Mark Reuss, the mid-sized sedan segment (the D-segment) is the most contested in the US automotive industry, so GM wasn’t going to ‘sit still’ with the new 2014 model year Malibu.

2014 Chevrolet Malibu

Enhancements include a revised front-end, extra 31.7 mm knee room for the rear passengers, a redesigned center console, 14% more torque for the 2.0L turbo (now 259 hp/400 Nm), a new 196 hp/253 Nm 2.5 litre normally aspirated direct injection engine with variable valve lift control and start/stop technology for 5% better city mileage and 3% better highway mileage, suspension improvements derived from the larger Impala, new safety features called Side Blind Zone Alert and Rear Cross Traffic Alert, better brake feel thanks to improved booster tuning, and revised transmission programming for quicker shifts.

The extra legroom for the rear passengers was achieved by reshaping the front seatbacks as well as revising the cushion sculpturing and material to allow the passengers to sit deeper in the rear seats. The new centre console has a longer armrest for better comfort, and there is a pair of cupholders as well as dedicated storage for two mobile phones.

The Chevrolet Malibu is GM’s global D-segment car, which merged a line-up that used to offer the Malibu for the US and the Daewoo-engineered Epica for other markets. This means that if Malaysian Chevrolet distributor Naza Quest were to ever decide to enter the D-segment, this would be the car that will be introduced here.