On the numbers, the 2014 Malibu stacks up well, with a new 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with standard start-stop tech for estimated gas mileage of 23 mpg city and 35 mpg highway among the key new features. The 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine option gains 14 percent more torque, and is now rated at 295 pound-feet. There's even an extra 1.25 inches of knee room in the rear seat.
Other enhancements to the 2014 Chevy Malibu include a more refined suspension tune, a revised front end look, a redesigned center console, and new Side Blind Zone Alert and Rear Cross Traffic Alert safety options.
Looking at the numbers more closely, the new 2.5-liter Ecotec four-cylinder sees 5 percent better gas mileage in the city thanks to start-stop alone, according to GM. Direct injection and variable valve actuation help further improve economy over the 2013 model's 22 mpg city and 34 mpg highway. The new engine rates 196 horsepower and 186 pound-feet of torque.
Updates to the turbocharged 2.0-liter engine offered in the 2014 Malibu bring the engine's numbers up to 259 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, thanks to improved engine calibration and tuning. While horsepower is unchanged, the additional 14 percent, or 35 pound-feet of torque should make for noticeably quicker acceleration.
Improvements to rear-seat knee come mainly from re-shaped front seat backs and a new cushion placing the rear-seat occupant farther back in the seat.
For more details on the current 2013 Chevy Malibu, visit our full review.