Chevrolet revealed its facelifted Malibu sedan this morning at the Belle Island Grand Prix in Detroit with a number of performance and design improvements, and most notably, a new front end.
The 2014 model also gets a new 2.5-liter four-cylinder as the base engine. With variable valve lift and start/stop technology the car should deliver 23 mpg in the city and up to 35 on the interstate, five and three percent improvements, respectively. Output is rated at 196 horsepower.
Of course that’s not the only powerplant offered. There’s also an up-level turbocharged engine. It’s the enthusiast’s choice… if an enthusiast would ever drive a Malibu. Displacing just 2.0-liters it delivers 295 lb-ft of torque, while horsepower is a solid, though not class-leading 259.
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The vehicle’s six-speed automatic transmission has also been improved. The shift points have been altered to change gears more quickly than before, to try and bring the refreshed Malibu better performance and increased refinement.
GM engineers also tweaked the 2014 Malibu’s chassis. The springs and shock tuning has been altered for better handling while the steering effort has been increased to deliver better road feel. The car’s braking system has also received a thorough going-over.
An important update is rear seat legroom with an extra 1.25-inches of space being added, while those in the front seats can enjoy a redesigned center stack.
Improved safety is also a part of the package with an available blind spot alert feature and Rear Cross Traffic Alert.
Altogether these changes are welcome and should go a long way toward addressing the current Malibu’s shortcomings in the highly competitive midsize sedan market.
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