Mild-mannered Chevy Malibu sedan features modern, smartphone interface Video
Mild-mannered Chevy Malibu sedan features modern, smartphone interface Video Transcript
-The Chevy Malibu is as mild mannered as any car in the midsize sedan segment, but it's pretty modern too. Think of it as Clark Kent with a smartphone. Let's take a look at the 2014 Chevy Malibu and check the tech. A midsize sedan is more about practical purchase than an emotional one. With this kind of car, the entire family chimes in. It's gotta meet a lot of needs. Now, the Chevy Malibu does pretty well in all considerations. It's a comfortable ride, gets good fuel economy, and it's got a lot of interior space. The design is pretty conservative. This car really blends in. It's kind of the opposite of ostentatious. We see a lot of the standard Chevy design cues like this grille with a bar right across hosting the bowtie, and in back, we've got those big square tail lights that they're using these days. Underneath, we've got a MacPherson-style suspension in front, and in back, we've got a four-link independent suspension. That's pretty standard stuff in this type of car, but Chevy does a really good job of giving this car a nice ride. Now, let's take a look under the hood to see what motivates this thing. Now, under the hood here, we've got the base engine for this car. It's a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder from Chevy's Ecotec line. It's got direct injection that sprays fuel directly into the cylinder. Now, what's interesting about this is it's not quite as loud as a lot of direct-injection engines. You don't hear that clattering of injectors which you do on a lot of these types of engines. Now, this engine makes 196 horsepower and 186 pound-feet of torque. As to the front wheels in this transversely mounted engine, it's a decent amount for this size vehicle. The best thing, though, is it turns an EPA estimate of 25 miles per gallon city, 36 miles per gallon highway. That's why Chevy's gone to this direct-injection engine here. It's pretty efficient. Now, this isn't the only engine you can get for the Malibu. Chevy also offers a 2-liter 4-cylinder with a turbocharger. It also uses direct injection that gets 259 horsepower, 295 pound-feet of torque. That's a lot of power. That's actually more than a lot that V6 has produced, but you also take a pretty big hit in fuel economy. That will get 21 miles per gallon city, 30 miles per gallon highway, so a little lower. You get mid-20s fuel economy, get a lot more power, that's gonna be an engine that some people gonna want, but this base engine will do for better fuel economy all around. Now, let's take a look at the cabin and see what this car is really all about. At the top of the stack here, I have a 7-inch color touchscreen. This comes with the $795 navigation package and this interface will look fairly familiar to smartphone users 'cause it's all icon-based. This is Chevy's MyLink infotainment system, and all icons are the same size. They look pretty much similar. We're going through navigation, different audio sources, phone, different offline information sources here as well. On the sides of the bezel, we have these capacitive touch areas here, so I can go straight to navigation just by hitting that or I can go to destination by hitting this side, got my phone button here, and I can go back to home, that will bring me back to this icon view. There's the source area up here for the capacitive touch bezel, and I don't really like this as much. This doesn't bring up an audio screen. This merely kind of scrolls through, toggles through the different audio sources, so it doesn't bring you directly to that audio source. You gotta keep on hitting it and go through the different ones. Now, if I go to the navigation area, I get this nice pretty good looking map. It's showing me traffic, of course, on the major freeways around the area here. I'd like to see a little more coverage for surface streets too. A lot of navigation systems are actually covering more surface streets with navigations. So, I'm not really seeing that. I don't know if it's because there's no traffic problems around here right now or it just doesn't cover that area. Now, when I go to enter a destination, I hit this area like I mentioned before and I get a lot of options for destination. I can do address entry. I can search points of interest, previous destinations, all that good stuff. I can even go to actual GPS coordinate entry. I've also got this thing called Travel Guide. This is a pretty cool feature. I like this a lot. By bringing this up, I can search through a lot of local points of interest. These aren't businesses necessarily. These are things you might wanna find if you're on a road trip and you're just kind of looking around for something interesting to see. Of course, we got our phone area here and we've got the normal stuff for the phone system integrated here. I can take a look at my phonebook and see all my different-- different contacts. These are visible in the screen here. I can also hit the voice command button and bring those up and just say, "Call Wayne Cunningham," or something like that and it will give me the options for the numbers I have stored here and place that call right away. Voice command in this car also works with navigation and it lets you say the entire address in a single string which is nice, but I haven't been very successful with it. I've tried to say the alley we're on right now, Tehama Street, and that's a tough one for a lot of cars. Some get it better than others. This one never got it once. So, not so successful with that. The cooler thing, though, is having an iPod attached here, I can also have a USB drive, go to that, and I can actually hit voice command and say, "Play an artist or play a song or play an album." So, I'll try it right now. -Please say your command. -Play artist Frightened Rabbit. -Now playing artist Frightened Rabbit. -And it finds all the songs I have by that artist brings up. I can see it's playing right now. So, that's pretty cool. Now, this car also has Siri handsfree. I can use that for navigation too if I didn't have a navigation system here or any of this kid stuff. So, that's the MyLink infotainment system here. One thing Chevy announced at the Consumer Electronics Show these last couple of weeks is they're gonna add something called App Shop. I don't know if this is gonna just be in the 2015 Chevy Malibu and not on this generation or they might retroactively update it, it'll be nice to see. So, then, on the console here, we've got the shifter for the 6-speed automatic transmission. This is a pretty standard transmission for this class of car right now. But one thing this has is the manual mode which you don't necessarily see that often. So, I pull it all the way back, put it into manual mode, and I've got this rocker switch on top of the shifter that actually lets me go through the gear. You can use this in situations like if you're going down a long descent, you wanna hold it in third or something like that, you use engine brake when you get down the hill, or maybe some situations where you're going up a slippery hill, it's really steep and you wanna keep it in a single gear without having it upshift and change your torque at your wheels. So, now, let's take this thing on the road. I won't call the driving character of the Malibu really engaging, but it is very, very easy and that's very appropriate for a midsize sedan. Now, one thing this engine does have to help it saves energy, it's got an auto stop feature. So, if you're stopping at a stop light or something, it will stop the engine for you, and sometimes, those features aren't done very well, sometimes they're-- I don't know-- they're really-- they're really intrusive, but in this car, you barely feel it at all. One thing we have in this car as part of the Entertainment and Electronics package are a lot of driver alert features. So, this gives us a rearview camera when I put it in reverse. We've got blind spot monitors and those will put little icons on either side mirror if there's a car back in my blind spot on either side. That's a really nice feature to have. There's also a lane departure alert, so if I were to drift across a lane line like if I was drowsy or something like that, it would beep at me. The most interesting feature here is the collision warning. This is really just a warning that won't take the brakes for you, but the collision warning uses this camera looking forward as just the lane departure system, same camera, and that if you're coming up on another car too fast or, you know, slower traffic, maybe if you're distracted by something, it will actually flash a red light on inside of the windshield and it will give you alert too and that will kind of tell you it's time to hit the brakes 'cause you're about to hit a car in front of you. All right, let's price out our 2014 Chevy Malibu. This model in 2LT trim goes for $25,215. Adding navigation for $795, that gets you the touchscreen. And also, we have the Electronics and Entertainment package that gives me that collision warning, blind spot monitor, rearview camera, and upgraded Pioneer stereo system. That package costs $1,750 and with a few other options in here, total price for this model is $30,125. The Chevy Malibu faces a lot of competition in the midsize sedan segment. There's better looking cars like the Ford Fusion or the Mazda 6, but one thing the Chevy Malibu has going for it is that MyLink infotainment system. It's definitely one of the better infotainment interfaces I've seen and it's got a lot of good features. We also have OnStar which has a lot of good telematics functions. So, that might sway you in the purchase of this car.
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2014 Chevrolet Malibu Review
The good: The 2014 Chevrolet Malibu's suspension delivers a smooth ride and the power steering is well-tuned. The MyLink interface is intuitive and responsive. The Malibu offers blind spot monitoring, collision warning, and lane departure warning.
The bad: The Chevy Malibu lacks an adaptive cruise control option and the Pioneer stereo does not handle deep bass and high treble well. There is significant hesitation at full throttle starts.
The bottom line: The blandly designed 2014 Chevy Malibu offers a comfortable ride and easy driving manners, while its MyLink system makes for modern and functional cabin tech.
2014 Chevrolet Malibu Specs
Part number: 200484299
- Product Basic Spec