You can call it the new ’Bu, or the 2014 Chevrolet Malibu 2LT sedan in my case. There is plenty to like in this Chevy, but I think you have to begin with the starting price – a most alluring $25,215.
Yes, that’s the kicker. Most folks might look at this car and think $30,000, but they likely start reaching for their checkbooks at 25-grand, especially when taking in the numerous perks that are part of the deal.
Let’s start with the exterior skin, a very nice upgrade from the previous version.
Designers tweaked the front end with a more prominent, lowered grille, throwing in some very nice-looking black and chrome accents in the process. This gives the
a more sporty look, as opposed to an “I need to run to the store, hon”
four-door errand runner. Malibu
In the interest of full disclosure, my
tester was dressed up with extras that bumped the bottom line on the sticker to
more than $30,000. But I can state
straight up: I would have been happy with the standard offerings, period. Malibu
And those are plentiful: eight-way power/lumbar seating in the cockpit, leather wraps on the steering wheel and shifter, power features to the max, steering wheel controls, a full run of high-tech audio connections and some very cool blue ambient lighting.
Another bonus: Roomier in the back seats. My volunteer passengers couldn’t stop talking about this.
On the roll, the 2.5-liter. 196-horsepower, four-cylinder engine was spirited enough to handle even the heavy lifting on city streets and dicey freeways. Handling was one-hand easy. Cockpit noise was minimal.
The suspension was a bump-absorbing all-star. My time on roads needing repair was made easy in this tester.
The fuel-saving stop/start engine technology was not always seamless. I sometimes got a little bit of a jolt sitting at a traffic light, or starting forward after a standing stop. This was not what I’d call a deal-breaker, however.
My patience was likely boosted by the budget-pleasing fuel mileage ratings of 25 miles per gallon in the city and 36 mpg on the highway.
One thing I’d advise prospective 2014
Take a close look at the standard safety and security features on the
sticker. It’s a very lengthy and
impressive list for a car in this price range. Malibu
Looking for an affordable, American-made midsize sedan stuffed with much more than you’d expect from a car priced in the 20s? This ’Bu might be for you.