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2014 Chevrolet Malibu LTZ 2.0 Turbo Review Test Drive

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Turbo 2014 Chevrolet Re MALIBU

Oct 24, 2013 Ξ Comments are off

2014 Chevrolet Malibu LTZ 2.0 Turbo Review & Test Drive posted by Malcolm Hogan  
Filed under Automotive, Chevrolet, Test Drives

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Thriving to endure through the astounding competitiveness of the midsized sedan segment wars, the all-new 2014 Chevrolet Malibu gets a refresh for the new model year to make a bolder statement. Spending a week behind the wheel of the all-new 2014 Malibu Turbo the takeaway is perceived as a much more defined vehicle within its class that deserves a thorough look.

The new 2014 Chevrolet Malibu receives many welcomed changes within its drivetrain engineering, exterior re-sculpting up front, interior space improvements and a new center console. For 2014 the Malibu base trims featuring its 2.5-liter engine get standard start-stop technology to aid in its improved fuel economy, suspension tweaks, reshaped front end, and additional torque in my 2.0-liter Turbocharged LTZ-trimmed test vehicle.

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Already having an enthusiast aptitude in our initial perceptions of each vehicle that we drive, the Malibu LTZ Turbo was under heavy scrutiny from me based on my perceptions of direct competitors like the 2.0-turbo Sonata, Toyota Camry V6, Honda Accord V6, Nissan Altima V6, Ford Fusion V6 and other top-trimmed mainstream mid-sized sedans on the market with high yearly sales figures. Fortunately, the first impressions of the new Malibu Turbo had a solid foundation to build my complete opinion of the new Malibu.

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Celebrating 50 years for the Malibu nameplate, Chevrolet stayed true to their basic modern-day mid-sized sedan formula – although the name has since departed far from its beginnings. The 2014 Chevrolet Malibu is in a sense the signifier for General Motors’ ability to adapt and change quickly to satisfy the market’s needs and wants. For the 2014 Malibu it is safe to say they have attempted just that.

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The new 2.0-liter 4-cylinder turbocharged engine is reworked a bit to add 35 ft-lbs. of additional torque the equation for a total of 295 ft-lbs. while the decent power output of 259 horsepower remains. Midrange rpm throughout the full band, to almost fuel cut, the Malibu Turbo pulls strong with a faint and consistent whistle sound of the turbo spooling up. The front wheels beg for traction at times while the 6-speed automatic transmission adapts well to the stronger mid-range of the turbo-4-cylinder engine. The power, even though it comes on strong just after 2,000 rpm, manages to satisfy those that expect the same oomph from V6 engines. The torque figure, being as high as it is, is never overbearing and does not throw your steering wheel around with any unwanted torque steer.

Cruising around town the engine and transmission mesh together well for smooth shifts but suffers from a slight delay at times when the need arises to skip 3 or more gear cogs. This was a minor hiccup I encountered on more than one occasion but never to the point that things became dangerous or risky when jumping off of an exit ramp into interstate traffic.

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The new 2014 Malibu gets updated suspension tuning, which is much improved over the 2013 model I tested last year. The rear damping no longer emits a bouncy rebound as it did in the 2013 model and the new 2014 Malibu LTZ Turbo has a much firmer and reassuring feel even at highway speeds. The sporty characteristics of the Malibu LTZ Turbo emits through most surfaces but really aides in lateral feedback when going into and coming out of turns.

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