Review: 2014 Holden Malibu

Posted by Motorama in Vehicle Reviews

It has a smaller footprint than the Holden Commodore, and a roomier cabin than the Holden Cruze. The Holden Malibu slides right into the middle of the two in nearly all aspects, so why should you look at the Malibu?

Let’s have a look in our 2014 Holden Malibu review.

Available in two models, the Malibu CD and Malibu CDX, with petrol or diesel options gives a good array of choice depending on what you want from the Malibu. 

The 2.4litre 4-cylinder petrol engine produces 123kw of power and 225Nm of torque, whilst the 2.0litre 4-cylinder turbo diesel produces 117kw of power and 350Nm of torque.

Fuel economy wise you should expect 8litres per 100km in the petrol and 6.4litres per 100km in the diesel.

We are reviewing the entry-level Malibu CD petrol, and despite the entry level tag, there’s nothing here to make it feel like an entry-level vehicle.

Initial Impression​

Styling wise, there’s lots to love from the front. The strong nose gives a sense of masculinity and grounding. It looks far more interesting than most other cars in its segment that aim for the vanilla look. The Malibu is refreshing and far from vanilla.

This is further enhanced with its 17inch alloy wheels, compared to the steel wheels you might find on other medium sized entry-level sedans. 

On the inside, there’s a modern cabin that feels and looks a little reminiscent of its larger VF Commodore sibling. Inside you’ll find Holden’s MyLink 7inch touch screen system, Bluetooth connectivity, passive entry, push button start and a good deal of space in the front and rear.

When we decided to hit the road, we were pleasantly surprised with the inclusion of rear parking sensors, and a rear view camera to assist with getting in and out of car spaces.

In part to those last two features, the Malibu has achieved a 5-star ANCAP safety rating.  So there’s plenty of peace of mind there.


The Holden Malibu works hard to give an outstanding driving experience for the price point it hits.   Standard features of push button start, auto headlights, an electronic park brake, rain sensing wipers and a punchy 9 speaker audio system are some of the features that make the driving experience so good.  

It’s not a performance car, but the Malibu does a great job of delivering power smoothly and gives you enough to get about with little effort.

Holden’s best achievement with the Malibu is the feeling of driving without compromise. It isn’t quite on the level of the larger Caprice or Calais, but the Malibu feels like a complete experience for the driver and its passengers.

During our 600km’s covered during the review, we enjoyed a fuel economy figure of 6.9litres per 100km and that was with a good mixture of highway and peak hour traffic.

Holden wanted a reliable, comfortable, quiet and economical car and it seems that on the road, the Malibu ticks all of these boxes.


One of the most overlooked aspects of the Malibu is its storage in the cabin in the boot. There’s absolutely no shortage of space for a young family and all of the gear that usually comes along.

Plus, with the rear sensors and reversing camera, getting in and out of car spaces easier and safer. When compared to other vehicles in the market including the Hyundai i40 Active and Ford Mondeo LX, you only receive rear-parking sensors.

Accessing the vehicle is also that much easier when the car only has to be with you to unlock and start the vehicle. Particularly great if the key is buried somewhere and your hands are full.

If you own a jet ski or a small camper trailer you will also be able to get your towing done with the Malibu featuring a 1200kg braked towing capacity.

Cost ​

If bang for buck is top of mind for you, and you need the extra size the Malibu CD petrol is a pretty compelling package at $27,990 drive away.

For the Mondeo and the i40, you would have to spend time and even more money with an aftermarket specialist to get close to the list of the features this Malibu has from the factory.

Add in Holden Capped Price Servicing that is $185 per scheduled service for the first 3 years or 60,000km’s, and 12 months of road side assistance.

Conclusion ​

The Holden Malibu might not come to your mind first when looking for a medium sized sedan, but it turns out to be one of the best available for its price and range of features.

If you haven’t test driven the Malibu, we’d highly recommend it, you’ll be pleasantly surprised and glad you did.