The 2014 Chevrolet Malibu arriving in dealerships this fall will be the first midsize sedan sold in the U.S. to offer stop/start technology standard on its 2.5L base model.
The 2.5 liters 4-cylinder Malibu has an EPA-estimated rating of 25 city and 36 highway mpg – a 14 percent improvement in city fuel economy.
The 2014 Malibu will carry a starting price of $22,965 for the LS, including an $825 destination charge but excluding tax, title, and license and dealer fees. This goes up to $24,335 for the 1LT, $26,040 for the 2LT and $28,515 for the top LTZ trim.
Stop/start technology helps conserve fuel by automatically shutting off the engine when the car comes to a stop, such as at stoplights. The engine automatically restarts when the driver takes his or her foot off the brake.
During engine restarts, an auxiliary 12-volt battery powers electric accessories such as heating and air conditioning, power windows and radio.
“The key was to apply the knowledge we gained from our eAssist technology,” said Todd Pawlik, Malibu chief engineer. “By leveraging knowledge from the stop/start system we use on eAssist, we were able to significantly improve city fuel ratings by 3 mpg, or 14 percent on Malibu’s entry-level 2.5L model, compared to the 2013 model.”
Chevrolet said the Malibu’s stop/start system monitors – among other things – vehicle speed, climate control system operation and the force a driver applies to the brake pedal, to determine whether it is efficient to shut off the engine in certain driving conditions, such as stop-and-go driving.
In addition to stop/start technology, Chevrolet engineers said they incorporated valve-actuation technology known as Intake Valve Lift Control into Malibu’s 2.5L engine, which also contributes to improved fuel economy.
When the Intake Valve Lift Control system operates in low-lift mode, the engine pumps only the air it needs to meet the driver’s demand. The system switches to high-lift mode at higher speeds or under heavy loads, providing the full output capability of the engine. The variable intake valve actuation enhances efficiency and helps lower emissions, while also boosting low-rpm torque for a greater feeling of power at lower speeds.
A new six-speed transmission makes its first appearance in the 2014 Malibu 2.5L. According to Chevrolet, the 6T45 transmission includes improvements that reduce the energy required to pump transmission fluid, which enables additional fuel economy savings.
Per Chevrolet, the new technologies on the 2.5L model enable the Malibu to deliver a higher combined fuel economy rating than the base engines of several midsize sedan competitors, including the Toyota Camry, Ford Fusion, Kia Optima, Hyundai Sonata and Chrysler 200.
“In this competitive midsize segment, there is no standing still,” said Chris Perry, Chevrolet marketing vice president. “In addition to fuel economy improvements, the 2014 Malibu is roomier and more refined than its predecessor.”