2014 Chevrolet Malibu: Mainstreaming Stop/Start Technology
August 28, 2013
The 2014 Chevrolet Malibu arriving in dealerships this fall will be the first midsize sedan sold in the U.S. to offer fuel-saving stop/start technology standard on its 2.5L base model.
The Malibu has an EPA-estimated 25 city and 36 highway mpg – a 14 percent improvement in city fuel economy – at a starting price of $22,965, including an $825 destination charge but excluding tax, title, and license and dealer fees.
Stop/start technology helps customers 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.”
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 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. The 6T45 transmission includes improvements that reduce the energy required to pump transmission fluid, which enables additional fuel economy savings.
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.”
Additional new features on the 2014 Malibu include:
- Revised front-end appearance
- Roomier rear seat with 1.25 inches (31.7 mm) more knee room
- Redesigned center console
- Suspension enhancements derived from the all-new 2014 Impala engineered to contribute to a more dynamic driving experience
- Available Side Blind Zone Alert and Rear Cross Traffic Alert safety features
- Nearly 14 percent more torque from the available 2.0L turbo engine – 295 lb-ft of torque (400 -Nm) – engineered for a greater feeling of power on demand
The 2014 Malibu is available in LS, LT and LTZ trim levels.
The 2.5L engine base powertrain starts at $22,965 for the LS, $24,335 for the 1LT, $26,040 for the 2LT and $28,515 for the top LTZ trim. All suggested retail prices include an $825 destination charge, but exclude tax, title, license and dealer fees.