The 2014 Chevrolet Malibu. Photo courtesy GM.

The 2014 Chevrolet Malibu. Photo courtesy GM.

GM’s 2014 Chevrolet Malibu will offer start/stop technology as standard on its 2.5L base model, according to the automaker, and can achieve an EPA-estimated 25 city and 36 highway mpg. These values are better than the original estimates GM provided back in May; the automaker originally expected 23 city, 35 highway. The 2014 Malibu’s city fuel economy is 14 percent better than the 2013 model’s, according to GM’s Todd Pawlik, Malibu chief engineer, largely due to the use of start/stop technology.

Start/stop technology shuts off the engine when the vehicle comes to a stop. The engine automatically restarts when the driver takes his or her foot off the brake. An auxiliary 12-volt battery powers electric systems, including heating, cooling, air-conditioning, power windows, and radio, according to GM.

The Malibu’s start/stop technology monitors vehicle speed, climate control system operation, and brake pedal force applied by the driver to determine whether to shut down the engine in specific driving conditions. GM said Chevrolet engineers also incorporated valve-actuation technology, known as Intake Valve Lift Control, into the Malibu’s 2.5L engine. Valve Lift Control only pumps the air the engine needs to meet the vehicle’s performance demands. The system switches to high-lift modes at higher speeds or under heavy loads. This technology improves efficiency and reduce emissions, and boosts low-rpm torque, according to GM.

Another factor contributing to the 2014-MY Malibu’s fuel economy is a new six-speed transmission, which appears for the first time in the 2014 Malibu 2.5L. The 6T45 transmission uses less energy to pump transmission fluid, which helps improve fuel economy, GM stated.

Other new features on the 2014 Malibu include a revised front-end look; more room in the back seats (with 1.25 inches of extra knee room); a redesigned center console; suspension enhancements that GM stated it derived from the 2014 Impala; available Side Blind Zone Alert and Rear Cross Traffic Alert safety features; and more torque from the available 2.0L turbo engine (295 lb.-ft.). The 2014 Malibu is available in LS, LT, and LTZ trim levels.