Styling included, the biggest improvement for the 2014 Malibu is its fuel economy. For the base models equipped with the 2.5-liter engine, adding stop/start technology, a new transmission and Intake Valve Lift Control (which helps the engine breathe more efficiently) all help the sedan deliver 25 miles per gallon city and 36 mpg highway. That's up from 22 mpg city and 34 mpg highway for 2013. Not only are these ratings good enough to put Malibu with the top of its of the base-engined midsize class, but they are almost the same as the 2013 Malibu Eco with eAssist (25 city/37 highway).
Factoring in this fuel economy jump, the 2014 Malibu's new base price $22,140 (*not including $825 for destination, which itself has risen by $15) is an increase of $145, but it is also about $1,000 lower than the 2013 Malibu Eco – removing the premium for optimal fuel economy. We're still waiting to get behind the wheel of the refreshed sedan, but Chevy is definitely righting some wrongs on its eighth-gen Malibu to make it more competitive in the segment. Scroll down for more information in Chevy's official press release.
First midsize sedan in U.S. to offer fuel-saving feature as standard
DETROIT – 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.
Model Base Engine City/Highway/Combined
2014 Chevrolet Malibu 2.5L 25/36/29
2014 Toyota Camry 2.5L 25/35/28
2013 Kia Optima 2.4L 24/35/28
2013 Hyundai Sonata 2.4L 24/35/28
2014 Ford Fusion 2.5L 22/34/26
2014 Chrysler 200 2.4L 20/31/24
"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.
Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world's largest car brands, doing business in more than 140 countries and selling more than 4.5 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature spirited performance, expressive design, and high quality. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com.