Wednesday, April 1, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

New Malibu marks a first _ stop-start engine

By
From page C1 | January 10, 2014 |

The 2014 Chevrolet Malibu packs a surprise: It’s the first mainstream mid-size sedan sold in the United States with standard automatic engine stop-start that saves gasoline.

The system turns off the car’s engine in certain conditions when the vehicle is stopped and automatically turns it back on as a driver lets up on the brake pedal. And every Malibu — including the base Malibu LS that has a starting retail price of $22,965 with six-speed automatic — has it.

With a new-for-2014 four-cylinder engine and the standard stop-start system, the roomy, four-door Malibu can deliver 14 percent better mileage in city driving than last year’s Malibu, according to Chevrolet.

The federal government rates this Malibu model at 25 miles per gallon in city driving and 36 mpg on the highway, for a combined 29 mpg. These numbers edge the 2014, non-hybrid Toyota Camry rating of 25/35 mpg.

They also make the 2014 Malibu the sixth-best nameplate in fuel economy among 2014 U.S. mainstream family sedans.

That’s not all. For 2014 Chevrolet freshened the Malibu’s styling, inside and out, improved the ride and back-seat legroom and added more safety features and connectivity items.

This is an unusually quick redo of a Chevrolet sedan that debuted as a new-generation model in calendar 2012.

But the Malibu is Chevrolet’s second best-selling car, after the smaller Cruze, and Malibu sales through November this calendar year are down 7 percent from year-earlier levels.

Competitors in the family sedan segment include the 2014 Camry, which has a starting manufacturer’s suggested retail price, including destination charge, of $23,235 with six-speed automatic, and the 2014 Hyundai Elantra mid-size sedan, which has a starting retail price of $19,010 with six-speed automatic.

For consumers who worry that the starting and stopping of the Malibu’s four-cylinder engine is a nuisance or somehow harms the car’s starter, Chevrolet says it has gone to great lengths to prevent such pitfalls.

For example, a tandem-solenoid starter helps the engine start quicker and more smoothly, and engine mounts that respond to engine torque work well to minimize the shaking that sometimes accompanies engine restarting.

This attention to detail was evident in the test Malibu LTZ where, at times, the only clue of the workings of the start-stop system was when the driver heard the engine restart while departing the Starbucks drive-through. There was no engine hesitation or shaking.

Chevrolet engineers also made sure to install a durable primary battery that has up to four times the life of a conventional car battery.

Meanwhile, the new standard Malibu engine — a 2.5-liter, double overhead cam, direct gasoline injection Ecotec four cylinder — generates a healthy 196 horsepower and 186 foot-pounds of torque at 4,400 rpm.

This is more power than the Camry’s base four cylinder with 178 horses and 170 foot-pounds of torque at 4,100 rpm.

The base Malibu four cylinder also bests the power of the Elantra’s 145-horsepower and 173-horsepower four cylinders.

The test Malibu had the uplevel, turbocharged, four-cylinder. This powerplant, with a full 295 foot-pounds of torque coming on at a rather mid-range 3,000 rpm, makes the Malibu seem like it has more than four cylinders under the hood.

This turbo version of Chevrolet’s Ecotec four also delivers 63 more horsepower — for 259 horses.

The six-speed automatic shifted comfortably, no matter if the driver was demanding or in a more sedate driving mood.

But fuel mileage, even with stop-start, was a low 19.6 mpg in city travel, with highway driving pulling up the average during the test drive to above 21 mpg.

While premium gasoline is recommended for the turbo, it’s not required. This helps at the gas pump; the test Malibu’s 18.5-gallon tank was good for 388 miles.

It’s easy to drive the Malibu as if it’s a smaller car than it is. In fact, the 16-foot-long Malibu is a bit longer and wider than the Camry and Elantra sedans, and the Malibu’s flat, spacious, 16.3-cubic-foot trunk is bigger than those of the Camry and Elantra sedans. Rear seatbacks also fold down.

The test Malibu managed most road bumps well. Steering had a mainstream feel. Brakes worked well, with good, progressive response to pedal pressure.

Front door entryways were comfortably sized, but the back seat doorways were pinched a bit by the rear wheel wells.

Chevrolet added 1.25 inches to rear-seat legroom — for a total of 36.8 inches — by shaping front seatbacks and redoing rear seat cushions. But the middle-seat back passenger has to contend with a sizable hump in the floor.

And a front-seat passenger with a history of back problems did not sit comfortably in the test Malibu’s seat.

Buttons and knobs in the Malibu were good sized, as were the large icons on the center-of-the-dashboard display screen.

All Malibus come standard with 10 air bags, and two side impact air bags for outboard back-seat passengers are optional. The 2014 Malibu earned five out of five stars in federal government frontal crash tests. Side crash test results were not yet reported.

Also standard are antilock brakes and electronic stability control. Too bad, though, that a rearview camera is not standard on all Malibus.

According to the federal government, nearly 43,000 of the 2014 Malibus were the subject of a safety recall in November because front windshield defrosters may not work on occasion after the vehicles are started.

2014 Chevrolet Malibu LTZ

BASE PRICE: $22,140 for LS; $23,510 for 1LT; $25,215 for 2LT; $26,750 for 3LT; $27,690 for 1LTZ; $29,850 for 2LTZ.

PRICE AS TESTED: $32,250.

TYPE: Front-engine, front-wheel drive, five-passenger, mid-size sedan.

ENGINE: 2.5-liter, double overhead cam, direct injection, turbocharged, Ecotec four cylinder with VVT.

MILEAGE: 21 mpg (city), 30 mpg (highway).

TOP SPEED: NA.

LENGTH: 191.5 inches.

WHEELBASE: 107.8 inches.

CURB WEIGHT: 3,660 pounds.

BUILT AT: Fairfax, Kan.

OPTIONS: Electronics and entertainment package (includes rear vision camera, premium, Pioneer, nine-speaker audio system, cargo convenience net, automatic rear-dimming mirror) $1,350; Black Granite Metallic paint $225.

DESTINATION CHARGE: $825.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Records detail shooting victim’s court history

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A1, 37 Comments | Gallery

 
Vallejo youth wins county spelling bee

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
25th annual Rush Ranch Open House on April calendar

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A2

 
 
Saturday Club schedules Shower of Flowers event

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

 
Searchers find 84-year-old missing nearly a day

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A4, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
Symphony opportunity, scholarships available

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A4

 
Free Healthier Living workshops begin this week

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A5

Music teachers receive program grants

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A5

 
Vallejo woman hit, killed by vehicle

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A6

Workshops offer information on child support process

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A6

 
Water park to host first Easter egg hunt, swim

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A6

 
Group plans Haiti missions fundraisers

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A6, 2 Comments

 
Travel presentation ready to roll in Vacaville

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A6

Helen Mirren film set for debut

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B9 | Gallery

 
Frazier to deliver keynote at Solano EDC event

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: B10

WIB to host regional career fair

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: B10 | Gallery

 
Fairfield police log: March 29, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A14

Fairfield police log: March 28, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A14, 2 Comments

 
Suisun City police log: March 29, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A14

Suisun City police log: March 28, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A14

 
Man struck by car, injured

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A14

.

US / World

 
California man attemps Guinness record as oldest pilot

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
3D print technology provides ‘robohand’ to 7-year-old girl

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7, 1 Comment | Gallery

Police: Man, woman found dead after medical office shooting

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Endangered bighorn sheep moved to Yosemite, Sequoia parks

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7 | Gallery

Family: Man dead at Hollywood Hills home is Andrew Getty

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Tuskegee Airman Leslie A. Williams dies in California at 95

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Woman charged with stabbing boyfriend after salsa argument

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Police: Prisoner who stole gun, fled hospital found in DC

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

US releases military aid to Egypt, cites national security

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Indiana governor wants changes to religious-objections law

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Dress-wearing man killed by NSA police had lengthy record

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Exercising critically ill patients may help speed recovery

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

Defense rests in 1st phase of Boston Marathon bombing trial

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
State Department found 4 emails about drones sent by Clinton

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Transportation strike shuts down Argentina

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
Nigerian troops prevent Boko Haram attacks

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

Iran nuke talks extend past deadline

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
Relief program paid millions for ‘flawed’ work

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

Buhari defeats Goodluck Jonathan in Nigerian election

By The Associated Press | From Page: A15

 
.

Opinion

 
Rebuild Gaza to avert next war

By Former President Jimmy Carter | From Page: A13

Reid’s US Senate legacy: Obstruction

By Jennifer Rubin | From Page: A13, 21 Comments

 
State moves up national school spending chart

By Dan Walters | From Page: A13

.

Living

Community Calendar: April 1, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Today in history: April 1, 2015

By Maureen Fissolo | From Page: A2

Should we sent wedding invitations to relatives we know can’t come?

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B7

 
Horoscopes: April 1, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B7

Dressing up spring asparagus with an easy brown butter sauce

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
 
.

Entertainment

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B9

 
‘General Hospital’ leads Daytime Emmy nominations

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

Olympic champ Gabby Douglas’ family to get reality show

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
.

Sports

Randle sets record, leads Stanford past ODU in NIT semis

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Vanden’s Orme strikes out 16, tosses no-hitter

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

Prep boys golf preview: All 4 city teams are young

By Brian Arnold | From Page: B1

 
Short-handed Miami rallies to beat Temple 60-57 in NIT semis

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Barry Zito’s scoreless streak ends; A’s beat Angels 13-10

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Cubs will track noise so Wrigley rehab doesn’t disturb fans

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Lincecum pitches into 6th in Giants’ win over Rockies

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

AP’s Run to the Roses: Mubtaahij No. 8; Dortmund still No. 1

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Michigan State title would be worth $1 million to Vegas man

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

AP study projects average MLB salary tops $4M

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
University of North Dakota begins campaign to find nickname

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Judge rules Ernie Banks will is valid

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Kentucky’s platoon system gives way to traditional rotation

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Chris Mullin returns home to coach St. John’s

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Soccer player at center of search killed crossing LA freeway

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Frozen Four will be old home week for BU coach David Quinn

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Rio Olympic tickets go on sale despite football uncertainty

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Tiger Woods plays practice round at Augusta

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
US gives up another late goal in 1-1 tie at Switzerland

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

NASCAR finds Ryan Newman’s race team for manipulated tires

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Patriots owner: Aaron Hernandez told me he was innocent

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Raiders release DT Antonio Smith

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Tennessee hires former Texas coach Rick Barnes

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Thunder star Kevin Durant has bone graft surgery

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey showing off versatility

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

NASCAR driver Kyle Larson released from hospital

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
.

Business

San Bruno supports higher fine

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

 
Google to release their cheapest laptop yet

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10, 1 Comment

Several charged in Medicaid shoe fraud

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

 
Fast food organizers expand their campaign

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

Online craft retailer Etsy preps for IPO

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

 
Many trucks being driven beyond designed top speed

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

Buffet expected to buy dealerships

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

 
.

Obituaries

Gordon Davis

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Carlos Penados

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7