Arriving this fall, the new 2014 Chevrolet Malibu will be the first U.S. midsize sedan to offer fuel-saving stop/start technology standard on its 2.5L base model.

According to GM, 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 vehicle speed, climate control system operation and the force a driver applies to the brake pedal in order to determine whether it is efficient to shut off the engine in certain driving conditions, such as stop-and-go driving, says GM.

In addition to stop/start technology, according to GM, 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, says GM. 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.

A new six-speed transmission makes its first appearance in the 2014 Malibu. The 6T45 transmission includes improvements that reduce the energy required to pump transmission fluid, which enables additional fuel economy savings, says GM. The Malibu has an EPA-estimated 25 city and 36 highway mpg – a 14 percent improvement in city fuel economy.

Additional new features on the 2014 Malibu — available in LS, LT and LTZ trim levels — include roomier rear seat with 1.25 inches more knee room, redesigned center console, suspension enhancements and available side blind zone alert and rear cross traffic alert safety features, says GM.

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.