A special feature of the Malibu Eco is that when stopped the engine shuts down (goes into Auto Stop Mode) but that accessories, audio and HVAC continue to operate. When removing one’s foot from the accelerator the engine idles and the fuel supply to the engine is cut off which helps increase fuel efficiency. The energy created during braking is being captured by the motor/ generator (a process known as regenerative braking). The motor/generator converts this captured energy into electricity to keep the lithium-ion battery charged. The audio system, HVAC and other accessories are all running off energy stored in the lithium-ion battery. The engine restarts seamlessly as soon as the driver’s foot is lifted off the brake. The electric motor-generator restarts the engine in under 300 milliseconds which is very fast.

Another feature which makes merging into fast moving highway traffic is the eAssist. The extra torque which this provides makes the 4 cylinder engine feel like a V6 engine.

Chevy’s new MyLink system allows the driver/passengers to connect one’s smartphone, iPod, computer, or MP3 player to the car via a USB jack and/or the Bluetooth system. The smartphone connection permits not only hands-free calling, but audio connectivity and Internet music streaming as well. The Malibu is also available with a navigation system for the first time.

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Some other nice elements of the Malibu is the remote start which also turns on he Malibu’s HVAC system, defrosters and heated seats (if equipped).

An additional feature is the rear assist which warns drivers of objects behind the car when backing up. Both are available options. When parking, audible chimes alert the driver if objects are behind the car, and when backing up at low speeds, a camera captures a real-time picture of the area immediately behind the car on the touch-screen display.

If one enjoys Sirius XM (satellite radio) there are more than 170 channels of entertainment to be had. It is standard on all models and includes three trial months of service.

Six free months of OnStar is available, a subscription service which responds in the event of an auto accident, flat tire, need for a jump start, or towing service and communicates directions through its turn-by-turn navigation feature.

Also available on the Eco is the Pioneer Premium sound system featuring a 250-watt amplifier. Nine speakers provide for premium listening. The Chevy Malibu Eco has a five year, 100,000 power train warranty, and an eight year, 100,000 miles limited e-Assist component warranty.

Visit the Web site at www.vandebran.comor call 849-9331.