01-23-18

CHEVY’S NEW CRUZE DIESEL COULD BE THE SALVE FOR THOSE MOURNING THE DEMISE OF VW’S TDIS

Cruze DieselBy Peter Bleakney, Driving.ca - Just when you thought the diesel-powered compact car was dead in the water, GM comes rattling to the rescue.  The Chevrolet Cruze Diesel, available in both sedan and hatchback, could very well be a salve for those who mourn the tragic demise of Volkswagen's cruelly deceptive yet otherwise excellent TDIs.

Up until that VW's emissions scandal blew up real good, the diesel-powered Golf and Jetta enjoyed cult status here in Canada, accounting for a sizable percentage of those compact car's sales.  Canucks have a penchant for diesels, and really, what's not to like?  Amazing fuel mileage along with gobs of relaxed torque is hard to dispute.

So, can this diesel Cruze pick up where the compact VWs left off?  Will it ever garner the kind of love and emotion the TDI faithful still harbor in their hearts?  Will it spawn a new crowd, proudly willing to wield their stinky yellow pump handle?

I will say this: after a week in the saddle of the 2018 Cruze Diesel sedan, the on-board computer showed a heart-warming fuel consumption rating of 5.4 L/100 kilometres, and with diesel currently cheaper than regular gasoline, that's a sweet thing.  So yes, this diesel sedan delivers hybrid-baiting economy without the attendant weight and complexity of battery packs, electric motors and mega computing power.

However, pricing is an issue that weighs down the Cruze Diesel.  It's only available in the second-from-top tier LT trim, with the six-speed manual sedan starting at $24,395.  Add another 41,500 for the six-speed automatic in this tester, and that represents a $3,250 hike over the comparable gas models that run with a 1.4-L turbo-four making 153 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque.

The heart of the matter here is an all-new 1.,6-L turbodiesel four-cylinder engine, with a variable-vane turbocharger, and aluminum block and heads.  This Hungarian-built oil-burner is 20 kilograms lighter and a claimed 68 per cent quieter than the 2.0-L turbodiesel it replaces.  The engine is also available in the Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain crossovers, so yes, GM seems serious about this diesel business.

While this new diesel's 137 hp might sound a bit paltry, it's the robust 240 lb-ft of torque available from 2,000 rpm that does the talking.  hooked to an excellent nine-speed automatic transmission that expertly slurs the gears while keeping the little oil-burner in the meat of its torque band, the Cruze Diesel never feels flat-footed.  There's always a big slug of torque at the ready to urge you forward from just about any speed.  It certainly feels more fleet than the gasoline car.

In Europe, this engine gets the nickname "fluster-diesel" - fluster is German for whisper.  indeed, once warmed up, it is a civilized unit.  Sure, there's an earnest - some might find it endearing - grumble emanating from under the hood when accelerating, but when cruising, it's as quiet as a church.  And with the necessary down-stream urea-injection exhaust scrubbing, it meets all North American emission regulations.  You'll need to top up the DEF (diesel exhaust fluid) every 8,000 to 10,000 km.

There are a few reasons diesel engines are so much more efficient than gas engines.  Diesel fuel is more energy-dense, containing about ten per cent more bang-power per litre.  Additionally, parasitic pumping losses are reduced in a diesel engine because engine speed is dictated by fuel supply; it doesn't have to work to suck air through a restrictive opening (the "throttle", get it?)  And finally, the super high-compression ratio, needed to ignite the fuel because there are no spark plugs, contributes to more efficient combustion.

As for the higher price compared to gas-powered vehicles, chalk that up to robust construction and the extremely precise, high-pressure fuel-delivery systems.

In all other aspects, the Cruze Diesel lines up with the gas model.  It's an agreeable compact sedan with fine road manners that lean more toward comfort than sport.  however, its numb on-centre steering feel won't win over any Volkswagen fans.  Likewise, the interior quality trails the VW's, but you can say that about most competitors in this segment.

In the plus ledger, the Cruze's ergonomics are good in LT trim with an intuitive, seven-inch touch screen-based MyLink infotainment system featuring Bluetooth, USB, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, plus SiriusXM satellite radio.  you also get six months of free, full-service OnStar that spoils with turn-by-turn GPS navigation, 4G LTE Wi-Fi hot-spot connectivity, and more.

This tester had the $3,200 True North Edition Package that adds leather seating, a heated steering wheel, blind-spot and lane-change alerts, rear park assist and rear cross-traffic alert, a sunroof, ambient lighting, a colour screen in the gauge cluster, a pretty decent nine-speaker Bose audio system, and the touch screen is bumped up in size to eight inches.  spicing up the exterior is the RS body package ($795) and Cajun red paint ($595).

All in, we're looking at a pretty pricey Cruze; just north of $30,000 before freight and taxes.  I would also posit it is the best-driving Cruze, because the 1.6-L turbodiesel and the slick nine-speed transmission give this little sedan a relaxed, V6-like urge from step-off to highway cruise.

There's no arguing its parsimonious fuel sippage.  One could, however, argue-with the financial hit this 'fluster-diesel" inflicts on the Cruze's bottom line.  Justifying the cost would require driving it around the globe a few times.  We will accept fanatical, flag-waving, diesel enthusiasm as well.

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2018 EquinoxBy Brian Harper, Driving.ca - Yes, General Motors is a King Kong-sized global manufacturer, and its Chevrolet brand as American as baseball, apple pie and all that other stuff, but the Equinox is still built in Ontario - at the CAMI plant in Ingersoll - so I look beyond any obvious flaws in my argument to consider the crossover to be at least quasi-Canadian and, therefore, worth rooting for.  (And, yes, I maintain a certain amount of pride for all vehicles assembled in our nation, regardless of the automaker's origin.)

It's not as though this particular Chevy is an underdog; though it isn't the top seller in the ultracompetitive compact crossover segment - that would currently be the also-built-in-Ontario Toyota RAV4 - it is definitely a player.  Within the Chevy model range, the Equinox is the third in sales in Canada, behind the Silverado pickup and Cruze sedan/hatchback.  And it will likely surpass the Cruze within a few months.

The 2018 model year sees a new, third-generation version, one that sheds a considerable amount of weight - about 180 kilograms - to become leaner and more responsive in comparison with the previous model.  But, more importantly, the new Equinox sets aside its traditional engine lineup - normally aspirated four-cylinders and V6s - for a trio of turbocharged four-cylinder powertrains, including a diesel.

There are LS, LT and Premier trim levels to choose from; the tester was a high-level Premier 1LZ with the base 1.5-litre turbo four and a six-speed automatic transmission.  Putting out a reasonable 170 horsepower and 203 pound-feet of torque, the small four is impressively smooth and lively, not just when puttering about town, but also on the highway.  For comparison, the same-sized engine in the Honda CR-V delivers 190 hp but only 179 lb-ft of torque.  Oh, it's not going to win any stoplight drag races (zero to 100 km/h in about 9.5 seconds(, but the all-wheel-drive Equinox tips the scales at a trim 1,605 kg, so it's not overly burdened, feeling quite nimble when turning corners and such.  Plus, the AWD system is disconnected from the rear axle when not in use, improving efficiency.

Initially, though, I felt that were the Equinox to be loaded up with people and luggage - or perhaps towing a small trailer - ticking the box for the 2.0-L turbo (with a far more substantial 252 hp/260 lb-ft, plus a nine-speed automatic) or the 136-hp 1.6-L diesel (236 lb-ft) would be more prudent.  Yet, after putting some 700 km on the odometer with a quick trip to visit friends, I might reconsider.  The crossover handled four adults aboard without missing a beat, and delivered a parsimonious 7.8 L per 100 km - primarily at highway speeds - fuel economy to boot.  Unless you get aggressive on the throttle, the six-speed shifts up early to promote efficiency.  Mind you, southwest Ontario is mostly pancake-flat terrain; the 2.0 L or diesel would probably be a better bet if higher elevations or more varied topography was involved.

Though decidedly fresher in appearance than its doughy predecessor, the new Equinox still blends in with the bulk of the models in the compact crossover segment, rather than standing out.  Design cues for the vehicle came from the aerodynamically shaped Cruze, Malibu and Volt, stalwart Chevy models all, but not known for their drop-dead gorgeous exteriors.  Chevrolet debuted a particularly striking crossover concept called the FNR-X at the Shanghai Auto Show in April; the new Equinox would have made much more of a statement if it had borrowed some of the concept's styling.

But whatever disappointment there might be with its outward appearance - and I will be the first to say that looks are purely subjective - was mitigated by the Equinox's bright and cheerful cabin, highlighted by the tester's two-tone black and tan seats and dash area.  However, the dashboard itself was not the better soft-touch plastic, which, considering the crossover's nearly $39,000 price tag, smacked of unnecessary cost cutting.

The instrument cluster is first rate, with a configurable information display front and centre.  The same goes for the eight-inch centre console touch screen, with clearly marked icons for a variety of functions.  These include the latest connectivity technologies, such as MyLink infotainment systems designed to support Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as an available OnStar 4G LTE Wi-Fi hot spot.

Heated seats and a remote starter are standard on all trims.  The Premier is highly contented and includes such features as dual-zone automatic climate control, keyless entry, power windows, door locks and liftgate, power heated outside mirrors, rear park assist, rear cross-traffic alert, blind-zone alert and rear-view camera.

As for cargo capacity, the Chevy's "kneeling" rear seats - the bottom cushions tilt forward when the split-folding seatbacks are lowered - enables a flat rear load floor for easy loading and up to 1,798 L of space, including 846L behind the back seat.

There's much to like about the redesigned Equinox: fuel efficiency, and impressively smooth ride, good handling characteristics, up-level interior and competitive pricing.  Still, the compact segment is crazy competitive, and the Chevy has to contend with something like 16 rivals, including such heavyweights as the RAV4, Honda CR-V, Nissan Rogue and Ford Escape.  Whether the Chevy can elevate its status is up for debate, though it's not for a lack of trying.  The 1.5-L engine might not be to everyone's tastes, but the Equinox's ace in the hole is the fact that there are alternatives.

Overview:  Five-passenger compact crossover

Pros:  Roomy for its size, multiple engine choices, made in Canada

Cons:  Mainstream styling, AWD must be engaged

Value for money:  Good

What I would change:  AWD should activate automatically

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2018 EquinoxBy Pedro Arrais, Times Colonist - If there was a list of desirable features people usually look for when buying a compact SUV, the 2018 Chevrolet Equinox would surely hit all the boxes.

This market segment is the largest and has seen the most intense competition for consumers' attention.  General Motors has stopped at nothing to make sure its new entrant stands head and shoulders above the crowd.

First off, GM put the Equinox on the automotive equivalent of an extreme diet.  It shrunk by 118 millimetres in length.

While it used to be almost stuck in the grey zone, caught between compact and mid-sized SUVs, it is now firmly a compact - in the same segment as the Honda CR-V, Ford Escape and others.

In the process, the Equinox has shed close to 300 kilograms (it's now even lighter than the Honda CR-v).

But this is a formidable crowd and, if the changes are not done right, it runs the risk of taking the Equinox out of the frying pan and into the fire.

The base front-wheel-drive Equinox starts out at $25,195, and trim levels include LT and Premier. Canadians would likely opt for an all-wheel-drive vehicle instead, which drives up the cost by $2,400.  There are more trim levels for the AWD line, with the top being the Premier 2LZ at $37,195.

I drove a Premier 1LZ, which starts at $34,195.

My first impression on getting in the driver's seat was "Wow!"

The previous-generation Equinox was a vehicle that tried hard, but was utterly outclassed by its competitors.  It featured acres of hard plastic and reeked of a design by committee.

The pendulum has swung completely in the opposite direction with the 2018 edition.  The new model reeks of quality and attention to detail.  Any interior designer would be proud to look around and appreciate the carefully laid-out cabin (in two-tone leather on some models).

Not only is the interior welcoming, the materials used have similarly received a substantive boost.  As my hand rested on the steering wheel, I noticed that even the spokes of the wheel are covered in a supple material that was pleasing to the touch.

The equipment kit reflects GM's desire to elevate the Equinox into territory it could never had imagined before.  My tester boasted a large panorama roof, 19-inch wheels, a Bose sound system, low-speed auto braking, forward collision alert, lane departure, lane-keep assist and auto high beam, surround cameras, ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, heated outboard rear seats, eight-way power front and passenger seats, and wireless cellphone charging - and that's only the highlights.

For the infotainment system, the Equinox features an eight-inch colour touchscreen with MyLink, Apple Carplay, Android Auto and Sirius satellite radio.  The system is also a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hot spot, so that passengers can connect their tablets wirelessly on the road.  Buyers will also get an OnStar five-year basic plan.

Engineers tossed out the old V-6 and replaced it with a choice of two turbocharged four-cylinder engines - a 1.5- and a 2.0-litre.  I drove the 1.5-litre mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.

The engine may be smaller, but I daresay the Equinox feels more spirited, with 300 kilograms less to push.  The 1.5-litre produces 170 horsepower, about average in this segment.  But the kicker is the 203 foot-pounds of torque, which comes on as low as 2,500 rpm.  It is the most torque produced in the segment.  By comparison, the Ford's turbocharged 1.5-litre four produces 185 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,320 rpm.

The new engine is also much more fuel-efficient than the V-6 it replaces.  While it is not the segment leader, it still bests similar offerings, such as the above-mentioned 1.5-litre from Ford.  Technology in the form of a gas-saving stop/start function helps lower consumption.

The 1.5-litre will soon be joined by a more-powerful 2.0-litre and a more frugal 1.6-litre diesel in the months ahead.  The latter would be of interest for people who tow or for those looking for the best fuel economy.

The Equinox is quiet on the road, with a compliant ride and predictable handling.

Did General Motors produce a winner this time?  If you compare it to last year's model, there is no doubt this year's vehicle is superior.  But most importantly, the 2018 Equinox's blend of functionality, features and performance now makes it competitive against the best in the segment for the first time.  It is the best contender GM has fielded for a shot at the top.

THE SPEC SHEET

Type:  Compact SUV, front engine, all-wheel-drive

Engine:  Turbocharged 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine, 170 hp at 5,600 rpm, 203 lb.-ft. of torque at 2,500 to 4,500 rpm

Transmission:  Six-speed automatic

Dimensions (mm):  Length, 4,652; width, 1,843; height, 1,661; wheelbase, 2,725

Curb weight (kg):  1,580

Price (base/as tested):  $34,195/$40,740 (includes $1,700 freight and PDI and $100 AC tax)

Tires:  225/60 R18 on alloy wheels

Fuel type:  Regular

Fuel economy (L/100km):  9.8 city/7.9 highway

Warranty:  Three years/60,000 km new car, five years/100,000 km powertrain and roadside assistance

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malibu-17
The 2016 Chevrolet Malibu is a big improvement on the outgoing model
with a hint of the Audi A7 in the rear three-quarter

By Graeme Fletcher, Driving.ca - With only a brief hiatus, the Malibu has been a Chevrolet staple since it was introduced at around the same time the Beatles first appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show.

Over the years, the good, the bad and the plain ugly have worn the nameplate.  The ugly badge is pinned to the tail of the so-called Iraqi Malibu.

In 1981, GM produced a special version of its popular sedan for the Iraqi government.  It had a V6 engine, a three-speed manual transmission and precious little else.  The order was abruptly cancelled, so GM sold the majority of these oddball orphans in Canada, and at a fire-sale price.

Fast-forward to today and the all new, ninth-generation Malibu is as far removed from that abomination as is possible.  For example, the designed-by-committee interior has been shelved.

This is not your father's Malibu anymore.  Gone is the fuddy-duddy finish in favour of a more upscale look and feel that's dominated by the iPad-like screen and Chevy's MyLink infotainment system.  It now looks like it was designed to be there, not like it was an afterthought.

The system is readily mastered.  It supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and also delivers a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hot spot.  CarPlay proved to be remarkably easy to use once the phone was paired, which was itself a simple task.  Hold the talk button for two seconds and the on-board "Molly of the maps" is overridden by Siri.  Ask "where am I?" and Siri gives you the exact address and then puts the location on the map in the screen.  Having Siri read or respond to texts is also easy, as is placing a call or finding a song.  Even more impressive is the quality and clarity of the screen.  The high-definition colours are vivid and the clarity better than many similar setups.

As for the driver's lot in life, the seat is comfortable and offers lots of adjustments, so taller folk will find ample legroom.  And it's more of the same in the back - lots of toe-leg- and headroom.  A 6-foot-2 passenger will find a comfortable, un-scrunched seating position.  With split/folding seats and 447 litres of space, the trunk accommodates a family of five's luggage with ease.

The latest Malibu is offered in three very different flavours.  The tester arrived with GM's Ecotec 1.5-L turbocharged four-cylinder married to a six-speed automatic transmission.  The 160 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque it puts out is enough for most eventualities.  Yes, it takes almost nine seconds to trot to 100 kilometres an hour, but the plus proved to be the fuel economy - a test best of 5.7 litres per 100 kilometres.  The average for the entire test was 10.8 L/100 km, and this included the acceleration testing.

That said, the better choice is the 2.0-L turbocharged four-cylinder that's married to an advanced eight-speed automatic transmission.  It brings a rabble-rousing 250 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque and is much quicker, running to 100 km/h in 6.7 seconds.  The vigour arrives at the cost of fuel efficiency, but it transforms the Malibu into a smile inducer.  The final alternative, if you're really into fuel economy, is the Hybrid.

The six-speed transmission worked well with the base engine, especially on the highway, where it kept the revs low and the cabin eerily quiet.  The anomaly proved to be the controls on the back side of the steering wheel; they control the audio, not the shifting.  The latter is done through a toggle switch atop the shifter, and then only after selecting low.  Given this 1.5-L engine does not tempt the driver to play cowboy, this setup was passable, but it will likely be awkward with the sportier 2.0-L engine and the performance it puts at the driver's right boot.

On-road comportment is where the Malibu comes into its own.  The new car is significantly lighter, which makes it feel much more agile on its P225/55R17 tires.  This new-found nimbleness makes the Malibu an entertaining drive; nobody could ever accuse previous generations of the car of being fun!  The amount of body roll is minimal and the response to driver input is crisp.  Ditto for the steering and brakes; both have a much sharper feel than before.

It is the quality and quietness of the ride, however, that will be the Malibu's defining quality and strength.  The rigours of a rough road simply disappear.  In the end, the Malibu does a very credible job of mimicking a luxury car.

The latest Malibu represents a vast improvement over the outgoing model.  It has style (some will see shades of the Audi A7 in the rear three-quarter, which is not a bad thing), a broader model mix, a swanky new interior as well as the aforementioned ride quality and cabin quietness.  The combination means it now has the wherewithal to cater to a much wider array of potential customers.  Heck, even younger buyers looking to start a family will find it appealing.

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04-28-16

cruze-3FOR 2016, THE CHEVROLET'S TOP-SELLER, THE CRUZE GETS A COMPLETE MAKEOVER

By Costa Mouzouris, Driving.ca - The Chevrolet Cruze is GM's best-selling car in Canada, despite stiff competition in the compact segment.  In fact, the Cruze is good enough to entice many owners of other brands to switch teams; GM claims that more than half of Cruze owners are new to the brand.

This is Chevy's bread-winning car, available in more than 75 countries worldwide.  It has sold more than four million units around the world since its introduction in 2008, and more than 170,000 units in Canada since arriving here in 2010, though those numbers pale in comparison to the Honda Civic, which sells twice as many units.

Chevrolet has given this next-generation Cruze a complete makeover for 2016, and it features much more than just a more aggressive new look.  The windshield and back glass are at shallower angles for a more streamlined, Euro coupe-like roofline, and the car now has an almost fastback silhouette.

Built at GM's Lordstown, Ohio plant, the Cruze has gained 1.5 centimetres of wheelbase (now at 270 cm), is 6.8 cm longer, and the roof is 2.5 cm lower.  The extra length contributes to additional interior space, especially for rear passengers.  Taller passengers will find headroom a bit cramped, a drawback of the lowered roof.

An all-new 1.4-litre, direct-injection turbocharged four-cylinder is the only available engine, replacing the outgoing model's 1.4-L turbocharged and the 1.8-L naturally aspirated engines.  As before, it is mated to either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission.

This new, lighter engine produces 153 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque, up from the former turbo's 138 horses and 148 lb-ft.  The new engine's claimed combined fuel consumption is 6.8 L/100 km when coupled to the automatic transmission with the standard start/stop function, and a best of 5.6 L/100 km on the highway.  That's about a litre better than the former 1.4-L engine.  After an 80-mile ride in an automatic LT, the trip computer displayed an average consumption of 41 mpg U.S., or 5.7 L/100 km.

If you prefer forfeiting sparkplugs in the interest of even better fuel economy, you can wait until 2017 when GM will reintroduce the diesel version.

Four trim levels are available, from the $15,995US L model ($180 less than the 2015 model) to the $23,995US Premier.  The enticing entry price won't get you basic conveniences such as cruise control, a rear-view camera or air conditioning, but you do get Bluetooth connectivity with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and available LTE Wi-Fi.  You can add the RS package to the LT for $695US, which adds fog lamps, a sporty front fascia and rear spoiler, or to the Premier for a $995US premium, which also adds 18-inch wheels (16-, 16-, and 17-inch wheels are available on various trims).  Heated front seats are standard from the LT model upward.

A new chassis is 24 kilograms lighter and boasts a 27 per cent increase in rigidity.  The lighter engine and chassis, as well as other weight-saving measures, combine to drop about 113 kg from the curb weight.  From the driver's seat, this translates to a ride that feels taut, with bumps and road noise well isolated from the interior.

The L, LS and LT models feature a torsion-beam rear axle, while the Premier is equipped with a Watts Z-link.  Despite this relatively modest suspension design (front struts; rear torsion beam), GM engineers have tuned it to feel much more sophisticated.  At low speeds it feels firm, yet lacks any harshness, even over a series of moderately sized bumps.  If pushed through tight turns at higher speeds, though, it becomes evident that the suspension is tuned for comfort, returning modest body roll.

Steering effort is light and feedback is somewhat muted, in contrast to the 2016 Civic our hosts made available for comparison.  The Cruze, however, is smoother and quieter, especially from the engine compartment.  While not quite as serene as the Buick Verano, even the lower-end LS model is above par in its class.

The manual transmission has moderate lever travel and requires a light touch, but it's not best suited for the engine's powerband.  Pushing the gas pedal down results in a very lethargic climb of the tach needle until the revs pick up, after which the turbocharged four lights up considerably.

The automatic transmission downshifts more obediently than a lazy hand on the manual stick, therefore it feels much livelier.  This keeps the engine in the strong part of its powerband more effectively, while transferring less engine vibration and returning a smoother ride than the manual transmission.  Whether equipped with two or three pedals, the brake pedal seems unusually high.

The Cruze's interior has been refreshed with more soft-touch and textured materials, and it has a slightly upscale look and feel.  It might fall short when compared to luxury offerings in the segment, but it is finer than most cars in its price range.  A seven-inch colour touch screen is standard, and an eight-inch screen is optional.  The instrument cluster is similar to the outgoing model, though there's now a 4.2-inch high-definition screen between the gauges.  The shift lever has also moved to the left side of the centre console, closer to the driver.

Ten airbags are standard, and there are many driver aids available.  A rear-view camera is standard from the LS model up, and park assist and rear cross-traffic alert are available on the LT.  If you must have all the driver aids, including lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist, collision alert and a following-distance warning, they're available only on the Premier model.

The 2016 Chevrolet Cruze is available now, and it appears to be popular with second-time buyers: about 58 per cent of Cruze buyers already own one.  Chevrolet aims to entice at least some drivers away from the Civic, so a five-door hatchback Cruze will be available later this year.  But even without the fifth door, this lighter, larger and more dynamic Cruze will probably attract many more converts.

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2016-chevrolet-malibu-005-1The Ottawa Sun - The Chevrolet Malibu has remained an enduring classic among its peers since it was introduced more than 50 years ago.  Now, the quintessential midsize sedan boldly steps into the future with an all-new 2016 model that is completely restyled and engineered to offer more efficiency, connectivity and advanced safety features than ever.  The 2016 Malibu reaches an exceptional level of fuel efficiency with an all-new hybrid powertrain that uses technology from the Chevrolet Volt.  The hybrid helps offer a GM-estimated 4.9 L/100km city, 5.2 L/100km highway - and 5.0 L/100km combined.  The Malibu's standard 1.5L turbo powertrain is projected to offer 6.4 L/100km highway.

Longer and lighter, the new Malibu also offers more interior space.

"Midsize car customers tell us they want great fuel economy and connected technologies, wrapped in a gorgeous exterior.  This is exactly what the 2016 Malibu was engineered to do," said Jesse Ortega, Malibu chief engineer.

With a wheelbase stretching 91 mm (3.6 inches) longer than the current Malibu, along with a 58 mm (2.3-inch) longer overall length and the same overall width, the 2016 Malibu strikes a sleeker looking proportion.  The added wheelbase helps provide better in-cabin comfort and functionality.

With styling influenced by the 2014 Impala, the all-new Malibu advances Chevrolet's global design language with features such as slim, sweeping headlamps and a progressive take on the brand's characteristic dual-port grille.  Three body-side creases also add drama to the design and help distinguish the Malibu as a contemporary Chevy.

Beneath the new Malibu's athletic-looking skin is a stronger, lighter body structure that contributes to its efficiency and driving dynamics.  Greater use of high-strength steels enables engineers to design the body structure with thinner components in some areas, delivering comparable crash performance with lower weight.  The all-new body structure accounts for more than one-third of the Malibu's nearly 300-pound weight reduction.

Android Auto and Apple Car-Play compatibility Malibu's 7-inch MyLink infotainment system gives owners a smart and simple way to access Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.  The eight-inch version of MyLink will be compatible only with Apple CarPlay at the beginning of the 2016 model year.  While development and testing are not yet complete, Android Auto compatibility may be available on the 8-inch version of MyLink later in the 2016 model year.

Each system builds off of the features smartphone users rely on most.  Android Auto is built around Google Maps, Google Now and the ability to talk to Google, as well as a growing audio and messaging app ecosystem that includes WhatsApp, Skype, Google Play Music, Spotify and podcast players.

Apple CarPlay takes the iPhone features customers want to access while driving and puts them on the vehicle's display in a smart, simple manner.  That allows drivers to make calls, send and receive messages and listen to music right from the touchscreen or by voice via Siri.  Apple CarPlay supported apps include Phone, Messages, Maps, Music and compatible third-party apps.

Many features can be controlled via voice commands through a button on the steering wheel, helping drivers spend more time with eyes on the road and hands on the wheel.

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