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2009 Chevrolet Malibu Desired changes and gripes

e_net_ridere_net_rider Posts: 1,380
edited March 20 in Chevrolet
09 Malibu LT2 I-4 AT-6 less than 500miles.
1) The test dummy obviously did not have to get in or out of the vehicle on his own. a)Move the door pillar back a couple of inches. I'm only 5'8". b)Use a real tilt that moves the steering wheel up out of the way.
2)Change the dash vents so I can point them above my head where the cold air will fall on me and not blow in my face.
3)Make the steering wheel a couple of inches larger in diameter for comfort.
4)Place the speedometer so that it can be seen without being blocked by steering wheel when it is located at best comfort position.
5)Suede seems to get hot after riding on it for awhile. I'd prefer real leather.
6)When you move up from the base wheel/tire, I'd expect a better tire. Firestone FR710 does not seem to be best tire for this car. Often has too much road noise. Properly inflated, they ride a bit hard. I think handling and response would improve with a better tire, but it is not bad. I haven't driven in rain yet, so I can not comment on standing water or wet roads yet.
7)I just noticed the weights attached to the wheel. These are not the balance weights you would normally see attached to the rim, but on the inner side of the wheel. I am not sure if they are there to balance the wheel or the tire, or how they are even attached. If they are there to balance the wheel, I can only hope GM did not accept that kind of quality standard for other parts. If they are there to balance the tire, then these tires should have been rejected. There are massive amounts of weights. My experience has been that with new quality tires, they may not even have to add any weight to balance them.
8)Some padding on the door armrest would be nice. This texture surface molded plastic is like sandpaper. And it appears that it may not be solid color, only dyed on the surface. I see a few places where white seems to be showing through.
9)Add duct for rear seat. It would help with overall cool down of interior and comfort.

Comments

  • I agree with your issues. One more thing I really can't stand and I really mean this, the fuel filter door has to be on the drivers side. No excuses and no negotiations here. How rediculous, not many Toyotas or Hondas are made with the passenger side fuel door. Does that tell you something? Attention to detail and user friendly designs. Take note GM. Even Chrysler has the common sense to design cars and SUV's this way!!
  • malexbumalexbu Posts: 169
    I actually like it the way it is -- getting the passenger side to the pump is easier sometimes (think of a pump on the sidewalk).

    What problem do you have with it? "the ... door has to be on the drivers side" -- why?
  • berriberri Posts: 4,275
    I thought it was just me, but the new Malibu seems a bit awkward getting into and out of the driver's seat. Its much improved over the previous models, but still has some GM cheapness lurking in there - maybe it will all be gone when the car is updated next.
  • malexbumalexbu Posts: 169
    Forgive me asking:

    In what ways is the new Malibu "much improved over the previous
    models?"

    Better MPG? More cargo and passenger space? Easier to get in and
    out? Better reliability? Looks (for Heaven's sake)?

    Did you own any Malibu of the previous generation (2004-2008, sans
    "Classic")? What models are you comparing the 2008+ Malibu with?
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Posts: 1,380
    I suspect it is on passenger side for a safety factor. There has been a problem with static setting off fumes at the fuel door. And it is much worse with women because they go back into the car more than men. Either it is too cold or they go back to get something from purse or maybe comb hair and get a new charge. They return to the nozzle with fumes being emitted and boom, there is a fire. Walking the few extra steps could allow extra time to drain the static. And on that subject, I just hate it when they remove the catch from the nozzle forcing you to stay there to fill and breathe the fumes.
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Posts: 1,380
    On mileage, I think mine has started to improve. I really took it easy those first 500 miles, but have been driving less conservative since. Second tank only showed 25.4 on DIC, but it looks like it will be better this time. I often take a short length of I-16 & I-95 and set cruise. At 70MPH the DIC was showing 33 & 34MPG.
  • berriberri Posts: 4,275
    In what ways is the new Malibu "much improved over the previous
    models?"


    As you are probably aware the two previous gen Malibu's were rental car queens. In fact there was a time when I think the second gen was the fleet queen for National and Enterprise. Seemed to have more of them than even the "classic" you referred to. I didn't care for the first gen malibu, felt the 2nd gen was a nicer car other than its looks, but it rode my [non-permissible content removed] over every tar strip on the Interstate. I test drove, but didn't buy the current Malibu. I felt it drove smoother and more quietly than its predecessors, and looked a whole lot better inside and out. However, at the time at least I could get a better deal on a Camry and a much better deal on the Fusion. Honestly, I don't know how you cannot view the current model as superior to the two prior generations?
  • malexbumalexbu Posts: 169
    As you are probably aware the two previous gen Malibu's were rental car queens.

    Er... Let's not confuse the two previous generations of Malibu (2004-,
    a.k.a. "Classic", and 2004+). Nothing is shared between them, as far
    as I understand.

    Second, in my area, I could get Honda Accord at Enterprise, but not
    Malibu 2004+. Impala, yes, but not Malibu.

    In fact there was a time when I think the second gen was the fleet
    queen for National and Enterprise.


    So? Queen or not queen -- how does it speak about the car's quality?

    Seemed to have more of them than even the "classic" you referred
    to. I didn't care for the first gen malibu, felt the 2nd gen was a
    nicer car other than its looks, but it rode my [non-permissible content removed] over every tar
    strip on the Interstate.


    What car exactly do you mean here? Year and the trim level?

    My Malibu 2005s are as smooth as silk, anywhere.

    I test drove, but didn't buy the current Malibu. I felt it drove
    smoother and more quietly than its predecessors, and looked a whole
    lot better inside and out.


    It drives differently, perhaps better. It looks better inside.

    Outside? I don't like its truck-like nose. Impala and HHR look
    better, in my opinion. To my eye, Malibus 2005-2008 look great -- but
    this is a matter of taste.

    Honestly, I don't know how you cannot view the current model as
    superior to the two prior generations?


    I meant one generation only, 2004+-2008.

    I cannot view Malibu 2008+ to be superior to that generation, because of:

    * Worse MPG.

    * Much less passenger and cargo space.

    * No Maxx-like trim.

    * What I read about this car from the owners, doesn't inspire my
    confidence in the car's reliability.

    The car just doesn't seem as practical as the previous generation
    Malibu. Or, and on a highway, I pass the new Malibus more often than
    they pass me.

    No disrespect to current Malibu owners: if you are happy with your
    car, I wish you to keep enjoying it, but when I was thinking about
    buying another car this summer, I didn't even consider the new Malibu.

    Of the old Malibu's, I own three at this moment: a 2006 Maxx was added
    this July.
  • goateegoatee Posts: 51
    Because that's where the driver sits and the driver pays for and pumps the gas. It is safer especially if you have to get back in the car in a hurry for any reason such as bad weather or bad surroundings. It just makes more sense to me thats all, personal preference. Both my cars are left sided - Ford Edge and Pontiac Vibe. My 2 Toyotas before this were both left sided as well. I see how difficult it is for right sided filler doors at gas stations trying to jockey for a spot and then have to go all the way around to boot. So I guess the answer to your question is convenience and safety.
  • malexbumalexbu Posts: 169
    This is a reasonable explanation, thank you.

    To be honest with you, sometimes, when I get to the pump, I have to make an effort to recall where the fuel tank door in my car is (my previous two cars had it on the driver's side), I can live with either side, but the current arrangement seems a bit more logical to me: e.g. it's easier to get out of the car in a tight spot without hitting a pump guard with the door. Anyway, it's just a matter of taste for me, don't feel it "has to be" one way or the other. And I can't see how having the tank door on the driver's side would help you in "bad surroundings". I think the surroundings will get you if they want to, no matter where the opening is...
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Posts: 1,380
    Mine came with the Firestone's. I'm curious if anyone got their's with a different tire?

    Reason is, I'm convinced there is likely a much better tire for this vehicle. The slight vibration that feels somewhat like a flat spot and seems to vary with road and speed might be a balance issue. I would not have suspected this vehicle for having a very firm frame, such as was the issue with some Cadillac and the Olds Aurora. It fielded so many complaints that Hunter created the "road force balance" machine. The frames were so sturdy that a slight imbalance would be felt and conventional balancing would not do the job. This machine spins the tire like most machines, but applys pressure to the tire as if it is on a road surface. The pressure is adjusted according to the weight of the vehicle, so you get a truer real world balance. I will be having a talk with the dealer about this. And that after 6 weeks they have not yet titled the vehicle so I can transfer my tag. On the other hand, I've been receiving mail from GM, OnStar, and XM welcoming me and congratulating me on my new Avalanche.
  • goateegoatee Posts: 51
    Bad situations or surroundings such as geing approached by a stranger for money or just other panhandling type of situations. This has happened to me recently both at night and in the day time in all types of locations. Yes I was surprised too but getting to that driver's door is probably the first thing I thought about. Quick escape if I needed it for sure. An unattended driver door in a potentially compromising situation worries me especially for my young daughter. Forgot to mention also this was one of the deciding factors when we bought my step daughter's car. Civic vs Focus - all things equal especially the price and she really wanted the Ford with all the cool stuff like sync system. She thanks us now that she is driving the left sided Civic having had to pump gas in a driving rainstorm.
    Thank you for your responses.
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Posts: 1,380
    These days, most gas stations have canopies, so unless you have hurricane winds that is not a problem.
    It is important to be aware of your surroundings at all times these days, and a gas station should be one of the safest places. It might be real busy so there are plenty of people around. If not, just make sure the attendant is paying attention and not stocking shelves or something. Go inside first if you feel unsafe and ask the attendant to keep eye open. Remote in hand, hitting panic button should draw enough attention. Video cameras might be helpful, but it is surprising how many idiots do something in plain view of them.
    My youngest got married yesterday. They had two nice metal trellis decorated for the outdoor wedding. We moved them to the reception and they were placed at the main entrance. Packing up everything at the end of the night, they were gone. One of the building employees told me someone took them earlier. Suspicious, I took a look around since the kids might want them for their yard, something from their wedding. Glancing up, their are two of those newer 360 degree cameras. Got cha!
  • xmechxmech Posts: 90
    @ malexbu: Look at the little fuel pump by your gas gauge. It should have a little arrow pointing to the side where the filler is, or I even heard some cars show the pump hose on the side of the filler, but never saw that one personally.

    @Goatee: Huh? The Fusion has driver side filler, and capless, so less hastle, so why would the Civic be better for pumping gas?. (Waiting for gas theives to figure it out...) I really like the new Civic's, but wanted to go with a mid-size rather than compact, so got a Fusion.
This discussion has been closed.