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Chevy Malibu Maxx

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  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    Sorry to tell you but the 2005 Maxx had a newly designed rear seat audio system with wireless headphone capability like the DVD system always had.

    For 2004 the Maxx used an older rear seat audio system which only works with wired headphones.

    For whatever reason GM only provides headphones with vehicles having wireless capability.

    I asked about the wireless headphones because I remember when the 2005 vehicles first started coming out that a few of the Maxx owners here didn't get the headphone package for some reason
  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    NP - the spaces didn't help (but your flag did) - LOL. I suggest only last 6 of VIN so it is less meaningful to others ;)

    July 2, 2004 is date
  • First Maxx SS I've seen was last night at a closed dealer. It is black and looked good. I plan to take a drive today if it's still there. The much preferred new grill, which is on all 2006 Malibus, looks like it would bolt right in to a 2004/5.
  • It was short, so I don't know how accurate my impressions are, but it felt extremely solid, with possibly a nicer ride/handling compromise than the 2005 Maxx LT (which I test drove a little later in the day). The engine sounded quite lovely, with a greater eagerness to rev, and its launch torque, even at partial throttle settings (I never did floor it) was very impressive, notably more powerful and responsive feeling than the LT/LTZ.

    On the brochure it says the SS has "sport tap-up/tap-down shifting". The LT and LTZ have "electronic range selector". They seem the same to me in operation- the only difference is is the "L" (low) on the LT/LTZ's shifter is an "M" (manual) on the SS shifter. The LT with which I could compare it was an '05 model. The all-black interior looks nice, more to my liking.

    What you're giving up with an SS over an LTZ...heated seats. No Ultralux seat inserts. No heated outside mirrors. No auto dim rear view mirror with compass. No universal remote. And, as a result of the thicker seat bolsters, the front passenger seat cannot fold flat.

    Wheels on LTZ are aluminum, but they are "clad" with a plastic (I believe) cover. The LT's are steel, but clad with plastic. In both cases they are nicely done. New for '06 is the 17 inch wheel on the LTZ (with 50 series tires). SS's have 50 series tires also, but on 18 inch wheels.

    So, I really like the SS. I like bells and whistles, but I can live without them to make room for that great SS motor. The only thing that gives me pause is the mileage rating on the SS- 18 city 26 highway (compared with 20/30 for the 3.5 liter powered Maxxes). I figured that if I drive 15,000 miles per year, maybe the SS would cost me around $200 more annually (at current gas prices). Don't know the differences in insurance costs. They're selling the 2005 Maxx LT for about $21,300 (no onstar or DVD but loaded otherwise). My wife likes it better than the SS. Of course she would. She likes the '05's nose better, the grey interior better, the price and the mileage...but I may be keeping the car for 8-10 years...with that in mind, it doesn't seem like such a premium to pay (for the SS). Now, the LTZ loaded is actually a good bit more than the SS, so that makes the decision a little harder too (06 LTZ is in the running as well). A bit confusing, I know. Decisions, decisions...

    I suspect (or is that "hope") that the 3.9 liter may well do a bit better, real world, with respect to the m.p.g. On the Impala forum a 3.9 liter owner was averaging 27.6 for his first 1200 miles of use, 25% city 75% highway...anyone else hear any reports?
  • After a brief drive and looking through the brochure some observations:

    1) With increased power torque-steer is worse - car kind of had a mind/steering of it's own under high power.

    2) Steering effort is too heavy compared to my 2004.

    3) Tip-in seemed worse - too much acceleration on initial
    application of throttle.

    4) Eighteen inch wheels with 50 series tires is rediculous for winter driving, ride quality, and American rough roads. The LTZ isn't much better requiring 17" wheels and 50 series tires.

    4) Don't care for the all black interior - too cave like

    5) For ordering Maxxes other than SS - ordering process has become complicated. For my 2004, I had one option which covered everything I wanted. Power pedals, for example, is a stand-a-lone option on the LT.

    6) After all the troubles with my '04 I don't wish to be a "beta tester" on the new engine.

    A positive compared to my 2004 LS: much better looking with the new front fascia.

    Conclusion: other than appearance I see little reason to trade for an SS.
  • Does anyone know if the SS ride more "harsh" over small bumps? One of the things I really like about the '04 LT is it rides smoothly over pretty much anything. Even big potholes get handled without severe bottoming.

    The SS motor sounds like an improvement, but the black interior gives me real pause (S California is not kind to black interiors or drivers in them).
  • Based on my short test drive of the Maxx SS, I'm sorry I can't really give you a definitive answer there. On epinions there's a Maxx SS review by one of their "professional" reviewers. Just do a search there for tests of 2006 Malibus, and it'll be one of two- the other is of a sedan 4 cyl. The reviewer seems to really like it, and mentioned that while the ride was a little firmer than the Maxx LT, it wasn't punishing. No mention on fuel economy, however. I'm really starting to lean towards an LTZ. 26 mpg sounds not so bad now as gas in the northeast starts heading back down towards $2.00/gal, but I'm sure we'll see spikes in the future that'd have me wishing I'd gotten a car that did better than the SS wrt fuel mileage.

    Maxxliberty, I've had a Golf with 50 series tires for many years as a daily driver, 4-season car, with no problems with rim protection, etc. I did run some 45 series tires for a while though, and you'd be right there- pot holes did result in flat-spotted rims. Nevertheless, some winter snow tires on dedicated rims wouldn't be a bad idea for most any car used over a northeast winter.

    One final note- I've noticed that anyone wishing to get a two-tone titanium interior in a Maxx LTZ will have to choose from what's already out there- Chevy's website doesn't allow you to build them that way anymore. But you can find them on dealer lots if you do a vehicle search. Not sure what's behind it, and maybe they'll start again at some point (possible supply problem?).
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    Ok..who has the most miles on their Maxx so far....mine was purchased March 04.....LT loaded.....will roll over 51k this weekend headed back to SC from VA and return....just curious
  • maxx10maxx10 Posts: 16
    Well, i have rolled over 32K at the end of last month.
    I have parked my :lemon: because it isnt reliable.. I have since purchased a Toyota Corolla and have been very very very happy with it. The thing that impresses me the most is the gas mileage. I am getting about 400 miles to the tank, and it only costs me a 20 to fill it up. In comparism, The Maxx gets about 300 mpg, but it costs me 40 to fill.

    I still love my Maxx, but I will never buy another GM product ever again.. This car has been to the shop more times than any other car I have ever owned, combined. Its a shame that GM can't back the product that they sell, once you have a real problem... :mad:

    Until I win and they come and haul away their pos :lemon: , my shiny black Maxx with black tint and 18 inch chrome wheels will be sitting pretty, in front of my house..
  • From ronbo10: "Maxxliberty, I've had a Golf with 50 series tires for many years as a daily driver, 4-season car, with no problems with rim protection, etc. I did run some 45 series tires for a while though, and you'd be right there- pot holes did result in flat-spotted rims. Nevertheless, some winter snow tires on dedicated rims wouldn't be a bad idea for most any car used over a northeast winter."

    It seems the question should be what are the advantages of a 50 series tire over say a 70 series - my preferred tire. A 50 series is worse in the snow and wet. It is harder riding, tends to be less fuel efficient and probably less wear efficient. So for 98% of motorists exactly what is the advantage of a 50 series tire? There is only one advantage that I'm aware of and that is allowing for more space for larger brakes. If huge wheel sizes are needed for brake applications then it makes sense but I doubt that is the case.

    If nothing else I would like a CHOICE of wheel sizes when buying a Maxx. I try to stay away from fads so I'm not interested in the current "fashion tire" fade but would prefer the optimum tire/wheel size for my usage (P215/R70-15).
  • I'd have to agree with you with respect to rim size. 20 inchers look ridiculous- SUV's with wagon wheels and 40 series tires make no sense to me, and don't look proportional. Oh well, eye of the beholder, I guess. But to answer your question about why 50 series? Fashion trends aside, the desire to do plus 1 or plus 2 wheel tire conversions (that is to say, 1 inch or two inch bigger than stock configuration) was historically to gain the advantages of the lower aspect ratio tire, which was principally transient response and low tire slip angle. With less side wall to flex, the response of the car to a steering input would be more immediate with a 50 series tire vice a 60 or 70 series tire, all else being equal. That is the reason I tried the 45 series tires with my Golf- improved handling. It was, in the end, a handling/ride trade off that for me wasn't acceptable. Bent rims aside, I'd have gone back to the 50 series anyway.

    As car performance has risen over the years with ever more powerful engines, the need to be able to slow a car down from increasingly higher speeds becomes a design priority. I'd guess the most common way to increase braking capacity is a larger brake rotor and calipers with multiple pots etc., necessitating a larger diameter wheel to accomodate them. I will say though that the brakes on the Maxx SS, which receive no upgrade over base models, look a bit tiny inside those 18 inch rims. A disadvantage of the large rims can be increased unsprung weight, which can have the effect of giving a poorer ride, ride characteristics of the tire aside.

    BTW, I just put down money on an '06 Maxx LTZ, which as you've noted, come with 17 inch/50 series tires. I'll let you know how they hold up over the winter, and what kind of performance advantage (if any) I am able to discern. Might be a tough call, as my time in a Maxx with 60 series tires is limited.
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    sorry to hear of the problems....uuummm near a one with mine....of course Im probably one of the few on here that sings the praises of this car.....I added custom wheels to mine...and then went back to the standard OEM wheels for winter in northern va...noticed almost a 2MPG increase in mileage..I get 400 plus miles to a tank city...and got almost 500 this weekend interstate driving..at 34.5 MPG....

    Sorry for the bad experience in service as well..Im convinced the service departments these days are fully trained or care about customer service...mine has been great in dealing with minor issues..and got it right the first time....as for another GM product..well....our brand new 06 Pontiac Solstice was built last week..and should have it by thanksgiving....so.....

    what is your major problem with the car????....electronic..or other...
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    I did 30k on 17 inch rims with 50 series tires (04 Maxx LT)..the stance and width of the tire adds to the car's appearance....makes for a slightly harsher ride....I also had to watch the tire rotation and alignment...as the extra weight of the tire and rim played with the camber slightly.....will be interested in your experience
  • maxx10maxx10 Posts: 16
    Here are my issues,

    1. Radio - replaced 10 times with one on order
    2. Steering column - replaced 4 times
    3. Headlamps- shake and shimmy when driving
    4. Car running- car stalls out periodically, and won't start at times. Sometimes the car will release a cloud of white smoke
    5. Leak- There is a water leak in the rear of the car that has yet to be fixed after 4 times and a month at the dealership.

    Those are all that I can think of right now. But I have a very very sick 2004 Maxx :sick:
    Its a shame that I have to sue GM to make them do the right thing
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    wow..a list indeed..sorry for the trouble...press them under the lemon law....but with 32k on the car..they will still charge some wear and tear....of course depends on the state..but after three times for the same issue here in VA..the lemon law kicks in......seems you have that issue on the steering column...white smoke...a gasket problem....and the water leak...seal or manufacture problem..must have been made on a Mon or Fri....grin...good luck....hoep GM makes it right for you
  • maxx10maxx10 Posts: 16
    Yeah it would be nice if GM took care of me. But I don't see that happening expect with the help of my attorney. Yes I am following thru with the Indiana lemon law. Since I contacted them long before I got to 32k, I still fall under those guidelines.. My problems started at 6k.

    Because my car is so unreliable, I had to purchase another car... (Toyota Corolla), but I think I already mentioned that ;)
  • ronbo10 said: "With less side wall to flex, the response of the car to a steering input would be more immediate with a 50 series tire vice a 60 or 70 series tire, all else being equal."

    I could agree with this statement but that takes us back to my 98% remark - to 98% of motorists, this improvement in response is of no importance and all the downsides of the lower series tires remain.

    Neon lighting has been somewhat of a fad, maybe neon lights rotating with 22" wheels and 30 series tires will catch on! :)
  • I'd have to agree with you on that, Maxx Liberty- most people don't need the transient response of a low profile tire. And truth be told, several decades back had higher profile tires (as I can recall) acting quite squirmy on rapid transients. My guess is today the same size tire might surprise you how well it can handle emergency maneuvers etc. But also I'd say that the 50 series tire of today might provide a slightly better ride than this size tire did 20 years ago.

    I went with the Maxx LTZ over the SS for mileage reasons, but also for a suspension on the SS that, from what I understand is a bit lowered over that of a Maxx LS/LTZ. Don't want to give up any suspension travel up this way in the north east. Both the SS and LTZ have 50 series tires, so that really didn't figure in.

    I looked at Tire Rack, and they have a package for Malibu's (all models) including some decent looking aluminum wheels and Bridgestone Blizaks for $665. Might pop for 'em. I know at least one poster has complained about how his Maxx handled snow, but others have chimed in saying they've had no problems in the snow. Nevertheless, I think a set of 'snows' might not be a bad idea. Farmers' Almanac is calling for a somewhat colder winter with somewhat greater snowfall than average (if you put any stock in those farmers).

    Those of you who've driven your Maxx's in the snow- how well does the traction control work in those conditions?

    Thanks,

    Ron
  • sgr5516sgr5516 Posts: 156
    I had no problems driving in snow last winter in NJ with my 04 Maxx LS. Instead of applying the brakes, the traction control system on the new Malibu reduces the engine power to stop the wheel spin. If you ever get in situation where you step on gas and there is no RPM response and car does not move, you have to temporarily disable the traction control with button on bottom of center console. The system will reduce the RPM down to idle if it must to stop the wheel spin. Of course if you are on an icy patch and both wheels are spinning, the TC system won't help.
  • I had a leak in the front of mine, got it fixed on the second try last month. It was a weld at the top of the A-pillar that was missing sealant. A week of rain had soaked the floorboard. All seems better now.
  • I'll be picking up my 06 Maxx on Monday, and I need to make a decision with respect to extended warranty. My credit union is offering a 84 month/100,000 mile bumper to bumper (no deductible) warranty for $1,140 plus or minus a few. It also a buy-back option following expiration if you were to never have reason to use it (an incentive to not use it when maybe you ought to...). But it is a third party warranty. How many of you have experience with 3rd party warranties (for most Maxx owners you probably haven't reached the end of your factory warranty, so I'm asking about your experiences with this type of warranty on one of your earlier purchases). Has the intermediary ever tried to short change or renege on paying the cost of a repair? Or have you found them to be reliable and trustworthy?

    GM offers their Master Guard Plan, but I've not yet sat down with the dealer to go over what they offer and at what price. My understanding is that for an extended warranty of terms comparable with what my c.u. is offering it would be considerably more expensive, and wouldn't have the buy-back option at the end. Both would be transferable.

    Any opinions out there?

    BTW, as a GM card holder, I've accrued in excess of 3500 points, though my card is under the newer plan (e.g. 1000 points toward a Malibu purchase). Nevertheless, I contacted the redemption center and they in the end agreed to allow me to apply a full 3500 points towards a Malibu, if I were to consummate a deal before the end of 2005. So with the new "Red Tag" price (no-dicker, effective Monday, November 14th through Jan.3, 2006), plus the factory rebate, plus points, my $26,730 Maxx LTZ should come in at around $20,600 plus or minus. I'm very pleased with the deal.
  • I have a third party warranty on my Maxx. I get GM empl. discount, and the dealer gave me the warranty at same price as a discounted GM warranty.

    Mine is identical to GM's, with one notable exception. I get a loaner for any work .2 hr+. This has come in very handy.

    Big downside is if company goes bust, I have no extended warranty. Sometimes you get the bear...
  • Thanks Eric. At this point I'm not sure which is more likely to go bust- GM or the third party company...
  • That's a coin flip. I know several 3rd party companys went belly up, a few years ago. Personally, I think the safe play is still GM. It is so large, that it's death, if at all, should be slow (I think :confuse: ).
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    I've only purchased one extended warranty, on a hideous 1986 Ford Tempo. That was well worth the money. Still, on average, the payout on these things is well below 50%. In fact on dealer sold plans, the dealer makes a 100% markup, so (crossing my fingers), I'll pass.
  • Interesting that the payout is so low. My car is the only thing I get an extended warranty on. Given my inability to effect repairs myself, and the potential cost of repairs, I go for it. As with all things, value is in the eyes of the beholder.
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    I'm not interested in what the dealer is making on the warranty, only what I am paying on the warranty. While the GMPP is extremely expensive, there are two great on line GM discount dealers for GMPP. I chose one of them simply because I bought a first run GM car and plan on keeping it until the auto makers build something of comparable value to the Maxx. Right now there isn't anything on the distant horizon, so the Maxx will stay in my driveway for at least 10 years. If I was buying a Toyota or Honda grocery getter, I would not waste my time buying an extended warranty. Their track record of quality over time makes it an unwise purchase.
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    agree...took the risk and just invested the money instead of the warranty.....am running trouble free at 52k on my 04 Maxx LT..about to replace the brake pads..under normal wear and tear.....but all is well otherwise.....will drive this one till the wheels fall off her I beleive.....
  • One feature the extended service contract my credit union offers is that if you don't use it (not even once), then following the expiration of the terms (mileage/months), they will "buy it back" for the price you payed minus some $100 administrative fee. This alone still makes it tempting to me.

    Thanks to everyone for all the input.
  • mitzijmitzij Posts: 612
    Read the contract, they may pro-rate the refund based on time/miles at cancellation.

    Also-there is no such thing as a 'bumper to bumper extended warranty' The only 'bumper to bumper warranty' is the 3/36 warranty GM provides with the purchase of a new car. Service contracts are not warranties, and none of them (not even GMPP) covers the whole vehicle.

    Again, read the contract. Know and understand what is covered, what is not covered, how claims are handled, what parts are used (OEM, aftermarket, salvaged). Service contracts only pay for a loaner car if a certain number of 'billed labor hours' are required for repair. They do not include time spent waiting for diagnosis, parts, or other delays.
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