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Chevrolet Malibu Meet the Owners

Karen_CMKaren_CM Posts: 5,032
edited August 14 in Chevrolet
Introduce yourself and talk about why you chose the Malibu.

Community Manager If you have any questions or concerns about the Forums, send me an email, karen@edmunds.com, or click on my screen name to send a personal message.

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Comments

  • kpugh2kpugh2 Posts: 20
    Ken & Sheila purchased 11/29/03 as of 1/31/04 3,800 miles. Changed oil to AMSOIL 5W - 30. This oil is good for 25K or one year. This is Sheila car that will average about 25K per year.
    The car is a LS V 6 black sunroof.
    I am happy with the 3.5 have some get up and go.
    In the first 3.840 miles the car has averaged 25.8 mpg. My wife has never been a person that gets good mpg but we do track every gallon of fuel put in car.
  • Bought 7/12/2002
    Miles 12370
    MPG 24.5

    It's finally above freezing around here so it rained and cleaned some of the salt of the old girl. She looks alot better brown instead of white!
  • Debby & Bill picked up our new Malibu Maxx LT, navy blue metallic about two weeks ago. The terrible weather here in the NY metro area has kept our use of the Maxx down to a couple of hundred miles. This weather has only been fit for our Jeep. We've got every available option except the engine block heater. I'm especially fond of the XM radio and the OnStar system, and plan on a test run of the rear seat DVD next week when we take our granddaughter on a roadtrip to CT. Things I love - the seats are very comfortable; great pick-up and stopping; contrary to many who have voiced their dislike for the electric steering, I think that Chevy got it just about right - minimum effort at low speeds make parking easy, but the wheel really tightens at speed for decent road feel; the toy quotient is really up there, what with the XM, the OnStar, the DVD, the leather, the tilt and telescope wheel. The things I think that they missed on - the back window could really have used a washer/wiper (but with the aluminum rear hatch, this could be an engineering problem); I would really have liked a compass - the Caddy incorporates one in the OnStar mirror; There should have been an option for a tire pressure monitor. As far as navigation systems, to me they're just a $2K waste of money - If I'm on a road trip, I always preprint Mapquest mapping for the trip, and vacations usually mean a flight and rental car, so a nav system is one too many toys. All in all, so far, I'm in love with my Maxx. More to come, I'm sure.
  • Hello my name is Dave and I'm a certified Chevy owner. This is my 6th Chevy. I joined Town Hall because I bought my wife a Mazda MPV for Christmas. I bought a new 2002 Malibu LS with cd/cassette, gold package, spoiler, and cloth interior for $16,500 bidding it out to dealer on the internet two years ago. Nice car but the handling sucks. Won't hold a straight line and is terrible in cross winds. Fault: most likely the Firestone Firehawks. Cure: replace tires but I can't seem to wear them out. Suggestions? Oh and I just asked hostKaren to put up a Problems & Solutions discussion heading.
  • Hmm, you could mess up your alignment, that should burn those tires out pretty quickly.

    Does the parking brake lock the rear wheels only? You could try peeling out, that should eat up some rubber...

    But seriously, I haven't had any problems with handling on my 02. It doesn't drive like a 3 series, but I've never noticed any drifting. Although the occasional crosswind does seem to push her a little bit.
  • Hi,

    I'm Bob in Richmond, VA. We have a 2001 silver Malibu LS we purchased new in June 2001. We currently have about 48,000 miles on it. Its been a pretty reliable car. Had to have the rotors replace just before warranty expired (no charge). Have had problems with front brakes making a squeaking sound when car is in gear and you press on the brake pedal. Squeaks even when you are at a full stop and you change pressure on the brake pedal without causing the car to move. Service dept said the caliper pins needed lubrication. Still occurs every now and then but not as much as before they were lubed.
  • deminindeminin Posts: 214
    We bought our "03 LS last January. We retired to 80 acres of Ozark forestland, and wanted a nice, economical sedan with dealers nearby. We have about 14,000 miles on it now, and no troubles. Most of our miles are on the highway, with trips to Las Vegas, Denver and Tunica Miss. If this snow and ice continues for much longer, we may just take off for Tunica again real soon. So far, we are quite pleased with the Malibu, and it has been a better, more comfortable car than I expected. Now that we have most of the expenses behind us in this major lifestyle change, we are planning on getting a Lincoln LS, but for now, I don't see any reason to be in a big hurry.
  • Was all set to buy a Honda Accord coupe six when I looked at the Chevies out of loyalty to my trusty 91 Corsica which had never failed in 13 years of thrift. After having a "priests car" for so long I wanted to live a little and get a car I could love. Looking at the Impala LS due to the amazing discounts advertised, I mentioned that it really seemed to be a "fuddy duddy" car to me. The salesman enthusiasticaly showed me a fully loaded black Maxx that had just come in and I was so amazed I bought it. I didn't even want the DVD player (no kids in back seat), but had to have this beautiful new model. The sales manager killed the deal, saying I would have to pay list for this "hot model" if I wanted it. I checked the Malibu website and found a silver Maxx just the way I wanted it a little farther away from home. I love the car and am convinced it would be an incredible value even at list. It is built on a different platform than the new Malibu sedan models: stretched six inches and with the wheels closer to the ends. It is the same platform as GM's new Saab 9.3 model, which costs thousands more. I urge car enthusiasts of all stripes to go to a GOOD Chevy dealer, see the $50,000 Chevrolet SSR hardtop convertible truck to knock your socks off, but then test drive a MAXX. I guarantee you will be amazed by how much they have progressed with this model. I love it.
  • I have an 01 Malibu LS with all options, and after 40K miles I'm still happy I bought this car. Aside from the usual problems (rotors mostly), the car have been rock reliable. I like the ride, and the handling--once I got rid of the original tires--is very good. The longest trip I've taken so far was about 1500 miles, and the ride was very comfortable. The gas mileage was also outstanding (about 31 mpg on highway).

    I bought the car after test driving the accord and camry. I couldn't see paying the premium the dealers wanted, and even if I have to fix the reported manifold leak problem and replace an alternator, it will still be less money than buying the honda or toyota. As for resale, I keep a car for 10 years (due to the limited driving I now do), so I don't care about the resale value. For the money, the Malibu is a great buy!
  • Though I was raised with American cars (most of which were pretty crummy back in the 50 - 70s') I've been driving imports since 1975 (I owned a 1983 Camry for 9 years) , with the Geo Prism being my first USA/import crossover in 1997. I wanted to go all the way American for once.
    After a horrible experience with two, yes two Saturn ION's that fell apart (decent chassis, yugo class build quality and interiors), I was ready to go back to Toyota or Honda when I read about the Malibu Maxx, and decided to give it a try.

    Driving a Maxx several times, They proved tight and solid, rode well, quiet, handled decently, good fit and finish, have a very flexible layout - a very well designed car and a surprise from GM. Chevy dealers proved no match for Saturns' sales practices The price was misrepresented (Chevy decided on a last minute $300 hike), but at least the sales pressure was not the Persian bazaar Toyota and Honda practice so well. In the end I decided the Maxx was worth a little over the Invoice (dealers get other incentives as well).

    So here I am, with a Maxx LS (the LT's extras didn't seem all that important), and so far, save for poor gas mileage (20 so far in mixed driving) it is proving a good vehicle. Fingers crossed this one will be a keeper!
  • Welcome! I think you made the right decision.

    Now do me (us) a favor, and detail the purchase price (in all the gory details, please) in the "Prices Paid" forum. I'll see you there, and look forward to it.

    Thanks!
  • Karen_CMKaren_CM Posts: 5,032

    Community Manager If you have any questions or concerns about the Forums, send me an email, karen@edmunds.com, or click on my screen name to send a personal message.

  • skyhawkskyhawk Posts: 126
    I purchased a MAXX LT today and will take delivery on Tuesday. I bought off the dealer lot. I wanted a red LT and this one has the roof package which I didn't care about. The dealer had every color but the green. My son and I both drove it and my wife was comfortable in it. She has a newer Bonneville. I was happy with the ride and highway response. Most of all, my old sore back was comfortable on the extended drive. I am not a big fan of the bucket seat in the Bonnie. I was happy to find the ignition switch on the dash. That is a feature the Bonneville has that we both like.

    I am a long time GM owner having owned every model (mostly Oldsmobiles) except for a caddie. They all were not perfect, but I can say that the dealers and GM have always made the issues right for me.

    Ed C
  • Hope you enjoy your Maxx as much as the rest of us here have been enjoying ours. My navy blue metallic Maxx LT is just 6 weeks old with 800 miles, and perfect in every way! Happy driving.
  • jeromebjeromeb Posts: 31
    I have a daughter who was driving a 1986 Cavalier which had been gifted to her by her grandfather. I had spent several hundred dollars bringing it up to usuable condition, and my daughter drove it for a year. It developed a problem with stalling frequently, and I needed to get a reliable new car. The 2003 Malibus were heavily discounted, so I bought a 2003 Malibu for my daughter to drive because it was cheap, new, and warranted. Since then, every time I drive the 2003 Bu, I enjoy the ride, handling, and features of the car. Every time. No other time in my life of driving cheap small cars have I enjoyed a car the way I enjoy my daughter's 2003 Malibu.
    I still had the 1986 Cavalier, and another daughter. I drove the 1986 Cavalier to work today, and it continued to exhibit a tendency to stall. I saw an ad for discounted 2004 Malibus and Cavaliers at a dealer located nearby my workplace, so I went and looked at Cavaliers and Malibus. I was not attracted to the Cavaliers, and their passing will not be mourned. The 2004 Malibu LS, however, is a very good car FOR THE PRICE, and I was very strongly smitten with the car. So, now I have 2 Bu's, and I couldn't be happier. The 2003 has 8000 miles, and has been impeccably reliable. The 2004 has 120 miles, and I am giddy with delight.
  • jerrywimerjerrywimer Posts: 588
    Hi. We owned a 1997 Malibu (loaded base model- alloys, V6, etc.) that I bought off the showroom floor. It had about 80k miles on it when I traded it in last year on a 2003 Trailblazer, because the Bu' was out of warranty and starting to cost me almost as much as payments ran on a monthly basis (I had the bad luck to get a 97 with most of the known problems being exhibited). We did very much like the car, and if it hadn't been so trouble-prone, we'd likely still own it.

    Forward to a week ago today- I traded in the 1992 Toyota Corolla (140k miles, used replacement engine, loads of wear and tear, but running fairly well). The new car? A 2004 Malibu LT, with everything but OnStar, in the Navy Blue with neutral leather / ultralux interior.

    It was also a showroom vehicle, and like the 1997, it was used heavily as a demo vehicle and / or by the dealership personnel (over 600miles on the odo at purchase). On the other hand, this one feels extremely well put together, and the materials feels as up-to-date to me as anything in the Camry's and Accords I looked at at the dealerships across the street, while still being a bit easier on my wallet. I did have a few delivery-noted items I had the dealership address, but I hope these turn out to be the exception rather than the rule for this vehicle. First was a driver's side headlight that was getting moisture inside (evidenced immediately after they detailed the car for delivery by a fogged lense). Second was a bad power mirror adjustment switch that really didn't like to be pushed to the right. Both were replaced, and so far everything else seems to be in perfect order.

    One minor complaint on the new car's design though- the front seat headrests tilt far too far forward to be as comfortable as I think they could be otherwise. This would be okay, except they aren't tilt adjustable. I guess Chevrolet is having a problem getting the angles right, because the headrests on my 2003 TB have the opposite issue- they don't tilt quite enough for my satisfaction. Both would be moot points if the angle was adjustable (which I understand the 2002 Trailblazer seats actually were).
  • dispencer1dispencer1 Posts: 489
    I had a 2000 LeSabre with a bad strut bearing at 12,000 miles. The local Buick dealer refused to fix it after many trips and for some reason I didn't invoke the Lemon Law and force the dealer to take it back. I sold it and purchased a 2001 Malibu LS from Hertz Car Sales in May of 2002. The car had 28,000 miles on it. The only costs so far have been rotors (at my independent mechanic at half the cost of the dealer) and an ignition module ($375). The car now has 63,000 miles on it. It is quiet, rides well, gets good gas mileage and has a far better radio than my 2003 Deville. I'll probably keep it a year or so more and turn it in on a Toyota Solara Convertible. If I were still commuting to work, I would certainly consider a 2004 Malibu.
  • occkingoccking Posts: 346
    First time on this board. I am someone who has been rather spoiled by good SUV's during the past several years (with the exception of the Buick Rendezvous I last had) Had a Lexus RX300 for two years, put on around 65,000 miles, then a Acura MDX (another 70,000 in two years -- probably the best vehicle I have ever had) then the Buick for 9 months, almost 30,000 miles and sure glad to get rid of it (left my job & company kept the car)

    Never thought I would be satisfied with a car that could be purchased for $24,000. I finally decided that with new job cause I had to pay for all car expenses I wanted something more economical yet roomy. Intially looked at Chevy Impalas (cause I wanted something with good gas mileage and all of the SUV's I considered were in the 15 to 20 mpg range. Almost bought a Chrysler Pacifica for $29,500 (a loaded one listing for around $37,000 with Nav & the whole bit) but finally decided against it because the very poor visibility while parking/backing up & was afraid of the poor gas mileage. Even though rated at 17 to 22 or so I found out too many people only getting around 15 around town & only high teens on highway. Liked the Impala with the $3000 rebate but even though truck was large still had a small opening. Was walking out of the Chevy Dealer & they asked me to look at the Maxx. Didn't like it at first but changed my mind after test drive when I saw how peppy it was (anything was better than that dog of a Buick RVD with only 185 horses!). The flexibility of the seats that move forward 7 inches, fold down completely, etc. Plenty of room in there! Got a loaded one with everything except Nav system for $25600, less discout of $1600 for a net of $24,000. Instead of the $1000 rebate they were offering I opted for 0 financing for three years. Cannot believe I got everything I wanted in a car for only 24g. Even got the dealer to add Satellite radio (one you have XM radio spoiled for life) and 5 oil changes.

    Have had the car six weeks not and have put on over 5500 miles. I would say gas mileage has averaged approx 27 since the day I got the car. Obviously with all the driving I do mostly highway miles. The lowest I have gotten so far is around 23 with mostly city driving. Once even averaged a little over 30 mpg on a trip to Montreal (I live near Providence, RI) Only one complaint, and I am a sticker about such things. Have been rather spoiled by good "trip computers" on cars and the one in this vehicle for average gas mileage is not very accurate. Had me on one trip averaging 35.7 mpg when on that trip it did get a little over 30. on average is shows gas mileage around 2 to 3 mpg more than actual. And, it keeps repeatng the same numbers. 27.3 then jumps to 28.4, and 29.7 and 30.2 etc. Never anything in between. Next time I go back for service am going to ask them to replace it. Anyone out there had the same experience??

    I welcome e mail's to discuss this vehicle occking@aol.com
  • oldntired1950oldntired1950 Posts: 151
    Welcome to our happy Maxx family. I've had mine since January, have clocked just about 4K miles and the "new" still hasn't left it. As a matter of fact, each day I find another reason to like this car more and more. About that MPG function on the onboard computer, mine is working the same as yours regarding the numbers and the jumps between them, but I've found it to be fairly accurate when compared with manual calculations. I love the XM radio however I find that it frequently loses the signal, especially when I'm traveling in the mountains in lower upstate NY (in the Catskills). I'm assuming that the satellite is close to the horizon in lower NY and that the mountain ridges that I am passing block the signal. I also wish that OnStar had released their new digital hardware and updated software this year and not next! But all in all, as you have said.... I can't belive that I got a car with everything I wanted (almost) for about $24K.
  • occkingoccking Posts: 346
    Regarding the XM radio..... This is my second vehicle with one & it works virtually everywhere, except maybe the tunnel under Boston, parts of the Mass Turnpike or other highways with steep hills on one side of the other of the road. But, just for a few minutes. It is not supposed to work in Canada, or at least XM cannot advertise they have service in Canada but, believe me, I cann tell you for a fact it works 100% completely around lake Ontario up to Montreal & over through Sherbrooke into the middle of Maine and out by the coast. 100% coverage. Much better than my cell phone in parts of Maine.

    Still getting great gas mileage--I wonder when broken in (if not already) does the mileage even improve. The signal for low fuel goes of to early when there are still upwards of 3 gallons in the tank.
  • Karen_CMKaren_CM Posts: 5,032

    Community Manager If you have any questions or concerns about the Forums, send me an email, karen@edmunds.com, or click on my screen name to send a personal message.

  • javidoggjavidogg Posts: 366
    Hello to all my name is Javi,

    Me and wife just picked up a 2002 Chevy Malibu LS yesterday. We love the Malibu it has 24,000 miles with the remainder of the GM Warranty, Burgundy color, sunroof/moonroof (don't know really what the difference is?) fog lights, factory spoiler in the trunk (which gives it the sporty look, alloys (not the cheap hubcaps), daytime running lights, CD & Cassette system with the RDS feature, the only thing missing would of been the leather interior.

    We got for it for around 12k, I think we got a decent deal. I will be posting pictures of it real soon. I'm an Oldsmobile Aurora owner, listed here in the Oldsmobile Club also.

    Javi
    Http://www.cardomain.com/id/javidogg
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    Just wanted you all to know that in addition to my buying a Maxx this week, wpharry is also buying one since the rebates now meet his expectations. I also hear that regfootball may also be buying one in the near future. This car is catching on. I'm glad I got mine in the medium gray metallic before these guys grabbed it!!
  • jess33jess33 Posts: 13
    Taking delivery on my MAXX today. Very happy with the price, with the rebates, GM Card, and a coupon from GM (they aknowledged my 02 RDV was a lemon and gave me money off sticker to unload it), this was a no-brainer. The car is beautiful, it has all the bells and whistles, except for On-Star and XM. I purchased the GM PP warranty at cost(a family member is a GM employee) that was a must, 6 yrs, 100,000 bumper to bumper,$0 ded, given my experience with the first year RDV the warranty is worth the money. This car is so much nicer than the RDV and my payment comes in lower! I've found the posts in the Maxx forum very helpful, especially changing the headrests, I almost didn't buy the car because the front head rest really bugged me. I'll post detailed $$ info in the prices paid forum.
  • bonnie0372bonnie0372 Posts: 26
    Hi I am a former and current owner of a Malibu. I traded in a 1998 for a 2004. So far no major problems. I had a few with the 98 but nothing that couldnt be fixed by my mechanic husband!!! Just wanted to say I love the 2004's room inside...I also get so many compliments about the style and color of my Malibu (Sport Metallic Red). The only thing I notice about the car so far is that it seems to have a small rough idle at times...and a noise sometimes at accelerating in the steering wheel..does anyone else have that? My dealer says it is nothing to worry about! If anyone else is having problems. I chose the Malibu because I love the look and feel of the ride! It looks so sporty to me (2004). I don't regret purchasing my baby!!!!!
  • jmax4jmax4 Posts: 22
    My Malibu Maxx has had rough idle from time to time (6 to 8 times within the last three months). I took it to the dealership to check the computer, but they did not find any code indicating that something is wrong (3,650 miles).
  • bonnie0372bonnie0372 Posts: 26
    Hmmm interesting that you are having the same problem with your Malibu (MAXX)...the dealer put my car on the computer too and found nothing wrong. When the AC is on it runs fine!! Maybe this is just how the Malibus run!!! They did find something wrong with the Steering Column though...there was some type of vibration or something...that is being fixed once the part comes in! My car only has alittle over 300 miles on it...I hope this isnt only the beginning of my problems with this car...I will be devastated! Oh there was also a recall on the ABS System. So if you own a 2004 Malibu CALL YOUR DEALER!!!!!
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    Recall is for all 04 Malibus...the dealer will reprogram the ABS controller..appears the system can calculate a higher than actual vehicle speed fi there is an erratic rear wheel speed sensor signal...could cause the system to activate for 1.25 seconds to 2.5 seconds depending on the grade of the road resulting in a increase of stopping distance of up to 11.4 feet...all per the letter....also going to install a retainer in the front safety belt connector as a result of the recent government side impact tests......all of this is a GM drected recall and not a gov recall.....

    still a very happy Maxx LT owner!
  • bonnie0372bonnie0372 Posts: 26
    Thank you I knew about the recalls. My car is going back in the shop AGAIN this week...for the steering column replacement...so I will have them do the seat belt recall too...the ABS Recall has already been done. I wish I could say I am happy MALIBU owner!! So far nothing but problems (not the recalls) with my NEW MALIBU. I had a 1998 and didnt have all the problems I have. I hope the "bugs" are just getting worked out of my new car. Because I really like it!!!!
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    Bonnie,

    have you got the 04 sedan or the Maxx....what kinda of problems are you are you having with the car...share with us..the problems you are having....and remember the lemon laws do work..at least here in VA .....best of luck
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