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Chevrolet Malibu MPG-Real World Numbers



  • phil53phil53 Posts: 54
    Beauty, as they say, is in the eye of the beholder. To me, the last generation Malibu was rather plain, to put it gently. The local Chevy dealer sponsors our Corvette club, plus I have 3 Chevies (Corvette, Malibu, Avalanche) that I take to the dealer for service. So I had plenty of opportunities to view the old one.
    As for features, I'll admit that I never took a close look at the feature set on the old Malibu. But I do like the mp3 port. That is not a deal killer, however. What I do require are heated leather seats with an adjustable lumbar support. The leather is just a preference. And, I'll admit I'm spoiled, but those heated seats are awfully nice on a cold midwestern morning. (BTW - I'll stipulate that the '07 Malibu was available with those - although I don't think it offered a power passenger seat.) The adjustable lumbar, though, is a necessity, as I have a bad lower back. If I do not have proper support, even the 2.5 hours from here to DesMoines can be painful.
    The other feature I don't recall seeing on the old model is dual zone climate control. Again, I've become spoiled, but it does allow my wife to control the temperature on her side - especially on trips where the sun comes beaming in on one side and not the other - so that we are both comfortable.
    The old model also came with only a 4 speed automatic. I know I've ragged on the 6AT in the current model, but most cars in its class have had a 5AT for a while. And, given their history, there is no excuse for GM failing to produce a transmission that is equal to or better than their competitors.
    All that said, I'm not trying to denigrate your car. You obviously like it very much and it evidently fits your wants and needs. And it probably fits my needs - just not my wants.
  • phil53phil53 Posts: 54
    I'm not sure about Tires Plus, but I know Tire Rack has the features you're referring to. I find it helpful in researching tires.
  • malexbumalexbu Posts: 169
    I meant both pre- and post-2005 Impalas. Like the looks of both, find the seats very uncomfortable, have read pretty scare owners' complaints here at

    As for the plastic, I am all for improving it, so that it doesn't break, at least. But honestly, haven't had any such problems with my cars. The inside feels much better than the upscale Bonnevile 1999 and not worse than the 2002 VW Jetta, both of which I had. My wife is *very* noise-sensitive; I asked her today, "Are our cars noisy?". "No", she said. That's the definitive judgment for me :-) Oh, and we have made several 2000-mile trips in one of the cars. Heavily loaded, often in 100F heat -- comfortably and with the up to 38.2 MPG over the trip (calculated by the fuel used). Beat this :-)
  • malexbumalexbu Posts: 169
    2004-2008 Malibus:

    Leather -- available. Heated -- I think so, but I am too lazy to check. Lumbar support? Even my Base Sedans have it -- and it is *perfect*. The seats (cloth) are terrific (I am speaking with the experience of several 2200-miles trips.)

    I live in cold MA -- the remote start takes care of cold mornings, frozen windows etc.

    No dual zone climate control.

    I love the transmission in my sedans (still getting used to Maxx's ways, though -- a different dynamics.)

    Thank you for the informative exchange! I am looking at the new Malibu with a more interested eye for the second day now -- hope you'll be able to recommend this car in about two years -- my wants may change, too :-)
  • john178john178 Posts: 48

    If you are considering the 2010 Malibu, let me offer several thoughts. I downsized from a Cadillac DTS to a 2010 2LT Malibu. I actually had no problems with my Caddy that had 60,000 miles on it when traded in, but wanted something with better gas mileage ( even though my Caddy got 26.6 MPG on the highway which I thought was great). I'm not going to try to compare the Malibu with my Caddy but I've got to say that I have nearly every option in the Malibu that I did in the Caddy., and cost me $20,000 less! Plus I have bluetooth and a sunroof in the new Malibu, options I didn't have in the DTS. Obviously the ride is not as smooth but it still is a wonderful riding car ( Malibu). I now wish I would have purchased an LTZ instead of 2 LT to get the leather seats and automatic climate control, which I get tired of adjusting the climate control knob- something I haven't been used to doing for some time! The 4 Cyl. 6 speed automatic gives me all the power I need, so I would stay with the 4 Cyl- and I as I said in a previous message getting 32-37 MPG on the highway. You won't go wrong with purchasing a new Malibu.
  • malexbumalexbu Posts: 169
    Thank you -- this is very helpful!
  • phil53phil53 Posts: 54
    I did not realize that even the base Malibu had an adjustable lumbar support. Live and learn. I will say that the manual adjustment on the Malibu does not offer the range of adjustment offered by the power adjustment on my other 2 vehicles. Quite frankly, I could use a little more support than is offered by the Malibu. Still, some is better than none. Thanks.
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Posts: 1,380
    I have to agree on the LTZ comment, but does that have seat memory? I miss hitting that button as I pull into a parking spot or prepare to drive off and I used the second button for nighttime settings of mirrors. Without that feature it is a damned nuisance trying to hit the exact spot I had previously chosen.
    I don't see any difference between 09 and 10 that would give you the extraordinary MPG compared to others with the same setup.
    Which tires came on yours?
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Posts: 1,380
    Posting back about last fill. Slightly more than 240 miles I-95. Total mileage is 355.7. Average speed is 58MPH and DIC shows 28.8MPG. Actual fuel is 12.185 gallons and that works out to 29.2MPG. I just remembered it was quite cool that day and most of the way home I had turned AC compressor off but I also had seat heat on most of the time.
    But now also wonder how much the lighting draws if it is on unncessarily since I run it in auto all the time.
  • john178john178 Posts: 48
    17 " Firestone tires are on my 2010 Malibu 2LT. I calculated this 32-37 MPG based on both what the trip odometer was reading, along with the math of last fillup, miles driven etc. This was calculated with the cruise control on for an extended time (1-2 hours) set at 72 MPH. As far as the memory seat positions, my 2 LT does not have this; not sure about the LTZ. I also wish the trip odometer had the number of gallons used. But- other than this- for a car in this price range, the standard features & options make this a well kept secret by Chevy.
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Posts: 1,380
    I admit that for a Malibu it does have a few toys, but that is old thinking, especially by GM. At least in the Ford lineup, in the previous body style of Town Car, you could get nearly every feature of the Town Car as an add to a Marquis. One you definitely could not get, AFAIK, was the extra insulation for quiet ride.
    To get seat memory it seems I'd have to move to a Buick or Cadillac.

    I now see why you got over 30MPG (72MPH). The last few times I've hit the road, interstate, most places you would get run over doing less than 80MPH. There is one stretch of I-95 midway between Savannah and JAX that they enforce speed more carefully. Even with four lanes each way it often can not handle capacity and is accident prone so most set cruise at 79MPH.
  • After 17 months and 25,000 miles, I still love the Malibu more than any previous care I've owned (BMW 5 series, VW Passat, Mazda 3). It is not pretentious or expensive. It is very comfortable, roomy, even fun!

    With the 4 cyl, 6-speed, I have gotten 30 MPG every tankful since the day I drove it off the lot. Every time. If you can believe the trip computer, it says that my around-town driving yields around 24 MPG, and my interstate driving yields from 33 MPG (doing 70 mph) to 43 MPG doing 55.

    Great car. My first American car and I don't regret it at all.
  • phil53phil53 Posts: 54
    I find that interesting. I'd love to know your secret. Right now, the DIC on my car is reading 20.9 and that includes a fair amount of interstate (freeway) driving.
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    are you resetting you DIC after each fill up?
  • I am about to purchase a 2010 1LT but not 100% sure about the sunroof. First, does it open into the car or does it go up outside of the car? Second, is it worth having? Any problems with it. My previous Jetta had a sunroof and I liked it but often left it closed because of wind noise but I like the extra light. Don't like sunroof that tilt and open up instead of in.
  • phil53phil53 Posts: 54
    It tilts up and slides back. It is not exactly quiet, but it's a lot less noisy than the one in our 2000 Beetle. I almost never used the one in the Beetle because of the noise. On nice days, I occasionally use the one in the Malibu. I do like the extra light and visibility it affords.
  • I just went outside to check this out myself- the sunroof goes outside, not inside the car. The sunroof was an $850 optio, and I have not experienced any wind noise. I actually purchased two new Malibus (family cars) because I liked the 1LT (without sunroof) so well I originally purchased (2010); the second was a 2LT with the sunroof (2010). For the money I paid for this car, I couldn't be happier. However, if I had to do it all over- I would forego the sunroof for the LTZ package- to get the automatic climate control and leather seats. There is not a lot of price difference between the 2LT and LTZ. My next car will be either another Malibu or the new Buick LaCrosse. Believe it or not there are many similarities between the two- even though a loaded LaCrosse is about $10,000 more than a loaded LTZ.
  • Don't know about the seat memory for the LTZ, but on my 2LT, I have 17" Firestone tires.
  • ghuletghulet Posts: 2,628
    ....after the experience with (an admittedly older) a Saturn I had, I wouldn't buy another GM sunroof with the glass going outside. All hinges and the other metal ended up rusting, and after a while it leaked. That was really the Achilles' heel of that car. Don't know if GM has changed to using better seals or non-corrosive metals at this point, though.
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