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Chevrolet Malibu MPG-Real World Numbers

1246716

Comments

  • gdubya2gdubya2 Posts: 32
    Read your post with interest. Only other thing I can add is that I keep my tires inflated to 32 psi cold. This might make a slight difference too.
    Coincidently, I just changed out the OEM oil today with Mobil One. Car has 6210 miles on the odometer and the DIC was showing 22% oil life left. Didn't want to push it any further on the original oil though.
    I will be making this trip to and from northern Michigan often as I have a summer place "up north" in Manistee. Will see if I can duplicate the 40 MPG again.
  • malexbumalexbu Posts: 169
    ,-- You (gdubya2)
    |
    | Only other thing I can add is that I keep my tires inflated to 32
    | psi cold. This might make a slight difference too.

    I keep mine at 32 psi cold -- checked right before *that* trip, too
    :-)

    | Coincidently, I just changed out the OEM oil today with Mobil
    | One. Car has 6210 miles on the odometer and the DIC was showing 22%
    | oil life left.

    Which comes to the 7961 miles (6210 / .78) OCI, per your computer.

    I do this computation after every gas fill-up and (just checked it)
    normally have an estimate of full oil life to be somewhat lower than
    your number. It may fluctuate from 6500 to 8000+, but, I'd say, 7500
    is my idea of what the average result would be. Your reading, if
    consistent, probably indicates that you are driving gentler than I --
    and/or under better conditions.

    FYI, after my long trip (with the oil changed on the eve of it), the
    oil data was:

    * Run on this oil: 2785 m
    * Oil life left (as per DIC): 64%
    --> Estimated oil life (between the changes): 7736 miles.

    | I will be making this trip to and from northern Michigan often as I
    | have a summer place "up north" in Manistee. Will see if I can
    | duplicate the 40 MPG again.

    I will be rooting for you and expect the results eagerly. Good luck!
  • I got my 2001 malibu V6( basic type but almost full loaded) last year. I live in LA. These days I caculated the MPG and found that the combined is about 24 with 68% high way ( half of it has terrible traffic, Mph is only 20. another half mph is about 56-60) and 32% local.
    Almost AC on all the way.

    I must say based on the standard figures given by Chevy(20 local 29 high way), the result is reasonable. But I have seen so many of you have a terrific mpg which my result is only a mediocre. :blush:
  • malexbumalexbu Posts: 169
    Most of the results quoted are for the new Malibu, which were rated 24-35 MPG for the 4-cylinder engine and ??-32 MPG for the 6-cyl one. "Were" -- that is, before model year 2006 when Chevy adjusted them down (to max 32 MPG, if I remember correctly).

    This is just a very different car than the 2001 Malibu.
  • I think the torque peak of the new engine is higher RPM than the old one...what I could find suggests the LX9, older engine has 220 lb-ft at 3200 rpm, while new LZ4 has 220 lb-ft but at 4000 rpm.

    Is that true?
  • :) My 2005 Chevy Malibu, puchased Nov. 2004 is the new styled version with the 4 cylinder, and I have owned it since new and it now has 43,000 miles. Most delighted, I just finished a trip from Gulf Shores Alabama to Buffalo and back - I logged 2,600 miles. From Start to stop, including all the hills, traffic jams, city driving, I posted an over-all 33.7 MPG average. However I got 39.9 the last leg of my trip where I was doing 72MPG, and up and down hills for a point. I have seen my car get over 40 MPG before, but I am making this post because I know many people just can't beleive this car get's this mileage, but for me and the other owners, it's not fantasy, rather reality. Why this car isn't listed in the Top Fuel Economy Sedans is beyond me. I now have ZERO respect for Consumer Reports who hasn't given this car much praise, but I have owned Toyota's and Honda's and my 4 cylinder acts like a 6 cylinder, and divvies up some impressive numbers for it's owner.
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    I actually subscribed to the extensive buying guide on Consumer Reports, and they did praise the 4 cylinder Malibu (new version) for good handling, slightly better than the 6 cylinder (less weight in front). Admittedly they then opined that you might as well get the 6 since the gas mileage was so close. What they didn't point out is that the HIGHWAY mileage on the 4 cylinder is much better than the 6 - but if you mix in an average amount of city driving, the difference narrows.

    I have a Cobalt with the same 4 cylinder, but a stick shift, and get 35 mpg on my daily freeway commute and up to 37 mpg on road trips. I'd love to have a 4 cylinder Malibu for the extra space and the automatic!
  • beedublubeedublu Posts: 236
    My 04 Maxx LS with 31000 miles on the odometer still gets a combined 60/40% city highway figure of 26 MPG. A recent trip on the NY Thruway gave 32 MPG and my all time record (last summer) on I-90 and I-71 in Ohio -- temps in the 80s, AC on and cruise set at 65 mph -- was 34.5 MPG. Not bad at all, I'd say!
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    That's less than a mpg more than I'm averaging. No complaints what so ever on this car. I'm happier with the additional gas mileage the electric steering gives me than I am unhappy with the slight loss of road feel-- I got used to it within a couple of thousand miles.
  • malexbumalexbu Posts: 169
    ,-- clarencehollow --
    |
    | I just finished a trip from Gulf Shores Alabama to Buffalo and back
    | - I logged 2,600 miles. From Start to stop ... I posted an over-all
    | 33.7 MPG average. However I got 39.9 the last leg of my trip where I
    | was doing 72MPG, and up and down hills for a point.

    But can you tell that you were not going net-down-hill on this last
    leg?

    | I have seen my car get over 40 MPG before, but I am making this post
    | because I know many people just can't beleive this car get's this
    | mileage, but for me and the other owners, it's not fantasy, rather
    | reality.

    I love my two Malibus (both base 2005 sedans) -- love them more with
    every day I drive them (well, one at a time :-) -- and am glad to hear
    other people's happy stories about the car, but I haven't seen the
    evidence that this car can make anywhere close to 40 mpg on a "closed
    loop" trip.

    See my posts starting from #93 and notice #99 by gdubya2 -- I am still
    waiting to see anybody to report a long (more than 8 gallons of fuel
    spent) round trip with the result exceeding 37 mpg.

    My own best result (as stated in #93) was 36.32 mpg on a 2741 miles
    round trip.

    | Why this car isn't listed in the Top Fuel Economy Sedans is beyond
    | me. I now have ZERO respect for Consumer Reports who hasn't given
    | this car much praise,

    How could CR have adequate knowledge about essentially every car on
    the market? It takes at least weeks of operating to get an idea of a
    new car's behavior and peculiarities. Where would CR get time and
    money to do this research?.. Their reports are a joke, often carried
    over from a year to a year.

    E.g., in the 2005 and 2006 (if memory serves) April editions, CR
    claimed that Malibu Maxx was more reliable than the sedan.

    Where did they get it? I've been watching the Malibu forums on
    Edmunds.com from the early 2005 and am under a firm impression that
    the number of problems with Maxx reported in these forums is by orders
    of magnitude higher than the ones for the *new* sedan.

    Was CR comparing the reliability of Maxx to the reliability of the
    *old* (Classic) Malibu, maybe?

    Beats me how people can still take CR seriously, when better sources
    (e.g. Edmunds.com) are available.

    | but I have owned Toyota's and Honda's and my 4 cylinder acts like a
    | 6 cylinder, and divvies up some impressive numbers for it's owner

    Can't compare Bu 4 to Bu 6, but I drove on a 6-cylinder 3.8L engine
    for 6 years prior to Malibu and don't have a bit of regret that both
    my Bu's are Ecotec 2.2L-driven. Nice torque, among other things!

    ,-- micweb --
    |
    | I have a Cobalt with the same 4 cylinder, but a stick shift, and get
    | 35 mpg on my daily freeway commute and up to 37 mpg on road trips.

    These numbers sound just right -- higher than Malibu's numbers I can
    trust, as they should be.
  • mr_botsmr_bots Posts: 229
    40MPG is not impossible, I've hit 39.9 on more than one occasion, not by the computer but by dividing miles by gallons. These instances were also not going down hill or just 20 miles or so. One of the instances I can recall was going to uphill to Ruidoso and back (about 5 hour round trip)averaging about 70mph. This is also on the LS V6 model, it is very uncommon for me to get under 35MPG even when going 80mph.
  • malexbumalexbu Posts: 169
    That's very encouraging to hear -- I hope to hit this number myself
    then!..

    Did you notice that getting this high MPG is correlated to the weather
    -- temperature etc.?
  • mr_botsmr_bots Posts: 229
    The near 40mpg have all been on clear, warm days (85+ degrees). So that's with the A/C on most of the time.
  • My car (Alero) has the same 4cyl as the Malibu. It's a fine engine. I have the 5sp, but I suspect the Ecotec works even better with the autotranny. I've hit 37mpg highway, but never 40mpg. The Malibu's autobox must be geared a bit higher in top gear than my stick.....a midsize 5-seater that gets 40mpg? Malibu rocks!! Is this car underrated or what??
  • gdubya2gdubya2 Posts: 32
    Just an update on my experiences over the past 11 months with my 2006 LS sedan. I have kept very complete and accurate records of fuel consumption from day one. The car now has 9234 miles on the odometer - as of its last fill up - and I have spent $799.10 on gas so far. I've averaged 30.177 mpg during those miles with a high of 40.12 mpg and a low of 23.38 mpg. I live in a suburban community so most of my driving is not stop and go city stuff. I have done one oil change myself, using Mobil One, and have had the tires rotated. That's it - no recalls, no warranty work, nothing! I absolutly could not be happier with any other car. I think it is such a great automobile for the money and would not hesitate for a second in recommending it to anyone. I have seen the photos of the 2008 Malibu and intend to go to the North American Auto Show in Detroit in a couple of weeks to take a look at it first hand. I am a little concerned that the new styling has lowered the roof heigth and will make getting in and out of the car more difficult - something I really do not like about my wife's Buick LaCrosse. I will post my impression of the new Malibu here after the show.
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    That's awesome. I remember getting disgusted when I switched from a stick shift Ford Focus ZX3 (Zetec motor) to an automatic ZX3 (same motor version) and watching my mileage drop from an average of 30 mpg to 26 mpg with the same driving patterns - and as you know the Focus is much smaller than the Malibu. As a current owner of a fuel thrifty Impala, I have to take my hat off to GM's engineers for getting some of the best "real world" mileage out there.
  • malexbumalexbu Posts: 169
    Thank you for the update, gdubya2!

    I've been wondering about your results for that upcoming trip '"up
    north" in Manistee' (see post #100).

    Glad to hear from you and read your report with great interest.

    ,-- You=gdubya2 [ Jan 03, 2007 (2:08 am) ]
    |
    | Just an update on my experiences over the past 11 months with my
    | 2006 LS sedan... I've averaged 30.177 mpg during those miles with a
    | high of 40.12 mpg and a low of 23.38 mpg. I live in a suburban
    | community so most of my driving is not stop and go city stuff.

    Since you talk here about more than the fuel economy, I will also give
    a more or less comprehensive account of my experience with my two
    Malibus -- it is especially appropriate now, since the second one just
    turned one year of the ownership.

    [ Both cars are Malibu 2005, Base Sedan, with slightly different
    options ]

    I bought the first one in May 2005, right after checking it out by
    accident at a dealership -- just left my six-year old Bonneville there
    and drove off the lot in the new car. (Some surprise for the
    family later that day... :-)

    By the end of year 2005, we (the family) knew that that spontaneous
    purchase was a wise one -- Malibu had been really good to us, the
    amazing fuel economy included. And (every owner will know it) -- what
    a comfortable and practical car!...

    So, comes the end of 2005, I am in love with my Bu and so on December
    30th, when amazingly good deals can be made, I go to take a look at
    another dealer's lot and... the next thing I know, I call my wife --
    "Hey, I am at a dealership... I just bought another car... We'll talk
    later..." Mind you -- I am the only driver in the family at that
    stage...

    And so it happened that on January 3rd, 2006, there turned out to be
    two white Malibu's in my driveway, and every morning I needed to make
    a tough decision which one to drive... Thankfully, in the summer my
    daughter got the license and it became easier to make the choice. (In
    honesty, I bought the second car because I knew she'd need one within
    a year and after casually looking at some alternatives, including
    Cobalt, I didn't want anything but a Malibu for her. And I didn't
    want anything else for myself, either.)

    Here are the numbers for the cars (both are normally driven "more city
    than highway"):

    +---------------------+-------+-------+-------+
    |---------------------| Bu1 --| Bu2 --| Bu2* -|
    +---------------------+-------+-------+-------+
    | Odometer (miles) ---| 13664 | 13658 | 10917 |
    | Speed avg (mph) ----| 22 -- | 28 ---| 27 ---|
    | Speed high (mph) ---| 30 -- | 59 ---| 49 ---|
    | Economy low (mpg) --| 20.8 -| 21.0 -| 21.0 -|
    | Economy high (mpg) -| 29.2 -| 36.3 -| 34.0 -|
    +---------------------+-------+-------+-------+

    Why three columns for two cars? Because I wanted to exclude the
    largest distorting factor -- the June 2006 round-trip of 2741 miles,
    which was all highway (although in suboptimal conditions -- see my
    June postings). So the "Bu2*" columns is calculated with that trip
    excluded. The average and high speed in the table should give you the
    idea of my driving patterns.

    The table above is produced on the basis of the numbers I collect
    after each fill-up. Speed numbers are taken off the DIC, of course,
    with zeroing the reading after the read. Economy is calculated as
    "miles driven divided by gasoline purchased" -- the information shown
    by DIC is always way too optimistic (up to two MPG).

    | I have done one oil change myself, using Mobil One, and have had the
    | tires rotated. That's it - no recalls, no warranty work, nothing! I
    | absolutly could not be happier with any other car.

    I change oil to synthetic (Mobil One or Castrol Syntec) myself, at
    about 7500 miles passed. And I rotate the tires myself, too, also
    keeping my eye on the proper inflation.

    No recalls in my history, either.

    I had two very minor things taken care of under the warranty:

    * Bu1 had a rubber hit protector on the trunk arm fallen out -- the
    rubber was defective originally.

    * Bu2 had a slight scratching noise at low speeds (while cold) in a
    front wheel. It turned out to be the wheel bearing defect -- the
    dealer replaced it and all has been well since then.

    The total of time I spent at the dealership (not counting the
    purchases, obviously) is under one day -- i.e. for both cars together.

    | I think it is such a great automobile for the money and would not
    | hesitate for a second in recommending it to anyone.

    And so would I...

    Various people would want various things in their car, of course. We
    all want at least some minimum set of options. I know the value of
    ABS, for example, and want it in my car. The remote starter is a
    convenience which I appreciate more and more, but probably could live
    without (oh, wait... maybe not...)

    But apart from the minimum set of features, I want just two things in
    my cars:

    * Fuel economy.

    * Reliability and the minimum maintenance cost and effort. I hated
    spending hours at the dealer before I got my Bu1. I don't want to
    do that ever again.

    In this respect (as in all others, in fact), after more than 27,000
    miles combined in my cars, I couldn't be happier about them. (Thank
    you Chevy, again!)

    | I have seen the photos of the 2008 Malibu and intend to go to the
    | North American Auto Show in Detroit in a couple of weeks to take a
    | look at it first hand. I am a little concerned that the new styling
    | has lowered the roof heigth and will make getting in and out of the
    | car more difficult - something I really do not like about my wife's
    | Buick LaCrosse.

    I saw the photos as well, did like what I saw but have the same
    concerns. This car is *practical*. I love the space over my head, the
    ease of getting in and out, knowing that all the passengers are extra
    comfortable, and wouldn't change this practicality and comfort for the
    smoother roof lines. (I know what you mean talking about LaCrosse...
    And did you try the latest Pontiacs -- G6 and GrandPrix?... I don't
    think I'd enjoy riding in their back seats...)

    Some people find the current Malibu's design a disaster (see the
    "2008" discussion). That's fine with me -- I don't need other people
    to love my car. I am inside and I like what I see and what I feel.
    But I also noticed that my eye sort of has trained on Malibu's shapes
    over the time. When I see it -- the sedan or Maxx -- on the road, my
    heart jumps with joy -- it's such a neat car. When I walk around my
    cars, I find them beautiful. And hey, they are -- it appears that
    most of the photos of the current Malibus are taken from some
    ridiculous angles, ruining the image of the car -- the car "alive"
    makes quite a different impression on me than the pictures I usually
    see.

    Anyway, best wishes to Chevy and all us Malibu owners -- and thank you
    for listening!
  • gdubya2gdubya2 Posts: 32
    Thanks for the interest in my post. Unfortunately, my summer plans were altered when my father became very ill shortly after my July post(#100). He was placed under hospice care in early August and passed away October 30. I was his home care provider and as a result have made only one trip to Manistee since my earlier post. That was a quick trip to winterize the house and I did not concern myself with fuel mileage on that occasion. I do plan to track my fuel usage when I start to make frequent trips again next spring. I will post my results here.
  • kpugh2kpugh2 Posts: 20
    My wife drives a 2004 Malbiu with V6. Purchased new in NOv 03.
    Today the car has 57,744 total miles and pumped 2,108.26 gallons od gas. Average 26.9 mpg with average fuel cost of $2.03 per gallon.
    Average speed is in low 40's
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    The old-timey ohv engine is being shamed into retirement with the new generation platform. Looking at that kind of mpg, combined with low low maintenance costs, I at least will miss it (of course I'm planning on keeping my Maxx for a very long time).
  • I did not see any posts by a fellow owner of the 2006 SS model. I wanted to know why so few people by the 3.9L V6. It is simply a better engine, more power, fine fuel economy at highway speeds, and it is smoother and quieter than any other available engine. Acceleration at any speed seems effortless with 90% of the 240 lb x ft of torque available from 2200 to 6000 rpm. It will probably have a longer life too due to the fact that it does not have to work too hard. The SS model also offers a ton of standard equipment at a far more affordable price than a Camry or an Accord. When I was looking at Malibu's I felt that the SS while not the cheapest, was by far the best deal. I got mine with a sun roof from just over 21k (haggled down).
  • The pushrod engine is probably not going to go extinct. It is cheaper to build and allows for more displacement in the same amount of space. This allows for longer strokes which creates most of all more torque.
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,751
    One (of two) problems with the Maxx SS is not the engine, which is definitely a nicer motor than what's in the rest of the Malibu line. It's the 4 speed transmission, which Chevy decided to regear with a very steep final drive ratio for the Maxx SS. Result is the motor's all wound up during freeway driving and the car uses way more fuel than it should.
    The other problem is the big wheel diameter, which hurts maneuverability as well as ride quality.

    The Malibu SS, apparently, is geared the same as the regular Maxx line. That combination seems to work much better.
  • shadow5599shadow5599 Posts: 101
    It's kinda funny, how many of us like the pushrod engine and it's simplicity, sound, power. Over in the Chevrolet Malibu vs. Toyota Camry vs. Honda Accord discussion, the Japanese fans have to continually talk about them as antiquated, noisy, old technology, etc. The fuel economy on a Malibu beats an Accord or Camry, not bad for "antiquated"

    They work well, they're simple, they get fantastic gas mileage, cheap to fix, very reliable, quiet. I guess all they can say bad about them is that they are an old design, which is true but not necessarily bad. Come on over, put in your two cents.
  • gonogogonogo Posts: 874
    The new Corvette has pushrods and it is a world beater.
  • ssanssan Posts: 5
    Maybe someone can help me. I own a 2007 Malibu Maxx LT V6, it has 4,000 miles on it and has had one oil change. I understand the car may still be breaking in but up to this point the best I have seen the car get is 19.9 mpg. The mileage is usually between 17-19mpg, this is a pretty even mix of around town and high way with maybe slightly more around town. It seems most people I talk to or read about get much better mileage than I do. On a recent 160 mile trip at 70-75 the whole way I averaged about 21.3. I have used the computer on the car and calculated trip mileage/gallons used, the results are usually identical. Is there something I can do? I have contacted the dealer and they seem puzzled/unwilling to help.
  • gonogogonogo Posts: 874
    On the long trip, lightly loaded you should get around 30 MPG with a Maxx. Not sure what the problem is, but the dealer should know what mileage the 07 Maxx should get.
    Are you saying they won't even look at it. Call GM customer service, the # is in your owners manual. I bet they will get someone to check it out.
  • shnoolshnool Posts: 1
    I just had to post this, and stir the pot... I test drove a corolla, before I bought my 2005 Malibu. The 2003 Corolla, at the same price as the 2005 Chevy (go figure), was cramped and small... I also know people aren't getting the EPA MPG of 38 out of them (more like 33-35 MPG)...

    Anyway, Happily, I am getting as-advertised MPG outta my Malibu. I get 33.5 to 34.6 MPG average for my commute. My average speed of 50 MPH (yep nearly all highway). Here is the interesting part... I live about 1100 feet higher than I work... So I get like 38-40 MPG going to work, and significantly less coming back.

    I guess I could consistently see 35-36 MPG outta this car if I had a flat road commute... But I am not complaining, this car is bigger, more comfortable, and has more standard options than the Toyota Corolla. Overall I am very happy.

    Oh, and for those who are also talking about it... I do have an occasional clunk in my steering, mostly in-parking lot steering. Hope mine isn't going.
  • gonogogonogo Posts: 874
    Go to your dealer, there is TSB 06-02-32-007 B dated 05-21-07 to lube the intermediate shaft and check for other rattles. 2004-2007 Malibu and Maxx
  • pulgopulgo Posts: 400
    Let's hear how many repairs are needed after 200k miles (which in all probability the Corolla would not need).

    Other than reliability I completely agree with the fact that the Malibu is much more comfortable to drive every day and due to the size and weight, safer too!
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