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Chevrolet Malibu vs. Toyota Camry vs. Honda Accord

Karen_CMKaren_CM Posts: 5,011
Compare these two here.

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

  • shadow5599shadow5599 Posts: 101
    I'd just like to say that my comparison is based on the new Malibu design, the redesigned model which began in 04 and NOT the previous design or the "04/05 classic".

    I was an owner of a 03 Malibu as well. I'd still have it and it was good but I lost it in an accident this year. I didnt set out to purposely buy another Malibu but based on research, test drives of many cars, and price, I went for a 05 Malibu. I instantly discovered that the redesigned Malibu was NOT comparable to the previous design. The new design is so much better and competes very nicely with the Camry, Accord or any other car in it's class.

    I tried but could not find an import that could provide all the same benefits and features for the same price.
    Some of the top reasons why I bought this car are:

    - Safety. In the top 6 for safety ratings and the only North American mid size car in the top ten.
    http://www.iihs.org/ratings/default.aspx

    - Price. An exceptionally clean 1 year old car with 16,000 Kms (10,000 miles) for $16,000 (CAD).

    - Options. I sought out a Malibu with the full airbag package knowing that contibuted highly to it's excellent safety rating.

    - Driveability. The car feels solid, is quiet, has lots of power (V6), looks good, roomy, handles excellent.

    - Fuel efficiency. GM has always been good at this and the Malibu with the 3.5 v6 is highly rated for economy. My experience has been very positive getting almost 30mpg with city driving. *That mpg is based on Canadian gallons.

    - Standard anti theft and intrusion system. The Malibu with this system is on the approved list with the IBC. http://www.ibc.ca/vehinfo_pub.asp

    - Dealer. I dealt with this particular dealer with my previous car and it was the best experience I've ever had with any dealership. Their customer service and expertise is second to none.

    - Durability. GM's 4 speed auto has proven to be rugged and durable, as many of their transmissions in the past have been such as the turbo350, etc. The pushrod engine may be old school but it has a track record of being durable, rugged, powerful, and efficient. The "high tech" engines in some other cars may appear to be great but many dont have the proven track record and are more complicated making possible future repairs very costly.

    - Horsepower & torque. I became wary of HP ratings once I found out some companies measure HP at the flywheel and some at the wheels. HP measured at the flywheel (most asian companies) would be higher than a measurement at the wheels thus making the stated specification larger and more appealing for their ad campaign. GM measures HP at the wheels. The 3.5 v6 also has alot of torque at low rpms which is where most people will need it and enjoy it most.
    A car shopper should look closely at HP/torque ratings vs. rpms, and they need to know how that HP number was achieved.

    An interesting site:
    http://www.detnews.com/2005/autosinsider/0508/17/A01-283759.htm
  • maxxindmaxxind Posts: 22
    -A Maxx model that has the cargo functionality of a wagon, a cool "Euro" look, and a gigantic back seat (with seats that recline and slide forward and backward) that's more comfortable for full-size adults than any other vehicle I've ever owned, including SUVs.

    -A very nicely engineered Epsilon chassis that offers a very good balance of handling and ride.

    -Until you get to the '07 Camry, which looks fairly nice, the older generation Camry is a car I just would not have bought because I do not care for its looks. Obviously that's just personal opinion.

    -Excellent real-world economy that's better than the EPA estimates (at least in my case)

    -100 percent reliability, with no return trips to dealer (for anything) in 32,000 miles (basic service done myself)

    -Fun to drive and great power

    -Less expensive by at least $5,000 than Camry

    I am not saying the Malibu is "better than" the Camry. The Camry is a good car, too. I do think, though, that the Malibu is a far better value, and I like the handling and driving feel of the Malibu better than the Camry.

    Some people say the Camry's engine is more refined, but I prefer the throaty sound of my V6 to the Camry's engine's almost appliance like quietness.
  • shadow5599shadow5599 Posts: 101
    The Malibu is far vetter value, just as GM has always been for me.

    There's something else I've come to enjoy about the Malibu, and it wasnt a reason why I bought it. I live in a city of about 200,000 population and I've seen only one other Malibu of the same year/color as mine. Now, if I had a silver or tan Camry or Accord, how would I ever find MY car in a large parking lot??
    :P
  • njeraldnjerald Posts: 688
    and the Maxx is butt ugly also, IMO.
  • venus537venus537 Posts: 1,443
    if you want to see another car just like yours, go to a car rental place.
  • Karen_CMKaren_CM Posts: 5,011
    The Accord has been added as requested.

    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.

  • shadow5599shadow5599 Posts: 101
    Its not that I want to see another car like mine, the point was that I dont see alot around, unlike the tan & silver cars I referred to.

    It's been brought up that stats say people who buy imports are better educated and wealthier.

    As far as GM vs imports I've never really considered people who buy particular brands as being smarter, or people who earn more being more intelligent. I know rich people who aren't educated and I know educated people who arent rich. It all depends on what a person wants out of life. I happen to be educated but havent made work the most important thing in my life so I'm not getting financially rich but I am rich in other areas. I certainly dont follow that social perception of what you drive makes you better or more intelligent. Vehicles are an expensive luxury which cost most people alot of money. I've always been a smart buyer who considered cost of ownership above keeping up with the Jones'. I could care less what people think of me based on the car I drive.

    I've stated before that most of my past vehicle purchase decisions have been made with my immediate needs and cost of ownership in mind. I've also made financially intelligent choices and I've proven time and time again that you dont have to lose vast amounts of money to drive a dependable, good looking and comfy vehicle. And dare I say that all my vehicles have been North American.

    A "rich" friend recently poked a bit of fun at me for buying another "North American piece of crap". Why dont you get smart and buy "[non-permissible content removed]" he said. They depreciate so much less. Based on percentages that's true.

    He proceeded to tell me how smart he is for buying a Japanese suv, purchased new for about $45k. He figures it's great that after 4 years it's still worth about $30k, a reasonably low depreciation rate and if he was to sell at that point, all it'd cost him to drive that suv is about $15k.

    Pretty good I say but now lets take my last car, a one year old GM which was purchased for $12k. It had all the features, was a great car to drive, safe, economical and looked sharp. If I sold it after about 4 years, I'd get about $7k. Thats a loss of $5k, a bit less than his loss of $15k and that's not including other possible differences such as financing or fuel costs. The only response after a fairly long pause was, "sure but I got to drive a better vehicle." So his main reason for losing vast amounts of money is image. He'd be perceived as poor and stupid for driving a GM.
    I tend to disagree on who the stupid one is.

    It turned out by an unfortunate turn of events that my previous vehicle only made it to the 2 year point. My insurance settlement at the time of it's demise was $500 less than I paid for it 2 years earlier. A cost of $500 to drive a nice car for 2 years. I guess I'm not too bright for using my money to buy a better house to live in, education for my kids and fun leisurely times with my family rather than buying expensive products that ineveitably lose piles of money. I can also take pride in supporting my own continent's auto industry for the past 30 years.

    Different people place different things on their priority list in life and I certainly do appreciate an expensive vehicle but I dont think anyone deserves to be called less intelligent because they choose to drive GM and in the end, throw away a lot less money to drive a nice car.
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    1. As stated above the Maxx's engine may be a bit less smooth than the others but it should be durable, gets great mileage (about 24 mpg mixed, 30+ on the road)and has a great torque curve which only needs a 4 speed transmission. I had to spend $800 on a 60K inspection--with timing belt-- on my last car, an Elantra. This should be a lot less expensive.

    2. For whatever reason, I find GM dealers a lot less arrogant than Toyota or Honda dealers.

    3.-I find the Maxx better looking than the Malibu sedan but both are on the ugly side of the midsize group. You don't have to look at it when you're inside, however. I wish Hyundai, Ford, Toyota or Honda made a big hatch. With the exception of Mazda and the Maxx that's it. The flexibility of the hatch is great too bad Americans hate 'em.

    4. Any depreciation is offset by the bigger discounts on new cars. I paid $16K for my Maxx, $6 thou off list.

    5. I think the Maxx's interior is a bit Equinoxish, not as classy as the Camry and no where as good as an Accord. Still, it's very comfortable, flexible and straight forward. It's great for long trips.

    All in all I'm happier with the Maxx than any car I've owned (and I've owned 30+ of 'em), sure the others are better than ever as well. I'm sorry GM never figured out how to market them. Had a woman with a 'Bu sedan ask me about it. Would have bought one but the dealers never told her about it.

    It is good to see the Japanese (especially the Civic) taking a few more risks with design. Things were getting more and more boring during the nineties. I think the Koreans are going down the same road. The newest versions of Hyundai and Kia are much better than the previous generations but somehow seem less creative and some are decontented. Maybe it's the strengthening Won.
  • venus537venus537 Posts: 1,443
    The only response after a fairly long pause was, "sure but I got to drive a better vehicle." So his main reason for losing vast amounts of money is image. He'd be perceived as poor and stupid for driving a GM.
    I tend to disagree on who the stupid one is.


    i suggested that people who buy foreign vehicles tend to be more educated and wealthier in rebuttal to those posters who implied foreign car buyers are being ignorant for paying more for their cars. you know, that very old adage for GM loyalists: "it's the consumer's fault" for not knowing the goodness of their vehicles.

    your "rich" friend stated that he was driving a better vehicle and you dismissed that as image. excuse me, your car may fit your needs but his needs are obviously different than yours. it sounds like he was in a market for a new SUV and not a 1 year old used sedan. the question should be: is he better off driving a comparable new GM SUV than the vehicle he drives now? not how his vehicle compares to yours.

    yes, people who choose to drive GM cars shouldn't be considered less intelligent. by the same token, those who choose to buy hondas and toyotas shouldn't be considered poorly informed either.

    you're not wrong in thinking you drive a nice car but i'm not wrong either in thinking there are nicer vehicles that are worth the extra money.
  • My '87 Accord Hatchback (purchased new) was getting a little "long in the tooth". I prefer hatchbacks because of their versatility, and, after owning an Accord for so many years, figured I would always own a Honda. A review of the Honda website found zero Accord hatchbacks. The only midsized Honda hatchbacks were from Acura--aka most stolen vehicles in the US, and I did not want to pay the insurance premium because of it. Found the Maxx--WOW! What a deal! Less expensive to purchase and insure than a Honda. Yes, depreciation is higher. But what so many have failed to consider, is that it MUCH LESS EXPENSIVE TO PURCHASE--the up front $$ are a whole lot less.
    A comparison: '87 Accord purchased new $12,500 (sticker price; dealer attitude was "write the check or some one else will". 110hp 4-banger, 5 spd manual, 13" tires/steel rims. '04 Maxx: 200hp V-6, auto tranny, 4-wheel anti-lock brakes, air bags, 4 door, rear skylights, 16" tires on aluminum wheels, much more interior space and cargo capacity, etc, and, GET THIS: 32mpg (hiway) vs 34 mpg (hiway) of my old 4 banger manual transmission Accord.

    Yes, my old Accord did much better in city driving than my Maxx-about 28mpg vs 22 in the Maxx. I find my Maxx equal in fit/finish to my old (and even the current Accords I test drove), yet has much more versatility, and a lot lower price.

    After rebates and incentives, my Maxx was only $14,200 ($1,700 greater than when I purchased my '87 Accord). Insurance is much less on the Maxx compared to an Accord. And, get this--I'm on my second Maxx. My first Maxx was purchased Aug04. I traded it in at 15,001 miles for another '04 Maxx in Jan-05 AT NO COST. After the purchase of my first Maxx, GM sent me a coupon for $2,000 off any new GM product (except Corvette). I traded my first '04 Maxx and the coupon for the second (and my current) Maxx for no out-of-pocket $$.

    MadMaxx
  • I can't help but ponder...

    Why would GM be giving these away? Honda Fits are flying off the lots at MSRPs over $15k, and GM is giving rebate after rebate and can't seem to move them.

    Sounds like you got two steals in a row!
  • Here's the deal; spend the extra money on the Camry. I just
    settled my suit with GM over the problems with my Maxx, and used the money toward down payment on a 2004 Camry Solara with 38,000 miles on it.

    The Maxx, and many other GM vehicles, seems like a good deal when you buy it. But, in two years' time my $23,000 car suffered numerous major deficiencies and depreciated to the point where I was being offered $10,000 trade on it. That won't happen with a Camry. And trust me, the Camry drives and handles soooo much better; much better quality materials, and much better build quality.

    Pass up the GM dealerships (and Ford and Chrysler), and hump
    on down to a Toyota or Honda dealer. If you fall for GM's rebates and incentives, you will regret it on the day you go to trade your car in on a newer model. A car is an investment; invest wisely.
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    I disagree.....sorry to hear you had a bad experience with you Maxx..but ask the Toyota owners that have been battling over the engine oil sludge problems with their engines...or the 1 million plus recalls for toyota.....my point is all cars have their issues....

    I own an 04 Maxx LT.....87K on it...and its going strong with no problems.......and I will probably run it another 2 years....to 140K or so.......

    If you buy a car for a $$ investment......personally that is a poor investment.....I drive a car well past 100K regardless of the model..so for me trade in value is minimal at that point...

    You mentioned camry......go look over at the toyota forum here..and note the many many complains about the camry transmissions...particularly the 06/07s.......again my point is.....the HONDA/TOYs of the world arent perfect either.....
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    I hate to hear about your experiences. Sounds like you are more than qualified to be biased against GM. I drive only Hondas, but have no problem saying that they aren't without faults sometimes too; Toyota as well (if not more prone to problems since their production numbers are going up). It sounds like you had a particularly bad experience with Chevrolet, but I doubt much more than a few percent of owners have had the particularly bad luck you have had.

    I will say, that the driving experience and materials in my Accord even surpass that of the new 2007 Camry, which has become a little cheapened inside (one review cites the new Kia Optima as having better interior materials than Toyota used in its Camry redesign.

    In the real world, it seems that GM is approximately average, with instances in particular vehicles of above and well below average (TrailBlazer is POOR). Toyota and Honda have had their foibles as well (transmission troubles in V6 models) but I know at least Honda has seemed to get them figured out and fixed in a hurry, and offered major extended warranties on the vehicle that have been problematic. Being proactive about fixing a problem goes a long way in my book.
  • bateejeffbateejeff Posts: 11
    I don't have any experience with Camry, but may I share with you my experience with Malibu?

    First, I’d like to mention that by no means I am trying to condemning GM or the entire domestic automobile industry. I want both GM and Ford to succeed and outperform foreign auto makers. In fact, my company makes parts for Ford and GM. If GM or Ford collapses, my job could be in jeopardy, which is one of the reasons why I always buy Ford or GM.

    My story starts from March 2001 when I purchased a new 2001 Chevy Malibu from Doug Chevy located on South Arlington Road of Akron, Ohio. After driving it for only 5 years, I got rid of it in 2006 without any regret. If I were asked to rate the 2001 Malibu, I'd rate it as a classic piece of junk built by GM.

    The car had many problems. For example, ever since I bought the Malibu, the warning lights (such as the Check Engine light) came on every two or three months due to bad sensors, and I had to waste money and time to get them fixed. After only 4 years, in December 2004, a mechanic at Doug Chevy diagnosed that some kind of engine gasket was leaking, and so “the engine oil is mixing with the engine coolant” (Here I’m simply quoting his words since I know very little about cars). This single repair alone cost me almost $1000 even after the dealership suggested me to use a 10% discount coupon that was cut from the local phone book, and I was surprised that the repair was not covered by the power train warranty. During the 5-year period I owned the vehicle, I got bogged down numerous times due to mechanical problems such as bad starter etc.. By the time when I dumped the car, the repair bills plus tow truck expenses had totaled almost $4000.

    On top of many other problems, the car developed a window fogging/frosting problem, i.e., frog or frost, depending on temperature, built up on inside windows in wintertime, and I couldn't see through the side windows while driving, which was a very dangerous situation. During wintertime, each morning when I drove through the gate of my company's campus, the security guard could not see my face through the side window due to the frost, and so I had to roll down the window so that the guard could identify me and let me through the gate. That eventually became a joke in my company, and literally all of my co-workers knew about my crappy Malibu. I didn't have to have a bad mouth about Chevy, but the poor quality of the Malibu was too obvious for me to hide.

    I visited several local Chevy dealerships (including Doug Chevy who sold me the vehicle) begging them to fix the window frosting problem. First, they didn't want to admit that there was such a problem with the car. They blamed me for not knowing how to use the climate control system. That was a real insult to me. I got my Ph.D. Does one need to know rocket science in order to operate the Malibu? Eventually, on one cold morning, I showed the car to a dealership when the side windows were coated with a thick layer of frost. And, guess what? The dealership people couldn't remove the frost by using the climate control system even after the mechanic drove the car for a while. Therefore, they finally agreed with me that the window fogging/frosting problem was not an artifact caused by the vehicle owner's no-knowledge of how to operate the vehicle, and they agreed to fix the problem for me. Guess how they tried to fix it? They argued that the frosting problem was caused by my stepping into the car with my wet feet, and so they dehydrated the carpet several times hoping to eliminate the frosting problem. Of course, that didn't fix the problem. Eventually, they told me that that was all they could do, and they suggested me to de-hydrate the floor mats every week. I was very disappointed. How could GM build a vehicle which they don't even know how to fix? The incompetence of GM is rather obvious.

    In addition, it seems that GM shows no respect for its customers. For example, ever since I bought the vehicle, GM kept sending me correspondence addressed to "Mr. ... Low". I have no idea how GM could invent a family name like "Low" for me. I made innumerable attempts to get my name corrected. I initially visited Doug Chevy where I bought my vehicle. The dealership blamed GM Chevy division. Then, I contacted GM, but GM told me that it was the dealership's fault and so they referred me back to the dealership. So, I went back to the dealership. The dealership told me that my last name was 100% correct in the computer system of the dealership and that it is GM's responsibility to correct my name in GM's computer system. Then, I talked with GM again and complained profoundly. Eventually, GM seemed to indicate that they would take actions to correct my name. But later, I still kept receiving letters and postcards that were addressed to "Mr. Low". Then, I called GM again, but GM told me that those correspondences were sent out by the dealership who used GM's name. So, I went back to the dealership and showed them the letters and postcards. The people at the dealership laughed and said that since the letters and postcards were clearly printed with GM Chevy Division's Toledo address, this correspondence had nothing to do with the dealership. Once again, I got kicked out of the dealership without resolving the problem. Then, I contacted GM one more time, but GM blamed the dealership again. The same story I heard over and over again from GM and the dealership. It seems that stupidity seems to be the rule rather than the exception. I didn’t seem to see anything else I could do on my part to get my name corrected. Eventually, I gave up.

    After I got rid of the 2001 Chevy Malibu, I was going to buy a 2006 Malibu, because I wanted to save money (I had almost $3000 GM credit card rebate) and also because I tried to cash in on the GM supplier's discount program (As I mentioned earlier, my company is a GM supplier). However, due to our bad experience with the 2001 Malibu, my wife strongly disapproved of buying another Malibu. I tried to defend GM by saying that the 2001 Malibu didn't do well because it was the early model year and so GM didn't have the chance to debug everything. I argued that the 2006 Malibu had been re-designed and so all the bugs in the early models had been worked out.

    Despite the strong disapproval by my wife, I visited Burt Greenwald, a Chevy dealership at Akron, Ohio. Before the sale rep showed me the 06 Malibu, he was touting that the vehicle had won some kind of JD Power's Initial Quality Award. I jokingly replied, "Please show me the initial quality before you brag about it". What happened next is hilarious! None of the four 06 Malibu’s on the dealership's lot would start because the batteries were dead. Perhaps because the vehicles had not been test driven for a long time (presumably because few people care buying a Malibu). I questioned the sales rep, “Where did the Initial Quality Award come from? The
  • bateejeffbateejeff Posts: 11
    Looks like part of my previous message got cut off because the message was too long. So I post the cut-off part below:

    After I got rid of the 2001 Chevy Malibu, I was going to buy a 2006 Malibu, because I wanted to save money (I had almost $3000 GM credit card rebate) and also because I tried to cash in on the GM supplier's discount program (As I mentioned earlier, my company is a GM supplier). However, due to our bad experience with the 2001 Malibu, my wife strongly disapproved of buying another Malibu. I tried to defend GM by saying that the 2001 Malibu didn't do well because it was the early model year and so GM didn't have the chance to debug everything. I argued that the 2006 Malibu had been re-designed and so all the bugs in the early models had been worked out.

    Despite the strong disapproval by my wife, I visited Burt Greenwald, a Chevy dealership at Akron, Ohio. Before the sale rep showed me the 06 Malibu, he was touting that the vehicle had won some kind of JD Power's Initial Quality Award. I jokingly replied, "Please show me the initial quality before you brag about it". What happened next is hilarious! None of the four 06 Malibu’s on the dealership's lot would start because the batteries were dead. Perhaps because the vehicles had not been test driven for a long time (presumably because few people care buying a Malibu). I questioned the sales rep, “Where did the Initial Quality Award come from? The cars don’t even start!” The sales person had to borrow another vehicle to jump start one of the 06 Malibu’s. Even after jump starting, the sale person was afraid to get bogged down and insisted that I test drive the vehicle on local roads instead of highway. I think he simply had no confidence on a new vehicle which he bragged about being an award winner. Since it was getting dark, I agreed with him and took a local road (Rt. 261 near Rolling Acre Mall of Akron) for test driving. After a few minutes on the road, I noticed that at the roadside ahead of me, there was a shining, new-looking, but bogged down vehicle with its hood open. I joked to the Chevy sales rep who sat by me, “Hopefully, that’s not a Chevy bogged down”. He said, “no-no, that can’t be one of us.” Guess what? When we drove by the bogged down vehicle, I saw clearly the Chevy cross logo, and, surprisingly, the vehicle looked brand new. I said to the sales rep, “Is that bogged down vehicle from your dealership? Is it another vehicle with a dead battery? No wonder you don’t want me to test drive on highway.” The sales rep offered no comments on what I said. After test driving, I parked the 06 Malibu near the dealership’s main door and turned off the engine. But, the sales person changed his mind and wanted me to park the car back to where we picked up the car, the reason being that the dealership was about to close and he didn’t want to leave the vehicle overnight near the main door. Following his instructions, I tried to re-start the engine. Guess what? The engine wouldn't re-start because the battery became dead again. At that moment, the sale person became very embarrassed. I could see his face turning red like a tomato. What a bizarre day of car shopping for me! When I told friends about what happened that day, they all burst into laugh. Some had difficulty in believing and asked whether I made up the story.

    Discouraged by the "Initial Quality" of the 06 Malibu, I became hesitant to buy another Chevy. Eventually, I bought a 07 Buick Rendezvous in November 06 in order to utilize my GM credit card rebate. So far the Rendezvous has been running OK. There have been only a few minor issues. If the Rendezvous doesn't do good for me, it will be very difficult for me to convince myself to buy another GM car in the future, and I will likely try a Japanese car to get a comparison. Maybe the lawn is indeed greener on the other side of the town. Or, may be not.

    When my wife changed her car last year, I was unable to convince her to buy a GM or Ford. She simply had enough bad experience with GM and Ford and so couldn't take any more. She bought a 07 Toyota Avalon, and so far she loves it.

    Being an American citizen and working for a company making parts for GM and Ford, I have been a staunch supporter of the US auto industry for many years by always buying American cars (either Ford or GM). On the other hand, I've become increasingly disappointed by the quality of GM and Ford. It is very sad to watch GM and Ford going down hill while foreign automakers like Toyota and Honda simply thriving. If GM and Ford reach Chapter 11 someday, what will it mean for the country? I wish GM and Ford would listen to customers about their concerns and improve the quality of their vehicles.
  • madurbsmadurbs Posts: 19
    Bateejeff: As an American citizen I gave up on the domestic nameplates in 05. Too many bad experiences (GM). I have had no problem going to what some consider the "dark side". I have been the happy owner of a foreign nameplate that is assembled in the United States. Competition is a great thing in this industry and any industry. The domestic nameplates continue to improve but not enough IMO to earn my dollars. Great story on your shopping experience.
  • malexbumalexbu Posts: 169
    ,--- You (bateejeff) [ Mar 04, 2007 (12:16 pm) ]
    |
    | I tried to defend GM by saying that the 2001 Malibu didn't do well
    | because it was the early model year and so GM didn't have the chance
    | to debug everything. I argued that the 2006 Malibu had been
    | re-designed and so all the bugs in the early models had been worked
    | out.

    It sounds as if you think that 2001 is an earlier model of 2006,
    whereas its a totally different car. Why even compare them?

    If you want to make the case that Malibu 2001 sucked, providing such a
    detailed account of your experience, I wouldn't argue with you -- not
    because I know it sucked but because I don't know if it did not.

    But what does it matter for a different car -- Malibu 2004+?

    Your story about the test drive is entertaining and it is
    understandable that you skipped Malibu 2006 -- but can one honestly
    base a car's reliability record on that kind of experience?

    I'd say, based on my own experience with Malibu 2005 and having read
    multiple other owners' accounts, that you made a mistake not buying
    Malibu 06 -- but, hey, you've got a chance to tell your friends a
    funny story and let the world know about a few Chevy dealers who had
    displeased you.

    | The incompetence of GM is rather obvious.

    | In addition, it seems that GM shows no respect for its
    | customers. For example, ever since I bought the vehicle, GM kept
    | sending me correspondence addressed to "Mr. ... Low". I have no idea
    | how GM could invent a family name like "Low" for me.

    Yeah, that's highly truly very important to know! Why did you even go to
    test drive Malibu 06 after all that incompetence and disrespect?

    | She bought a 07 Toyota Avalon, and so far she loves it.

    Er... I bought two 2005 Malibu's (in the year 2005) and so far I love
    them!.. But surely 07 Avalon's record of reliability is much
    stronger, who'd argue with that?...

    BTW, batteries do go dead in cars that stand on a lot.

    My second Malibu, which I test drove fine in December 2005, didn't
    even start when I was getting it, registered, a few days later. The
    battery "didn't have juice". A shocker? You bet!... You should have
    seen the salesman and his manager's faces...

    OK, they replaced the battery on the spot, without me asking, in some
    ten minutes, putting in a better battery than the OEM one. The car
    has been serving me well since then. 15,000 miles on the odometer.

    I love the Chevy dealers I've dealt with and I love two my little
    Bu's.

    Good luck with your Rendezvous, BTW!
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    understanding your companies interest in GM/Ford products, do you also not realize that your wife's Avalon is more of an 'American' car than either your Malibu or Buick?
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    The new design is so much better and competes very nicely with the Camry, Accord or any other car in it's class.

    This statement is very familiar. It's the same thing they said about the 97-02 Malibu. In 97 it was named "Car of the year" and was "recomened" by Consumer Reports. I have experience with the 01 Malibu, and it is a very crude car. "Quality and Refinement" are not words I would use to describe the Malibu. Some people are not concerned with quality and refinement, and just want a basic A to B car. I am totally ok with that. Everyone has their own wants and needs. I do appreciate Quality and Refinement, and I am willing to pay extra for it.

    The Malibu competes well with cars in it's own price range. It does not compete well at all, with the Accord IMO.
  • I have had Chevy's and Toyota's and all I can say if you like the Malibu I am happy for you but I really think this is a GM employee trying to keep his job. I had a 10 year old Toyota that was still worth $5,000. I've had 3 year old Chevy's that weren't worth that much.
  • malexbumalexbu Posts: 169
    ,--- elroy5 [ Mar 06, 2007 (7:16 pm) ]
    |
    | This statement is very familiar. It's the same thing they said about
    | the 97-02 Malibu. In 97 it was named "Car of the year" and was
    | "recomened" by Consumer Reports. I have experience with the 01
    | Malibu, and it is a very crude car.

    I guess we should be concerned with the new (2004+) Malibu now that we
    are in the year 2007 ;-)

    | "Quality and Refinement" are not words I would use to describe the Malibu.

    You speak from the personal experience with a Malibu 2004+?

    | Some people are not concerned with quality and refinement, and just
    | want a basic A to B car. I am totally ok with that. Everyone has
    | their own wants and needs. I do appreciate Quality and Refinement,
    | and I am willing to pay extra for it.

    And if Q&R were coming on the cheap, you'd mind?

    Seriously, do you have anything to say about Malibu 2004+ based not on
    your reading but on the owning or at least driving?

    | The Malibu competes well with cars in it's own price range.

    What else could Chevy wish?

    | It does not compete well at all, with the Accord IMO.

    Does Accord compete well with BMW? Wanna say that Accord and BMW are
    in different price ranges? Malibu should beat the cars 1.5 (or 2?)
    times more expensive, but the same should not apply to Accord?

    ,-- lovetocamp [ Mar 06, 2007 (7:18 pm) ]
    |
    | I had a 10 year old Toyota that was still worth $5,000. I've had 3
    | year old Chevy's that weren't worth that much.

    Chevy and Toyota's depreciation are clearly different and if this is
    the determining factor in buying, well, one should go to Toyota
    without hesitation. But this is not everybody's significant factor --
    not for me, in particular.

    What about the "price to quality" ratios in the new cars? How does,
    say, base Malibu 2006 sedan stack up against a base Camry or Accord?
    This is a serios question -- I don't know the answer. I *feel* as if
    I know it -- but I don't know for a fact.

    Obviously, Camry and Accord are excellent cars -- one needs to spend
    just a little time in each to feel that. But so Malibu feels to many.

    Obviously, Camry and Accord have excellent reliability reputions
    (disputed at times, at least for the new Camry, AFAIU). But so Malibu
    apparently does (and read Edmunds.com for that, not the joke of
    "Consumer Report", please).

    If you placed a new base Camry and Accord in front of me and said,
    "Pick one -- it's yours for the same money" (let's say, "free"), I
    wouldn't know which one to pick. I'd need to do some research to make
    the decision. (I'd probably end up with the Accord, but I am not
    quite certain.)

    If you did the same placing a base Malibu and one of Camry or Accord
    in front of me -- "Take either -- same price", I would not hesitate a
    moment -- I'd pick the Camry or Accord on the spot. Not because I have
    reservations about Malibu (I don't). Not because I *know* that
    Camcord is a better car (I don't). Just because for the same price a
    Camcord would be a better deal than Malibu (and, as opposed to a
    similar imaginary experiment with Malibu agains Cadillac, I wouldn't
    need to worry about the anti-Malibu repairs).

    But this is *for the same price*. In real life, a base Malibu is
    vastly less expensive than a Camcord, with no established inferiority
    I am aware of. So, why should I pay more to buy the latter? To
    possibly get some of my money back in 10 years?.. Sorry, there are
    better investment ideas than that -- kid yourself if you wish but I'll
    park my $7K+ elsewhere and in 10 years we'll see if you are able to
    sell your Camry for $7K+ more than I will my Malibu.

    Am I wrong with the numbers? Counterarguments, anybody?
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    How much is a loaded Malibu? I don't know how much these cars are going for. Someone care to tell me? I'd assume a loaded Malibu SS would compete best with the Accord (it comes closest to horsepower with the Accord (Honda has 244), still doesn't have a 5-speed auto though.
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,915
    LIke Elroy5, I also owned a 2001 Malibu. Traded it in Dec. 2004. The only reason we selcted this car over the 2001 Accord is to save $25 per month. One of the dumbest mistakes I made. Neith my wife or I were happy with that car. And too many problems in 2.5 years and 32k miles. I still haven't found out why the car completely cut off while driving 70 mph on route 78 in NJ.

    Even the current model Malibu is below the quality of the Accord and Camry. Haven't driven one (and don't want to) but sat in one at a recent car show. The Camry and Accord are a bit nicer. The fact they can sell them for a couple of thousand more for similar trim level tells me others agree. Remember Americans vote with their pocketbooks.

    The 2008 Malibu looks promising but it will take a couple model years before oyu see sales rise. It's takes time for people to forget a bad experience. Not sure what you are reading in the Malibu forum but I see a lot of issues that are carried over form other GM models (alternator, electrical issues) and previous generation Malibus. Maybe the joke, CR, is right.
  • bateejeffbateejeff Posts: 11
    To malexbu,
    I respectfully disagree with your assessment of potential saving by buying a malibu vs. a Camry. Based on my experience with 2001 Malibu ($4000 in repairs and tow truck in just 5 years!), I doubt that you can park the $7K of the so-called "saving" for long as an investment. I bet you will have to pay a hefty early withdrawal penalty to get money out of your CD in order to pay for the reparing and towing of your Malibu. Based on my 2001 Malibu, I would estimate that within 10 years you might have spend more than $7K in repairs plus tow truck bills. And then, when you sell or trade in your Malibu, you will literally get nothing as compared to a few grands you might get if you sell or trade in a 10-year old Camry. It is simple math which doesn't need a Ph.D. to figure out.
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    kid yourself if you wish but I'll
    park my $7K+ elsewhere and in 10 years we'll see if you are able to
    sell your Camry for $7K+ more than I will my Malibu.


    Where do you get these numbers from? The base Malibu is $17,100, and the base Camry is $18,500. Are you comparing the base Malibu to a "top of the line" Camry? Talk about different classes. Sure, you can pay $7k more for a Camcord if you want every option available. The Malibu is no competition for these models.

    I sold my 12 year old Accord (140k miles) for $5,000. You would be lucky to get that for a Malibu half that old, with half the miles. Can't exactly compare the 12 year old Accord to a 12 year old Malibu :confuse: because there is no such thing as a 12 year old Malibu.
  • bateejeffbateejeff Posts: 11
    To elroy,
    Based on my experience with my 2001 Malibu, I totally agree with you. As I mentioned in my early messages, I bought a brand-new 2001 Malibu in 2001. Had innumerable problems, some of which couldn't be fixed by Chevy dealerships. Got bogged down on the road nemerous times (a very embarrassing and humiliating situation). Spent almost $4000 in repare plus tow trucks within 5 years. Traded in for less than $3000 in 2006 (The car was only 5 year old with only 60,000 miles). What a classic piece of junk they built!
  • bateejeffbateejeff Posts: 11
    To dtownfb,
    How dare you complained about your 2001 Malibu. Did you read my story about my 2001 Malibu. If not, please do so! Mine is much worse than yours. After reading my story, you might agree with me that you were still lucky and shouldn't have complained.
  • malexbumalexbu Posts: 169
    That's why I asked if I was wrong with the numbers -- the collective
    input will move us closer to the truth.

    Thank you, elroy5, for giving the specific numbers -- we have
    something to compare now.

    ,-- elroy5 [ Mar 07, 2007 (2:14 pm) ]
    |
    | Where do you get these numbers from? The base Malibu is $17,100 and
    | the base Camry is $18,500.

    I assume you are quoting the price that the car can be taken out of
    the door, with the destination charge but no fees and taxes included
    -- is that right?

    I'll take your word for it: $18.5K for the Camry.

    $17K for a base Malibu is totally out of question. No person in his
    sound mind will pay anything close to it (read these boards).

    In the beginning of the year 2006 I bought mine for $14K (pre-GM card
    earinigs). My car is actualy very well equipped: the preferred
    group 1SB, including:

    * Cruise Control
    * RDS Radio
    * Driver seat lumbar
    * Front seat map pockets
    * Remote keyless entry
    * Floor mats
    * Cargo convenience nets
    * Power adjustable brake and accelerator pedals.

    In addition it has:

    * XM Radio ($325) -- (the joy of having which I cannot overestimate)
    * Remote Starter ($150)

    The car's list price is $21,020. The Red Tag Event price --
    $16,419.40 (I just looked at the sticker et al). So, before I applied
    my GM card earnings, my price was $14,000 -- for not quite a base car,
    mind you.

    That is the difference of $4,500 between my price and the Camry price
    you are quoting. Out of curiosity, what options would the $18.5K
    Camry include?

    If you want me to admit my wrongness and say that instead of $7K I
    quoted in my previous message, the difference in price should have
    been stated as $4.5, I am fine with that. But realistically, consider
    that many GM cars are being bought by GM Card holders, with the
    earnings as high as $3,500 (no, I didn't have that much :-).) So, it
    is not impossible for a savvy Malibu shopper to get to the difference
    of $4.5 + $3.5 = $8.0K.

    $8,000 might be an extreme case -- and I didn't quote that. But coming
    to the table with $2,000 in GM Card earining is very typical, if you
    read Edmunds.com boards (I bought my first Malibu with more than
    that).

    Does my price comparison still look far-fetched?

    | I sold my 12 year old Accord (140k miles) for $5,000. You would be
    | lucky to get that for a Malibu half that old, with half the
    | miles. Can't exactly compare the 12 year old Accord to a 12 year old
    | Malibu because there is no such thing as a 12 year old Malibu.

    Couldn't be, in the year 2007, for the car that began to be produced
    in the year 2004. We might see when we get to the year 2016. I don't
    know -- and you don't.

    Guys, sorry for repeating what has been said a gazillion times here,
    on Edmunds.com: Malibu 2004 and the previous Malibu are two different
    cars. Totally. Nothing in common but the name.
  • malexbumalexbu Posts: 169
    ,-- dtownfb [ Mar 07, 2007 (12:29 pm) ]
    |
    | Not sure what you are reading in the Malibu forum but I see a lot of
    | issues that are carried over form other GM models (alternator,
    | electrical issues) and previous generation Malibus.

    Look, if you are reading the Malibu forums and are coming to the
    conclusion that the 2004+ Malibu has a lot of problems, I totally
    respect your opinion -- you are basing it on the experience of the
    real people.

    My personal impression has been, after reading these boards rather
    attentively for a long time, that the new Malibu is not problem-ridden
    -- most problems, in my observation, were reported for Maxx and/or the
    first model year -- 2004. Many problems have been also fixed by the
    dealerships.

    That is my personal impression. I admit I started to read the Malibu
    boards less attentively about half-a-year ago when I came to the
    conclusion that most problems reported there were for the old Malibu
    -- pre-2004. I just have no interest in reading about a different
    car, sorry.

    Now, when you talk about seeing "a lot of issues that are carried over
    form other GM models" --- are you sure you see them for post-2004
    Malibu? No irony here -- this is a serious question. If you answer
    "yes", I'll have to go back and catch up with the messages. If you
    are not sure, I'll save the effort.

    Thanks!
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