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Chevrolet Malibu vs. Toyota Camry vs. Honda Accord

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  • 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!
  • bateejeffbateejeff Posts: 11
    Malexbu:

    You seemed to argue that the post-2004 Malibu has had few or no issues. In my opinion, your argument is misleading. Since we're now in 2007, most of the post-2004 Malibu's have not passed the 3-year bumper-to-bumper warranty yet. When there is an issue, the owner usually can get it fixed for free, and so the owner tends to be quiet about it. Besides, one's ego is also at play here. Americans tend to be or try to be confident, and sometimes they don't want their friends to think that they made a wrong choice and bought a wrong vehicle.

    Based on my experience, the Malibu is like a timed bomb. As soon as the bumper-to-bumper warranty expires, the health of the car will deteriorate drastically. That was exactly the case with my 2001 Malibu. When I complained to a Chevy dealership about having to make frequent repair visits, a service rep at the dealership joked that they loved to see me come in for service (because my repair visits generated a lot of revenue for the dealership). Ironically, a dealership can earn a lot more money simply by selling you a crappy vehicle, because later you will have to pay thousands of dollars to the dealership for repairing the vehicle.

    For those daring people who are going to buy a Chevy Malibu, I highly recommend that you consider buying an extended warranty which will surely be a good investment. You may or may not need an extended warranty for a Toyota, but you definitely need one for a Chevy Malibu based on my experience.
  • malexbumalexbu Posts: 169
    ,-- bateejeff [ Mar 07, 2007 (7:53 pm) ]
    |
    | You seemed to argue that the post-2004 Malibu has had few or no
    | issues.

    Yup, I am ready to say I am arguing the former: few issues.

    | In my opinion, your argument is misleading.

    In what sense?

    I am not saying the Malibu-2005 will not have many issues in the year
    2010. I don't know. Do you?

    I am saying it has few issues now. (Actually, I don't know what issues
    it has, class-wise.) Is this not true?

    Are you ready to say that you are claiming the opposite: that Malibu
    2004+ has many issues now? If so, what would they be? If so, what
    would be your source of information?

    | Since we're now in 2007, most of the post-2004 Malibu's have not
    | passed the 3-year bumper-to-bumper warranty yet.

    I don't know about "most" but many did: the warranty expires at
    3-years or 36,000 miles. It seems to me that more people cross 36K
    miles before they cross 3 years. (Mark this as my speculation.)

    | When there is an issue, the owner usually can get it fixed for free,
    | and so the owner tends to be quiet about it.

    Oh, come on, nobody enjoys going even for warranty repairs. People
    are not quiet about their bad experience -- look at the Maxx boards,
    e.g.

    | Besides, one's ego is also at play here. Americans tend to be or try
    | to be confident, and sometimes they don't want their friends to
    | think that they made a wrong choice and bought a wrong vehicle.

    True. And this applies to other cars, too.

    | Based on my experience, the Malibu

    You don't have experience with this car, do you? *The* Malibu, *this*
    Malibu, not *that* Malibu?

    | is like a timed bomb. As soon as the bumper-to-bumper warranty
    | expires, the health of the car will deteriorate drastically. That
    | was exactly the case with my 2001 Malibu.

    Well, I don't have experience with that Malibu -- I can't comment on
    it.
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    I dont consider my 04 maxx a ticking bomb......87K on it..no problems....performed scheduled maintenance, running mobile 1 syth oil, changing per GMOL and not a problem yet....very impressed with the car.....
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,915
    I am sure it was post 2004 malibus. Most of the issues i am referring to are the electrical issues. The steering issues had to do with the electric steering. those are differnte then the suspensionissues of the previous generation.

    Don't get me wrong. the current Malibu is a nice car. If you are looking for basic transportation, you'll be happy. After that experience with the 2001 malibu and my current 2000 Olds Intrigue, I need to stay away from GM for a while.
  • stlpike07stlpike07 Posts: 218
    I was surprised to see "Malibu vs. Camry." To me, there shouldn't even be a comparisson. But thats just my pinion.
  • saleemsaleem Posts: 114
    this argument is ridiculous and pointless.

    the malibu is NOT $7,000 less than a comparable Camcord. more like $2,000.

    Now, referring to malexbu's circular, annoying post.

    Clearly, no one has experienced massive troubles with a 2004+ malibu. it's been three years. THAT IS WHY we look at 2001 malibu's. Because the same company is making it, and even if the underpinnings and 80% of the engineering changes, the best you can do is judge the new car's future maintenance based on the previous generation's maintenance. so comments like "Well, I don't have experience with that Malibu -- I can't comment on it." are asinine and pointless. It's like 99% of malibu's breaking down, and you saying "well i know one guy who's malibu didn't break down, so I think the malibu is A-OK".

    Look, here's what it comes down to. If you want to "Buy American" (despite Honda/Toyota factories in the US, etc) then fine, buy a Malibu.

    But if you're looking for the best car for the money, you'd be MUCH MUCH MUCH better off buying an accord/camry in terms of quality, Quality, QUALITY, consistency, resale value, performance, engineering THOUGHT, and basically everything.

    Spend the extra $2,000, and you'll recoup $4,000 in 6 years.
  • malexbumalexbu Posts: 169
    Not quite a civil reaction, saleem -- if my post was annoying you, you
    could have just skipped it, it's not that anybody forced you to read
    on.

    But anyway, sorry for annoying you (and anybody else).

    I actually said what I had to say and hope that somebody finds it
    useful. With this said, I can switch back to lurking -- enjoy the
    quiet, buddy!
  • saleemsaleem Posts: 114
    Nah, the point of these forums are discussion. Sorry my post was less than completely civil.

    I just find it unfair that you say we cant judge the current Malibu's based on previous Malibus made by the same company. How else to predict future maintenance issues, than the previous track record?

    The repeated opinion in C&D and other magazines has lauded accords/camrys in different ways (reliability, initial quality and finish, etc for both-- praise for accord's sportier nature, camry's softer ride), while the malibu hasn't done as well. so the only way i can see it being logical to buy the malibu is if you're saving at least like $6,000 under a comparable camcord. otherwise, you'll end up paying (if you sell in the short term) in depreciation difference, or (in the long term) depreciation and maintenance. plus, the INITIAL quality doesn't seem to match the camcords. IDK, just my opinion. Clearly, each option's merits sways if you start saying 'i want an american car'. that's a different debate where the camcords are at an inherent disadvantage.
  • neteng101neteng101 Posts: 176
    I don't really see why most people would buy the Malibu over the Impala... the Impala is actually selling better than the current Malibu, and for only a bit more you get a nicer car with more room. I don't think the currently Malibu is anything much more than a ho hum car in just about every way ie. boring... at least the Impala is a much better looker.
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    The Impala may be better looking but imho it's a cruder car than the 'Bu. Less sophisticated suspension-- although maybe less troubleprone (having just paid $800+ for a steering column). I also think the 'Bu (at least the Maxx) is more comfortable. Then again, more people are buying the Impalas. Interesting to see what the new RWD Impala will be like. I like the looks of the G8 a lot, although I think the Malibu is the superior (but uglier) car compared with the G6.
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