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2008-2009 Chevrolet Malibu

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  • plant changeover...
    "Sources tell SaturnFans.com that the General Motors plants in Lansing, Michigan and Wilmington, Delaware begin producing saleable 2008 models today, June 18th. The manufacturing facilities build the Saturn Outlook and Sky, respectively. The Fairfax, Kansas plant where the Aura is built reportedly won't switchover to the '08 model until August 6, 2007. The all-new Saturn Vue sport-utility, which is trickling into retail stores now around the country, went into production on April 16th. "

    Not sure if 2008 Malibu production start is the same day but would be my best guess....
  • 14871487 Posts: 2,407
    they havent released the order guide for the Malibu yet so that is a good sign its not going to be on sale for a few months. Almost every 2008 GM model has its order guide posted now, even the Astra.
  • drfilldrfill Posts: 2,484
    4-speed auto, 24/32. Will show it off Tuesday at the All-Star game, but I wouldn't pound my chest over that.

    Makes the Camry Hybrid that much better, in comparison. :sick:

    I like the idea of putting Camrys in GM showrooms, doh. ;)

    DrFill
  • Don't forget , the EPA ratings have changed starting with ALL 2008 models. They will be lower.
  • stormdavystormdavy Posts: 83
    I watched video of the designer's description of how this car was styled. He mentioned how the tail lights don't wrap around-- this is somewhat unusual. Took two pictures at the Chicago Auto Show and posted them on my CarSpace to show similarity with another make/ model. They are DSC_0063 and DSC_0094. Check them out!
    That Automobile magazine would consider this car worthy of a design analysis is a sign that it is important debut.
  • nosirrahgnosirrahg Little Rock, ARPosts: 872
    Also look at the price of the Camry Hybrid versus the Malibu; the Chevy will be several thou cheaper, and odds are there'll be more room to negotiate on it's price too. It'd take lots of miles to recoup the extra cost of the Camry, and the Camry is a more complicated system that'll likely be more expensive to repair down the road.

    One thing I wonder about is the difference in power between the standard 4-cylinder Malibu and the hybrid version - if the hybrid is quicker/more powerful AND delivers better gas mileage than the 4-cylinder, I think it'll be a great thing. If power/speed is the same between the two, I'd have to do the math and see if the extra mileage would save enough $$ to justify the added expense.
  • After seeing the pics, all I can say is WOW! I cannot believe how much the new 'Bu is advanced over the current one. I have seen GM gradually get better with their products. Actually, the first vehicles to show off their higher levels of quality, what I call "Stage 1", was the '04 Malibu and '05 Equinox. Next was "Stage 2", the G6, Cobalt, STS, SRX, and the minivans. Then "Stage 3", Sky/Solstice, Aura, Lacrosse, Lucerne, revised DTS, Impala, HHR. Next, and most recent, "Stage 4", the Crossover bunch, Silverado/Sierra, Tahoe/Yukon/Suburban, and VUE. "Stage 5" and beyond will be even more important, since this will be the '08 Malibu, G8, future Buicks, Astra, Camaro, '10 Impala, CTS, C7 Corvette, and more. Substantially marked improvements have been made to address past problems. Their biggest hurdles will be perceived quality and image. Their products are the best yet, but those will continue to be a big factor in their success. As for the "Perfection" of foreign cars, in a recent issue of C&D, a long term Acura RL was rated. Problems that occurred? Well, how's a sunroof that refuses to shut at just 6K miles? Electrical problems? Lots of them! Dimmed headlights, screwed up navi. screen, you name it. More than one loose door trim panel. All in less than 40K MILES! Really?!! And they were written off as "minor annoyances" and "a small price to pay for Acura luxury". Can you imagine the fire storm of hatred had that same vehicle been a Caddy or Buick. It would have been totally unacceptable! "No car built in the 21st century should have those problems" they would write. Yet, all is forgiven because it's an Acura. It's not perceived quality, it's sheer bias! That IS unacceptable, let alone the price tag cozies up to 50K. Anyway, GM has finally put out something they can be proud of. I love the styling, even the rear end. Why? Because it's DIFFERENT! In a sea of beigeCamCordiness (yes it is a word, it's my word), it may just stand out and make someone say "What is that?". I think the 2.4 won't be underpowered, especially with the 6 speed. Can't wait to see one in person.
  • nosirrahgnosirrahg Little Rock, ARPosts: 872
    Nice to hear coming from a self-proclaimed "Accord Lover" (per your screen name). It's interesting that someone can own a "Big 3" vehicle and something will break or come loose, and it's "crappy American car" complaints...but when the same thing happens to a Toyota or Honda, folks assume they must be one of the "few occurrences" of these problems, and write the problem off as a minor annoyance.

    My current car is a 2000 Impala (which I've driven for 108k miles); my previous car was a 1989 Toyota Celica (which I drove for 113k miles). The Impala has been no less reliable than the Toyota, and actually interior-wise the Impala has held up much better. And now that I think about it, the paint on the Impala has held up much better than the Celica too. Considering the Celica was a last-year model version (which should have been bug-free), and the Impala was a first-year model (which should have been bug-laden), I think that speaks volumes as to the quality strides GM has made...and that was 7-8 years ago, so I assume things have gotten even better!

    Admittedly I have a GM MasterCard, which was one factor that prompted me to buy the Impala versus a CamCord. But I'd have no qualms with buying another GM product next time, with or without the rebate. I cashed in my GM Card points last year to help my parents buy a new truck after theirs was totaled in an accident, so when I go to buy in the next year or so I won't have a great deal of savings there to sway me as before (maybe $1-1.5k max). I can't say for certain what I'll buy at this point, but I certainly wouldn't favor a CamCord over a Malibu if prices were the same. Due to the GM rebate last time I limited my search to GM products, but this time I'll be more apt to "play the field" and see what else compares. But I suspect the only way I might not buy GM is if gas prices have risen sharply by the time I buy again, and I end up buying a smaller car than currently planned. Right now I'm leaning towards the Malibu Hybrid, but time will tell.
  • About my screen name. I have a 1994 Honda Accord LX coupe. I am the second owner, the first being my great uncle who treated it like it was his own child. It only has 84K miles on it, everything about it is perfect or near-perfect. It's my first car, and I'm 18, but I know a lot about the car market. I am not knocking Honda, because mine has been trouble free for 13 years, just the people who think they are so superior to Detroit iron.
    My grandma owns a 2004 Impala LS, and it is by no means a bad car. When she got it, GM was having one of its fire sales. Tagged for over 27K, she got $4500 rebate, $500 card from my retired-GM-mechanic grandpa, and an extra $1500 for something else. She was able to get it, out the door with tax and title, for a little over 21K. Plus 0% financing for 72 mos. An amazing deal IMO. I LOVE to drive it, with its sport suspension, 3.8 V6, and amazing comfort, it is my favorite car to drive. It is FAR from being a "grandma" car.
    We have had nothing but GM products, and have had very, very good luck with all of them. We have an '88 Chevrolet C30 Pickup truck w/ 454 c.i. V8 (5 mpg, not kidding!) 49K miles, '92 Olds 88 Royale w/ 141k nearly trouble-free miles, '99 Buick LeSabre w/ 86k miles, '02 Cavalier w/ 69k miles. We have also had 2 Chevy Blazers (both 2 door, 4wd, '89 and '94), '84 Chevy Suburban, '83 Buick LeSabre, '87 Olds 98, and the list goes on. All have had their small problems, but nothing too horribly bad, small things. The thing is, none of them were bought new, so we didn't suffer from depreciation shock.
    I like my Accord, but I don't think its enough to keep me from buying a GM product. With the strides in quality that have been made in the last 3 years, it only makes their products more appealing. The new 'Bu looks really nice, and hopefully it will be a success, not to say the current one wasn't. You can't sell 245k Malibus and not be called a success. The thing is, GM needs to stop putting "cash on the hood" to sell their products. There's nothing wrong with $500 or even $1000 bonus cash special and/or special financing rates, but not $3000 and 0% every time you turn around. Heck, around here, even Toyota is offering $2500 "bonus cash" (The word Rebate is forbidden by the Japanese) on Corollas and Camrys. GM needs to let the products sell themselves, based on their merits, not the extra moolah. I think now, and especially later, this will be possible.
  • nosirrahgnosirrahg Little Rock, ARPosts: 872
    Everything I'd read about the new Malibu says the car looks more expensive than it is; hopefully if they price this car right to the point that it is too good to resist, they'll sell even more than the current model (and with fewer rebates).
  • This is the third Malibu I've seen on the street here in Michigan in the past month. Here are the pics of it....
    http://rides.webshots.com/album/559121225HrNjJa
  • 14871487 Posts: 2,407
    very nice pics, I like that white color. This thing looks better than almost everything in class.
  • nosirrahgnosirrahg Little Rock, ARPosts: 872
    I agree the white looks good...those tail lights really pop against that white background. I've probably been less excited about the rear view of this car than any other, but I've only seen pictures of dark colored versions previously...this I like.

    I'm assuming from the tape, mis-matched bumpers and panel gaps that this is still an early preproduction vehicle...still anxious to see one in person on the road. I did check Chevy's site for an update, and about the only change I've seen to the 2008 Malibu page is the addition of the Hybrid icon. Still no mention in the text anywhere as to details on the hybrid, but at least the addition of the logo makes me think it might be coming with the introduction of the vehicle (as opposed to a year later). Also seems like I read somewhere that the hybrid Malibu would be built in Tennessee (I presume at the same plant as the Aura hybrid), though aren't the rest coming from Kansas City?
  • 14871487 Posts: 2,407
    No I believe all Malibus are coming from same plant in KC. The saturn plant is in Tennessee but it is being shut down until 2008.

    I wasnt a fan of the red car GM showed when pics first came out. I like this white and the grey shown on the chevy site. They had a dark color at the Philly autoshow, it was sharp.
  • noles200noles200 Posts: 30
    Just checked out the Toyota Camry fuel estimates at http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/calculatorSelectEngine.jsp?year=2007&make=Toyota&model=Camry Hybrid

    Seems the current sticker says 40/38 city/highway. It looks like it will change to 33/34 for 2008. It still means that the Camry holds a big advantage in city driving. I would guess the Malibu will still fall short about 5 to 6 MPG. If it's priced aggressively (and I think we know Chevy needs to do that to make an impact and convert some - can I get an "AMEN" - of those "CamCord" folks) that should cover the difference in MPG. Plus I'm sure there will be some kind of tax credit too. So if it's priced a couple thou cheaper and there's a thou tax break that means you'd have to drive well over 100,000 to recoup the 3K difference in price.

    Me, I think I'll forego the mileage savings and go with the 3.6L 6 speed with paddle shifters. Drove the Aura and loved the ride.
  • noles200noles200 Posts: 30
    on October 15th. I spoke with Chad in their customer service center and he informed me that once production begins on October 15th we can expect to see the new Malibu in showrooms within the next 4 to 8 weeks (I guess it depends on how far you are from the plant in Kansas).

    That's not really the news I was looking for, as I was hoping the car would be in showrooms by September or so. I am thinking of the Malibu or the Saturn Aura but I like the styling of the Malibu a bit better, not to mention I'm thinking it will be better equipped in the LTZ model (as compared to the Aura XR model) but I don't know that for sure.

    How do others feel about not being able to test drive this car until November or December of this year?
  • nosirrahgnosirrahg Little Rock, ARPosts: 872
    I'm especially interested in the Malibu hybrid, and I know I've been disappointed that my local Saturn dealer has not been able to get (or keep) an Aura Green Line on their lot for me to test drive. My fear is that for whatever reason GM isn't producing enough hybrids to meet demand, which could mean a delay in getting the Malibu hybrid on the road.

    Still, I heard at one point it would be early 2008 before the Malibu would be available, so any time before then is better than later...but I have my doubts about the availability of the hybrid at the outset.
  • cowbellcowbell Posts: 125
    I too was hoping to get int his car before November. I'm looking to buy a new car in the next few months with a baby due in October. I'm looking for a sedan to replace my Mustang, and the pictures of the new Malibu look great. Unfortunately, I don't know if I can wait long enough to get one. I can probably hold out until November to buy my new car, but I'll need one before the Thanksgiving road trip to show off the new baby to the families.

    I might just end up in the Aura XR with the Morocco leather. I would have no complaints about that, but it would have been nice to also try the Malibu.
  • jkinzeljkinzel Posts: 735
    It might cost you a few hundred over a couple of months, but rent a sedan on a as needed basis until the new Malibu shows up.
  • nosirrahgnosirrahg Little Rock, ARPosts: 872
    That's a very good point; we've made it a habit of renting cars we might consider buying when we take a vacation/road trip, and you'd be surprised how a car you think you'd like ends up being one you'd hate if you had to drive it on a regular basis.

    My wife always regretted not buying a Toyota Highlander when she got her Accord; this spring break we tried to rent an Equinox for the trip, but they didn't have one available, but they did have a Highlander, so I got it to see what it was like. Granted we may just not be SUV people, and the Highlander may be great relative to other cars in that class, but we came away VERY happy that we had not bought one of these when we were thinking about it. I can carry far more stuff in the trunk of my Impala than you could even think of carrying in the back of most SUVs, I still don't get why they're so popular. We've found minivans are great on the highway and for big groups, but they're not much fun for navigating in more congested areas, so we keep coming back to sedans.

    Granted the new Malibu won't be available as a rental, but certainly the current Impala might be available (I don't know if Saturns would be out there or not). Might be worth looking at a more base-model Impala as a rental, so you can have that experience to compare to what you end up buying (since the Impala is a little larger than the Malibu, you might find it more appealing in dealing with infant seats and the gear that goes along with them).
  • lisa71lisa71 Posts: 9
    I know someone who works at the fairfax plant. She said that they are making the 2008 Malibu fleet cars right now. She said right now the plan is to have the 2008 models in the showrooms by October. I am thinking about ordering one. If I do, I can give her the order # and she will let me know the day it comes down the line!
  • nosirrahgnosirrahg Little Rock, ARPosts: 872
    I ordered my 2000 Impala, and somewhere on Edmunds I found a toll-free number for Chevrolet that you could call and check the status of your order. I don't remember a lot of details, but as I recall it was significant when they actually assigned my car a VIN number, and I know I called several times to check the status, and learned when the car was built (March 14) as well as when it would ship/deliver (which only took a couple of weeks).

    I had a very positive experience ordering my Impala, and would certainly recommend it to anyone who is pretty particular about what they want, and who can stand the suspense to wait 6-8 weeks to take delivery of the car. It'll probably take longer to have one built at the beginning of the production cycle than it would a few months into things though.
  • noles200noles200 Posts: 30
    I am thinking about ordering one.

    What state are you located in? Can you order one yet? I haven't seen any pricing listed yet. I think I'd love to order one too, if I know I could get one in October.
  • jaxs1jaxs1 Posts: 2,697
    Why order one without at least sitting in and test driving one on the lot first?
    There are not going to be waiting lists for Malibus.
  • lisa71lisa71 Posts: 9
    No I can't order one yet, but our dealership is going to call us as soon as we can. I am in Michigan.
  • lisa71lisa71 Posts: 9
    Just because you order it doesn't mean you are obligated to buy it if you change your mind. Nothing is final until the paperwork signed.
  • lisa71lisa71 Posts: 9
    My friend who works at the plant said that if possible, it's best to wait until they have been out a few months to buy or order one. I just don't have the patience!

    I live in Michigan and have lots of friends and family that work for GM. Everyone says that it's best to buy a car that was made in the middle of the week. I guess the theory is the workers are too busy thinking about the weekend on Friday and still recouperating from the weekend on Monday! LOL.
  • gdubya2gdubya2 Posts: 32
    I talked to the sales manager at Annie Rae Chevrolet in DeWitt, MI two days ago. He said he was going to place his intial order for 2008 Malibu's on Friday, Aug. 3.
  • 14871487 Posts: 2,407
    I'm just glad its not going to take until January to get these cars into dealers, that is too long. I always thought sales would start around October.
  • rvothrvoth Posts: 147
    That theory is correct, I found out that my 2005 malibu was made on Friday the 11th of October 05. Lots of little problems have cropped up. Like the paint on the bottom inside of each door where the skin seam is wrapped around the skeleton of the door. The paint just flaked of the primer, maybe not enough red or a poor bond between the paint. Just to mention one, next time I'll wait for my car to be built either late tuesday , ideally wednesday, or first thing thursday morning.

    How is the quality of a weekend built car, just curious
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