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2008-2009 Chevrolet Malibu

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  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    nope...havent changed my mind...after sitting in the 08 Malibu..it made my mind up to go for the CTS...since Im in a 04 Maxx now...I wanted to give the Malibu its fair shot.....since it would be about 16K less than my CTS....but after all considered......its the CTS in Feb timeframe now....but will still keep the Maxx
  • >>Test drives confirmed that the engine had plenty of power and that leg room wasn't a problem. <<
    Thanks for evaluation of the 4 cylinder engine. Now I feel relieved that the engine DOES HAVE enough power . Will start shopping next month . Hopefully the first round of rebates will start to appear then
  • does the 2lt have the digital read out of the inside temperature controls or is that only on the ltz
  • pmerk28pmerk28 Posts: 121
    nope...havent changed my mind...after sitting in the 08 Malibu..it made my mind up to go for the CTS...since Im in a 04 Maxx now...I wanted to give the Malibu its fair shot.....since it would be about 16K less than my CTS....but after all considered......its the CTS in Feb timeframe now....but will still keep the Maxx

    I don't think GM had the Malibu in mind when cross shopping a CTS. But hey a sale is a sale.
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    wasnt meant to be....just wanted to see the Malibu (since Im in one now) and make a decision on how much $$ I wanted to part with.....I realize the two dont compare for cross shopping...
  • I know initially the 4-cylinder Malibu is only available with the 4-speed automatic, but I've read where the 6-speed will be phased in early in 2008. I assumed that meant replacing the 4-speed across the board, but last night I read a review somewhere that seemed to imply the 4-cylinder LTZ model would be getting the 6-speed, but it never specifically said the LS/LT models would.

    Does anyone know if/when the plan might be to replace the 4-speed throughout the model line, or if only the LTZ will get the 4-cylinder/6-speed combination?
  • "I currently have a 2000 Malibu........we have a 2007 Accord that I bought for my son........"

    Lucky kid with an '07 Accord while Dad drives an '00 Malibu.

    Will you adopt me? ;)
  • I'm curious myself .
    I found this on
    http://consumerguideauto.howstuffworks.com/2008-chevrolet-malibu.htm
    >>A 6-speed automatic for the 4-cylinder is due later in the model year<<
  • jaxs1jaxs1 Posts: 2,697
    Just for the LTZ. The others may not get the 6-speed with 4 cylinders until 2010 models.
  • albookalbook Posts: 1,282
    Even my 2000 is more roomy that this 2008

    The new Malibu is so much roomier. Sat in them back to back. You must feel this way because the visibilty isn't as good.
  • fsmmcsifsmmcsi Posts: 792
    Now that I have seen the new Malibu, it is difficult to imagine how it could not be a tremendous success. The more you look, the more you find nice surprises.

    I attended the Los Angeles Auto Show on Sunday and wound up focusing on a comparison of the 2008 Malibu with its competitors - Camry, Accord, Fusion, Altima, Optima, Sonata, and Passat, and Mazda 6. I also looked at the New VW Jetta sport diesel and the 2008 CTS.

    Malibu:

    The front end is very handsome, and I thought it looked better, and of better quality, than that on the 2008 CTS. It is that good. The hood which is not part of the front bumper and grille which Mr. Lutz pointed out in a video is indeed impressive, as they really do have to make the car well to have a consistent gap around a hood installed in that way.

    The turn signal indicator on the fender near the front doors looks nice, and more importantly, is a safety feature which none of the competitors have.

    The visors slide very smoothly on chromed rods, unlike the rough sliding movement on the previous generation and most of the competitors. The rod on the Accord is also chromed, but the action is not smooth. The visors on the Camry don&#146;t slide!

    The interior really is excellent, both in looks and functionality. The multi-color instrument cluster is beautiful, and looks like something from a much more expensive car. The fake wood is amongst the best I have ever seen. The painted plastic looks better than the plastic which is painted aluminum color in the 2008 CTS. The center console and cup holder set-up is the best of any of the cars in this class, and it has a very handy dash-top storage bin, and even that bin is of higher quality than the one on the Fusion. It has bottle holders in the doors. The two-tone leather is of good quality, better than the leather in most competing models, and far better than the leather in the 2005 model, but lacks perforations to make it cooler in summer. The steering tilts and telescopes, with a nice range of adjustments, unlike the limited range of the Camry. The pedals adjust with a switch. It has a very handy 120V outlet. The rear seat flops down in two separate sections, with the releases inside, making it easier than the Camry and Accord, when the releases are in the trunk, causing you to have to pull the release(s), then walk around to grab the seat and pull it down, then walk back to the trunk to load your cargo.

    The trunk is large, and the lid is supported with struts and hinges which will not crush cargo.

    The license plate is in the rear bumper, not prominently displayed on the trunk lid as if it was some sort of art work.

    The hood is supported with a hydraulic strut, not a prop rod.

    I noted three flaws:
    1) No navigation system with Bluetooth, although installing an aftermarket in-dash unit should be easy
    2) No sunglasses holder
    3) While the cut lines in the seat covering are in far better places than those on the 2005 model, making the seats more comfortable, they are the same basic seats, so I still wonder about comfort.

    Optima: The console is very cheap plastic.

    Sonata: The dash radio is very odd looking and ugly. The steering wheel does not telescope. There are blank switch locations to the left of the steering wheel, even on top of the line models. The leather is just one color.

    Passat: The seats are the most comfortable of any of these cars, and the leather is perforated to be cooler in the summer. The instruments are nice. It has dual zone HVAC controls. The rear seats flop down. It has sun shades in the rear doors, and an umbrella holder in the front doors. They also offer a wagon version. It can be ordered with AWD.

    Fusion: You can&#146;t see any of the rear of the car from the driver&#146;s seat. I have rented a Fusion, and this makes parking very frustrating. The interior is cheap plastic. You drag your pants on the door sill when getting out of the car. Like the Malibu, it has trunk struts and hinges which will not crush cargo. Two tone seats are available (black and red). The steering wheel tilts and telescopes. AWD is an option.

    Accord: Cheap plastic is quite evident on the console, but the dashboard and instruments are OK. The visors also slide on chrome rods, but the action is rough and jerky, not the smooth gliding motion of those on the Malibu. The chrome exterior door handles feel flimsy, and twist in your hands. The license plate is prominently displayed in the trunk lid. The back seats flops down, but only in one piece, making it impossible to have three people in the car along with some longer cargo. The release to flop the seat back down is in the trunk, making you walk around from the trunk to the rear seat area to pull the seat down after pulling the release. The door panels are cheap dark gray, with no distinct bottle holder in them, although there is space of a bottle. The leather is OK, as is the cloth, but the leather is not perforated. The front end of the fancy version looks just fine, and has fog lights, but the front of the base version looks too much like a square imposed on curved areas. They also offer a two door version.

    Camry: The tilt and telescope steering column has a very limited range of adjustments. The seats are poor. The painted plastic IP and console is very cheap looking, like some cheap portable radio or toy. The doors look OK, but lack bottle holders, and have no space for bottles in the doors. The back seats flops down in two sections, but the releases are inconveniently located in thd trunk, making you walk around from the trunk to the rear seat area to pull the seat section(s) down after pulling the release(s). The interior is just shades of gray, with no two tone. The sun visor does not slide.

    Mazda 6: A revised version is one the way, so comments on the out-going model are not as significant as those on the other cars. It is available in a four door hatchback, a four door sedan, and a wagon. The interior is nicer than that in the Fusion.

    Finally, I haven't driven the new Malibu, so don't know if the suspension is upgraded over that in the Maxx I once owned, how quiet it rides, and how well the engine, transmission, and brakes will work, but those are all very important factors in determining if it will be a success or failure.
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    If someone has a 2008 Malibu, it might be wise to start the sub-grouping, i.e. "08+ Malibu-- Electrical" now. For some reason no one ever did it with the 04+ cars and it's very frustrating digging through Malibu Classic (97-03+) cars in the same threads as the totally different car.
  • jaxs1jaxs1 Posts: 2,697
    I went to a Honda dealer and a Chevy dealer a few hours ago.
    I test drove an LX-P and liked it and was thinking about coming back in a few weeks to buy it the week between Christmas and New Years.
    Very roomy and it felt very tight and solid. The LX-P cloth was softer and better looking than the cloth on the EX models. I am likely to buy a car like this unless insurance is more than I expect.

    I decided to stop by the Chevy dealer to see the new Malibu just to see if would be worth considering.
    They only had two 2008 Malibus. An LTZ on the showroom loaded with everything and the black and brick interior. I still don't like it, but didn't look as bad as it does in the photos. Some people may like it.
    The only other 2008 they had was an LS almost complete stripped. Just mats and bodyside moldings. Sticker slightly over $20K.
    Since I'm more interested in the 4 cylinder gas mileage, I test drove the LS just to see how it would compare to the Accord.
    The stripped LS interior actually looked pretty good and lit up really nicely at night with all the ambient lighting touches all over the car including lighted door handles.
    The 4 cylinder seemed smoother and quieter than the Accord due to being buried behind tons of sound deading material. The ride was smoother and quieter than the 2008 Accord (and the 2008 Accord is smoother than the 2007s were) It had a hydraulic lift for the hood even on the base LS with 4 cylinder (no hood prop needed). This is really rare on 4 cylinder cars. Even a Lincoln MKZ has a hood prop.
    XM radio and OnStar on the base LS. OK sounding stereo. I think it even had auto on and off headlights. The LS is what you will see at rental lots, so I bet many of those people renting at Avis and Hertz will like the car and then consider buying one.
    The 4-speed automatic seemed no worse than the 5-speed Honda transmission.
    You get alot for at $20K MSRP. No stability control though. You need to move up to at least an LT to order Stabilitrak.

    However, it still was not perfect. The sleek styling made headroom tight front and back. I bumped my head getting in once and the back seat headroom was maginal for 6 footers in the LS. In the LTZ with moonroof, the rear headroom was extremely tight for 6 footers, The rear legroom was adequate due to the cutouts for your knees in the backs of the front seats.
    The fold down rear seat has a wider opening than the Accord, so it will be easier to fit a bike through the opening into the car interior. However, the trunk lid opening itself is small.
    The LS seats seemed comfortable on the test drive, but they may have been a bit too soft to be supportive on a long trip. I would have to drive one on a long trip to find out.

    I like the car. An LT without the moonroof option would be a really nice car. If you get the moonroof, tall people can't sit in back. Even without the moonroof, rear headroom is barely adequate. The Accord also has the folding rear center armrest that the Malibu lacks.
    The Accord has gooseneck trunk hinges and the Malibu had struts.
    All around, the Malibu seemed better for front seat passengers and cargo and the Accord is better for the rear passengers.

    I may still go with the Accord because of the tight rear seat. The Accord has OK headroom even with the moonroof and the LX models are that much roomier since they don't have moonroofs. LX and L-P sedans are full-size. EX sedans are mid-size due to the space lost by the moonroof.

    The Honda also will have much better resale value and you can get a 100K $0 deductible extended warranty for around $750. A similar GM service contract would be more like $1600 on a new Malibu.
    If you need a roomy back seat with lots of headroom, the Malibu comes up short, but it was a bit nicer to drive from the front seat.
    When the 6-speed automatic becomes available on all 4-cylinders, it will be even nicer to drive, but they cannot do anything about the rear seat space until the next redesign.

    The extra $1000 cost of the GM extended warranty vs Honda warranty kind of wipes out the savings of the Malibu vs Accord. If a $1500-$2000 rebate comes, it will look more attractive to me since I don't think invoices price of similarly trim Malibus and Accords are not that far apart. If they came out with a subsidized lease program, that could be attractive. You would be able to drive it for 3 years without worrying about resale and repair or extended warranty costs.
    I didn't like the Chevy sales people, they were trying to get me to buy one of them by saying they could replace the LTZ leather or put leather in the LS even after I told them more than once I am going to keep looking at other vehicles and would only get an LT with Stabilitrak if I were going to get a Malibu at all.


    The Malibu was more comfortable to drive than the Accord, but the Accord is much better for big and tall people to ride in the back seat. The Accord will have much, much better resale value.
  • mackabeemackabee Posts: 4,709
    Jaxs, with Honda's rep for reliability I wouldn't consider an extended warranty. With the Malibu I would. Having said that, I do want for the domestic manufacturers to get their stuff together but they keep coming up with bonehead moves like this:
    4 speed auto on 4cyl models and then they're are going to put in a 6 speed? Why not start with a 5 speed auto to begin with?.

    They spent all this money on their attention grabbing commercials yet the cars are nowhere to be found.! Like you said there were two at the dealership you stopped in. I've yet to see one here and I would like to check it out. Not that we get many Chevy buyers looking at Toyotas but I keep up with the competition.

    Mack :shades:
  • jaxs1jaxs1 Posts: 2,697
    They already have 4 and 6 speeds available, so they don't want to bother designing a new 5-speed. There will be a 6-speed 4 cylinder LTZ in February and the 6-speeds will be in the other 4 cylinders by 2010 models, if not sooner.

    I have recently read that the lease residuals on the 2008 Malibu are only going to be a couple points less than a Camry, so maybe I could lease one and let GM take the resale risk if there are also good lease money factor rates. I don't use the back seat that much and it is "usable," but tight for tall people.

    I may go to another dealer and take a look at a 2LT today.
    I'm not sure how much money I am going to spend on a car yet. I'm looking at everything from the upcoming 2009 Corolla to leasing a Mercedes E350 (there are super aggressive lease deals on the E350 in some areas that make the lease cost comparable to much cheaper cars).

    The Accord and Malibu are most likely since you get the most for the price. The Corolla is probably going to be too small, and I probably will not be able to get the E350 leased as cheaply as some people in the forums were claiming.

    The Accord will be the safest bet. An LX-P is a good value, 5 star crash tests all around, standard stability control, good gas mileage, good handling, roomy, reliable and great resale value.

    The Malibu looks better, has more neat features and drives and rides a bit nicer, but has questionable reliability especially since I heard the similar Saturn Aura has been rated worse than average reliability. However, there is a Chevy dealer on my way to work and the Honda dealers are all out of the way in different directions than my commute route. If I ever had to take the Honda in for warranty service, it would be very inconvenient to drive there to drop off and pick up the car compared to doing the same with the Malibu.
  • mackabeemackabee Posts: 4,709
    I understand your concerns. I would think based on past performance you rarely if ever would need to drop the Accord off for warranty service. Does the Chevy dealership offer loaners? IIRC they used to provide roadside assistance with new cars, I don't know if they still do. There's plenty of deals to be had out there. Sales have not been as expected so incentives are at an all time high.
    Mack
    :shades:
  • jaxs1jaxs1 Posts: 2,697
    There are no incentives on the Malibu yet partly because the dealers don't have many cars to sell anyway. If you buy a Malibu now while they are in short supply and 6 months later there is a $1500 rebate, that is going to raise your depreciation because you will have overpaid compared to people who bought after the rebates became available.
    Maybe I will just go with the Accord for now and look at the Malibu again in 3 or 4 years when reliability issues would be sorted out, they will be all 6-speeds and it will probably at least have a folding rear seat armrest.
  • Yup , I 'm going to have to wait unit the Spring to seriously look at the Malibu as well as a better selection . I'm willing to hold off for a few months .However I'm guessing the incentives will start in Jan .
  • jaxs1jaxs1 Posts: 2,697
    Leasing right now might be OK if the lease programs use as high residuals as have been rumored. A high residual and a good lease interest rate may make it OK to lease now and you don't have to care about resale value. Most people will end their lease before the 3/36 warranty expires, so they don't have to worry about repair costs and extended warranties either. This would probably be the safest way to "take your chances" getting a Malibu instead of a Camry or Accord.
    The residuals are highest the earlier you start your lease unless they are artificially raised later as an incentive.

    I'd like to find out what the current lease deal is on the new Malibu before I get something else.

    Didn't GM have promotion a few years ago where they had a special lease program that let you walk away from your lease at 12K miles if you didn't like the car? I think is was around 2004 or 2005. Maybe they can do that again if they are really confident about the Malibu.

    This is what shows on leasecompare. You can enter your zipcode and the prices and it will calculate what deal they could get for you through private leasing companies:

    http://www.leasecompare.com/quick_lease_quotes.php?ModelYear=2008&MakeID=160&Mod- - elID=330&StyleID=110&vehicle=2008+Chevrolet+Malibu

    Maybe GM will offer a better deal with their in-house lease program.
  • One man's WOW is another man's YAWN.
  • aa5byaa5by Posts: 3
    We purchased an 08 a few weeks ago and I recall the closing agent asking if we wanted the extended warranty now or did we prefer to wait. He noted that the warranty is considerably less than previous plans because the drive train is now 5yr / 100,000 so the extended warranty just increases the bumper to bumper coverage so is much cheaper than older GM extended warranties.

    We didn't opt for the extended at least yet, so I wasn't paying close attention but I want to say he quoted the extended for around $900 to take the bumper to bumper from 36,000 and 3 yrs to 100,000 and five years.

    One last point unrelated to your post but related to cost that a few might find interesting is the use of credits for the GM Master card. I was quite surprised when the closing agent outlined that only one thousand of my accumulated credits could be used against the purchase of the Malibu. I'd never been limited before and had a good balance accrued as it had been seven years since the last new purchase.

    After telling the agent that it was a deal breaker, he asked to see my card again and noted that it was a GM World... and offered that a couple of years before he had run into this and the owner of the card had called and was allowed to use all credits. His explanation was, that GM sold the card and the new owners changed the policy to limiting credits but that those who've had the card for a long time are grandfathered to the previous policy for which they subscribed.

    He made a call and had to go up one tier of reps but soon had the full credit applied to the purchase. So...if someone has had a card for a long time and gets the limiting speech, it might be worth checking into.
  • mfletou1mfletou1 Posts: 508
    Their safety features are never an option. If they offer it, its standard, even on the base trim of whatever model it is.

    A nice trend that others should emulate.
  • Part of their "one size fits all" (or no one) philosophy. I was ready to buy a new Accord a while back until I realized that I could only get it in silver, white, or red with a gray interior, that's it. No thanks.
  • mfletou1mfletou1 Posts: 508
    That's really not much different than the new Malibu, too. Take a look at the color combos, particularly in the LTZ. Its very specific.

    Also, to be honest with you---I don't buy it. If you had compared all the cars and decided that the Accord was really the best vehicle, I doubt very much you would then be deterred because of color combos and not one of those would work for you.

    No offense, but I think your priorities are a little mixed up at that point. But whatever, different strokes for different folks.
  • It was all part of the buying experience. That, combined with a very take it or leave it attitude from the sales staff and absolutely no willingness to discuss price told me that it wasn't a car I wanted after all.
  • mfletou1mfletou1 Posts: 508
    Doesn't sound like it was the CAR to me, sounds like it was the dealership. Also doesn't sound like you worked the internet department, either.

    Which I suppose is understandable, if you only have one Honda dealer that you can shop from. Personally, if I don't like the dealer, I just go to the next one until I find one I'm happy with. The quality of the vehicle is paramount.

    Again, I don't care, I just don't think you are really telling the whole story. You've got every right to buy whatever you want, but I think people tend to be deceptive about why they made the choices they did in order to make themselves feel better about their purchase.

    Sounds like you maybe just liked a different car, which is great, but just say so. I hope it had standard stability control like the Honda.
  • It sounds to me like you're looking for something that isn't there. All I can tell you was that I drove the car, liked what I saw and felt, and was ready to buy until I sat back down at the dealership afterwards and saw the lack of choices and the attitude.

    When you say that "I think people tend to be deceptive about why they made the choices they did in order to make themselves feel better" would seem to me to apply more to Honda buyers than just about any other brand. Anyway, this discussion is about the Malibu.
  • Interesting that Car & Driver has a review of the new Malibu in their January issue that is very complimentary and....they immediately put it on their 10 Best cars list, also seen in that issue. High praise, indeed. The Chevy folks have to feel good about that.

    I haven't seen the January Motor Trend yet, but I'm told the Malibu was a unanimous choice as a candidate for Car of The Year and that they rate it equal to Camry. More high praise. Their main complaint was numb steering.

    I'm an '04 Accord owner shopping for a new V6 sedan. The '08 Accord would probably have been a no-brainer, but I'm turned off by VCM. The Malibu is on my radar screen. I'll probably drive it soon, though I may wait awhile before trading.

    Question -- when the 6-speed automatic comes online, will it be just for the 4 cyl. Malibu or will it also appear in the LT V6 version. Or does the LT V6 already have it?
  • The V-6 already comes with the 6-speed in the Malibu.

    Interesting, though, how GM mixes and matches their powertrains. The same V-6 engine in the Buick LaCrosse gets a 4-speed autobox. And in the forthcoming Pontiac G8 (a rear wheel dive car), the V-6 model gets a 5-speed autobox. I don't know if that V-6 is the same one used in the other 2 cars, though.
  • I know the 6 speed comes with the top V6 model, the LTZ. I thought the C & D article implied the LT model V6 had only the 4-speed, but maybe I misread it. So you're saying both V6 models have the 6 speed now?
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