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Chevrolet Malibu MPG-Real World Numbers



  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    the reflash apparently clears some shifting issues..but apparently helps MPGs as well.....I would suggest getting it done if the dealership can and will
  • malexbumalexbu Posts: 169
    It's time to make the first report on my new Malibu, after the first four fillups: with mostly "city" driving (25 MPH), in the warm winter weather, the MPG consistently stays in the range 21.5 to 22 MPG. A bit better than my Maxx, a bit worse than the 2005 Base Sedan. A very accurate DIC MPG information -- for the first time, I don't have to subtract 1.5 MPG from the reading. A good car, which I like. The six-speed transmission excels on the highway, but I can't fully master it at the very low speed: press the gas pedal a bit too much and the car jerks ahead. Tightish in, compared to the previous generation, a comparatively tiny trunk. Feels very firm, perfect on the highway. Can't tell which of my three Bu's I like driving more. The four cylinders in the 2012 feel much like the six in the 2006 Maxx. The driver's seat is not as comfortable as the old ones (at least, this is how I feel now.) To repeat: I like this car.
  • phil53phil53 Posts: 54
    I finally decided that, if I was going to get V6 mileage, I might as well have the power of a V6. So I bought a CTS with a 3.6L DI V6. Lots more giddy-up and more fun to drive. More creature comforts too. Fuel mileage is not quite as good as the Malibu, but I think it was a worthwhile trade-off. So I probably will not need to belong to this forum any more.
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    congrats...I had an 04 Maxx LT v-6 and an 09 em both..finally gave the Maxx to my stepson with 200K on it......CTS is currently sitting at 39K......
  • dave8697dave8697 Posts: 1,479
    The increase in the mileage in my Malibu is unexpected. It got 25.4 the first few months I had it. At 9000 miles on it, it broke past 30 mpg overall. This spring, with 14000 miles on it, it is well into the 30's. The last two 40+ mile round trips to downtown Indy and back, it is averaging 35.5 mpg. The average was actually 30.0 from my house to the interstate on-ramp, a distance of 4.5 miles or 25% of each trip. My combined 35.5 leaves the EPA's combined of 26 as a number I might get if I never left my neighborhood. They do rate them as brand new and not broken in. I would now expect 37 on a trip out of state. My suprise is that after 3 months of owning it, I thought I'd never see 30 on my work commute.

    The '10 Malibu mpg numbers I now see are exactly twice what my '01 4X4 ext cab gets. The truck has exactly twice the displacement (4.8) and gets 15 on the way to the interstate and 18 on a 1200 mile trip. It has twice as many miles on it as the Malibu has. If I was getting 14.5 mpg from my Malibu, I'd be checking the rpms, taking it on a 40 mile hwy only stint with before and after top offs to verify.

    The Malibu runs 1900 rpms at 70 mph.
  • phil53phil53 Posts: 54
    I had over 50K on my 09 LTZ 4cyl 6A and I never saw 30. My wife did once on steady cruising interstate driving the speed limit with a tail wind. The best I ever saw was 28. Driving to and from work, the majority of which was freeway driving, and around town, I generally got 20 - 22 mpg. There were times when I got down into the teens.
    The CTS4 with the 3.6L V6 6A is still not broken in and does nearly that good in around town/freeway driving. We're still not quite there on interstate. But I don't care. It's so much nicer and has the pep I really missed with the Malibu.
  • dave8697dave8697 Posts: 1,479
    some V6's are not very different from 4's on mpgs.
    Your Malibu sounds like it got the same mileage as my '96 SC 3800 Riviera. It gave me slightly over 30 on trips and averaged 28 mpg on a 94 mile round trip daily commute. The 3800 gets 20-22 city.
    The worst tank ever in my '10 Malibu was 25.4 mpg on the first tank.
  • main1462main1462 Posts: 1
    I just bought a 2012 Malibu LS. On the highway, it does very well. Today, going 70 mph, it averaged 36.1 miles per gallon on a 30-mile trip. (Temperature was 65 with no wind.) However, around town, we get 20-22. Yes, it is rated to get 22 in town, but with my previous cars, I was always able to beat the EPA city estimates by 20-30%. So far, I haven't been able to do that with the Malibu. I like the highway MPG so far. Unfortunately, 90% of our driving is around town.
  • dave8697dave8697 Posts: 1,479
    Driving style accounts for up to 30% of mileage.
  • phil53phil53 Posts: 54
    Agreed. But the Malibu was the first GM product I've owned where I couldn't get close to the advertised mileage. On all the trucks I've owned and on my Corvette, I routinely got the mileage advertised on the Monroney - even with my somewhat aggressive driving style.
    My Cadillac CTS4 with the 3.6L V6 and 6A has only 1200 miles on the odometer and, with the exception of a road trip by my wife, it's getting about what I expected. I should be there once it breaks in.
    Now, granted, the Malibu is no CTS, but I wonder if I wouldn't have done about as well with the V6 or with a different GM product.
  • dave8697dave8697 Posts: 1,479
    last 3 tanks by top off method were 33.8, 32.5, 32.6.
    Range per DIC after fill for last 3 fills: 559, 569, 549
    EPA combined rating: 26
    There are 5 mile stretches on the interstate at 38 or higher most trips into Indy.
    Nice to go past 400 miles on a tank and it reads just under a 1/4 and the range is still 130. With plenty of city driving included.
  • dave8697dave8697 Posts: 1,479
    hit 632 today. 16 gal tank
  • dave8697dave8697 Posts: 1,479
    the diesel vw probably has a bigger tank than 16g. 3.9/3.43
  • dave8697dave8697 Posts: 1,479
    I estimate that the highest rated gas powered car sold in the US that gets 42 mpg hwy is only getting 12% higher mpgs than my Malibu. My 4 vehicles get 17, 21.5, 22, and 35 on my work commute. How someone could be getting close to the 22 of the Astro (the Astro tops the Riv and the 4x4) with a 2.4L Malibu is puzzling to me. Maybe 6th gear not kicking in plus bad wheel alignment, a clogged air filter, and 15 psi in the tires?
  • malexbumalexbu Posts: 169
    How someone could be getting close to the 22 .. with a 2.4L Malibu. Maybe 6th gear not kicking in plus bad wheel alignment, a clogged air filter, and 15 psi... ?

    I am getting under 22 MPG with my four-month-old 2012 LS. Consistently. No complains: my average speed between the fillups is about 25 MPH. A very short commute and an incredible number of traffic lights. Last weekend made a 40-mile's trip on a higway: 34 MPG per DIC, which, I know, is amazingly accurate. So, I am not unhappy with the fuel economy of this car, even though "around 22" is what I usually see on my MPG display.
  • dave8697dave8697 Posts: 1,479
    I reset the avg mpg readout from my DIC and let my wife drive the same trip I typically take. She got 24 mpg where I get 36 mpg. I di it again after mentioning we were getting 12 mpg different on same loop. Then she got 26 next time. I asked my son how she manages that as I get 30 just from my house to the on ramp of the interstate. He said she is constantly pushing the throttle up and down on the interstate and does not know how to drive at a steady speed. I mentioned to her that she is getting 10 mpg less than me and the next time I zeroed out the DIC it came back with her getting 28.4 mpg. She has still only closed 1/3 of the gap between mine and hers mpgs on the same loop. The loop is 40 miles with 30 miles on the interstate in a 50 mph zone. They let you do 60 without bothering you. But 28.4 is a lot better than 24. So I guess 22 could be managed. That's just 8 less than I get in town starting with a cold engine.
  • A reporter seeks to interview anyone who recently considered or bought a new Chevy Malibu. Please email before Friday, September 14, 2012 if you are willing to share your thoughts on the car.

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  • templar1templar1 Posts: 1
    I have a 2012 LT Malibu 4cyl. I have noticed that it is very sensitive to tire pressure and over acceleration. More so than any other car that I have owned. On a 23 mile one way commute I have averaged 25.6 mpg. Of course not all of that is highway but at least 18 of it is on the Freeway.
  • dave8697dave8697 Posts: 1,479
    On trip of 462 miles each way, I got 38.6 going there without any a/c and with original air filter with 33k miles on car and filter. Then I changed filter in NC and drove back in warmer weather requiring a/c use most of way. Got 38.5 mpg on return trip. After seeing used air filter, I will change it at 25k next time. I am suprised that a/c doesn't use any more gas than having windows down 2 inches. Range on DIC read 678 miles at end of return trip when I filled the tank. Realistic range is 635 miles, which is from Indy to southern Georgia or to Philly. The Sonata and Camry hybrids are rated at 35 hwy, which is 10% less than my non-hybrid gave me. I drive 70 mph on interstates.
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