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2000-2011 Chevrolet Malibu



  • Considering an 04 Malibu LT, 1SB package with XM radio. Test drive was impressive, just concerned about reliability and resale, which are unknowns at this time. Dealer has quoted 23,000, and I have $3300 GM Card earnings to apply. Does anyone have an idea if incentives will get any better?
  • Usually get better right before the next model year comes out, because you are effectively taking an extra year's depreciation by buying the 04 instead of the 05. I think it'll go up to move the last of the 04s before the 05s come out. How much itll go up and how long before the release of the 05s, I can't venture a guess. If GM doesn't raise it for at least the time when both models are in showrooms, I'd be surprised (who would buy an 04 when an 05 is right there?)
  • tomcat630tomcat630 Posts: 854
    GM makes money from SUV/Truck sales. Also Cadillacs rake in some profits.
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    All car makers boost incentives on previous year cars when the new ones come. Best time of year to buy, worst time of year for resales.

    Malibu should be as reliable as an Accord / Camry in my estimation but resale will definitely be worse. If you only keep your cars 3-4 years, lease it.
  • Thanks for your comments. I was aware of the year-end incentives, but I am particularly interested in the 0% financing available now. That is very attractive to me; do you think it will be around for awhile? The $3300 GM Card earnings together with the financing make it a very compelling deal!
  • johnclineiijohnclineii Posts: 2,287
    dindak, I SELDOM keep a car as long as three to four years (this time, I have). I put 50,000 miles (80,000 km plus) on a car a year. Do you still think I should lease? I think not.

    Like all general rules, the one you stated has many, many exceptions. Lessors make money. Unless a car is used in business, leasing seldom makes sense. Then it is only the tax laws that make it make sense.
  • Do you buy new?

    My boss puts 30-35k on a year. Buys a 3 year old car and drives it for 3 years. Probably spend about the same on cars as I do and I do 8k a year.
  • johnclineiijohnclineii Posts: 2,287
    Yep, I usually buy new. Reliability is very important to me. Some of my driving is not in the best of neighborhoods or areas, and I really would rather not have a breakdown. Come to think of it, I haven't had one in over ten years now...
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    You can still lease, you just pay based on the miles you do. Saves time / bother in trying to sell your car and your residual is locked in. You are right though, a big advantage is the w/o if you are in a position where that is possible.
  • Have seen conflicting things in the group. If my '99 Malibu LS with the 100,000 platinum spark plugs with 37K should I replace them (car driven for 4.5 years)or do I wait? Wonder if there was a good practice here. I drive very low miles (7K a year) - will be years before I reach 100K. Just wondering.
  • deminindeminin Posts: 214
    If the car is running good, and idles smooth, save your money. Its not unusual for platinum plugs to go well past 100K and still be ok. Unleaded fuel has removed the single biggest cause for spark plug failure..lead. Follow the recommended oil/filter/lube routines in the owners manual, and you should be ok.
    BTW, the owners manual recommends lubing all the weatherstripping with silicone grease, at least once a year. This is especially important for those of us who have sunroofs..keeps the rubber pliable and the rain out. A small 1oz. tube of this stuff is about $4 at the auto parts stores, and is barely enough to do the job. I found that military surplus silicone often shows up on EBAY. I bought (12) 5oz. tubes, delivered to the house for $ have a lifetime supply for me and all the kids/grandkids/etc.
  • tamu2002tamu2002 Posts: 758
    Could you explain what parts belong to the "weatherstripping" category, something like rubber door seals? Do you just apply the silicone grease on top of it? Thanks!

    We had our first winter driving scare last night. Coming back from a one-week trip, and slammed into a pile of snow right in front of our apartment. Tried cat litter and rugs but couldn't get any traction on the front wheels. Finally called some friends and poured some hot water under the wheels and pushed it out. It's amazing how little snow it takes to get into a sticky situation like that. Our 02 Malibu LS performed well on the 3-hour drive home in 0 (F) degree temperature. The windshield washer fluid froze up and the hood somehow poped open by itself after parked for 3 days (anybody know how?) This morning I took the car for a long overdue car wash, and water almost froze right away on the car! It's cold!
  • Went to the local Chevy dealer today to play the Hot Button game and I won!* Brand new Impala SS!! :) Anyways, I also sat in a Malibu MAXX LT fully-loaded with everything except the DVD entertainment system. Oddly, I couldn't find the OnStar button in it. Does anyone know where it is located, because it wasn't on the mirror or center stack.

    * truth may have been stretched to the extent where I had won when in fact I didn't. LOL! :P
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    You suck (sarcasm, of course- does anyone else feel that we deserve a universally established "sarcasm" font?). I got all excited for you and was about to write you a congratulatory email. I was also going to celebrate by having a drink for you at the bar tonight. Oh well, I'll just have to make up another reason :)

    Youd think being a member on these boards, knowing automotive types, and having played the Hot Button game with many friends... you'd at least know somebody who knew somebody who won!

  • I know! I can't believe anyone here on Town Hall hasn't won yet. Maybe I needta look closer...
  • johnclineiijohnclineii Posts: 2,287
    Maybe the winners' lawyers have advised them not to publicly trumpet their winnings, for many good legal and practical reasons? Then again, given how most winners act, I find it difficult to believe they would listen to such sage advice.
  • deminindeminin Posts: 214
    Tamu...use the silicone grease on any/all rubber door seals, sunroof seals, and trunk seals. These dry out over time, and allow air and water leaks. Much of the "wind whistle" that occurs on older cars is caused by air leaks around the doors and windows. Just put a small dab of silicone grease on a rag or shop towel, and rub it in good with your fingertip, then wipe off any excess with a clean part of the rag. Silicone grease is usually colorless and odorless, and won't leave a greasy mess to attract dirt, or mess up your clothes if you brush up against it.
    Pay close attention to the seals around the sunroof, as when they dry out, you will get wet when it rains. One of my granddaughters has a Cavalier that the previous owner ignored these seals, and she has to keep a towel in the car to wipe up the drips. You will have to move the sunroof forwards/backwards to get to all of the seal.
  • I didn't win either. The vehicle my dealer had it in was a customized Suburban LT, with a marked-up sticker to $50K (or close to it). The dealer was having fits because a busload of non-driving eldery retirees had arrived the prior day from the senior citizens center, to play, and the entire sales staff was handcuffed for hours. GM might have to rethink doing that again....

    If you win something you don't want, you CAN get what you want and pay the difference, or in my case it would have been get a refund check for the difference.

    To anyone who hasn't yet played, remember that you have to push the button IN THE DESIGNATED VEHICLE, not just any one on the showroom floor.

    After I arrived home from being away all week, I caught the mid-size sedan crash test story on PBS' MotorWeek yesterday, and apparently, the tests are completed. We'll have to keep an eagle eye out for a story soon on Dateline. All that was revealed was that the Suzuki Verona failed the side-crash test horribly (certain death). No side airbags even available. What were they thinking? I'd surmised that would happen from the start.

    Good bet the Bu was a test subject.

    The March Car&Driver had a compo of $35K sedans, so a test of family sedans is probably on the way for the April or May issue.

    As a follow-up to a question I posed a while back, the full-page ad for the Maxx in C&D shows a mast antenna on the right rear fender. The Cobalt at the Detroit Show had one too. So I guess the one in the rear window is causing reception problems (with or without window tinting applied).

    To rc: I haven't seen a Maxx in person yet (haven't been to the dealer in a few weeks), but you'd think the OnStar button would be where the sedan's is, at the bottom of the rearview mirror. Did the window sticker specifically list OnStar? Another giveaway is the pointy black antenna on the roof.
  • Wow, that would've been great to win a fully-loaded Suburban LT, except when you get your gas bill. :P I was in a full-loaded Impala SS and I didn't really like it.
  • regfootballregfootball Posts: 2,166
    after scoping the Aveo went and sat in the MAxx.

    where is the extra utility they are touting? Trunk wasn't that big or useful or well trimmed out. Rear leg room ok, but not huge.

    Fit and finish left a lot to be desired.

    not any sort of space breakthrough but certainly the hatchback is a nice option for those who like the car to begin with.
  • tamu2002tamu2002 Posts: 758
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    Who ever said it was.

    Back seat room is better than anything in this class. Try moving the seat back next time you sit. Even the sedan back seat is excellent.

    Fit is excellent, finish is good, gray colors are bland.
  • The car looks considerably smaller than the Accord, Camry and Altima. If interior room is good then the trunk must be small. Fit and finish is good but not great. Better than Altima and not as good as Accord or Camry. (IMO)
  • Just wondering how much blame Ford deserves for this mess? They own about 34% of Mazda.
  • I am ending my lease on My Grand AM and Am looking at the Malibu, which so far seems like a great car. What have people been paying for leases on this vehicle, for 3 years, Also, for the intake gasket deal, my dealership went ahead and tightened my intake gasket bolts on my Alero with 87,000 miles, instead of replacing the whole gaskets, a cheap 106.00 job. We'll see how long that lasts, it seemed like a clever idea to me, anyway
  • Well, at least they addressed the issue for the 03 models and they corrected it for the 04 models.
  • regfootballregfootball Posts: 2,166
    seat WAS all the way back.

    really cut down on the trunk space.

    really if you like the bu and want a hatch, this your car.

    Mazda6 wagon or hatch (sans rust) is more my game IF I can't afford the base 9-3.

    otherwise its keep the current car or go down in size. Cobalt would actually be an option if it were out now. May not be able to afford to wait.
  • I'll admit upfront that this comment only applies to the '04 sedan, and not the Maxx as I haven't had time to go see that yet.

    If anyone over 6' is driving, it is IMPOSSIBLE for anyone over 5"10" to sit behind the driver's seat when that is occupied. Not the case with my '00. Shorter wheelbase. For anyone over 6', the front legroom is barely acceptable, even with the power pedals all the way back. Anyone over 6'2" is probably out of the picture altogether. Front legroom comments would apply to the Maxx. Sedan trunk is actually 2 cu.ft. smaller than mine, but better shaped, so it doesn't seem much different. Trunk hinges don't help, though.

    Cargo space in the Maxx will knock a lot of prospective buyers out of the picture if it's as skimpy as people are saying. Especially for one vehicle households. I found it interesting that the '04 Malibu brochure doesn't mention cargo space with the rear seats down once.

    Mazda 6 wagon is going to be pricey, since it's only available in s trim, and to get basic things, you have to get expensive other things.

    Saab 9-3 was just given a mediocre review by C&D with a manual. reg, if you don't subscribe, you need to get a hold of the March issue. Saab 9-3 rear legroom is only OK for midgets.

    Cobalt sounds more promising than I first thought (especially when I hear about the leather and wood, etc.). Interior space and trunk capacity will be make-or-break for me with it.
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    Oh, I'm sure the back seat would cut into the cargo area. Only think the Maxx offers in my view is hatch utility which is great for many people. For me, I need cargo room and kids room. Maxx is off our shopping list but I think it's a great idea and the remote starter hopefully finds it's way to other GM cars/trucks soon.
This discussion has been closed.