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2000-2011 Chevrolet Malibu



  • "Classic" is only for rental agencies and taxis. It's shocking to see that quite a few cabs here in Vancouver are Chevy Luminas. They must be at least 7 years old and with probably 250-300 thousand miles on them. Maybe Chevy ain't that bad after all, hehehe
  • johnclineiijohnclineii Posts: 2,287
    150,000 miles plus and going strong on my 2000 Impala, and it ain't no fleet car. I do not remember any glowing reports on the old Malibu in CR.
  • dispencer1dispencer1 Posts: 489
    Micweb -

    If you are looking for a decently equipped Malibu , I wouldn't wait for a Classic but would pick up a Hertz 2003 Malibu LS. It has lots of equipment,folding back seats, power seat, and a good V6 engine. Unfortunately every year standard stuff comes off the Malibu -in 2001 the LS had a standard cassette/CD radio with RDS. In 2003 this is an option. A plain non-RDS CD radio is standard.
    The Classic is nothing much - even worse engine wise than the 2003 base model. It is bad enough to try and pass in the 50-70 mph range with the 6. I can imagine doing it in a 4.
  • norbnancynorbnancy Posts: 118
    150000 miles on your 2000 Impala---time for a 04 Malibu LS. I had a 2000 Impala LS and traded it for a LeSabre last year after 41000 miles. Had the typical steering problem that a very poor dealer would not fix. Le Sabre is a nice car, not as much fun to drive as a ImpalaLS. This Feb while in Florida my 93 Fleetwood blew the metal brake line and gave me a thrilling few minutes. Fortunately, no collision. Stopped at a Chev dealer in New Smyrna Beach and traded for a Malibu LS with 1SB package. My intent was to trade for another Impala LS but after matching feature for feature, specs and price, the Malibu made better sense. The downsizing from a Fleetwood is an experience, but I really like the Malibu. For a mid size sedan, it is loaded with features. No dissapointments yet. john clineii, you should stop and try one. Enjoy the ride.
  • njscribenjscribe Posts: 23
    Interesting car-dealing, norbnancy! But as a current malibu maxx owner who spent some time driving someone else's '91 fleetwood, I would recommend the maxx as a better alternative than the malibu sedan for downsizers from the big caddy. The longer maxx wheelbase (six inches more than malibu sedan) makes for an around-town ride that is comparable to the luxury-boat's and the rearseat legroom may be even superior to the cadillac's. To me that is the beauty of the unique maxx.
  • johnclineiijohnclineii Posts: 2,287
    Quite frankly, I am probably headed toward a Subaru Legacy 2.5GT when they come out in May/June, though now you have me thinking of test DRIVING a Maxx...

    I had looked at them at the North American International Automobile Show in Detroit.
  • norbnancynorbnancy Posts: 118
    Yes, the Maxx makes sense for roominess. Although the Maxx looks similar, I personally like the LS better. John Clineii, you should get a sales brochure for a Malibu, Impala and Subaru, match the important dimensions and specs. Then consider them in terms of the final expected price. I personally was impressed with the Malibu performance, quietness, trim level and, most importantly, list of features as compared to the 2000 Impala LS. I also took into consideration the Malibu is a mid size and the Impala, a full size. My brother bought a Subaru outback last summer. It is a nice driver but, considering my preferences, it not on my radar screen. Fuel mileage-- last tank full,30.6 mpg over 422 miles combination city/ country driving. One of the features I like is the delayed locking feature.- gives you several seconds to get back into your Malibu to get your keys that you would otherwise would have locked inside. Enjoy the ride.
  • I thought it was an RV. Are you guys downsizing from an RV to a Malibu?
  • norbnancynorbnancy Posts: 118
    Like Mom--I shrunk the kids! A Fleetwood is a model of Cadillac. It is not a Fleetwood Deville. I had a Fleetwood Brougham, 1993. Rear wheel drive, lots of luxury, lots of room.I had it for 7 years and enjoyed it but, lots of repairs were on the horizon and it was time for a change. The name Fleetwood is used by a motor home manufacturer. Cadillac recently sold the rights to the Fleetwood name to a body company. "Big Mistake". It was not difficult to down size as I have a Buick LeSabre at home which gives me enough size. Another Malibu feature that I like; 4- wheel disc brakes with anti-lock and traction control. Not all mid size cars have this. Also fold down front passenger seat back. I can fit a 10 ft. 2x4 inside with the rear seat & front seat down and the trunk closed. I know of no other mid size that can do that. Think--- Don't even have to hang a red flag on the back of the 2x4. Unless you want to. Enjoy the ride.
  • deminindeminin Posts: 214
    Occasionally, I see people referring to the Malibu as a "rental car", with the inference that this is a negative. However, I see it differently. Hertz, Avis, etc., does a lot of research before they buy their cars, and I am sure that they are looking for something that is comfortable, reliable, and cost effective. After all, they are in business to make a profit, and they need an affordable car that will not screw up their bottom line. If they are choosing the Malibu, they are saying that this car will stand up to the abuse that many people give to rentals, and will not require excessive maintainance. The cost per mile on the Malibu must be quite a bit less than many of the imports, or we would be seeing fleets of Camcords at the airports. So, when I hear someone deriding the Malibu as being a fleet vehicle, I question whether or not they have checked out the logic behind Hertz/Avis/etc., decisions.
  • norbnancynorbnancy Posts: 118
    Deminin, I agree with your evaluation. There are other factors also; ease of repair, parts accessibility, numerous dealer locations nationwide,finance availability through the factory, end of use repurchase agreements,and more that I am not aware of. Many referred to the Lumina as a fleet car. So what. It was, and still is a reliable product. I had it for 45000 miles and gave it to my daughter who is still driving it at 105000 miles. The only unscheduled repair was a recent water pump and belt tensioner. The Lumina still looks good in and out and does not show wear commensurate with 105000 miles. Some other features that surprised me with my Malibu LS; Trunk liner material on the underside of the rear deck lid. My Cadillac Fleetwood didn't even have it. Cast wheels that are easy to clean,Tilt/telescoping steering column,Small plastic clip on left side of windshield to hold a parking pass or handicap card etc. I am not aware of any other car that has this. I'll say it again..... the Malibu is a sound value. Enjoy the ride.
  • dispencer1dispencer1 Posts: 489
    Of course, Malibus and other rental cars in the big rental car companies are disposed of before the factory warranty runs out but downtime is important. I haven't purchased a Toyota or Honda for years because of their stupid non existent ordering system. You essentially tell the dealer generally what you are looking for and he checks to see what is coming in. You then have to search Dallas, Ft. Worth, Albuquerque, El Paso, etc for a car that is equipped like you want it in the right color. You eventually give up and take the nearest thing you can. With a Malibu you can go down the list and have the car specially built for you. I figured when Camrys were built in the US this would hold true for them but it didn't. I don't think that Malibus are as sophisticated as Camrys; they aren't as quiet, and they aren't as well built and finished but there are a million Chevy dealers around; huge discounts are available, Chevy dealers don't act like they are parting with the Romanov crown jewels, any gas station can fix them, parts are cheap,lots of rebuilt aftermarket parts are around and they are dependable at least for 50-75k miles. You also don't have to replace a timing belt.
  • 37453745 Posts: 152
    The 2004 Malibu fit and finish is as good as any other car on the market. At work my boss who drives the latest BMW and, a colleague, who has the latest Accord compared all three cars for fit and finish while they were parked next to each other. Everybody conceded that the Malibu was up to, and, in some respects, even better than the imports.

    The Ecotec engine is a very sophisticated engine as well. For an engine that only weighs 240lbs, it is way out front for efficiency.
  • 37453745 Posts: 152
    Must add this - the suspension on the 2004 Malibu is also very sophisticated. Aluminum forged wishbone suspension up front and aluminum alloy pressed wishbone suspension at the back. This adds up to very low unsprung weight and gives the Malibu the most comfortable ride ever. With the double counter weight smoothed Ecotec engine, this has to be the smoothest 4cyl. car I've ever driven. Next time you see a 2004 Malibu, take a peek under it.
  • andy71andy71 Posts: 96
    I respectfully disagree. I test drove a lot of mid size sedans before purchasing my 04 Camry and Malibu was on of them. Interior wise it definitely wasn't as good as the Camry SE or the Accord LX but better than the Nissan Altima. There were small panel gaps in the Malibu that wasn't present in the Accord or Camry. The steering wheel was too skinny and odd looking. The buttons that control the stereo were too small. My biggest complaint is the engine that sounds rough once the tach reaches 3000 rpm. It doesn't have the silky smoothness of the Accord or Camry.
  • 37453745 Posts: 152
    You are welcome to disagree. I stick by my opinion.
  • dispencer1dispencer1 Posts: 489
    But the 2004 Malibu is light years ahead of the 2003 and is a contender now when it wasn't in the past. Frankly, I don't know why the Camry is so popular. It is expensive unless you get the LE with a 4 and standard equipment but it does hold its resale value at least in the short term (3 years or so). The Malibu is cheaper to own if you follow the service requirements in the owner's manual. There is less and less difference between the Camry and Malibu.
  • After years of making high-quality vehicles, Toyota and Honda rightfully deserve the benefit of the doubt of the consumers. Those unionized folks in Detroit should have thought more about making less lemons, as opposed to demanding fatter and fatter paychecks and benefits. Finally, when Toyota and Honda ate a sizeable chunk of the market share, it appears at least GM workers woke up and decided to make better cars. GM should not stop, it should agressively pursue perfection, just like Toyota (and I suspect Honda) does.
  • andy71andy71 Posts: 96

    This is exactly what I felt about the Malibu. They need a car that will stand out rather than blend in. Having another 30 to 40 hp can't hurt either since Camrys Accords and Altimas are packing anywhere from 225 to 250 Hp
  • venus537venus537 Posts: 1,443
    i'll have to disagree with you too. to me it's very obvious that the malibu doesn't match the accord's (let alone a BMW) fit and finish and material quality.

    for example, try opening the glove box. how does it open? now check the other two car's glove box in question.
  • ab348ab348 Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, CanadaPosts: 6,406
    Jerry Flint criticizes the Malibu for being boring. And the Camry isn't? They say the Malibu'slooks don't match up. But is the Accord a thing of beauty? Hardly.

    Flint is right when he claims that it is all about perception. I get a charge about the folks who pay big bucks for scheduled service on their Hondas, where all sorts of stuff gets replaced, then turn around and claim that they are trouble-free. Meanwhile the typical GM car maybe gets the benefit of an occasional oil change and tire rotation. The CR reliability ratings are based on owner reporting, remember. So the typical Honda owner says nothing broke. Whether or not it actually did may be another matter.

    2017 Cadillac ATS Performance Premium 3.6, 1968 Oldsmobile Cutlass S Holiday Coupe

  • andy71andy71 Posts: 96
    Seems like Canadians are more loyal to the big three than Americans. As to the above post that Honda and Toyota owners don't report their problems when there actually is, is simply not true. I don't know how you got that idea. From my own observation, I see more late 80's and early 90's Camry and Accord than Lumina, Cutlass Sierra, Taurus, Intrepid or any other American mid size cars.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Err, we have a 2004 Chevrolet Malibu vs. Alternatives discussion ... how about we meet up there with these comments and let this dedicated discussion focus on it's subject.

    See ya there!
  • 37453745 Posts: 152
    Just exactly where is the 2004 Malibu's fit and finish not up to an Accord or BMW's finish? I park everyday with my Malibu next to to one of those in our works parking lot. Somebody here said the Malibu's steering wheel was "skinny and odd looking". I made a point of comparing my steering wheel with the Accord next to me. Blow me if I could see if the Accords looked "fatter or better looking". In fact if you changed steering wheels and badges you wouldn't notice the difference. Well, they are at least the same color you know....

    I see just as much plastic in the BMW and Accord as in the Malibu. Unless somebody convinces me that the BMW and Accord has "better plastic". I'm going to take a tape measure and measure the area of plastic in all three cars. I'll measure the gaps in the doors. I'll see which doors close with the most satisfying thunk. I have a project now for my lunch break now. I'll keep you posted.
  • did they have to make such an ugly steering wheel on the new Bu? Should've kept the old wheel - MUCH better looking, and without that outrageously hideous yellow bowtie
  • dan165dan165 Posts: 653
    While I don't think the Ecotec is quite as good as the Honda and Toyota 4 cyl. motors, I do think the V6 is much better than their 4 cyl motors and it's about the same price. Point is, why get a 4 when you can get a 6 that is more refined, has more power and gets the same gas mileage?

    Malibu is a value leader in the midsize segment in my opinion. As word gets around and CR gives it a buy rating as I'm sure they will, sales should continue to pick up.
  • 37453745 Posts: 152
    I don't think the 6cyl. would get as much as the Ecotec 4cyl. I'm getting 36.8mpg on the freeway with my Ecotec. This mileage is helped by the fact that there is no steering assist pump being driven by the engine. The 2004 Malibu has electric steering which uses no power when driving straight as opposed to a hydraulic pump which which consumes energy in the same situation. Engine vibration, an energy sapper, is also very low, helped in part by the fact that the aircon compressor and alternator are bolted directly onto the engine block. There are no brackets with accessories hanging off. I don't feel any vibration when I turn the aircon on.

    There is a lot of sophistication in the design of the Ecotec engine that tends to missed at first glance.
  • venus537venus537 Posts: 1,443
    it's hard to believe that you don't see a difference in fit and finish between your malibu and the BMW/accord.

    forget about your tape measure. there are different levels of plastic quality!

    after you open and shut the glove compartments of the cars in question try looking at the exterior mirrors. are sure you don't see a difference in quality?

    next. try closing the trunk lids of these cars.
  • venus537venus537 Posts: 1,443
    if the honda service department finds something broken they just go ahead and replace that part free of charge and keep it a secret from you so you can think your car is reliable. ya RIGHT.

    part replacements (like belts) are NOT part of any scheduled maintenance until you get to a very high mileage interval.
This discussion has been closed.