Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Did you get a great deal? Let us know in the Values & Prices Paid section!
Meet your fellow owners in our Owners Clubs

2000-2011 Chevrolet Malibu



  • shadow5599shadow5599 Posts: 101
    Thanks Karen, you're right, this was turning a bit ugly and personal. People do get passionate about their cars!

    I think I've said it before but I chose what I did based on research, many, many test drives of many cars, safety ratings, and price. I'm not dead set on GM and in fact I came very close to purchasing my 1st import. I loved the Nissan Altima and will be looking into those again in the future. Another I almost went for was a 06 Hyundai Sonata but in the end it was just too many $$.

    I dont think I "settled" and am very happy with the Malibu and would like to tell people who are confused about what to buy, as I was, that it is a very nice car to drive. It continues to impress me and others daily.

    I'm sure all of us Malibu owners will be more than happy to share what we learned through our research and first hand experience as owners so hopefully we can get back to that and play nice :D
  • venus537venus537 Posts: 1,443
    "there's quality of materials used both inside and outside.
    how good is the fit and finish?"
    It is excellent, as good as it gets in the industry

    as good as it gets in the industry that's absurd. one example: check out the cheap black unfinished plastic housing the exterior mirrors on the malibu and then look at an accord.

    "how do the doors sound when closed including the trunk?"
    Again, excellent, solid and better when compared to many asians.

    not compared to honda and toyota it's not. you'll notice a difference between a malibu and an accord with the door closing test, especially with the trunk.

    "how refined and responsive is the engine when pushed?"

    True at the wheels rated HP and response is great. The asians measure HP at the flywheel so take that into account. GM may look unrefined but the old pushrod engine has many decades of refinement. It's solid and simple, nothing wrong with that.

    horsepower is measured the same way for these vehicles. you're not being honest if you think the malibu's engines are at the same level as those from honda, nissan and toyota.

    "how well is the transmission matched to the engine?"
    GM has always been good at that, the V6 propels this car quite nicely, to the surprise of many asian car owners as they once again get a view of the back of it pulling away from them.

    factually incorrect. the altima, accord, and camry will easily overwhelm a malibu when it comes to pulling away.

    "how well does the suspension handle the road at various speeds?"
    The suspension is great, being based on the 9-3 it always gets good reviews for handling.

    probably the biggest improvement from the last malibu, but the suspension floats more than an accord over bad payment.

    i'm not saying anybody is an idiot for getting a malibu. for a lot of people it makes a lot of sense. the malibu is simply not at the same level as an accord or camry.

    it's not a matter of perception either. the industry considers these cars the standard bearers in their segment.
  • venus537venus537 Posts: 1,443
    Every day I see those early 80's rear wheel drive Cutlass, Malibu, etc but very few imports of that vintage.

    perhaps it's because in those days those cars sold in much much higher numbers than the japanese cars. the japanese cars in that era were pretty much exclusively in the economy segment.
  • shadow5599shadow5599 Posts: 101
    "horsepower is measured the same way for these vehicles. you're not being honest if you think the malibu's engines are at the same level as those from honda, nissan and toyota."

    Not everyone thinks they are measured the same way.

    "Altima, accord, and camry will easily overwhelm a malibu when it comes to pulling away."
    I and other Malibu owners know that to be not factually true based on real-life, in-car road experiences.

    As for the Accord/Malibu comparison, I've done it, drove em, researched em. I guess I like the North American feel on a car and GM for cost of ownership in my experience cant be beat. I dont place too much importance on exterior mirror finish. My top criteria was safety and cost of ownership combined with a solid feeling fun car to drive. The other great things I got in the Malibu turned out to be a big bonus.

    The only car I liked better of the 3 you mention is the Altima but cost of ownership is higher, safety rating is lower and based on owners' comments, they have a high incidence of problems. As far as handling, yes, I loved the Altima! Cant say the same for the Accord or Camry. And if I had wanted to go into debt for twice as much $$, I would've chosen a Sonata, not one of those.

    If you follow the forums on the new Malibus, you'll notice there's really only one major problem that comes up and it's been fixed. Other than that EPS problem with some 04's, most other complaints you see are trivial or rare.

    But anyway, there's a new topic started, Malibu vs Camry. This should be carried on over there.
    Maybe Karen can rename it to Malibu vs Camry/Accord :P
  • venus537venus537 Posts: 1,443
    new guidelines were put in place to measure horsepower (per your link). the horsepower ratings for the current accord and camry reflect that. thus, the horsepower ratings are now measured pretty much in the same manner.

    unless you live in an alternate universe, the malibu is noticeably slower than the japanese cars i mentioned. this is not a matter of opinion. of course the malibu has more than enough power, it's not lacking in this area. it just has an agriculture sounding engine.

    what is a matter of opinion would be you thinking the malibu is a fun car to drive. who am i to tell you what fun is.

    if your top criteria for a car really was safety and cost of ownership combined with a fun solid driving feeling, then you wouldn't be driving a malibu. the fusion and accord fill that need much better.

    as for your mirror comment, i was just pointing out ONE example of why the malibu is clearly not leading the industry in fit and finish.
  • lasergamelasergame Posts: 5
    Many of the cars that are mentioned on this forum describe these cars as "fun" to drive. {You've got to be kidding}. If you want fun, drive an exotic, or a new Mustang, Corvette, Wrangler, or something else. I own a Malibu, and I find it far from "fun" to drive. My next car is going to be a 2009 Dodge Challenger. That will be a fun car to drive.
  • poncho167poncho167 Posts: 1,178
    I agree. CR is a bunch of garbage and seems to only be reliable on household appliances. If you live in California you are likely to see mostly Japanese cars and thus your perception is swayed the Japanese way. I see many more American cars here in the Midwest than Japanese still on the road. And seeing a 1980's model Japanese car is somewhat rare.

    JD Powers is a trusted unbiased source on automotive and financial evaluations and has determined the Malibu, Regal, and a couple other GM cars to be tops in longevity with the 3 year 50,000 mile reliability evaluation.

    A lot of people sit home and watch way too many commercials and believe everything they say or see, thus they are biased, predgidice, or ill informed. Their perceptions are hard to change, and they usually end up paying more in the long run on their foreign cars from those who I know or have been acquaintances with.
  • poncho167poncho167 Posts: 1,178
    We even bother responding or making comments on this board if you don't care for the Malibu. I sure wouldn't go over to the Toyota forum and make negative comments there even though many people do.
  • jameysmsjameysms Posts: 1
    I have the same question about my malibu. Did you have any luck getting an answer that was useful? Please let me know.

  • venus537venus537 Posts: 1,443
    ...believe everything they say or see, thus they are biased, predgidice, or ill informed

    and you don't see how your comments can come accross as putting you in this light?

    buyers of honda and toyota vehicles tend to be more educated, more informed and have more income than your average buyer. yet you know better.

    this so called ignorance and perception problem would have to go well beyond CR. it would have to entail almost ALL of the auto media. how well did the malibu fare in Edmunds' last comparison test in which it participated in?

    As far as JD powers, the GM cars that did well in the longevity survey were cars that had old designs. They should have the bugs worked out. those cars even did well in CR reliability ratings, just not so well in the road tests.

    the malibu is a solid family car. it's not the world class car that lutz had promised however. the thrust of my comments is this: the camry and accord are higher quality vehicles and the people who drive them were not hoodwinked into buying a perception.
  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    Factory XM does use the same radio, except for base CD radio with single line display which doesn't work with XM or OnStar.

    However your vehicle doesn't have wiring for XM "given-away". The factory XM receiver would be located in right hand side of trunk. with antenna coax cable running up under headliner to antenna on front part of roof which requires holes in roof for attachment.

    This doesn't really asnwer your question but I am pretty sure that dealers wouldn't get involved with trying to install factory parts and most likely you would be looking at some type of aftermarket XM receiver with an FM transmitter to radio or something.
  • maxxindmaxxind Posts: 22
    Anytime you have higher cost products, the buyers will be "higher income, better educated," because it's a not surprising statistical fact that people who are able to pay more money for things usually make more money, and people who make more money are by and large better educated than people who make less.

    By the way, look up the car company that has the best-educated buyers in the United States: Saab, a GM division.
  • venus537venus537 Posts: 1,443
    good point. now go one step further, those things that you pay more for - are they usually better? Or is there an exception when it comes to buying cars?

    I'm sure people who drive Saabs are highly educated, but are they really the best? You mean it's not Audi, the car i drive?

    Saab sure must of insulted its buyers when they came out with that vehicle (can't recall the name) which was essentially a subaru clone.
  • maxxindmaxxind Posts: 22
    Are the higher cost products better quality? Of course, in extremely general terms, they are. I'll take a Rolex over a Timex. But obviously it's far more complicated than that. If it weren't, all any person would have to do to ensure buying the best of anything is be sure to buy the most expensive. As anyone who has ever shopped for anything knows, more expensive isn't always better.

    Are Saabs the best? That question pre-supposes that there is some way to determine the "best" car. However, there is not; "best" in this context is a vague quality that has to do with how closely the product matches up with what a person wants from it.

    I don't have any information on it, but I'm sure Audi attracts a high-income, well-educated buyer. But look at all of the bad press Audi got several years ago when the whole bogus "sudden unintended acceleration" (translation: inept drivers pushed the wrong pedal) scandal erupted. In this case you had the media maligning a very good car (the 5000) and company in the name of the story. Similarly, a lot of the popular media "facts" given on cars these days are garbage.

    That's why I don't go for the Honda/Toyota hype. They're fine cars, but nowhere near as good as the media would have people believe. Plus, I see a strong anti-domestic car bias in much of the automotive press as well as the mainstream media.
  • venus537venus537 Posts: 1,443
    Actually I think the media stories had some merit pertaining to Audi. I'm sure drivers did push the wrong pedal - but what cased them to do so in panic? I would say it was the sudden unintended acceleration.

    i can't speak for the camry, but the accord really is an unbelievably good car for the price.

    as for the prius, it's an engineering achievement but not much of a rationale choice. i wonder if it's possible to see a hummer and prius together in someone's driveway.
  • nyredhawknyredhawk Posts: 3
    I am attempting to recharge the A/C in my 1998 Malibu and am looking for the low-pressure port -- does anyone happen to know where it is located?
  • shadow5599shadow5599 Posts: 101
    Yes thats entirely true, a high powered sportscar would be my choice for some real fun at the wheel. I guess I meant in it's class, family mid sized car. It's much more fun to drive than a minivan or my old stationwagon. Of all the cars I recently test drove, none were bad and if I would've been able to find a 05 Accord or Altima with the same safety features and rating at the same price as the Malibu I now own, I may have bought it.

    For basic trasportation, comfort and safety I am not willing to spend over a certain amount. Thats why I consider what I got a good bargain. Over a period of 5 years the amount we will save on the financed portion of this vehicle along with fuel savings, etc. as compared to a higher priced vehicle are substantial. It all figures into the cost of ownership.
  • sheldo1sheldo1 Posts: 64
    I wonder what all the educated people are doing about their Toyota engine sludge problems? Thousands have this problem yet CR still seems enamored of Toyota.

    I have an '06 Civic that has been in the shop so much I am now in arbitration to get my money back. It is the worst new car I have ever owned. Needless to say,I don't think much of Honda either.

    Education doesn't have anything to do with it.
  • mr_botsmr_bots Posts: 236
    Hit 25,000 miles and 2 years the other day and thought I'd do an update post. I have about 4,000 miles on my third steering column and it's starting to make popping noises at times, though it has yet to start rattling. I've decided to give up on this issue due to the fact that it keeps coming back and it's been a pain to deal with since the dealers around here suck and I've had to fight with them to get them to get them to calibrate it after replacing it. No new rattles, just the same head rests, glove box door, and passenger sun visor that have been there since new. Still impressed with the gas mileage: I got 40mpg on the highway this Saturday, but still can't break 22 in town despite accelerating slowly (keeping it under 2000rpm and not using the remote start. Overall I'm pleased with the car, but could be happier. Possibly would buy again, but would have paid closer attention to the build date.
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    I totally echo your comments mr bots. My rack squeeks some of the time, and the rattle at slow speed is hard to replicate. My dealer sent me some "bait" the other week, stating that they would give me a great price on my car if I came in to buy a new one. I actually considered it, although I don't like the rear wiper on the new models, but love the Maxx. Like you, I'd love to own one which didn't have the steering/rack problem. I have 22k on my Maxx.
  • nyredhawknyredhawk Posts: 3
    The turn signal on my 1998 Malibu would click at random times and sometimes non-stop. I already replaced the hazard switch, which did not help. Someone suggested that it could be caused by a faulty turn signal switch. Does anyone know the part number for the turn signal switch and how the replacement could be done?

    Thank you.
  • byranbyran Posts: 4
    I was wondering if anyone could possibly give any advice or help. I have a 2001 Chevy Malibu and I was having fuel trouble, I replaced the Fuel pump and fuel filter. It fixed the problem, but now I’ve come to another problem. Now my check engine light is one and it gives me the error: Fuel Tank Pressure Low Voltage. What is that? What's the problem? How do I fix this? I tried clearing the diagnostic codes but this code P0452 still comes up. Please help ASAP. Thanks
  • byranbyran Posts: 4
    I've had a faulty turn signal in my malibu. It's not hard to change at all. I'm not sure what the part number is for the regulator but i was able to get mine at a salvage yard and replaced it and it's been fine for 3 years so far. You have to remove the cover that is covering the turn signal switch and the wiper switch. After that you may have to remove the air bag then it should allow you to have access to screws that hold the switch in place and the removal/installation is pretty simple.
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    Don't have an answer for you but until someone else comes along do a google search on "P0452 - Fuel Tank Pressure Low voltage". My guess is it could be someting with the fuel pressure regulator.

    When was the fuel tank replaced and why did they think this was the problem?
  • byranbyran Posts: 4
    Well my fuel pump went out a few days ago, i replaced my fuel pump and i also replaced my fuel filter. Everything runs fine, its just the check engine light came on so that's when i knew something else had went wrong. Ill do the search on the P0452 and also check the fuel pressure regulator.
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    Based on what you wrote about just replacing the fuel tank, I think you will be able to narrow down the problem once you do the search on P0452.
  • byranbyran Posts: 4
    Thanks a lot. I appreciate the help.
  • nyredhawknyredhawk Posts: 3
    Byran - Thanks for the info. It was very helpful and exactly what I was looking for! :D If you don't mind, would you advise how the cover for the turn signal switch/wiper switch could be removed? Thank you! :)
  • shadow5599shadow5599 Posts: 101
    Anyone have a clue whether the 05 - 3.5 litre is an interference or non interference type? For those who may not know what that means, an interference type engine will have problems with pistons hitting valves if a timing belt breaks. A non interference wont.
  • mr_botsmr_bots Posts: 236
    I don't know if it's interference or not, but I do know that it has a timing chain, not a rubber belt. So the likelihood of it breaking is very low so I don't think it really matters.
This discussion has been closed.