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2000-2011 Chevrolet Malibu



  • vcjumpervcjumper Posts: 1,110
    The agreement with honda was not for the 3.0L v6 in the accord. Ofcourse back when the trade made news it was a 200hp kind of gutless engine and not a 240hp on regular fuel gem.

    Now GM makes a 3.6L OHC engine that basically negates the need for the Honda 3.5L.
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    vcjumper : Honda engine deal is for Saturn VUEs only and was in fact a swap for transmissions. You won't ever see one in a Bu. The 3.5L were suppose to be for an extended VUE but that never got off the drawing board so it just goes into the regular V6 VUEs.

    according : All Chevy needs to do is add a super charger and upgrade tires, suspension and interior a bit for a SS package. It would sell small numbers, much like the Impala SS will.
  • logic1logic1 Posts: 2,433
    Honda cannot figure out how to sell enough diesels in Europe to make the GM diesel for Honda V6 numbers work.
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    It's funny, Honda has such a big name in North America but in Europe people just don't see them the same way. I'm sure Saturn will sell all 50K of the V6 VUEs this year no problem.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Talk about the Malibu, folks...
  • garywgaryw Posts: 116
    How did it drive?
    > I liked it lot. Very CamCordish. The Accord is a tighter vehicle but it was defintely better than the Camry. IMO, the Camry has gone downhill. The interior, even the SE, is awkward at best. The vehicle drives like a mid-size sedan should...minimal roll and does everything you ask with ease. Just don't expect it to drive like a sports sedan. Would love to see an SS version to tighten it up.

    Several other tall members (6'2" here also) noted that with the seat all the way back, rear seat legroom behind it is very tight. Confused about the discrepancy.
    > Again, I am all leg and am the acid test in any car. Easily two adults will be comfortable. Three kids no problem.

    Other notes:

    I totally agree with you about the black side mirrors, which are few and far between these days, but it wouldn't break a purchase decision. I think the LS should have body-colored mirrors also.
    > All personal opinion. I would buy black because its what I like. If bought any other color then I would paint them. Bottom line is that this was just an obvious money saving decision on GM's part. Given the competiton and the fact they built this car to go head on with CamCords it is an inexcusable decision.

    Pricing. I agree that Chevy overpriced. Since there's a $1,000 rebate already (and it's not "officially" on sale until next week), I (and several others of us) are hoping that that creeps up even more.
    > If I were the marketing team at GM I would have fought to undercut CamCords at MSRP by about $1500. Especially knowing you are going to have rebate the product on day one. Marketing 101 when you are the underdog.

    LS vs. LT: Be a bit careful here. The LS custom cloth seats are what we've trademarked "Uglycloth" (it's pretty bad, at least in neutral (beige)). I was worried that the suede couldn't hold up to a dog occasionally. That I'll have to decide for myself.
    > Not a fan of suede either. But it looked and feels nice. Hey, the IS300 has it...and give them credit for trying to upscale the look.

    Now go drive the car and gives us your impression!!
  • I'm in the process of buying my son a new car and drove 2 '04 Malibus. I was exceptionally disappointed in the build quality. Both vehicles had multiple loud rattles, one had a squeeky front end and the other felt like the brake rotors were warpped (the whole car shook when you hit the brakes on the highway). For those of you who've driven '04's, did you find any of these issues?
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    Not sure what you drove, but all around people have been raving about the 04 build quality. Are you sure it wasn't an 03? Have not heard of any of the things you mentioned before.
  • Just got back a while ago from being out all day and guess who left a message on my machine. My dealer finally scored their first '04. It's a silver/grey suede/leather LT with nothing extra on it. Sounded like a sales call, so I'm glad I wasn't in. But after my investigative trip up there 2 1/2 weeks ago, I knew they'd call as soon as one came in. Unlike some others, at least I didn't have to smudge up the showroom windows with my nose prints on several occasions. ;-)

    Haven't decided if I'll trek up there on Friday (can't tomorrow) or wait until some more come in. The one they have isn't really what I was hoping for, and since they only have one, I doubt it'll be available for test drives. At least I know that more are on the way soon. Other dealers near me have as many as 10, but as I said before, I'm more comfortable on familiar ground.

    But I'll likely go have a look-see anyway, since I'll also be due for an oil change there in another 3-4 weeks.
  • garywgaryw Posts: 116
    None during my test.
  • Not sure why a 3.9 litre version, or a '3 valve OHV with "horizontal rocker arms"' or a supercharged version would be needed for the SS when there is a perfectly useful powertrain with the perfect character sitting already developed and ready to go in the form of 3.2 and 3.6l global v6's from either the Vectra or CTS (could be offered without vvt if needed to differentiate).

    Or even a turbocharged or supercharged ecotec and manual transmission might be fun instead of a huge cast iron block minivan engine weighing down the front end.

    Of course, all you guys would be quite happy to know the base v6 is available for the masses. And that's totally ok.
  • ehaaseehaase Posts: 328
    GM is already developing a 3.9L OHV that will eventually replace the 3800 in many applications.
    This is probably the engine that will go into the Malibu SS.

    The 3.6L DOHC is for Buick and Cadillac only. There may be a 3.2L DOHC for Pontiac, but GM has not confirmed that.
  • To add to ehaase's post, GM is calling the OHV engine lineup "high value", and it can be designed up to 3.9L. (Makes me wonder how much of the 3.5 has been reworked; maybe more than we think; let's hope).

    The OHC lineup is called "high feature", and is primarily destined for the Buicks and Caddys.

    GM plans on 75-80% of its engines in the near future to be OHV, and 20-25% to be OHC. I'm also beginning to wonder if the G6 will even get an OHC (ecotec aside, which, to the best of my knowledge, hasn't been confirmed yet as going into the G6 at all, but I'll bet it will).
  • ron_mron_m Posts: 188
    That's really too bad that both of those brand new '04 cars had that many problems already. I'm not going to say that it's just not possible--because I know it can happen with ANY make of vehicle.

    Ron M.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 11,858
    but malibu ss doesn't mean v6 fwd to me.
    call it something else.
    i follow this board because my mom bought an 03 malibu. it seems like a pretty good car and value to me. prior to this car, she bought a (as in one) new chrysler(?) product every 10 years; like clockwork since '64.
    2017 Ford Fusion SE 2014 Ford F-150 FX4
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    The G6 gets the 3.5L. GM said so in their press release. I believe a super charged version will be available at a GT or Sport model.
  • logic1logic1 Posts: 2,433
    But Reg, if you put a varient of the the new 3.6 in the 'Bu, how is it any different from the Pontiac G6?

    If GM makes an SS 'Bu that is only different in the skin than the G6, you may be happy, but a lot of other people (and you may join in if you do not think we are watching) will say GM is guilty of badge engineering.

    Chevy appears to be aiming for value with the Vette and some heritage machines for good measure. Packing a potent regularly aspirated OHV V6 is one way to do that.

    Bringing as many of the turbo charged Saab 4s here as possible is a nice idea. But would middle and small town America (and middle and small town Canada, for that matter) go for it? I am not so sure.
  • dindak: I know, thanks to you, we both saw the GM press release about the Malibu's 3.5L going into the G6, and we were both a bit disappointed. BUT, that doesn't mean that the ecotec won't be going into the base versions of it. The 3.5 might be the higher-end engine, as in the Malibu. I don't recall the press release saying anything about the 3.5 being the base engine, do you? I just can't even imagine the G6 being only V-6. We've discussed the Malibu and its lack of a manual trannie, but the G6 surely must get one. But I don't think GM has a 3.5/manual ready (or is even working on it).

    The best argument I've heard is that any possible SS version of the Malibu or Maxx would get a larger OHV engine in the High Value family.

    reg & logic: GM just hasn't had a good track record in bringing Euro engines over here (witness Catera and L-Series; no I can't explain why the 3.2 all of a sudden seems to work in the CTS), and I'll bet they're trying at all costs to avoid it. European automobiles, for some reason (like culture/taste and gasoline price variances), are just too different from US autos to take an engine out of a Euro auto and plop it in a US auto again with any reasonable degree of certainty re: reliability. As an aside, I'm cringing a bit about the new Pontiac GTO (off subject, I'm aware, but it's an example to further the point). It's the reverse (well, Australian with US engine), and I'm not expecting great reliability for that model either. Possibly the same with the Honda engine going into the '04 VUE. Scary.
  • Ya know, if GM can easily supercharge the 3800 V-6, why can't it supercharge the "new" 3500 V-6? Plop THAT in the G6 "GT", two quick shakes of a rabbit's tail, and "Introducing the Malibu and/or Maxx SS".

    I don't think GM is the least bit concerned about engine overlap between the G6 and Malibu (or for that matter the eventual L-Series replacement).

    Unfortunately, under this scenario, anyone's hopes of an SS/manual combo basically just flew out the window.

    I'll BET that's what they're up to.

    Time to hit the hay.
  • "But Reg, if you put a variant of the the new 3.6 in the 'Bu, how is it any different from the Pontiac G6?"

    They appear to be different enough in character. Much like the way no one would confuse a Grand Prix and an Intrigue and those two cars SHOULD have shared powertrains. The valid criticism of GM for badge engineering was for cars like the late 80's Grand Am/Calais/Somerset. The cars had so much in common and visually could not be told apart. That G6 spy photos is quite distinguishable from the 04 Malibu.

    Another example I would throw out here is that Nissan uses its excellent v6 in many Nissan and Infiniti applications and their products all remain distinct and have different levels of tune.

    "Bringing as many of the turbo charged Saab 4s here as possible is a nice idea. But would middle and small town America (and middle and small town Canada, for that matter) go for it? I am not so sure."

    To that I would respond, GM needs to stop selling to the same 27% of consumers. GM's big appeal is almost entirely blue collar and midwest and honestly they have yet to build any vehicles that appeal to any new groups of buyers. With all of GM's divisions and cars, you'd think at least one of their non-luxury vehicles would have appeal to the same group that buys the import names.

    They have been trying to tout the Malibu in advertising and press as that car but in reality doesn't make any overtures in the direction of the non-midwest/blue collar crowd to appeal to anyone else besides its typical customer base.

    So for a car like Malibu to move two steps ahead, they maybe should have considered taking a step back and trying to build a car that the midwesterners don't want.

    Its a totally valid idea, considering

    -the midwest is certainly not the cultural and ideological mecca of the US, and the ultra conservative nature of midwest consumers is ultimately not the current pulse of the trending markets.

    -not a lot of cars are sold in the midwest in comparison to California and the east coast.

    -midwesterners are so strong in GM 'following' that just about anything with a GM badge will sell on it anyways. Even if they took Ladas or Yugos and rebadged them as Chevy Chevettes you can always get a midwesterner to buy it. In other words, no matter what chevy throws a bow tie on, a GM fan will always buy it because that's the badge on it. Midwesterners are tight with their money, too and that's where the whole incentives thing nabs them. Since 9/11 GM is the undoubted master of incentives and they have made a science about how to get people to buy the badge because eveyone gets a great deal on it. Not as much attention is paid to the dynamic features of the car, the refinement, anything else.

    Its new, and its a DEAL.

    So Chevy does want to avoid that with the Mailbu and the Epsilon chassis is a good start. The Malibu should do well with GM's typical customer base but I'm guessing it really won't get too many conquest sales because it just doesn't go far enough in the anti-GM direction.

    The styling is the same

    Some of the plastics quality is the same

    The engine is the same and not 'high tech' like import buyers like. They like the sound and feel of the 'high feature' engines and no amount of corporate press releases about the newest revisions to the OHV line will convince them otherwise. Its more of a representation of standing still in time. You've got to understand that as vehemently dedicated as you are to pushrods being ok, the group of buyers they say they want to conquest feels opposite.

    So the bu is most likely improved a lot over the 03. But there are too many overt qualities about it that are unchanged to suggest that the new car is anything besides what the old car was. A pleasant, stodgy looking midwestern cruiser with a torquey and 'simple', but not entirely 'value added' powertrain. Much of Honda's cult appeal that swelled to the market force to be reakoned with that they are today has to do with the fact that they built incredible (mostly 4 cylinder) engines that had a noticeable excellence in comparison to the competition. That reputation is what still drives many Honda sales today.

    "GM just hasn't had a good track record in bringing Euro engines over here (witness Catera and L-Series; no I can't explain why the 3.2 all of a sudden seems to work in the CTS), and I'll bet they're trying at all costs to avoid it. European automobiles, for some reason (like culture/taste and gasoline price variances), are just too different from US autos to take an engine out of a Euro auto and plop it in a US auto again with any reasonable degree of certainty re: reliability."

    Don't forget harry that GM's own press releases tout the new 'high feature' engines as global powertrains that are world developed and if they were AT ALL concerned about reliability, why would they put a variant of it in a Cadillac?

    By the way, did anyone read the review of the Chevy Epica/Suzuki Verona on the edmunds reviews page? Pretty darn good review. Aside from a power shortage, it makes you wonder which car is the better car. The Malibu or Verona? It all goes back to the same pot, but the Verona is more graceful looking and almost looks to be even a much better value. The one thing the Verona does not have is an extra litre of displacement. But in the pictures the materials on the interior seems to be more attractive than the Malibu. GM wins either way but it makes me wonder if the new Epica wouldn't be a bigger hit across the entire USA (if it had a 3.5 litre in line six it would project out to 217hp and a straight six is smoother than a v6). And did i mention this thousands cheaper Verona has OHC too.

    Maybe the next Malibu will end up being sourced from Daewoo and Korea if their efforts are as good as the Edmunds review says of the Verona. After all the Equinox mills are coming from China anyways. But I suggest, maybe this is the direction Malibu SHOULD have gone.

    Some day car will be like computers. All interchangable parts anyways.
  • a. I have never seen such condescending snobbery and stereotyping of people based on geographic location in my life. You really are narrowminded and need to get out more if you really believe much of that long missive above.

    b. I do agree GM should have changed the Malibu name. They probably should have done this while still making a VERY few of the old Malibus available for retail sale. Why on earth they didn't do this, who knows?

    c. I also think the Malibus does NOT represent GM's best efforts at the price level for the intended market. Instead, it held back, so as to let the G6 take some of the limelight, even though it isn't available yet, and in spite of the fact that it is not true that GM customers only have other GM makes to consider...some WILL leave for Toyota and the like who otherwise would have stayed. This badge marketing is killing GM. They need to quit worrying about protecting the internal competition from themselves. They do NOT have a 60 percent plus marketshare anymore.
  • Several things:

    reg (aside from the Midwesterner focus, which I'll say a bit about in a minute), intelligent post. However, the High Feature engines, as has been said recently, aren't headed for the lower GM brands (Chevy and Pontiac), at least at the moment. What the heck is a Chevy Epica (Canadian version of the Suzuki Verona??); that's a new one on me. You should see the advertising blitz for the Verona already. The Palm Beach Post is full of ads for it, and you can't go more than an hour on Food TV without seeing an ad for it. However, once word about it gets around, it'll be a viable competitor to the Hyundai Sonata/Kia Optima, but that's really it. Korean vehicles haven't yet surpassed the "lower-quality image", even compared to US vehicles. All I'll say about the midwesterner "thing" is that don't forget that retirees NATIONWIDE loved the last Malibu (big seller in FL, for sure). Lastly, reg, the 3.2 in the CTS is actually NOT one of GMs new High Feature engines. It's a reworked version of the Catera/L-Series German 3.0. I doubt it'll be in the CTS much longer, since the 3.6 is now in it.

    john: I keep saying this over and over again. Unlike, say, Cavalier, the Malibu name is a highly valued one at Chevy, due to its long an colorful history. It's not something to be tossed away like trash. I agree that Chevy did muck it up with the last Malibu, and they will have to work hard to restore credibility to the name, but in reality, the last Malibu wasn't THAT bad, (sold fairly well; always was in the top 25), so it shouldn't be an insurmountable task.
  • venus537venus537 Posts: 1,443
    couldn't agree more with part a of your post.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421

    Look folks, let's dismiss the stereotyping without attacking anyone. I agree, the stereotyping is ridiculous, but let's criticize the concept rather than make an attack.

    Some of us are trying very hard to keep this discussion within the scope of the Membership Agreement. We all need to work together on this.

    I really appreciate your cooperation. Thanks.
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    wpbharry : Ecotec will not be going into the G6 initially anyway. The G6 will have a V6 and supercharged V6 only. If Mazda had done the same it's 6 sales may have been better.

    reg : Way too long a post and your stereotypes are probably offensive. I also find it amusing that you think what all people want in a car is the same as what you want in a car.

    johnclineii : I don't think the Malibu has a bad name but it does have a dull image much like the Altima did a few years ago. If Nissan can revitalize a name, Chevy can also.
  • logic1logic1 Posts: 2,433

    Malibu's 9-3 cousin aced the iihs safety test. The 9-3 has some structural differences from the new 'Bu, but most likely these differences will not affect the integrity of the Malibu.

    I think there is a good reason to believe the '04 Malibu will do very well when it gets its chance against the concrete block.
  • i stand by my post as not a stereotype, but quite true. As I do all the time, drive through Iowa, the Dakotas, Nebraska, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Kansas, Missouri. The percentage of GM vehicles on the road is almost like 50 percent or more.

    My point was not intended to offend, to merely to point out fact that the midwest is a market anomoly compared to the rest of the nation and that while the Malibu may continue to be strong to that same core group it always has been, it does not make overtures far enough in the 'other' direction to achieve greater market penetration and conquest sales in the rest of the markets.

    i.e. while GM's national market share is only 27%, but in the midwest and especially rural areas of the midwest it is likely much much higher and that is the point i was making. To increase the national 27% number in a meaningful way, they should have considered something more along the lines of the character of the Verona or other import as opposed to the new Malibu design. And that would involved sacrificing some of the past customers in order to obtain a wave of new customers.

    Whilst the tone of the prior post was perhaps sour and I apologize for that, please make note that it is not based on stereotype as much as factual observation.
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    The higher percentage likely has more to do with dealership availability than anything. Go to any rural area and you are likely to find a Chevy dealer and unlikely to find a Toyota. Judging people with out facts is a dangerous thing.

    Back to the Bu.
  • ehaaseehaase Posts: 328
    I have read that the G6 will initially come standard with a V6, but will eventually have a 4 cylinder. I have also read that GM is developing a 2.4L 175 hp version of the Ecotoc. Perhaps that engine will be standard in the G6
  • its not judging people, its counting cars on the road that I see.
This discussion has been closed.