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2013 Chevy Malibu



  • djm2djm2 Posts: 712
    With regards to the four cylinder engine problems, most of these issues tend to be with the Chevrolet Equinox. I wonder if these engines come from a different engine plant???????? I have a four cylinder 2.4 in a 2010 LTZ Malibu that is very quiet and smooth! It now has 24,000 miles!

    Best regards. ------------ Dwayne :shades: :confuse: ;)
  • malexbumalexbu Posts: 169
    edited January 2012
    You are probably right about Equinox being the most visible sore spot. But I've been watching the GM cars' boards for quite a while and have a firm feeling that all the current GM cars are plagued with some fundamental problems. Don't remember how Buick has been surprising its buyers but remember that it has done so, unpleasantly. Cadillac? The 3.6L 6-cyl burns oil like crazy, stalls etc. Impala? Depends on the model year -- may be tires being quickly worn out, may be leaking gaskets. And guess what? For 2012, Impala got an improved engine -- 3.6L (the same as in in Cadillac, I figure :)). Cruze has been with us for one year only and already I've got an impression that the car is causing its owners pains. (I read somewhere that its steering wheel may come off while driving... he-he... But surely the quality of the internal materials is top-notch... and the very special firm seats...) If anything, the Malibu's boards have been relatively quiet over the last year.

    The fact that you hear more about Equinox and Impala problems may be, among other things, related to the number of the cars on the road. Where I live, I think I see dramatically more Equinoxes, and somewhat more Impalas than (the 2008+) Malibus. In fact, today, in 2012, it still seems to me that this (2008+) generation of Malibu is a newly designed line -- so few of these cars I see around. And no surprise: with roughly the same MSRP, Equinox is a much more practical vehicle, truly a UV. Being more spacious, it also claims a better highway mileage than Malibu -- 34 vs 32 MPG. What's not to like about Equinox, and what would cause one prefer Malibu? So, I figure, there are more Equinox buyers to be hit with the car's problems.

    As for the engines, search for "GM Family II engine" at Wikipedia: the one in the 2008+ Malibu is LE5, the one in the 2011 Equinox is LAF, on which Wikipedia says:

    The LE5 is a larger 2.4 L... version of the Ecotec...
    The LAF is a direct injected 2.4 L. It uses technology based on GM’s other four-cylinder direct injection applications...

    Perhaps, LAF is worse (i.e. less reliable than LE5), but these two engines don't seem to be fundamentally different. And why should one assume that the 2.4L engine in a Malibu will be always better than the one GM is happy to install in other cars?

    I have a practical interest in watching all these troubles: 2012 had been my target year for replacing one of my Malibus with a new car (the GM card cycle being one of the factors.) Another Malibu has been the likeliest candidate. But I am reading all these boards, where day after day, somebody new pops up, cursing his past stupid belief in "the new GM". The car that I've been thinking about replacing, is a 2005 Malibu, which has been reasonably trouble-free: if anything failed, it was auxiliary equipment -- the radio, an A/C component. So, what if I buy a new Malibu, and get a PITA similar the ones I am reading about? (Impala is off my list already, purely because of its disturbing reliability.)

    About three weeks ago, I went to a dealer and drove the 1.8L Cruze (didn't like it), and the 2.4L Malibu (still on the list.) In 20 minutes of the test driving one cannot fully evaluate a car (although some can be crossed out after the first traffic light, like Cruze.)

    Honestly, I don't know if I liked the 2012 Malibu -- when I test-drove it in 2008, I got a more positive impression. But this is "unscientific" -- again, too little time behind the wheel.

    Perhaps 2013 Malibu is going to be better than this generation (at least they made its front end look good, at last). But having connected the dots between the scarce bits of information about it, I do have concerns. And the biggest concern is the engine design and reliability

    We'll see... Maybe it will be a 2012 Malibu for me: I am now encouraged with your words. "Quiet and smooth!" -- glad to hear it. After my test drive I got afraid that they have lost that already...

    The 2008+ model owners: Have you been happy with it? Is it reliable? Would you buy it again? (This is slighly off-topic for the board about the 2013 Malibu but only slightly, and I would pick the answers posted on another board...) Thanks!...
  • onefunkaronefunkar Posts: 113
    i have the original (2007 aura) and have been very happy with it. its a little over 5 years old and 68k miles. it had a couple minor things go wrong near the beginning but nothing major and they are things that have been corrected on the newer cars. its an xr 3.6 which is what the ltz was patterned after. drives great with alot of power and excellent mileage. about 30 highway and 24 average. i would highly recommend it. it been a very good for a first year car and now being in its 6th year im sure its alot better yet.
  • bryanbryan Northern VAPosts: 217
    edited January 2012
    I have had experience with two 2008 and one 2010 GM models.

    First was 2008 CTS I had for 15 months when I assumed a lease. It was flawless the time I had it. No oil leaks/usage, nothing. Got terrific highway mileage on two trips to Florida from DC--28.5 mpg! However, the 6-CD radio was not up to the standards I expected in sound quality.

    Second is 2008 Malibu 2LT I ordered to my specs and still drive. Has 30K miles and it too has been flawless. Nothing other than routine maintenance. I get 32-33 MPG on the highway with the 4 cylinder, 4-speed auto. Very quiet car.

    Third is 2010 Malibu 2LT I bought from stock and still drive. Has 16k miles and had the reflash done which improved the 6-speed auto shifting. This was done when the car was in for an oil change. I get 35-36 mpg on the highway with the 4cyl. This is also a very quiet car.

    I will be looking closely at the 2013 Malibu when it debuts. Hope my real world experiences help.
  • djm2djm2 Posts: 712
    Hi All:

    I will be attending an auto show on January 27th, and hopefully they will have a new 2013 Chevrolet Malibu at the show.

    My choice in terms of a vehicle has come down to two vehicles. ------ A 2012 XLE Camry or a 2013 LTZ Malibu. ------- (The Camry will hold its value better than the Malibu, and the Toyota dealer has excellent service. ------ On the other side of the issue, I like the looks of the Malibu, but it will lose value quicker than the Camry. ------- The Chevrolet dealer also offers excellent service.) ------ The new Malibu will have twin exhaust out the back, while the Camry offers a single exhaust. --- I like the look! ------- (To get a twin exhaust, I would have to purchase a V6 XLE Camry!) ---- Do I go for "looks," ----- or do I go for "value?"

    Best regards. -------- Dwayne :shades: :confuse: ;) :)
  • malexbumalexbu Posts: 169
    Thank you all (djm2, onefunkar and bryan, so far) for summarizing your experience -- this is, indeed, very helpful! I won't be replying to each post, to reduce the noise in the thread, but I do appreciate all of them.

    bryan: so, the six-speed transmission does get you a noticeably better MPG? Do you feel the difference between the 4- or 6-speed ones when you drive? (I know that "six" is the only option now, just am curious.)

    And I am now torn between the 4- and 6-cylinder engines :)

    Thanks again!..
  • djm2djm2 Posts: 712
    Hi Malexbu:

    As I have said earlier, ----- I have two vehicles that I use mostly for long "over the road trips." ------ (A 2007 V6 XLE Camry & a 2010 4 cylinder LTZ Malibu)

    The Camry gives me excellent mileage with "off brand 87 octane gasoline" at speeds of 60mph. (I have had this vehicle up to 34mpg based on the "on-board computer read out!" --- I do not use cruise control!)

    The Malibu also gets good mileage on the same fuel. I have gotten 33mpg at 60mph.

    The V6 engine in the Camry will "pin your body to the back of the seat" when you put the trans into passing gear on the highway, ---- and coming out of the toll booth, I could probably stay with the average GT Mustang. It reminds me of the operating characteristics of the 1956 98 Olds of past generations! It is simply very powerful!

    The 4 cylinder Malibu does not have anywhere near the power of the Camry, but the engine is very smooth and adequate for highway driving.

    I like the 4 cylinder Malibu, and I would assume that the new 2.5 four cylinder that will be great in the new 2013 Malibu.

    I would like to see GM offer a two door version of the Malibu with a 6 speed stick and a heavy duty clutch, & dual exhausts! It would look great in a deep Cherry paint or a deep bottle Green!

    Once GM re-programmed the computer in the Malibu it went from a maximum of 27mpg to 33mpg and its performance increased.

    The original equipment Goodyear tires were garbage. They could not hold air between my 2,500 service intervals. I immediately replaced them with Michelin tires. The car drives totally different. It is great in the snow. It is like a tank! ---- If I purchase a Malibu, the dealer will have to work with me in terms of replacing the Goodyear tires with Michelin tires. (If I cannot do this, there will be no deal!) ---- The 2012 Camry comes with Michelin tires!

    I have two great dealers, ------ so service is not an issue with regards to a purchase.

    Vehicle Price and the trade in value of the 2007 Camry will be a factor, but if the figures are close a decisions will have to me made!

    Best regards. --------- Dwayne :shades: :confuse: ;) :)
  • onefunkaronefunkar Posts: 113
    i really like the 3.6 v6 not quite the mileage but close and alot more power and easier on the engine but it really doesnt matter because thanks to government regulations malibu no longer comes with a v6...
  • bryanbryan Northern VAPosts: 217
    bryan: so, the six-speed transmission does get you a noticeably better MPG? Do you feel the difference between the 4- or 6-speed ones when you drive? (I know that "six" is the only option now, just am curious.)

    Yes, mileage with the 6-speed is clearly better. I drive the same route each week DC to Delaware coast and fill up at same station each return trip. I reset the Trip B odometer each time I gas up. The '08 usually has used almost an extra gallon compared to the '10, with same miles travelled.

    It took getting used to the 6 speed in this car; the 6 speed in the '08 CTS I had with the 3.6L was to me the perfect combo; never noticed the car shifting or downshifting--it seemed seamless to me. However, I did notice the shifts in the 6 speed Malibu before I had the reflash done like the other poster above. I do notice the shifts in the '08 4 speed, but they seem a little different, but hard to describe how. The 4 cylinder engine has enough power for me; I can pass with no problem on 2-lane highway when I need to.

    You asked in your original post if I would buy the car again--I did! I liked the '08 so much I purchased the '10. It's interesting how they are very similar yet also somewhat different. Each is a 2LT. Same cashmere interiors. The '08 is dark blue metallic and the '10 is mocha steel metallic.

    The '08 is a tad quieter--no sunroof; the '10 has one. The daytime dash lighting is better in the '10. The '08 door cupholder area is nicer than the '10. The outside mirror and power door lock buttons are in different positions. Either set up works fine for me. The fit seems "closer?" on the '08 than the '10, especially the gap where the driver's door wood trim meets the dash wood trim.

    Hope this helps. I like the cars and it's nice to see others are enjoying their Malibus too.
  • Just a heads up on the 2012 and 2013 Malibu's. Both received some additional upgrades to the 6SPD transmission, with the 4CYL, that improve shift feel and FE. For the person who has the 2010, I highly encourage you to try the 2012+ models for comparison. I don't think GM changed the FE sticker on the 2012, but you should notice improvements in real world driving.
  • malexbumalexbu Posts: 169
    Thank you again, bryan and everybody who shared your experience with the Malibus of this generation.

    So, I just traded in my Malibu 2005 (oh, how I miss that great car already!...) and got the 2012 LS, which I am beginning to like now. A big difference...

    I'll share my experience with the new car later, on a proper board; let me fill it up at least once...
  • malexbumalexbu Posts: 169
    I don't know the mechanism for creating and hosting new forums here, but whoever has this power and knowledge: I would suggest to create several new boards per the Malibu generation.

    E.g. "Malibu 8-th generation", "... 7-th...", "... 6-th..." , "... 5-th ...". These cars are so dramatically different that to lump them up under "Chevrolet Malibu" doesn't make much sense to me. I already feel a bit guilty talking about the 7-th generation on the board for the 8-th (2013+).

    Can we have this done?
  • bwiabwia Boston Posts: 1,941
    Congratulations malexbu on the purchase of your 2012 Malibu LS. We also own an LS but had the dealer put in Katzkin cocao/cashmere leather which matched the interior perfectly. The result? better leather than even a Lexus.

    Enjoy the ride.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,042
    That would require a great deal of effort, moving posts, etc, and would at this point create more confusion than it resolves. Plus, most people don't understand the difference between generations. We do have a number of model-year specific discussions for the Malibu, just not the 2012.

    If you would like to start a specific discussion for the 2012, just go to the main Malibu forums page here:

    There's an "add a discussion" link above the top discussion on the list. You're more than welcome to start that one, but please don't create a bunch of new ones for previous model years. Thanks!


    Need help navigating? - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

    Share your vehicle reviews

  • bwiabwia Boston Posts: 1,941
    ...Waiting patiently to test drive the 2013 Malibu. :shades: Does anyone know when it will hit the showroom and expected MSRP? Nowadays, upon launch, GM has been using the strategy of offering a limited number of cars to create an artificial shortage and to retain high prices. This might have worked in the past but with so many cheaper alternatives out there I think they should use a penetration rather than a price skimming strategy.
  • djm2djm2 Posts: 712
    Hi All:
    I have narrowed my new vehicle choices down to either a 2012 XLE Camry (4 or V6) or the 2013 Malibu 2.5 or 2.0 Turbo. ------ The 2.5 and the 2.0 Malibu will be available during the Summer and Fall of 2012. ----- The present 2013 Malibu is a type of Hybrid, and it DOES NOT come with a spare tire. I contacted Chevrolet, and I inquired if the 2.5 and the 2.0 Malibu will have a spare tire. They informed me that at this point in time, they had no specifications for these vehicles. If the 2.5 and the 2.0 Malibu does not offer a spare tire, and if there is no designated space for a space saver spare in the vehicle, this fact will be a "deal breaker" for me! My vehicle is used for business, and I cannot be on the road without a spare tire. My time is money. I do not want to call a 1-800 number and wait on the side of the road for service. I want to be able to drive to the next town with a tire store, and get the problem corrected in a timely / professional manner! ---- There is a very strong possibility that I will be trading my 2007 XLE V6 Camry for a 2012 XLE Camry because I can have a spare tire! ---- If there is a GM representative on this board I would be very interested in hearing from you on this subject! --------- Best regards to all! ------------------ Dwayne :shades: :confuse: ;) :(
  • deerlake7deerlake7 Posts: 172
    I took a '13 Malibu for a reasonably long test drive recently and found it to be a mixed bag. I liked the new exterior proportions and the new interior is top notch for its class. There was a good ride/handling balance and the steering, although totally numb, tracked straight and true. On the other side, there was a lot of wind noise around the A pillar and outside rear view mirror. I also found a lot of racket coming through the suspension on rough roads and there wasn't much in the way of power. The eAssist didn't do much assisting. Since I'm not in a hurry, I'll wait to see the new Fusion/Altima/Accord and perhaps by then the 2.5/2.0 Turbo will be out and GM will find a way to eliminate the wind noise.
  • 12jjd12jjd Posts: 2
    Dwayne, like the Cruze, the Eco is equipped for maximum fuel efficiency with aerodynamic improvements, lightweight alloy wheels, low-rolling-resistance tires, a smaller fuel tank and a few minor feature deletions like the spare tire to further reduce weight. I'm sure the LT models will have a spare tire just like their competition.
  • djm2djm2 Posts: 712
    Hi 12jjd:

    I would hope that you are correct, -- as I am interested in the new Malibu! ------- Best regards! --------- Dwayne :shades: :confuse: :)
  • djm2djm2 Posts: 712
    Hi 12jjd:

    I also looked at the Buick Verano as a possible vehicle to replace my 2007 Camry. ---- I was expecting an up-scale Chevrolet Malibu, or at least a vehicle on the level, (in terms of quality), as the Buick Regal. ----- I was VERY disappointed. When I entered the Buick Dealership I asked to look at the top of the line Buick Verano with all the opinions including leather interior. Here is what I discovered.

    1.) The quality of the leather was cheap! My 2010 LTZ Chevrolet Malibu had a better interior.

    2.) The was no power seat on the passenger side of the vehicle, and there was NO option for this seat. ---- My LTZ Malibu has power seats on both sides. I contacted Buick about this issue, and I was told that as the Verano progresses more options will be added to the line. I told the Customer Service Representative that I guess Buick does not want to sell the current production run of the Verano. HELLO, HELLO, HELLO ----- This is a Buick, and the "top of the line Verano," and you DO NOT THINK that a power seat on the passenger side is important???????? What are you "thinking?" ---- Is there any "thinking" going on in Buick?

    The American manufacturers constantly "shoot themselves in the foot!"

    I also looked at the New V6 Impala. This vehicle has a 3.6 V6 engine. This is not a NEW engine to the GM line. It has been used in other GM vehicles. I did a little research on this engine, and it seems that is suffers from "EARLY TIMING CHAIN FAILURE!" When I contacted GM about this issue, I was told that not all 3.6 V6 engines suffer from this problem. QUESTION: ---- How do I know as a consumer "IF" I have the vehicle that does not have the problem?????? ----

    As a consumer, what do you purchase?

    Best regards. --------- Dwayne :confuse: :shades:
  • onefunkaronefunkar Posts: 113
    at saturn the e assist was called greenline. the greenline (e assist) came without spare but others had the spare.
  • 12jjd12jjd Posts: 2
    Dwayne, The Buick Verano is built on the Cruze chassis and is the luxury model to the Cruze, so you shouldn't be comparing it to the Malibu.

    The Impala is just an old technology full sized work horse that GM has kept, because it sells.

    Sounds like you should just wait for the 2013 Malibu when it comes out with the new 2.0 or 2.5 L motors this fall.
  • djm2djm2 Posts: 712
    Hi 12jjd:

    You made my point! ----- "IF" the Verano is an "up-scale version of the Cruze" it should have all the power accessories! ---- After all, it is a "Buick" not a Chevrolet!

    The last four days, I have had the opportunity to drive a 2012 Hyundai Sonata while my 2007 Camry was being serviced and detailed. ---- (I am getting ready to trade this vehicle!) ----- The Hyundai was a rented vehicle. --- I was very surprised as to the quality and performance of the Sonata. The four cylinder engine was very powerful, and the automatic transmission was very smooth. --- Compared to my 2010 four cylinder LTZ Malibu, the Sonata was a race car! It drives like my old 2003 four cylinder Honda Accord! ------ I would love to consider purchasing a "top of the line Sonata," but the dealers in my area of New Jersey leave a lot to be desired in terms of customer relations and service. They are the "bottom feeders" of the automotive sales business!

    Best regards. ----------- Dwayne :shades: ;) :)
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    A reporter wonders about Chevy's reputation abroad. If you did not grow up in the US, email by 4pm Eastern today, April 13, 2012, to share your thoughts on Chevy's reputation back home.
  • dispencer2dispencer2 Posts: 299
    Considering that a spare tire is an option on the new 2013 Cadillac XTS and it was an option on my 2009 Cobalt I assume that it will be an option on the 2013 Malibu. My 2011 Malibu had the spare tire as part of an option package. If a spare tire is a big deal to you visit your junkyard. There are plenty of them there. None of the spares in new Malibus are full size anyway.
    Dwayne -you keep comparing the Malibu to a Camry. The Camry is more dependable, has a less attractive interior but unlike any GM car will give you 200,000 miles or more without problems. Your refrigerator, freezer, and desk lamp will also be trouble free for years. Toyotas are appliances with wheels. They appeal to millions of people a year and all in all are a better choice than a Malibu.
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    just handed over a 04 Malibu Maxx LT to my stepson with 195K on it...he has over 220k on it with no problems with it at some GM cars can go 200K......I beleive any car can if you apply proper maintenance principles and change all fluids regularly.....only items replaced on the car...rear brake caliper and two tire rods......everything else is orginial parts....except tires, battery, wiper blades and brake pads....
  • alakilleralakiller Posts: 1
    We got lots of mid-size sedens in China including Passart, Camry, Accord, 508 and so on. That's a multiple choise in China, and Malibu really lagged behind its competitors :(
  • onefunkaronefunkar Posts: 113
    more and more cars do not have spare tires anymore because of weight savings fr epa mileage tests and lack of flat tires with tpms.
  • iask1iask1 Posts: 1
    I have read a number of reviews that say the rear visibility
    is a potential problem for some. Can anyone comment on this

  • ab348ab348 Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, CanadaPosts: 6,858
    In Canada it seems the intro of the new Malibu was later than in the US, but yesterday on a dealer lot was the first 2013 I have seen in these parts. This was badged as an LT and I did not see any "Eco" or "Turbo" badging so I assume it had the new 2.5. Interestingly, it was parked next to a new Regal Turbo, which shares the same platform.

    The Regal is a much better-looking car inside and out. The Malibu looks blocky and rather unattractive in front. But where it seems to really fall down is inside. I could only peer though the windows but I was unimpressed with what I could see. This car was black inside and did not have the woodgrain everywhere that I saw in some of the photo galleries on the net. Instead it had what looked like silver-gray plastic pieces with a clearcoat-type finish that I did not find appealing. Add to that the ribbed section across the passenger side of the dash that looks like nothing more than a dust-catcher and it failed to impress. There also appeared to be very little rear seat legroom.

    I left feeling disappointed. I remember when I saw the 2008 Malibu upon introduction I was really impressed, and in fact almost bought one. No chance I would buy this car based on the one I saw.

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

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