Chevrolet Malibu Maxx Reviews

kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Member Posts: 1,798
The Maxx SS they tested rode like a rock, with floor boards and other stuff shivering over every bump.

And if you read carefully, it's clear they were not enthused about the huge 18" wheels and lo-profile tires. Those Goodyear Eagle-LS2 tires did poorly in a tirerack dealer comparison, especially for ride. What's bad is there is only __ONE__ other replacement tire for this car, the Bridgestone Potenza, which is a good summer tire but not for snow!!

On other hand, I've found Goodyear TripleTreads on 16" wheels definitely improve the Maxx's grip and ride. In comparison at tirerack, these did very well.


  • iwantonetooiwantonetoo Member Posts: 86
    Overall, they spoke quite favorably about the SS. It seems like it is worth looking into if you are interested in something with good performance that is a bit out of the ordinary.
  • maxxlibertymaxxliberty Member Posts: 82
    "...huge 18" wheels and lo-profile tires."

    The tire/wheel insanity continues. Maybe will reach where it seems to be going - just ride on the wheels/rims (26").

    There has even been a book written about this type of behavior in general: "Extraordinary Popular Delusions And The Madness Of Crowds" - MacKay. One of the examples was the Tulip Bulb Mania. We're in the low-profile tire mania.
  • kurtamaxxguykurtamaxxguy Member Posts: 677
    The Maxx engineers knew better - 17" and top quality rubber would have been great for the SS, with good handling and a decent ride. But the marketers, so caught up with racetracks and urban bling-bling, figured "show wheels" would be "better". So the SS ends up with heavy wheels that kick the car hard over every bump. TireRack thought little of the tires on the SS, btw.

    Perhaps CD will test the SS for 40K miles and see how rattle free it remains (one Porsche they tested began to rattle the minute they put low profile tires on it.). Perhaps they will stick decent tires on it as well.

    The SS engine sounds nice, though...hope Chevy sees the light and puts it in a few other Maxxes with lower gearing or a 5 speed to let it get a little better gas mileage as well as perform.

    I'll try to find the book, maxxliberty...thanks!
  • luvmbootyluvmbooty Member Posts: 271
    I,ve been reading a lot of reviews on the Maxx. At, I read a review: '2006 Chevy Malibu Maxx ss Test Drives' on 12/09/2005 by Steve Kichen. Under the category 'Should You Buy This Car' he states the, "...discontinue of the Maxx in a few years..", once a more stylish replacement is made for Malibu.

    Also at, in '2006 Chevy Malibu Maxx SS Driving Impressions', Christian Wardlaw author says in the Overview that,"...and rumor has it that the Malibu Maxx is going out of productionafter the 2007 model year."

    I find this upsetting since there are very few midsize hatchbacks! Of the few there are Maxx was my favorite! Mazda 6 costs more with less interior volume. What other hatches, or even wagons, are out that has around 106 passenger volume, decent fuel economy (around 22/30), above average crash test rating (IIHS silver rating),JD power overall rating score 5 out of 5, and with a starting price under 25000! :(
  • ricardomricardom Member Posts: 3
    I just turned in a '06 Maxx after a two week rental.
    I found it to be a terrific automobile. Unexpectedly lively, smooth power train - engine and transmission. Exemplary ride. Ergonomically best possible controls. Especially useful electronic Driver Information Center.
    Incredibly simple and efficient automatic shifter, ingeniously incorporating 'manual' shifting - none of this stupid gate business.
    A really good looking car in the parking lot.

    My one objection is visibility of the instrument cluster and Information Center: daytime visibility of the unlighted instrument cluster, together with unacceptable reflections, is a fatal flaw. The DIC display is faint green requiring flipping of sun glasses to see it in bright daylight conditions. I wouldn't want to live with this year in and year out.
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Member Posts: 1,798
    the DIC is hard to see much of the time. It's especially a problem when the car starts chimeing at you with a warning message you cannot read.

    The HHR fixed this by putting the DIC within the instrument console, where light does not wash it out.
  • beedublubeedublu Member Posts: 236
    My one objection is visibility of the instrument cluster and Information Center: daytime visibility of the unlighted instrument cluster, together with unacceptable reflections, is a fatal flaw.

    Amen. My other complaint with my 04 Maxx is the outside mirrors, which are much too small. Lane changes in this car are a headache. But I agree with all the things you praised...I really like this car a lot. :)
  • buffalonickelbuffalonickel Member Posts: 113
    I rented a brand new Malibu Maxx on our vacation to Canmore, Canada 2 weeks ago. I own Toyotas, but I have to say that I was impressed with the handling, gas mileage, and power this car had. In addition we had tons of storage space. I really liked that security cover in the back. We were able to hide our stuff in there and to the bypasser it looked empty. It also gave us a comfortable ride and I would recommend it to anyone. And I if I were looking at this point for a new car, I would give this a serious look.

  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Member Posts: 1,798
    None, after 2007.
    What is really ironic is the Maxx was considered the more innovative and useful version of the Malibu (per nearly every Malibu review I have read).

    But few people bought them - why?

    One theory is the Maxx costs more (compared to base Malibu, it many Malibus sold are base models ??)

    Another is Americans just cannot "get" hatchbacks. Yet hatches sell well as "hot hatches" (the Maxx SS could have been one of those if the engineers had gotten their say).
  • derbergderberg Member Posts: 4
    Hi, folks... It's good to see that others appreciate the Maxx as much as my wife and I do. It's a neat car -- distinctive, useful, quick, quiet, economical and fairly comfortable. Ours is an '05 LS, which we bought to tow behind our motor home (it's good for up to 65 mph, according to the manual). We towed it from California to Ohio, where we now live, with no problems, but haven't towed it since. But the car is good for all its other attributes.

    We get 23 to 35 mpg, and don't have any trouble reading the info display, as some of you apparently have. We've got 25K miles on it now, and the warranty will run out at 36K or 3 years, which for us is next August. I've noticed the brakes juddering above 50 mph, so I suppose it's rotors, and will ask that they be fixed at the next oil change. Have any of you bought an extended warranty? Is there any reason to?

    I write about commercial trucks for a living so occasionally meet factory car people, including GM types. I have complimented them on the Maxx and then browbeat them about the '08 and its lack of a hatchback. "Oh, we were disappointed in the Maxx," one replied. "We only sold 200,000" (as of February '07). Well, you didn't advertise it, either, I told him. Can you think of one Malibu Maxx commercial? He couldn't. How do you expect to sell it if you don't advertise it? I said. "Well, we don't have a lot of money for advertising," he lamely replied.

    (The only commercial I recall was from '04 or '04, a silly skit where a Maxx gets hung up on a drawbridge where it teeters on the edge of a span and the guys in the back seat keep it balanced by moving the seat fore and aft. It never showed the hatchback.)

    I believe hatchbacks are the most useful type of car, almost as useful as SUVs, and adapting more sedans to this style will help auto makers meet the newly decreed CAFE standards (i.e., 35 mpg by what -- 2020?) because they are lighter and more aerodynamic than even crossover SUVs. What do you folks think?

    --Tom in Ohio
  • maxx4memaxx4me Member Posts: 1,340
    Merry Christmas Tom. Warranty: normally a total waste of money, unless you own a GM that is no longer in production, has been redesigned, and may have problems finding parts in a few short years. I'm covered by GMPP for 101,000 miles. It wasn't cheap, but I play on keeping this car for 101,000 miles or until the melting icebergs wash my car away (shouldn't be problem for you in Ohio :P ). If you want the best rate on GMPP, type black gm pennsylvania (you just might come up with a positive hit ;) ) As I have posted before, I'd have two Maxx's in my driveway if I had it my way (and I needed another car.) For versatility, the Maxx is second to none. Best wishes, and goot luck on your warranty decision.
  • tires4utires4u Member Posts: 3
    We noticed the dash light thing..daytime only. We lay a small brochure over the sensor on the top front of the dash and they come on and improve drastically THANX tires4u
  • tires4utires4u Member Posts: 3
    We purchased our 2006 Malibu MAXX SS 3 yrs ago and are over 70,000k. With NO MECHANICAL or FIT and TRIM ISSUES. We have the rattle up frt w/turn as everyone else.. the Dealership is replaceing the steering shaft shock they say will fix problem(although it is not under warrranty) apx $125.00 parts and labor..other than that VERY FAST and RELIABLE..our Grankids call it the
    " BATMOBILE " and love watching DVD's as we CRUISE..the wife likes the remote start in winter and I LIKE THE SPEED & HANDLING !!!
    WE have had it on 3 different long trips accross country(1500k trips each) and to 3 INDY 500's WE LUV IT !!
    THANX !!
    tires4u USA
    note; These are 1 of FORBES magazines ..TOP 10 MOST PATRIOTIC VEHICLES !!
  • sophiemaxxsophiemaxx Member Posts: 1
    I bought my Maxx with 16,000 miles on it. It had been a dealer "loaner" car. I bought it on impulse, I knew nothing about the Maxx when I bought it and wow, I totally lucked out. We've been together for 7 years now, and it's been pretty great. It now has almost 130k miles on it and although it's not perfect, I've gotta say it's been a nice car to own.

    There are drawbacks- the upholstery quality is horrible, you can get plain water on the seat and it appears stained. But if you use a foamy upholstery cleaner on it, it cleans up pretty well. Nice seat covers are a good idea.
    Also, the keyless entry remote sucks. Get an aftermarket one when yours stops working.
    Many little cosmetic things have gone wrong, not a huge deal... like the vanity mirror covers broke off pretty early, the radio power button's decal has worn off, etc. but these are little piddly, petty things. I'd rather things like this break as they don't affect the drivability of the car.
    When I was at about 50k miles, a guy tried to jump my car but his jumper cables were mislabeled. It shorted a fuse out and "stuck" a CD in the CD player. It still works, but I have to listen to that one CD. The radio still works fine, as does the CD player, but like I said I cannot remove the CD so it's just Colbie Callait for me. Due to the "anti-theft" feature on the radio (or I call it- the "pro-money" feature for the dealer) they cannot take the radio out or really do anything without making the whole thing not work. I refuse to pay $800 plus for a new stereo. I've thought about getting a really nice aftermarket system put in, but I'll lose the features that are connected to the car- trip meter, fuel economy calculator, fuel range estimator, etc. so I just got an adapter for my iPod that plugs into the cigarette lighter and broadcasts my music on any unused radio station of my choosing. It works very well and is the cheapest as well as easiest solution.

    I have done very little to this car and had very little in repairs so far. I've always changed the oil & filter every 3k miles. I replaced the belt (it only has one belt) proactively at around 85k miles. I've had a brake job and a new set of tires. I've replaced the headlight bulbs a few times, as they tend to burn out, but it's because they're daytime running. If I have the car on a long trip and it's not cloudy or overcast, I just turn the daytime running lights off. After I started doing that, I haven't had to change the headlamp bulbs in about 3 years.
    This car hasn't required very much in the way of repairs. A seal on the front right transaxle leaked for a while and was replaced (around $150 repair). It has been leaking again and my mechanic suggested a new axle. It's only going to be about $300, which seems pretty reasonable.
    I drove this car off road/dirt road when living in the mountains for a year. No pavement for 15 miles to the house, so 30 miles part off road/part dirt road almost daily for a year. Some days were pretty scary with mud, snow, and ice. Considering this car is not made for that kind of driving, I think she did really well. The ground clearance is pretty good on this car- a little over 6 inches. I had a steep incline driveway that consisted of dirt, big rocks, and boulder type rocks. I had to be very careful and crawl up slowly so as to not tear up the undercarriage (although, truth be told, the undercarriage of this car looks like someone took a sledgehammer to it). I did have to replace the tranny pan, but it was a $150 fix and pretty much my own fault for driving my car in places it wasn't meant to be driven.
    I've had a "sort of" tuneup, but recently realized that I have never had the spark plugs replaced. I have almost 130k on the original spark plugs. (Eeks.) That being said, it's rather irresponsible on my part, but kudos to the makers of those plugs.
    The A/C recently stopped getting as cold as normal, and I've got to have that looked at, but even if it's a big repair bill, I've more than gotten my money's worth out of this car. It's never left me on the side of the road, which I appreciate.

    I have consistently gotten way better than EPA figures in mpg. My normal city mpg was around 28, and I averaged 36+ hwy until about 10k miles ago. I think a good tune up will help get my numbers back up again. Currently, I'm at around 25 city and 34 hwy, which is still awesome. On a road trip to the east coast a few years back, I got over 45 mpg driving at sea level at around 55 mph. I was floored when I saw the reading on the display and I checked and rechecked using the old fashioned way with my math skills. It was real and it was right. I couldn't believe it.

    I've read that some people have had horrible luck with the Malibu Maxx, and others love theirs. Not every single car made is identical and some are truly lemons and some are okay, and I think some end up being really great. I am fortunate to have had a great experience with my Maxx. I took pretty good care of her until moving to the mountains and I know that took it's toll, but I'm pretty confident that I can get 200k out of her or better. The Maxx has been good to me.
  • paopao Member Posts: 1,867
    ]8 years and 215K on my 04 Maxx LT when I gave it to my stepson as his daily driver....not one major mechanical failure...two tire rods and one brake caliper and one battery....all still running great...good MPG, cold AC....should make it to 300K easy
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