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Chevrolet Malibu Prices Paid and Buying Experience

lucyjolucyjo Member Posts: 7
Whew! I thought buying via GMS price was pretty cut and dried, but, I'm getting all sorts of mixed messages. Please help, GMS Afficianados!

First of all, when buying at GMS price, am I supposed to pay what's listed as the "delivery fee"? I know I'm not supposed to have to pay "doc fee" or "advertising fee"; but I have had 1 local dealer tell me I had to pay $399 delivery fee, and another tell me I don't have to pay any delivery fee. The GMS Family First website lists a $650 delivery fee, then adds it into the GMS price on the vehicle.

Do different colors of cars cost different GMS prices? I am searching for an '03 Malibu LS 1SA with cassette and leather. Every single one I find is at a different GMS price on the Family First Website. Why is this? Even the same color/trim/option conifguration is different prices:
LS 1SA w/cass, Silver + Gray Cloth = 18,158
LS 1SA w/cass, Redfire + Neutral Cloth = 17,905
LS 1SA w/cass, Gray + Gray Cloth = 18,082
LS 1SA w/cass, Gray + Gray Cloth = 18,491
(dealerships in Mobile, Birmingham, Albany, and New Orleans, respectively).

Last...I like the guy I spoke to at the dealership in Prattville, AL. He told me I could get an extra $750 off for owning a Saturn. He told me I don't have to pay a delivery fee. His dealership is a "preferred dealership" with my credit union, and it makes it really easy to buy. However, my PERFECT Malibu (LS 1SA in Driftwood with Neutral Leather, add cassette); exists in Union City GA, Foley, AL, and New Orleans, LA. Should I ask him to transfer one of them to his dealership? Its at least going to be 200 miles, depending on where he gets it from. Or, would it be better for ME to go to one of these places and buy the car from them?

Help. Any input would be appreciated. I have never purchased a car before. -LucyJo


  • jasmith52jasmith52 Member Posts: 462
    Delivery Fee - You'll always pay for transportation with GMS. It is a fixed price on the window sticker and is included in the GMS price. The price that you should pay is the GMS price and no more. Whoever you spoke to is misinformed. I have found that there are quite a few sales guys that are confused about GMS pricing. Talk to the GMS manager about pricing.

    Color of Car - Yes I have seen surcharges for different very popular colors. The bright yellow Sonoma trucks get an extra $25 or so and I understand a bright yellow Corvette gets an extra $100 or so. You can check out pricing on the Edmunds website or www.gmfamilysavings.com

    $750 incentive - This is the GM Loyalty incentive. You should be able to get this incentive at any GM dealership. By the way, since you mention that you have a Saturn, The Saturn Loyalty incentive would be $1000 should you buy a Saturn. The incentive gives $1000 if you buy the same GM brand as the car you are buying, $750 if you have another GM brand car.
  • sonjaabsonjaab Member Posts: 1,057
    GM employee/family member here !

    JAZ is correct......The only thing is SOME dealers will not swap cars with another dealer on a GMS deal. So you will have to ask or "chase" the car color you want. There should be no extra charge on color. At least on a Malibu! My Caddy had the diamond paint $1000 bucks extra tho!

    ANY delivery fee other than the one on the factory sticker is a hose job! RUN do not walk to another dealer !

    Remember you will get the rebate deducted off GMS pricing also, along with the GM loyalty bonus. Do you have a GM mastercard? If so, you can deduct your bonus cash too! Also last month GM card sent out a extra $500 bonus cert. to all members.

    Good luck and enjoy your new car!............geo
  • lucyjolucyjo Member Posts: 7
    Hey, I appreciate the replies! Thanks!

    still....anyone know why I'm getting different GMS prices? I thought that all things being equal, the GMS should be the same, shouldn't it?

    3 dealerships: 3 different GMS prices

    even though the trim level and options are exactly the same and listed on the sticker.
  • jasmith52jasmith52 Member Posts: 462
    You are probably comparing cars built at different times of the year. Should there be midyear prices changes (and there are often several) then the MSRP and option prices (and hence GMS price) can go up. The trend is for prices to get somewhat bigger throughout the year.

    By the way, I checked the option prices per GM for Yellow paint on the Sonoma and the Corvette as posted above and it's $115 for the Sonoma and $750 for the Corvette. If you just have to have that color then you are going to pay.
  • lucyjolucyjo Member Posts: 7
    Yup, that's it! Older versus newer. Good point. Makes sense. Whew.

    And, I really don't care much about color. I guess I just have to keep looking and comparing until I find the cheapest color. Might be that light driftwood.
  • CarMan@EdmundsCarMan@Edmunds Member Posts: 38,514
    It is unbelievable how many mid-model year price increases manufacturers implement nowadays. By far the most frequent price raisers are GM, Ford, and DaimlerChrysler. I read somewhere that on average the traditional big three domestic manufacturers have raised prices something like an average of every other month for the past year or so. They seem to be quietly raising prices to help offset their rising incentives costs.

    Smart Shoppers / FWI Message Boards
  • gmallthewaygmalltheway Member Posts: 77
    to see if the prices are different because of other options. The higher priced ones could have other option like Rear spoiler, Gold package, or sunroof.
  • lucyjolucyjo Member Posts: 7
    me check? why, but of course! I'm using the Family First website to look at each car's window sticker individually.

    In fact...hate to admit, heehee...I have a stack of notecards here on my desk; one notecard per dealership; each available Malibu LS 1SA add cassette written in black, each available Malibu LS 1SA add cassette add spoiler written in blue; any 1SA with leather interior highlighted.

    But, once you get into Leather and Sunroof, this late in the model year, you're pretty much looking at the LS 1SB, which I'm not including for consideration. They are markedly more expensive.
  • lucyjolucyjo Member Posts: 7
    hmmm, now that I think about it, all I have is a crummy stack of colorcoded notecards when all I want is A NEW CAR!!!


  • dan165dan165 Member Posts: 653
    What kind of % off have people been getting on 2004s?
  • oldntired1950oldntired1950 Member Posts: 151
    I just signed on the dotted line yesterday for a new Maxx - an LT completely loaded with every option except the block heater - it has XM, OnStar, DVD, Leather, and on and on! The sticker with everything was $27,500 - the dealer took $1,500 off the sticker and then deducted the $1,000 rebate. I then handed the dealer another $1,000 rebate certificate that I received in the mail from GM so I ended up with $3,500 off the sticker. I don't know how good a deal this is, but I'm satisfied. The Maxx is in transit and I should be driving it by this time next week.... now, if only we can defrost here in the Northeast!
  • genetageneta Member Posts: 23
    Hope you are pleased with your deal oldntired1950. I'm also interested in the same exact car you purchased. What was the dealer experience like? Where in the northeast? Did they wack the $1500 off before you got serious? Did they try and sell an extended warranty? What about service plans for XM and OnStar? Hope you enjoy the car, my family and I are waiting to go to the local dealer for a test drive.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Administrator Posts: 11,148
    A newspaper reporter is looking to interview someone who bought a car within the past six months. Please respond to jfallon@edmunds.com with your daytime contact information, make and model of car, and incentives applied to the purchase by 10 AM Pacific on Friday, January 16, 2004.
    Jeannine Fallon
    PR Director

    Need help navigating? kirstie_h@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.
    Share your vehicle reviews

  • logic1logic1 Member Posts: 2,433
    Sounds like a pretty good deal. 24k for a loaded Maxx. Hope you enjoy it.
  • chevyguy657chevyguy657 Member Posts: 216
    if GM decides to offer a $2K higher rebate this summer. GM stalwarts (like me, I thought, but guess I'm not as pro-GM as some) seem very defensive that that won't happen. I beg to differ. Check out the recent complaints in the Maxx forum re: price and cargo capacity behind the rear seats.

    Also, wish you the best of luck having bought without seeing crash test results. I think you'll be OK, but GM has had some strange deviations lately....

    Anyway, best of luck and congrats. Let us know how it's doing from time to time.
  • logic1logic1 Member Posts: 2,433
    The Maxx' platform mates, the Opel Vectra and the Saab 9-3 have very high safety ratings. In fact, the Saab earned top ratings in all categories in both the US and EU.
  • chevyguy657chevyguy657 Member Posts: 216
    but the GP did miserably in tests, whereas the Impala did far better. Exact same platform. Malibu is missing chest side airbags.

    $27.5 (actually I've heard of one $300 higher, so oldandtired must be missing one option) is insane for a Malibu. A Malibu? Will be worth $13-15K in a year, unless, for some strange reason, the Maxx sells like hotcakes.

    Some people just have to be first, at all cost.

    The Maxx concept is a good one (esp. since I dislike SUVs), but with the Equinox on the way shortly, will be VERY interesting to see if the Maxx attracts much attention. I can see younger folks and empty-nesters going for it, but not the middle of the market.
  • logic1logic1 Member Posts: 2,433
    You cannot compare resale value of the old Malibu which sold large fleet numbers with the new Malibus.

    I think your misgivings on Bu safety will prove misplaced.

    The Maxx will ride and handle better than the Nox, by virtue of its design. There are many empty nesters perhaps less willing to keep big SUVs but are not ready to give up the benefits of a more spacious vehicle.
  • chevyguy657chevyguy657 Member Posts: 216
    The new Malibu (maybe not the Maxx, but who knows?) will sell to fleets in a year or two. The Classic won't remain in production much longer than that. Not cost-effective; GM will discover a better use for the line that produces it. As I stated elsewhere, the same thing happened with the Lumina/Impala changeover from '99-'01. And then the Impala immediately had a $3K rebate, which is now $4K in some parts of the country (including mine).
  • logic1logic1 Member Posts: 2,433
    Hard to say things will stay the same with the level of change in the company.
  • fredvhfredvh Member Posts: 857
    What is this $1000 rebate certificate that you received in the mail? Is this for frequent buyers or what?
  • chevyguy657chevyguy657 Member Posts: 216
    about the $1,000 certificate.

    I've owned GM products since the early '80s (with a Honda for 4 years in the middle), so if it's loyalty based, I'm concerned.

    Or is it because you or a family member is a GM employee?

  • oldntired1950oldntired1950 Member Posts: 151
    The $1K certificate was sent by GM in an advertising piece that my wife received. We believe that they utilized a mailing list from a nursing association. The booklet gave an overview of the entire GM line. The last page was a detachable certificate for the additional rebate. It said to make your best deal, take the available rebates and then present the certificate for an additional $1,000 off. I did just as they said and the certificate was accepted without question. I was somewhat amused that the sales manager asked to see the booklet as he had not seen it before. As to location, we're on Long Island, and the dealer is in Hempstead, NY. The showroom and service area are right across the street from my office which makes the purchase and future service visits very convenient. It was also a very positive experience. I was greeted with a warm handshake and was treated as a valued customer, which is much better treatment than I have received in other dealerships. I got my price by an internet inquiry through GM Buypower. They were one of a very few dealerships to respond to my inquiry with an offer and to follow up on it. As to depreciation, I tend to keep my vehicles for at least 8 to 10 years, so I really have very little concern about it. The Maxx offers all the equipment I wanted in a great package at a price I can live with... what more can you ask for. And it also fit in with my desire to try to keep my money here in America. By the way, the sticker was $27,945 and other than the engine block heater I can't find anything in the brochure that isn't in the car. Yeah, $24,400 is a lot of money, but I think it's a lot of car for the money.
  • kurtamaxxguykurtamaxxguy Member Posts: 677
    My experience with Power Chevrolet was kinda interesting as I had simultaneously contacted the fleet manager and the internet sales people - all three were trying to figure out who got the comission! As for the pricing, it was kinda inconsistant as GM (not Power) decided at the last minute to raise the Maxx prices by $300, and several documentation fees were not included in the "out the door" price I was quoted several times. The dealer was very short staffed that day and I went out the door without being asked to fill out the checkout forms or anything. Not up to SATURN, but they were polite and called back the next day to see how the car was doing.

    As for the CAR (a TS with preferred options) so far, save for a few minor rattles, it seems to work well.
  • kurtamaxxguykurtamaxxguy Member Posts: 677
    Folks have asked what I paid for the car -- for a LS Maxx with 1B option group (curtain bags, 6 CD stereo, 6 way power seat), the real out the door price ($1K chevy discount, all taxes, fees, last minute Chevy markup, last minute dealer "fee insertion") was around $22800.

    Chevy dealers I dealt with were not Persian bazaars, but definitely not as good as Saturn.
  • oldntired1950oldntired1950 Member Posts: 151
    My Maxx LT with all the bells and whistles (all the options available except the engine block warmer and the smokers group) listed out at $27,945. After the rebates (I was lucky to get a GM promotional certificate for an extra $1,000 rebate) of $2K and a dealer discount of $1,800 (including an internet extra discount coupon for $300 on the dealer's website) it cost me about $24,100 before taxes. Then I met with the closer - the dealer's finance and add-on guy. When you take a 60 month loan, you don't really want to settle for a 36 month warranty. I ended up with the GM 84/84 bumper to bumper, but it cost me an extra $2K plus tax. Has anyone else bought a GM extended warranty, and if so, what did it cost? I like the dealer, and it's a very convenient location, but I can't shake the feeling that everything I saved on the car, I gave back in the warranty...... although, one major problem down the road, and my investment pays off!
  • mitzijmitzij Member Posts: 613
    Yeah, one major problem down the road and you've already paid for it! The odds are against you that you'll see your 'investment' again, otherwise, there would not be so many service contract companies in business (and in bankruptcy-see Warranty Gold discussions). You could have negotiated the price down several hundred dollars from what I've read on this site. As far as service contracts go, you got the best kind, but you sure did pay for it!
  • oldntired1950oldntired1950 Member Posts: 151
    I know I paid top dollar, but they were ready to let me walk rather than cut the price, or so they said. I did get them to drop another $300 on the car for an internet coupon I found on the dealer's website after I had signed the contract. I know I paid a lot less for the contract I got from Chrysler for my Jeep, but DC already allowed 7 years 100K miles on the drive train. The 2 year service contract I got on my daughter's used Cherokee has already paid for itself many times over. I like the security of knowing that for the next 7 years, I'm covered.
  • kurtamaxxguykurtamaxxguy Member Posts: 677
    I paid $1800 for a 60/90 majorguard warranty. The only reason I got it is that according to Consumers Union, the Malibu has developed major electrical problems after the first three years. They do not say __what__ the problems are, but given that electrics can be expensive to replace (I used to work for that GM division and know it is true!), the warranty seemed a worthwhile safeguard.
  • oldntired1950oldntired1950 Member Posts: 151
    I feel a little better knowing that what I paid is in the same ballpark. It's tough trying to compare the old Malibu with the new since so much of the car is totally redesigned. I know buying a new model in the first year is chancy, but I did fine with my '02 Liberty, and I'm sure that this will be no different.
  • dispencer1dispencer1 Member Posts: 489
    I am glad you purchased the GM Protection Plan. I normally do when I purchase a car that is still under the 3/36 factory warranty. The price of this extended warranty varies widely between dealers -any GM dealer can sell you one -and it can be sold anytime during the time that the car is under the factory 3/36. I have never purchased this warranty at the same time that I purchased the car and have priced it at a number of dealers. The price varies by hundreds of dollars. One thing that always struck me as odd. When you purchase a certified Cadillac as I did recently the car comes with a 6 year 100k 0 deductible warranty (starting back when the car was first put into service). If you get a current year or year old one it is a great deal. When you purchase another certified GM used car you get a lousy 3 month 3,000 mile "extended" warranty. There is no comparison.
  • mommawannabemommawannabe Member Posts: 1
    Today I went to a dealer looking at a Maxx LT. They only had ones with all the options, MSRP $27945. While running numbers to "get me in the car today," they came back with $25400, and that was after the $1K rebate (notice, not the $1750 rebate that Chevy is offering). This was the price before freight, taxes, etc. I only got the price after the salesperson went to his sales manager twice, he came and spoke to us twice, and I stated four times that this was more car than I was looking for, anyway. They kept running finance options, increasing the term to 72 months to try to get my monthly payment at a reasonable level to get me in the car. They offered $1500 on my trade-in, which Edmunds valued at $2900. My trade is a Pontiac, and I have read on this board that there is a GM loyalty incentive, too.
    I feel I was lucky to get out of there with my Pontiac at all. I was sold on a Maxx until this experience today. Was this a fluke? Should I find another dealer, or expect this everywhere?
  • skyhawkskyhawk Member Posts: 126
    I bought a LT MAXX with the 1SB option. Sticker was $25,630. Dealer price $21,588. less the certificate valued at $500 the GM card sent to add to the $1950. credit I had coming with the card earnings. My net cost was $19138 plus a $20. document fee. I was not trading a vehicle and was not financing. I looked at a number of different makes and styles and decided this would be my "running" around town car.
  • dispencer1dispencer1 Member Posts: 489
    Either the huge discounts on these redesigned cars are because GM wants to get them out on the street or because they just aren't selling. Look at the Honda Pilot and Odyssey when they first came out - you either paid MSRP (or more than MSRP) or walked. A friend wanted a loaded Camry last year and went ballistic because he was afraid that the lousy $1,000 rebate might expire before he could get the car. He drove 200 miles to find one. The big city dealers especially in Southern California are discounting the Camry though. New ones are $17,900 in Albuquerque, NM. and the base Camry 4 is pretty well equipped. No wonder GM is having problems with the Malibu.
  • dtownfbdtownfb Member Posts: 2,918
    I know the malibusare selling a a better pace then the 2003 Malibus. Of course that is not saying much. You have to remember that buying public has gotten used to having rebates and discounts attached cars esp. the domestics. For the past 3 years they ave been flooding the market with them to move their cars. So while $1750 rebate may sound big, it's much smaller then what GM has been advertising over the past 2 years. I believe th goal is to ween people off rebates. Although I doubt that will happen any time soon. People are not read to pay full MSRP for a Chevy, no matter what GM believes.
  • chuck1chuck1 Member Posts: 1,405
    Yes, I have mentioned that before-here in Los Angeles you can get a Camry LE for $16,800.00 all day long. The "one only" Malibus I have seen in the paper are slightly more than that. So-the automotive press has pretty much said this Malibu is a good effort. It's a MUCH BETTER car than the model before. But they have also said that it is not up to Camry and Accord standards. And this isn't saying anything about it's love or hate it styling. I was looking at the new Malibu today, while I would consider buying one, I really do not care for the front of the car. The car does look better in the lighter colors, IMO. So whats the deal with GM trying to charge a higher price?
  • dispencer1dispencer1 Member Posts: 489
    I will probably get a Solara - Malibu just looks like a normal rental car -nothing to write home about, but I'll get a Solara 4. The Toyota Camry/Solara 6, unlike the Malibu 6 requires premium fuel and gas milage on the highway is 29 instead of 33. People who compare Camry and Malibu should take the premium fuel requirement into consideration with the price of gas nowadays.
  • kurtamaxxguykurtamaxxguy Member Posts: 677
    A followup for LA, CA folks... My dealer experience was helped by going through the dealer's internet group, which migated most of the horsetrading bazzar nonsense. Still, finance managed to slip in a few extra last minute charges. The pathetic part was when the dealer begged me to classify my experience as "completely satisfied". They didn't get it.

    Chevy should learn some things from Saturn before the latter gets their Malibu Maxx clone in 2005.

    However, I have had three surveys and one phone survey regarding the Malibu since I bought it (two from Chevy and two from other research groups). Have others here been surveyed this much??
  • dispencer1dispencer1 Member Posts: 489
    I supppose that positive surveys help a dealer get incentives from GM down the road. If you put anything negative in it you will get a call from the dealer. I wouldn't submit any surveys through the dealer if I were you. I had a doctor once who used to send out letters soliciting bids on a particular car he wanted - this was in a big city where there were a number of competing dealerships all selling the same make. He got his bids back and the one that was lowest sold him the car. He knew the "invoice" price out of the books so he could tell if he was getting a decent deal. I wonder if that would still work. It sounds reasonable.
  • skyhawkskyhawk Member Posts: 126
    I received the standard mail survey from Chevrolet. I also received a call from GM wanting to know if I would have purchased a competitive brand if I did not have the credit from the GM card. How many vehicles I looked at, etc.
  • paopao Member Posts: 1,867
    I went in with my price I would pay....fully loaded less the engine block warmer....MSRP almost 28K, I drove off the lot tax title and tags included here in northern va for 24k even...then negotiated my trade in...a 99 Mustang GT 82k miles.....got 5.5k for it..which is what I expected and financed 18.5 wiht my own credit union. Also purchased a GM extended warranty from another GM dealer 6/100 for $1300 with a $100 deductible...all in all very happy with my buying experience..
  • jim_in_ohiojim_in_ohio Member Posts: 21
    After test driving both the LS and LT models at our local dealership (Jeff Wyler Chevrolet, Springfield, OH) my wife and I decided we wanted the leather seats. That meant an LT, but we didn’t want to pay extra for a fully loaded one. The salesman got busy and within two days had us an LT with the 1SB option package in our first choice color. A GM retiree friend gave us a “GM in the driveway” authorization number, so we bought at the supplier’s price of $23,943. We planned on taking advantage of the 0% GMAC financing, but the day we bought Chevy raised the cash rebate to $1500. With a 3.85% interest rate from a different finance company we ended up with a slightly lower payment for the same term (36 mo), meaning a smaller total paid AND giving us the option to save more money if we can pay ahead. The dealership researched this and presented the option without our asking; that’s service!
  • mazzmondmazzmond Member Posts: 2
    Well, just bought myself a Malibu Maxx LS on Thursday here in Michigan. Probably didn't get the best deal, but needed a car quickly. Got pretty much the most basic model with remote start as the only option (not even floor mats). The MSRP was 22375 and I was able to get it at 20775 (about $250 over invoice). There was a $1500 rebate on the car and I had $1000 on a GM card that I used bringing the total price down to 18,275 before tax, title, etc. Was around $19500 total after all that. Will have to buy some mats of course.

    It's got about 20 miles on it so far and from my very brief experience, I like the car a lot. We'll see how it holds up in the long term.

    The dealer there said the Maxx had some interest but the hot seller has been the Equinox. They said the average time on the lot for a new Equinox was about 3 days before it sold.
  • gms22gms22 Member Posts: 1
    I'm looking into buying a 2002 Malibu LS, with around 33K miles on it. I think the price is going to be between $8-9,000. Is this reasonable? Cheap? Too expensive? Help me please!
  • deminindeminin Member Posts: 214
    The local dealer in Central Missouri has an ad in todays paper that they are offering up to $5700 off on Malibu Maxx. Thats probably off sticker, but indicates that there may be some good buys out there on the Maxx.
  • dispencer1dispencer1 Member Posts: 489
    Hertz is selling '03 Malibu LS's for $9795 and I'm sure that you can find an '03 elsewhere for around 9k. It will be a year newer with most likely less than 30k mileage. If the '02 is a private owner's car and you know the owner and are sure that maintenance was done I'd consider it for less than 9k but 8-9k is no real bargain for a two year old Malibu.
  • arizonaturboarizonaturbo Member Posts: 1
    FYI... We just purchased a 2004 Malibu Maxx LS on June 8, 04 with the 1SB Option package for $19,243 out the door at Penske Chevrolet in Indianapolis. Went through Cars.com for referal dealership based on zip code. No haggling, they simply gave me dealer invoice price (or Internet price they call it) plus a $4000 rebate. It turned out to be a better deal "off the street" than my GM SUPPLIER discount which included only a $3,500 rebate. It appears to me that GM is desperate to unload these 04 vehicles. Great value!

    Our Figures:
    Invoice on Stock $21833.88
    IN Sales Tax 6% 1310.03
    Doc Fees 98.00
    Indiana Tire Tax 1.25
    Rebates <4000.00>

  • maxx4memaxx4me Member Posts: 1,340
    congrats AZturbo. I'm guessing then, when we use the $4k check, that it cannot be combined with the $1,500 cash back that the general public is getting right now, correct?
  • map013map013 Member Posts: 3
    I picked up my Black Malibu Maxx LT with the all the options, including DVD, Onstar, XM radio, etc. MSRP was $27645. I am a gm supplier and qualified for pricing, but got a better deal going with invoice plus $4000 GM loyalty rebate along with my $1000 GM card points. Traded in a 95 Blazer at KBB trade-in of $4000 for a bottom line of $18000 O.T.D.. Financed through local credit union.
  • mtrushmtrush Member Posts: 9
    I got a quote on a Malibu thru gmbuypower.com and the price is $350 above the TMV. Are price quotes made thru gmbuypower firm or still negotiable ?

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