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Chevrolet Malibu Prices Paid and Buying Experience

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 Posts: 460
    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

    $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 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 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 Posts: 460
    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 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.
  • 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
  • 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 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 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 Posts: 653
    What kind of % off have people been getting on 2004s?
  • 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 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 Posts: 11,077
    A newspaper reporter is looking to interview someone who bought a car within the past six months. Please respond to [email protected] 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? [email protected] - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

    Share your vehicle reviews

  • logic1logic1 Posts: 2,433
    Sounds like a pretty good deal. 24k for a loaded Maxx. Hope you enjoy it.
  • 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 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.
  • 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 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.
  • 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 Posts: 2,433
    Hard to say things will stay the same with the level of change in the company.
  • fredvhfredvh Posts: 857
    What is this $1000 rebate certificate that you received in the mail? Is this for frequent buyers or what?
  • 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?

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 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!
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
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