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Chevrolet Malibu MPG-Real World Numbers

Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,092
This topic is for Malibu owners to post their actual MPG. Please be sure to include whether your Malibu is 4cyl or 6cyl.

"Real World" Fuel Economy vs. EPA Estimates


  • bhw77bhw77 Posts: 101
    Also would be nice to add average speed to compare apples to apples....

    Here is mine
    Malibu MAXX LS
    Avg Speed - 19mh, MPG - 17.5.
    Nothing to brag about...
  • according to the readout, I'm at 28.7 mpg and ave speed of 37 mph. I recently kept track of the amount of gas I used to go about 1000 miles and it averaged out to be 27.9 mpg.
  • mr_botsmr_bots Posts: 236
    I'm getting about 19 - 22 in town and 32 - 34 on the highway with my v6 ls sedan.
  • firemanjackfiremanjack Posts: 123
    '05 Maxx LS V-6...With about 6000 miles on the car, I took a 400-500 mile oneway trip to southern Ontario from here in downstate New York, mostly 65-75 MPH.. got 30.9 and 34.9 on the two tankfuls I checked..The car is amazing on gas..
    Locally...with a lot of stop and go, and idling...I get between 22 and 25 MPG.
    These are the figures I took from the readout on the dash..Even asuming they are 2 MPG optimistic, these are great figures..And the car is really fast..
    With the traction control on..I got ticked off a few week ago and nailed it...I must have laid about 100 feet of rubber..I was shocked..and then embarassed...what a's there when I need it...I love this car..Jack
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    road trips have averaged 28-31. The trip computer is about 1.5 mpg too optimistic, not bad. There was some comment here about the odometer being too optimistic. If that's the case mpg would be worse as I haven't computed that only taking the odo. and gallons to fill.
  • kurtamaxxguykurtamaxxguy Posts: 677
    gets 24-26 mph for a mixture of half freeway/freeway parking lot and half in-town city street driving (60 miles of this per day).

    For freeways, it gets 26 - 32 mph depending on maximum speed (80 mph's required on CA. interstates or you're run off the road), hills (lots of mountains on the I-5), and headwinds.

    Runs fine on regular gas.
    The mileage computer averages things out so intensely it's of very little help.
  • montebumontebu Posts: 10
    My latest figures are:
    272 miles with a mix of highway and city driving. DIC returned average speed of 30 mph and mpg reading of 29.4. Took 10 gallons to fill tank. That gives me 27.2 mpg. Accounting for a four percent odometer error gives me 26.1 mpg. I have about 3600 miles on the car at this time.
    One item to note is that I'm driving to maximize my mpg, meaning no fast starts and keeping my speed down (where possible) on the highway. Next tank I'll try driving in a more 'normal' style.
  • bryan200kbryan200k Posts: 64
    I have 130,000 miles on my 2000. I drive 500 miles per week highway at 70-75 mph and about 50 miles per week city/local at avg of 35-40 mph. All highway mileage, I get between 29 and 30 mpg. Around home, I'm closer to 26-27 mpg. I did take a 1200 mile round trip between Central PA and Chicago, that I got between 34.5 and 35.9 on my fill ups, averaging about 65 mph speed.
  • fulloutpwrfulloutpwr Posts: 11
    Currently, im getting approx. 420 miles per tank, and 13.9 gallons at fillup. 85 octane... mostly highway with a/c on... the little driving i do besides highway is on a military base.
    FYI- 5100 miles, oil changes every 2000 miles, first one was at 200 miles.
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    1. There is no 03 Maxx, it didn't appear until '04
    2. Your oil life monitor is very sophisticated (if you have an 04+) taking starts, warm-ups, times you floor the car, etc. into consideration. In my case I can easily get more than 7000 miles on an oil change-- the ohv V-6's are VERY easy on oil.

    Any SM oil can easily go 4000 miles in any car-- far longer in the Maxx. I use Pennzoil which is a group II+ oil. The Mobil 5000-7500, Chevron-Texaco, or Phillips-Conoco oils are all excellent. Phillips has lots of group III-- in essence you can get a good quality synthetic blend for a bit over a buck at WallyWorld or $1 (but you can't get 5w30) at Dollar Tree. Dumping great oils like that at 2000 miles is very wasteful. Get a UOA if you doubt me.
  • tiger10tiger10 Posts: 46
    I have a 2005 4cyl. Malibu Base Sedan and i am getting about 28.1 mpg in city and 35.5 in Highway. i love this car. :)
  • fulloutpwrfulloutpwr Posts: 11
    didnt realize the 03... its an 05 Maxx! :D
  • my05lsmy05ls Posts: 2
    Just bought mine last week. 05 Malibu LS Sedan. 650 miles as of today.
    From the DIC
    Average Speed - 29mph
    MPG - 26.1
    It was about 50/50 highway/city.

    Also did an oil change today with Mobil 1 5W-30 and Fram doublegaurd and did reset oil life indicator back to 100%
  • willscarywillscary Posts: 21
    I bought a certified 2004 Malibu LS a few weeks ago. I drive to work 65 miles each way, about 90% highway. My average speed (which I reset every time I fill the tank) has been either 50, 51, or 52 mph. I do not use the computer fuel economy reading. I have always kept track of fuel economy in a book for each car since I started driving 22 years ago. My wife is also trained to write it down. The Malibu is strictly my work car, replacing a 1998 Chevy Prizm 5 speed that averaged just over 40 mpg over its 170,000 mile lifetime. So far, with 6 full tanks of gas through this beast, I am averaging 37.2 mpg. I generally drive very easily, setting the cruise at 60 mph for the majority of the commute. There are only 2 stops and 3 other slow spots each way. All tanks have gone between 550 and 562 miles, and each fill has been between 14.8 and 15.1 gallons. It is summer here in Wisconsin, but I have only needed the air conditioning for about half of the homeward trips, and have not used it at all in the morning (between 5 and 6 AM).
  • So is a Maxx a good Wisconsin car? My daughter will probably move to Milwaukee in September. She was driving a 97 camaro but I wanted a front wheel drive for her so I bought the Maxx.
  • willscarywillscary Posts: 21
    I own the sedan. So far I love it, other than the original tires. I won't know how it is in snow for another 4 or 5 months. by the way...Milwaukee is not exactly like the winters we have herein north central Wisconsin. Temps here can be 20 degrees colder in the winter, and because Milwaukee is on Lake Michigan, it is generally a bit cooler than it is here in summer.
  • should I plan on getting another set of wheels and snow tires for her? Being from the south, I know nothing about snow tires. What would be a good brand to buy?
  • willscarywillscary Posts: 21
    I am going to replace the factory tires with Goodyear Assurance Comfortreds. The factory tires are so-so in the summer, and they may be OK in the winter, but they are the only thing I hear in the car. I do not hear wind noise or the motor.

    Snow tires would be nice, and they work very well. Nobody I know personally has ever used them though. If you slow down during bad weather and shovel your driveway you shouldn't have any problems. What shuts down everything from the middle of Indiana and southward is an every day snow for us. Your daughter will need to learn to drive in slippery conditions. Generally, if we get 4-12 inches of snow, the plows make a pass or two, but the roads are still snow covered and slippery until mid to late morning, when the salt starts to clear it away. By the next day, the roads are clear. When the roads are slippery, she will need to take extra time getting to where she is going, but she will learn. Heck, every driver in the state has to relearn how to drive on snow and ice every fall.
  • beedublubeedublu Posts: 236
    I've had my 04 Maxx LS V-6 for just over 10 months, and my average MPG works out to about 26. Most of that is in suburban traffic at maximum speeds of 50 mph, on a 10 mile one-way commute with about a dozen stop lights.

    On long trips, my best mileage was 31 MPG. That was going about 65-70 mph with AC on most of the time.

    Regarding those snow questions, this car rocks! Winter driving here in upstate NY couldn't be much easier. :)
  • maxxolivermaxxoliver Posts: 78
    I am at this point not to happy with the mileage on my 05 Maxx LT and I am hoping this will change as it breaks in. The first Maxx we had was a :lemon: and GM bought it back the mileage on it was good. So far I have 1800 miles on this one and I am getting 17 around town and 21 or so on the highway. I really hope this will change soon. Anyone have any ideas why this is so bad or what I can do to make it better? Thanks
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    the first number does not bother me as long as you are driving in a city with a lot of lights and stop and go. In such conditions, you should see mileage between 17-20. I drive in "urban" conditions, not city conditions and get 22 mpg. It is the second number which is bothering me. If you actually do nothing but straight highway for 2+ hours, you should expect 28-33.
  • maxxolivermaxxoliver Posts: 78
    My husband drove the car for over 4 hours and approx. 275 miles I added another 50 around town and the mpg was 21. I would have expected better also. I know there is a break in period and hope that this will improve. We are planning another long drive so I will see what happens then. The first Maxx did much better than this can there really be this big a difference just between tow similar cars?
  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    I am sure this is too obvious but you drive with the gear shifter in "D" position right?
  • maxxolivermaxxoliver Posts: 78
    yes, it would wind too tight in any other gear going that fast and that would sound bad.
  • bhw77bhw77 Posts: 101
    I have pretty much same MPG numbers for my 04' Maxx
    17.5 average in city - cannot comment highway MPG, mostly drive city.
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    do to a temp move..Im doing a 145 mile commute round trip..averaging about 26-28 per gallon....about 60 miles rural roads....spd limit 45 MPH and the rest interstate 70-75MPH with intermittent stops for rush hour traffic in northern VA.....04 Maxx LT with almost 32K on it...still running good!!
  • simonesimone Posts: 18
    2004 malibu lt with just over 37,100 miles mostly freeway driving (95%) avg speed of 70-75 mph. Car is averaging just about 32-33 miles per gallon per fill up while the dic indicates about 35.2 mpg. Car has handled just great and I am very pleased with it... :):)
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    Saint Charles County, MO to Bemidji, MN and back. Tried going through Madison WI on the way back because two of the three mapping services routed me that way. Dont!

    Averaged around 30 mpg and most of the weather was miserable hot! Given the oxygenated gas in urban areas at least, I'm pretty happy.
  • Taking my 05 Malibu LT for its first long trip. Driving from New York to Florida. Been getting 30-32MPG on highway driving with A/C on and driving 70-80 MPH. Very satisfied with those numbers but find that the driver information center is a little more generous-it displays up to 33.6 MPG. Does anyone have any issues with the temperature display. Seems like it's always 5-7 degrees hotter than actual??
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    my Maxx's display is 3 degrees hotter than actual air temp. We all get at least 2 mpg less than what the DIC advertises.
  • cwesleygcwesleyg Posts: 64
    From 34-1100 miles I left the MPG info alone and the best I saw was 20.7 mpg average. In the first few days it was very poor... like 15 mpg. At 1100 I reset it and decided to see what it would do after break-in. I have averaged 26 since then. I have a black 2005 Malibu Maxx LS V6. My driving style is agressive and mixed about 50/50 between expressway and city.
  • cwesleygcwesleyg Posts: 64
    I suspect Malibu's will be very good Winter cars. Milwaukee is very similar to SE Michigan. It will certainly be better than the Camaro. I spent the last three years in a 2WD pick-up. Front wheel drive will be better for me as well. What mileage is your daughter getting?
  • Just an update. I now have over 6,000 miles on it since I bought my '04 LS sedan. My average speed per tank is still about 52 mph per the computer. Over these 6,000+ miles, I have averaged 36.9 mpg. This is actual miles driven (to the 1/10th of a mile) divided by gallons bought (to the 1/100th of a gallon).

    I drive the car very easy and use the cruise control 95% of my miles. I may shy away from the Comfortreds as I am reading quite a few stories of 5-7% mileage losses over OEM tires. I am now looking into the Tripletreds.

    My car now has just over 22,000 miles on it.
  • With around 14K on the odometer my highway mileage averages about 28-30, but I am a cowboy and tend to drive the car hard. I also never turn the AC off from April to October. I did switch the OEM tires for new Yokohama triple tread - the newest design, and find both handling and road noise very much improved. Other than a rattle (I think it's the back shelf) over rough roads this car is perfect and probably the best car I've ever owned. I've been driving for almost 40 years and tend to replace my car every 3 to 4 years, so I believe that this is a strong statement for the Maxx - my plate says it all - MAXXIMUM :)
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    i would echo oldntired as well....I have an 04 Maxx LT...purchased Mar 04..and just went over 35K on the car...still getting 28-30 and run the AC most of the time.....mostly highway...a 70/30 mix...with several long road trips thrown in as well..I went with the AVON Tech 550 M/S tire......and upgraded to 17 inch the ride and the handling as well now......not a problem...a rattle in my sun shade...but nothing to complain about....looking to get 6-7 years out this car......and thinking I will if it keeps going strong like it is.....plate..MAXX-FUN
  • cwesleygcwesleyg Posts: 64
  • We leased a 2005 Malibu in 11/04. Average speed is 28 MPH, average Fuel Economy 26.9. Highway driving we get high 30's every time. We put a quart of EOS Assembly Lubricant in the oil when new, a one time thing, and it's now required for all my new cars. As a side note, we have 14,424 miles on it, never needed service, no problems, 2nd oil change at 13,724 with Oil Life Monitoring System. Better than EPA highway estimate.
  • Just got back from a trip to Myrtle Beach and we averaged 28.7 mpg for the 500 miles or so which we drove. I'm a little worried about the ice in Milwaukee. She's an excellent driver. And she's driven the Camaro over a hundred miles in a southern snowstrom (about 8 inches of snow) with no problems. But it does not get as cold here as it does in Milwaukee and I believe she'll be living a couple blocks from Lake Michigan and having to cross the Milwaukee River to get to work.
  • cwesleygcwesleyg Posts: 64
    I wouldn't worry about too much. The weather up here is diddferent than snow in the southern regoins... me get more snow and less freezing rain. The terrain is fairly flat as well. I know a lot of people that buy 4 wheel drive and use the weather as an excuse for spending way to much on transportation. I live in a subdivision with 300 houses and I'll bet 2/3's have at least one 4WD. Most of them never shift into 4 wheel... and if they do, it is for 1 day in January... it is a big waste of money. Our first week living in MI, we moved to Grand Rapids in "94, we were driving a rear wheel drive 1988 Mercury Cougar... I passed more Explorers, Cherokees, Troopers, Passports, and Blazers in ditches... 4WD is no substitute for common sense. If she is going to live on paved roads, she won't need it. Stopping is a bigger issue than moving forward. 4WD does not equal 4 wheel stop.
  • Ok I take it back. We just got back from a trip to Brookings, Oregon, we live near San Francisco, Calif, and got 28 to 32 mpg's and that was driving alot of mountain roads we covered about 1200 miles. My husband says part of it is the difference in the fuel between Calif and other states. I still would not trade this car for anything it is alot of fun to drive. :)
  • Just drove from Birmingham, AL to outside Chicago, IL on a roundtrip in my new 2005 Malibu LT. It currently has 3000 miles. I averaged 30.5 mpg the whole trip mostly driving at 71 mph. The DIC said I was averaging 29 mpg. I've found so far that the DIC has been 1-2 mpg on the low side. Our trip included two occupants loaded with full luggage and ice chest. I was very pleased with the gas mileage. The A/C was on about half the time.
  • We bought a 2005 Malibu LS 1B for our college daughter and drove down to Florida to get her settled into her second year of school. The car had just over a 1000 miles at the start of the trip. The trip was 1447 miles of mostly interstate driving (I-90 to I-84 to I-91 to CT-15 to I-287 to I-78 to I-81 to I-77 to I-26 to I-95 to I-4). We averaged 70-75 mph in light traffic and the car returned 33.7, 34.2, 35.8, and 35.2 for the four fill ups on the trip (mileage calculated by the miles/gallons, not via the car computer, although the computer was pretty close on each tank - always about 5% high). I ended up driving straight through with just two rest stop breaks in addition to the four fuel stops. The seats were super comfortable for the 20 hours of seat time and the cruise control was a welcome aid for the long interstate stretches with light traffic. I'm 6'5" and a bit wide too at 250#, so that is even more reason to praise the legroom, tilt/telescope wheel, and seat comfort.

    I have a 2005 Maxx LT 1B that gets up to about 32 on pure highway driving for comparison and has averaged 26.2 mpg for all the driving to date (9400 miles).
  • I figure you will get better mpg with the LS simply because the tires are about 4-5% narrower. I have stated many times the mileage I get, and I have averaged 37.3 mpg over the life of the car. I have found that my best mileage (right around 40 mpg!) is during warmer weather with the cruise set at about 56 mph. At 60 mph I drop to about 38 mpg, and at 65 mph my economy drops to about 36 mpg. With gas prices being what they are, I do not drive over about 66 mph, even on the interstate. At 70 mph, my mileage drops to around 32 mpg. (I experiment a lot as my commute is exactly the same every day, and the 'bu is my work car). I have also found that, although I have NEVER put anything other than top tier gas in my car, the 10% ethanol blended gas yields about a 7% DECREASE in economy over straight gasoline. I recently introduced my car to Mobil 1 5W-30, and although I doubt that it really made much of a difference in mileage, the car does definitely start quicker (turn over quicker) and seems to warm up quicker (as I said, I drive exactly the same every day, and it seems that the temp gauge gets to normal about a half to full mile sooner than it did on conventional 5W-30).

    By the way, I have adopted the methods I learned from the "Short Silver Haired Lady School of Driving"
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    you ahve the standard 2.2L 4 cylinder engine correct......I love the mileage..but I have the V-6 engine in mine....and usually pulls 28 on a good day on the highway..sometimes 29....and around 24-25 city driving
  • I have the 3.5L V-6.
  • You guys on the East Coast must have way better gas than those of us on the West Coast. I do ok on the highway on long trips and especially if I get my gas outside of California. But my everyday around town is not great. Yesterday I filled up and my mileage for that tank was only 15.7 and no I am not one of those hurry up and race to the next light people. I am very easy on my car. We have had a problem with the mileage on this car since we got it. I hoped after the break in period it would get better. My husband drove it on its first long trip and got only 21 mpg on the freeway for over 300 miles. I don't usually get better than maybe 18 to 22 with a mixture of highway and city. I just love this car, the ride and driving it is so much fun. I am frustrated by the mileage and wish I could improve it, so if anyone has any suggestions I would love them. I also thought that willscary had a 4cyc and that is why he does so well could there be that much difference between the sedan and the Maxx :confuse:
  • To get that mileage I set the cruise at 56 or 57 MPH. I live in Wisconsin and my commute is 62 miles. It is 1.2 miles to the highway. 16 miles later I slow down to 30 mph to go through a small town for about a mile, then it is back up to 57 mph for another 29 miles, where I turn onto a freeway and drive 65 mph. The freeway lasts 13 miles, then I turn onto a 45 mph county road for the remaining 2.8 miles. There is a total of 4 stop signs each way. My tires right now are each inflated to 35.5 psi. I use Mobil 1 5W-30 oil. I use nothing but 87 octane Shell 100% gasoline (some of the Shell stations sell 10% ethanol blended gas, but my mileage suffers about a 2 mpg hit).

    Maxxoliver...If I drive in stop and go situations or if I drive around town for a half hour or so, my fuel economy takes a big hit. I can see how most people get mid to high 20s for mileage if that is the type of driving they do. My job location and the type of work I do makes me drive an average of about 900 miles in an average 5 day work week. I have a lot of time to experiment.

    While I am quite sure that the difference between a sedan and Maxx will be 3-5 mph under normal driving, I must admit that my commute is not what most people have. For instance, if I drive 60 mph, my mpg goes down. It drops even more at 65 mph. I would venture to say that if I got in my car and took a freeway trip to my brother's house in Cleveland, OH, I would only get maybe 38 mpg at 66 mph. If I drove 70 mph, I doubt that I would get 36 mph. On the other hand, If I take a US highway from my home to Minneapolis (about a 5 hr drive each way), and kept the cruise at about 56-57 mph, I am quite confident that I would see at least 39 mpg and possibly 40 mpg.

    My car is not a supercar. I just have a LOT of driving time in which to experiment. Where I live, I can set the cruise at 57 mph and see maybe 50 cars on my morning commute. On the way home, I may see 200 cars. I just don't have a large amount of traffic to contend with. In fact, I am much more worried about the 10-15 deer I may see next to the road in the morning, or the 20-30 turkeys picking in the afternoon shoulder gravel (suckers are like hitting a bowling ball!)

    By the way, I don't live in Hicksville...I just decided to take a job going away from the metropolitan areas here in northeast Wisconsin. :)
  • Bought LT V-6 at end of August. Averaging 22.5 in mix of city/highway traffic here in NJ. Drove to NC and averaged 33 on all highway. Set the cruise to 67 and had to fight DC traffic and still hit 33. Mileage better than expected.
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