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Chevrolet Malibu MPG-Real World Numbers



  • djm2djm2 Posts: 712
    Hi all: ------------ Chevrolet and General Motors owes the owners of the "four cylinder Malibu" reasons why we are not getting the posted highway mileage of 30 to 33 mpg! ---- (They advertise these figures, ----- but many of us have not seen these figures in the real world! ----- WHY?) ----- Many of us have purchased these vehicles because of this posted mileage! ---------- Best regards! ------ Dwayne :shades: :confuse: ;) :)
  • gonogogonogo Posts: 879
    You are not going to get the same mileage in cold weather as in warm, known fact.
  • phil53phil53 Posts: 54
    I agree with Dwayne - to an extent.
    And I would tell 'gonogo' that cold weather appears to have little to do with it. I've owned my 09 LTZ 4cyl 6A since they came out and I have never seen 30 mpg - not once, in any weather. Actually, my wife saw right at 30 mpg once - on a trip from KC to DM doing all interstate driving. The best mileage I have ever seen (same route) was about 28 mpg. Normally, in combined driving, I get around 22 mpg. For that kind of mileage, I coulda had a V6! I will also note that this is the first GM product where I haven't gotten the advertised mileage or even close to it.
    As to Dwayne's observation, the reason we don't see those kinds of mileage figures is that we don't drive like the EPA loop nor are we hyper-milers. We are just ordinary drivers who get in our cars and drive them. And, since these are little 4 bangers whose transmissions are tuned for mileage instead of performance, it actually back-fires and we see worse than we should. I'm guessing if I had a 6M, I would see better mileage - but still not what is advertised on the sticker.
  • djm2djm2 Posts: 712

    You comments are right on the money! ----- The four cylinder in this car IS NOT sufficient to power this vehicle. ---- (It is working too hard to move the vehicle!) This is where the mileage is going!!!! ---- It does not come close to a four cylinder Honda Accord engine. (What was GM thinking putting this "toy of an engine" in this vehicle?) ------ Maybe if this engine had a Turbo something might happen! ---- In addition, the "original equipment tires" ARE NOT "mileage friendly tires." ---- They are at the low end of the tire spectrum! ----- I am seriously considering putting on four Michelin tires at a cost of $888.00. --- I will
    bet this will improve the mileage. ---------- Best regards. ----- Dwayne. :shades: ;) :)
  • phil53phil53 Posts: 54
    Keep in mind that high mpg (i.e., low rolling resistance) tires sacrifice performance to achieve their goal. And sometimes comfort. So you have to be aware of the trade-offs going in.
    Personally, I prefer performance over mpg. But that's just me.
    As an interesting side-note, I recently found myself in a Dodge Avenger rental car. Now, this car was nowhere near as polished or comfortable as my Malibu. But the thing I noticed is that I had better response, smoother shifts and seemed to get similar mileage. The engine was the same size, although not quite as powerful and I'd bet that the transmission was a 5 speed at best - maybe a 4 speed. So this is an area where the Malibu really disappoints.
  • djm2djm2 Posts: 712
    QUESTION: ---- Why can Honda build a four cylinder engine that performs in the Accord, but the American Manufacturer cannot seem to engineer the same technology? ----- Did we forget how to build an engine? ------- Dwayne.
  • djm2djm2 Posts: 712
    QUESTION: ---- Do you think synthetic oil would make a difference in the MPG? --------- Dwayne
  • phil53phil53 Posts: 54
    I have used synthetic in my car since the first oil change. And my mileage is not that great.
    On the other hand, I wait until the 'oil life' read-out on the DIC is down to single digits - or, at least low double digits - before I change oil. I'm not changing oil nearly as often as I used to under the old 5000 mile rule and I suspect that my engine is better protected (although it's hard to prove without tearing it down).
  • djm2djm2 Posts: 712
    Hi All:

    We have all been discussing the poor fuel mileage on the four cylinder Malibu! ---- We have been discussing the possible causes of this condition.

    I am sure that there are General Motors Representatives on this forum. ---- Why haven't they joined the discussion, and in the process, share some insights from the factory point of view?

    Best regards? ----------- Dwayne :shades: :confuse: ;) :)
  • gonogogonogo Posts: 879
    The Ecotec is German engineering.
  • gonogogonogo Posts: 879
    I have seen as high as 33 mpg with my Ecotec 2.4, in a 09 G6 not Malibu.
    Maybe it's just Chevy.
  • You might be on to something, my '08 G6 got 31mpg on a recent trip.
  • djm2djm2 Posts: 712
    Hi phil53:


    1.) Do you have a six speed automatic transmission in the 09 / G6?

    2.) What tires do you have on this vehicle?



    3.) Do you run synthetic oil in this engine?

    4.) What fuel do you use in this engine?

    5.) Do you use the cruise control?

    6.) Do you run the tires hard 32+ psi?

    Best regards. ----------- Dwayne :shades: :confuse: ;) :)
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    form a legal standpoint..I dont think GM employees are allowed to join in the another forum dealing with a specific Pontiac model....we had both a sales person from a dealership and a engineer assisting members....but only a few knew their exact identities....they provided invaluable inside into issues, and fixes as they were engineered...or simply discussions on why things were designed or worked as they did.....

    You do have one customer service rep who frequents the board..but not sure how effective she is in handling issues...
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    when Chevy changed the malibu engine after the 06 MY I beleive..there was a slight loss in 04 Malibu Maxx LT has a 3.5L 6 cylinder and I regularly get 22-24 in the city and 28-31 on the highway depending on conditions...with 178K on it now...

    I have always run Mobil 1 0w or 5w-30 full synthetic oil (change interval averages 6000 miles), I upsized my tires from 16 inch (215/60/16) to 17 inch aftermarket rims running 225/50/17 tires...have run Michelins, BFG, and currently GY Eagles on them....MPG has remained constant with the only difference being tire wear, cruise is used on long drives and tire inflation is 32 lbs (checked weekly), and I use nothing but tier 1 brand my case I pump nothing but Shell regular....
  • djm2djm2 Posts: 712
    Good Morning:

    Lets look at this from a "public relations point of view!" ---- This is an open board where owners and people who have an interest in this vehicle can express their opinions with regards to the quality of the vehicle.

    We have people on this board, who are not happy with the advertised fuel mileage. ----- If no one at the corporate level addresses this issue in a professional manner, the conclusion from the customer's point of view is that; --- 1.) The company does not care. --- or --- 2.) There is no fix for the problem. --- or --- 3.) There is a "fix" but the company does not want to spend the money. ------ The net result of this action is that "sales will suffer!" ------ Chevrolet & GM have a nice vehicle, but it does not live up to their posted fuel figures. ---- If the tires are the issue, let the owners know that a better grade of tire will make a difference. ---- Give the owners some credit on the old tires, and let them "trade up" to a better grade of tire! ------ Best regards. --------- Dwayne
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Posts: 1,380
    I believe it was 2010 that EPA started using new test method. I glanced at procedure and at least for the city it should be easy for most to beat. Lots of stop and go in my opinion.
    However vehicle may not yet be tested. Makers are allowed to come up with their own figures until EPA tests. In an attempt to keep them honest, there is a penalty if it is off, on each built vehicle.
    My 09 LT2 was satisfactory on mileage, but it seemed to drop some as mileage increased. And my 11LacrosseCSX did get the 28MPG highway until around 2500 miles. Since then mileage has dropped about 3 MPG highway and local. No explanation so far and the 4.0L V8 Aurora with four speed was doing slightly better on highway.
  • gonogogonogo Posts: 879
    1. no
    2. P225 50 R17 Hankook touring
    3. no
    4. 87 octane
    5. yes
    6. yes, 32 psi came from dealer that way
  • djm2djm2 Posts: 712
    Kindly be advised that my Malibu is a 2010 LTZ, and it came with 18" Goodyear tires at 30psi from the dealer. ---- Did your vehicle originally come with Goodyear tires? --------- Dwayne
  • gonogogonogo Posts: 879
    No, came with Hankook. I priced the Hankook after I bought the car, one place had priced them $118 each.
  • djm2djm2 Posts: 712
    Hi Gonogo:

    Did you purchase this vehicle new? ----- The reason why I ask, is because I have never heard of "Hankook Tires" on a new vehicle! ----- Could you be getting this good highway mileage because of these tires? ---- Best regards. ----- Dwayne :shades: ;) :)
  • gonogogonogo Posts: 879
    Yes , new.
    My neighbor bought a new Ford pickup a few years back and I noticed it had Hankook tires, so it's popular with OEM.

    Best tires I have ever had for handing in turns, sticks like glue.

    Remember Pontiac and Chevy are not the same. When I traded my 04 Malibu that was falling apart, I told them the G6 was like my Malibu, they were offended. BTW my Malibu had 40 K miles.
  • dleitdleit Posts: 1
    It is the EPA that determines the mileage ratings for all cars sold in the USA. This is the only mileage numbers that can be advertised, and are required to be posted on the window sticker. If you cannot achieve the posted numbers, blame Obama! :D
    That said, I just got a 2011 4 cyl 6 speed, have gotten about 26 mpg in mixed driving with temperatures -5 to +20 F. My last car was a Honda Fit, in that car I could drived the pants off it and still get near the highway rating, in the Malibu I have to work to get good mileage. Moderate acceleration and maintain your momentum. I think I could break 30 mpg with a little effort.
  • gonogogonogo Posts: 879
    edited February 2011
    How come you didn't buy another Fit?
    We had another snow storm the other day, I know it's Obama's fault.
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Posts: 1,380
    edited February 2011
    Numbers are required, but they may be a manufacturer estimate until EPA gets around to testing. That is fact. If EPA finds a discrepancy, they can fine maker.
    Your mileage for mixed sounds pretty good.
    As to Obama, that would be a possibility because he pushed through that alcohol content can be raised to 15%. I had been considering it trying to determine the sudden drop of about 3MPG on 3.6L. But all pumps I've used still state up to 10%. Do they have to put new stickers before changing? Or did Obama law allow backdooring as it now does in military? :mad:
    Tier One, a vehicle requirement states no less than 8%, no more than 10%. Engine makers seem to have come out against E85 or high alcohol content claiming it causes short life of engine. I really don't know about that since I presumed the opposite figuring it would burn cleaner. I've seen the oil in propane burners and it looks like new after a few thousand miles. :confuse:
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Posts: 1,380
    I had 09 LT2 I4 A6 and must say mileage was quite good. What does the inst.MPG show at a steady or cruise of 60MPH. Mine would show well above 33MPG. On a 2600 mile trip, heavily loaded, with 200 of that being local driving I got 29+MPG and much of that was 75MPH or faster.
    Tires were GY stock and crappy. That little I4 would frequently break them loose and worse on wet road. They were not the touring tire the sticker said was on vehicle.
    If you are not getting close to that mileage, I'd say something is wrong. Talk to dealer. One thought that comes to mind that might kill local mileage is quite a few complained about the way it shifted and they came out with an update. I don't think mine ever got it and they may have made that standard on new vehicles. I always used Chevron 87 which was supposed to be between 8 and 10% alcohol. It might now be 15% and that would hurt. If not the fuel, then they must have changed something. Some were having issues with the pre-converter plugging and that would hurt mileage.
  • djm2djm2 Posts: 712
    I own a 2010 LTZ 4 cylinder Malibu with a 6 speed automatic transmission, and Goodyear Eagle tires. ---- These tires are garbage! ---- (Do the research on the net! ---See for yourself! ---- Protect yourself and your family!) ----- I just replaced them with Michelin tires. ---- The Goodyear tires are an "accident" looking for a place to happen! ----- Best regards! ----- Dwayne :shades: ;) :)
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Posts: 1,380
    I think I said mine came with GY, which the 11Lacrosse CSX did, but the Malibu came with lowly FS FR710.
    Both have had some bad bad tires.
  • bdymentbdyment Posts: 569
    What type of Michelin tires did you get? Hopefully you got a good deal.
  • djm2djm2 Posts: 712
    Good Morning:

    I had Michelin HydroEdge tires placed on the Malibu. I am very happy with the results! ---- The Malibu now drives like a much heavier vehicle! ---- "Quality tires" do make a major difference. (NOTE: ---- A Ford Fusion comes with Michelin Tires. ------ QUESTION: ---- What does Ford know that GM does not know about tires!) ---- I will be looking for a NEW vehicle to replace my 2007 Camry in 2012. ---- I like the Impala, Malibu, Fusion & Camry. ---- (I might also look at a small four cylinder SUV in the GM & Toyota line of vehicles.) ----- The Toyota Dealer would have no problem removing the Bridgestone Tires, and replacing them with Michelin Tires as part of the deal, on the other hand, the Chevrolet Dealer might not be so cooperative! ----- This will be a DEAL BREAKER! ----- If I cannot get Michelin Tires on the GM vehicle, (without any additional cost on my part), I will purchase a Toyota or a Ford product. ------ YES, this will cost GM a sale! ------ (It is too bad than GM is so short sighted! --- In a time when competition is so fierce in the automotive marketplace, you would think that management would go the extra mile to make a customer happy! ---- This is not the case with GM, so as a result, they will lose a sale and all the service work over five years of ownership.) ------- Best regards. :shades: ;) :)
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