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Chevrolet Malibu MPG-Real World Numbers



  • 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
  • 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.
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    are we seeing a significant difference in MPG between the sedan and the Maxx appears so....but hard to tell unless every one specifys if they have the sedan or the maxx here..instead of the malibu with the LT/LS package....still..cant beleive there is that much of a difference between the cars that would account for the difference in mileage...again..a Maxx LT here....24-25 city...and 28-30 04 with 45k on it..Im seeing quotes of 33-36 MPG average here...and I have never gotten those numbers on my car since I have owned it...uuuummmmmm and using nothing but Shell and Chervon gas, Mobil 1 5w30 for oil changes...all top tier fuels....interesting
  • bhw77bhw77 Posts: 101
    04 Maxx LS - still 17.5 MPG in city (18MH average spreed)... :cry:
  • The Maxx is less aerodynamic and, all things being equal (LS w/ V-6) will see about a 4 mpg decrease over the sedan simply because of its drag coefficient. Secondly, the maxx has bigger heavier tires (I believe). I specifically bought the LS sedan because of its 205/65/R15s. The LT sedan sports 215/65/R16s, as did the maxx in '04. This tire is wider (more contact area creating more friction) and taller, which adds up to more wieght to get rolling (and to stop). Ialways look for the smallest recommended tire for my car. Bigger and wider is cool and sporty, but mileage usually suffers. A bigger tire also means that the final gear ratio changes, many times putting more stress on the motor by getting in out of its most efficient RPM range.

    Don't get me wrong, the Maxx is a great car. I am not knocking it. But when people stress mileage, they need to look at the big picture. How do bigger wheels and tires affect the car? How does my driving technique affect the mileage? How does the type of commute affect mileage (long trips w/ cruise or short stop and go trips)? How fast do I drive?
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    not so sure the drag coefficients are that different between the two cars..they are identical in the front the B pillar foward.....only the tail is different..cant beleive that would account for up to 4 MPG total.....all others you mentioned I do agree with....
  • crosby1crosby1 Posts: 23
    While EPA numbers might be suspect, they do indicate that the Maxx will get less MPG than the sedan. I do not understand aerodynamics well but the Maxx may well have a poorer drag coefficient than the sedan. At highway speeds the difference between the sedan and the Maxx would be even greater.
    The Maxx is quite a bit heavier as well which undoubtedly have an impact, especially in stop and go driving around town.
    The sedan also comes with smaller wheels in the less expensive models.
    I don't know that the gearing is any different between the various models.
  • "On the outside, the Malibu cleaves to the obligatory wedge profile, with gently raked front and rear windows and a slight slope to the hood. The overall shape gives it an admirable slipstream, with a coefficient of drag that rings in at 0.31 (for the sedan - the Maxx will have a CD of 0.37)." excerpt from an online review.

    Just for an idea of how big of a deal this is...the new Accord is touted as being extremely aerodynamic for a family car. The last version Accord had a Cd of .33 while the new Accord has a Cd of .30. This translates into about 10% better mileage at 55 mph, and an even greater amount at higher speeds. So I am sure that the Maxx to Malibu difference will be greater. As another comparison, I know that the new Vette had a Cd of .28, and I believe the old Vette was either .30 or .31.

    As far as gearing differences, I don't know if the tranny or differential are different between the sedan and Maxx, but the final drive can definitely be different due to different sized tires.
  • ronbo10ronbo10 Posts: 45
    Malibu's for '06 will be offered with 15 inch (LT0), 16 inch (LT1), 17 inch (LTZ) and 18 inch (SS). My guess is that the outside diameter of each of these isn't exactly equal across the range (though close, as they spec tires with increasingly lower aspect ratios as rim diameter increases), and they might be within a few cm. of each other. I imagine that Chevrolet would have a baseline calibration of the speedometer/odometer for a given model, and then make the decision whether to recalibrate them based on how far off the accuracy falls from this baseline. I believe the feds give auto manufacturers guidelines within which the accuracy of a speedometer or odometer must fall.

    The question I ask myself is, as the outside diameter of a tire increases and the manufacturer were not to recalibrate sp./od., logic tells me that it would be manifested as an apparent decrease in gas mileage (because the wheels would travel a greater distance for each revolution of the wheel). However, if the driver were to measure the fuel used for a fixed known distance (your commute, for example), you would be able to calculate if the mileage really did fall off. Perhaps the true fuel mileage might even improve, as what you are doing when increasing the tire diameter is tantamount to lowering the final drive ratio (numerically lower).
    So, I wonder if you could increase your true gas mileage by increasing outside tire diameter, no matter what your trip computer might tell you.

    BTW, the Maxx does have a numerically higher final drive ratio when compared with the sedan's, surely to account for both it's higher weight and poorer coefficient of drag. I've noted that the Maxx, while typically getting somewhat poorer mileage than the sedan, the difference seems to be hardly worth mentioning. I'd guess the difference would be more pronounced at higher cruise speeds, where the Maxx's higher CD would have a greater impact (drag being a function of the square of your speed through the air, and all that...).
  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    Yeah, what he said :)

    ronbo10, you must be an engineer or something, right? :shades:
  • My '04 Maxx didn't do well on mileage until after around 3-4000 miles of run-in. With almost 30K, it gets average of 25-26 mph for freeway/town mixture, and 30-32 mph on the freeway at crusiing speeds of 70 mph or so.

    For one thing, the transmission appears to calibrate itself to the driver and itself, which helps improve mileage.

    It also helps to run the tire pressure a little higher than recomended (especially in the front tires which are carrying most of the vehicle's weight) - I usually run 33 psi front/ 30-31 psi rear. Good note on the Yokahama tires (CU toprated one of these recently) - will check those out!
  • redmaxxredmaxx Posts: 627
    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.

    What did you eventually decide? I have the Comfortreads and have no loss of milage at all. They have a good ride, they handle well and are very quiet.
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