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Chevrolet Malibu MPG-Real World Numbers



  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    04, 3.5L V-6 Maxx LT about to turn 100K should do it this weekend.....for reliability, nothing more than normal wear and tear items..wipers, tires, oil changes...did follow prescribed maintenance..and did go beyond changing out all fluids at very happy with reliability so far...
  • pulgopulgo Posts: 400
    I believe you.

    I had a 91 Chevrolet Caprice go to 280K miles with nothing more than excellent maintenance.

    But that is not the typical outcome.

    Based on everything I read and hear, the average Honda or Toyota is by far more durable and has less mechanical problems than the average Ford or GM (after a couple hundred thousand miles).

    There is always someone with a different opinion or experience and I respect that.
  • gonogogonogo Posts: 879
    I can't imagine anyone driving the same car for 200K, unless a salesman.
    My limit has been 120K, too much new technology to let go by after 8-9 years, things are moving very fast these days.
  • pulgopulgo Posts: 400
    Well, I drive 30k miles per year and it is very expensive to buy a new car every 4 years.

    I keep my cars for about 8 to 10 years and my personal experience with Japanese cars has been better than with American cars.

    Based only on my personal experience, the American cars I have had required replacing alternators, water pumps, starters, etc. before reaching 200k miles. Some of them cost several thousands dollars in repairs to poor quality engine gaskets, weak brakes, leaky axles, etc.

    All of this despite meticulous maintenance!

    None of my Japanese cars needed anything other than routine maintenance.

    My latest car I just sold after 6 years, a 2001 Echo did not even need a light bulb to be replaced. Only 1 set of brakes, 1 set of belts and routine fluid changes.

    For me, buying the wrong car could mean several thousand dollars in additional expenses.

    Of course someone that keeps his car for maybe 4 or 5 years and less than 100k miles this whole matter would be of little concern.

    Before purchasing my present 2007 Sentra y also considered a 4 cylinder Malibu. I test drove one and I liked the ride. But I also talked to my mechanic friend with 30 years experience at a GM dealership and based upon his advice and my own experience decided against the Malibu.

    I am sure that there must be quite a lot of GM owners out there with a different opinion and I respect that.
  • gonogogonogo Posts: 879
    Well here is the truth. When you pay people not working, a so called a job bank. Pay retired people a large check and pay there health care, little is left to produce a good reliable car.
    The bean counters cut corners every way they can to make up for the expensive overhead. The Japanese don’t have that burden, so they can produce a good car.
    I buy GM because I always have, they are easy to work on and parts are not that expensive. I have heard the Japanese parts are very high, but I don’t think you would know that, you don’t buy any.
    Until they straighten out this inequality, it will stay the same.
  • pulgopulgo Posts: 400
    Well, I do own a GM. It's a 98 Chevrolet K1500 with about 100k miles. I agree with you. Parts are inexpensive and I can do all the service work myself.

    I hope the next 100k are as uneventful as the first 100k.

    So far the only 2 unexpected things to gom wrong were a serpentine belt tensioner that disintegrated 50 feet away from a MIDAS and a rear axle leak that I fixed in my garage.

    I refuse to buy a Japanese truck simply because they are very expensive.

    But I sure like the new Toyota Tundra (only $ 41,000 plus tax).
  • If not the current model, how about the coming 08?

    Somehow, I remember one of the Chevys I have rented has such a feature, maybe it's Impala.
  • My 2005 New style 4 cylinder Malibu I bought in November of 2004 now has over 53,000 miles. The car still performs like a champ, and I recently got 39.9 mpg on cruise at 70 mpg for about a 70 mile trip. Keep your hybrids, and rice burners - I got you beat: in price, fuel economy and more. The VOLT is what I want next - bring it to us!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • pulgopulgo Posts: 400
    What is your real MPG over a full month or a year?

    A 70 mile trip means very little. It does not tell what the average Malibu owner may achieve over a longer period of time.
  • gdubya2gdubya2 Posts: 32
    At the end of January 2006 I took delivery of a new Malibu sedan with the 4 cylinder engine. Since then I have driven over 15K and recorded every gallon of gas purchased. I drive a combination of city and highway miles and usually fill up when needing 10 or more gallons. So far I have averaged 29.96 MPG for 15,196 miles driven with a low of 23.4 MPG (winter) and a high of 40.1 MPG. The MPG has improved as the car has accumulated miles. I now seem to be getting 30 to 34 MPG on most fill-ups but cold weather (I live in Michigan) has a effect on MPG.
  • pulgopulgo Posts: 400
    Yours is exactly the information needed by a prospective buyer. A tank or two are not really meaningful.
    Thanks for posting.
  • malexbumalexbu Posts: 169
    First, a brief self-quote, from message #93 here:

    ,-- malexbu [ Jul 04, 2006 (9:53 pm) ] ---
    | I just returned from a five-day round-trip. Here is what I've got:
    | * Distance: 2741 miles
    | * Avg. speed: 59 mph
    | * Fuel used: 75.47 gallons
    | * Fuel economy computer reading: 38.6 mpg
    | * Fuel economy real: 36.32 mpg

    | Was going through the terrible (North-) Eastern rains, pouring over
    | the roads from MA to VA this past week. Was climbing the great Smoky
    | Mountains in NC and TN -- mostly in the left-most driving lane, both
    | in the mountains and on the roads with the posted speed limit of 70
    | mph

    | 2005 Malibu Base Sedan.

    At the end of this August I had a similar trip -- only in my other
    2005 Malibu Base Sedan. This time I was driving my child to the
    college, going from Boston to Nashville with two passengers in and the
    car loaded to the gills, and then back with one passenger and not much
    stuff in. Since the load of the car was very different going in the
    two directions, I accounted for them as two separate trips, resetting
    DIC in the beginning of each one.

    I also included driving in and around Nashville in the first trip.

    Here are my results, with MPG shown by DIC and calculated as
    Miles/Fuel in the two last columns of the following table:

    Trip -- Miles -- Speed - Fuel -- DIC -- Real
    MA-TN - 1202 --- 58 ---- 32.9 -- 37.3 - 36.52
    TN-MA - 1142 --- 61 ---- 30.8 -- 38.6 - 37.05

    The car was performing flawlessly and provided all the comfort the
    family needed, with temperatures hovering in the 100 F vicinity in TN,
    and handling the Appalachian roads easily. The primary speed limiting
    factor was the fear of being pulled over by a cop, which almost
    happened in TN.
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    I'm too lazy to look up the 'Bu base sedan. This is the 4 cylinder rather than the 3.5 six, right?

    I was lamenting the demise of the 3.5 but rented an HHR last week and was pleased with the engine (sure I had the high output, but I sure wasn't going to put premium in it). Think things should be just fine with the new Bu and the four cylinder.
  • malexbumalexbu Posts: 169
    Yes, a 2.2L 4-cylinder Ecotec -- and I love it.
  • ls6454ls6454 Posts: 11
    My 07 LS is averaging 34.2 MPG over 6000 miles.
  • Well let's see... the Malibu now has 60,000 miles and of that about 40,000 was highway. That's about 2,500 tankfuls JUST for the highway.My highway mileage has averaged around 35 to 38 over all. Not bad, and very real world to me. We just added an Altima.
  • First tank has returned roughly 25mpg (guesstimating slightly, depending on whether the salesman filled the tank with 45 miles on the clock or with 46 ;) ). This is mixed driving, stop and go, speed zones between 20 and 55 (me going up to 60) and trying to keep within the owner's manuals recommended 500 mile 'break-in' driving conditions. I anticipate easily breaking 30 when I resume my normal 90+ percent highway work route (31mi. one way, mountains of western NC).

    I'm glad to see I'm not the only one that had good experiences with the 04-07 Malibu's though. Somewhere around here (maybe even earlier in this topic) I have posted results from that car (2004 LT sedan 3.5l / 4 speed auto). The general gist, off the top of my head, was numbers ranging from 24mpg on the low side (heavy traffic during the holiday shopping seasons in Asheville NC) to just over 38 mpg on an all-highway trip to WV from western NC. Kinda makes me wonder if GM had decided to use the electrically assisted steering, if my 08 3.6l / 6 speed auto's numbers would've gone up another 1 or 2 mpg over wherever they end up. (It can't possibly all be attributed to the 3.5l pushrod for the 04, can it?)
  • I'm in the middle of a 1000 mile road trip with a 2008 Malibu LS with the 2.4L Ecotec. Picked the car up from National rent-a-car with 2400 miles on it. Halfway thru my road trip I'm averaging 27.8 mpg, mostly highway with he cruise set at 80 mph, no A/C. Western Georgia to Jackson Mississippi mean lots of Interstate (20), some elevation and little traffic. I think the MPG is good, not great. The 6-speed automatic should help as the 4-speed downshifts frequently on hills to maintain the set speed. Was hoping to see 30 mpg as I get 28 with 3.9L Impala's on the same trip. Any different experiences???
  • Mine is a LS sedan with 38k miles. Computed mileage (not DIC) was 29.4 for one tank of 90% commuting at 65-75mph.
  • That mileage is pretty good for a midsized car, especially doing 80 mph. Run at the speed limits with the cruise set and it'll most likely go up 2 or 3 mpg, minimum. Avoid stop'n'go and leadfooting it to get around other cars and you may even see another 1 or 2 beyond that.

    Still, all told, the new model car is on the longer Epsilon platform and weighs more than the outgoing model. Compare the EPA numbers for the 04-07 sedans (shorter wheelbase) and the 04-07 Maxx cars (longer wheelbase, same as the new 08's) and you can see where I'm going with this..
  • beach15beach15 Posts: 1,305
    I ALWAYS got 37.0 mpg on my '07 1LT 2.2L rental highway cruising at 70-80 in my usual PA-->DE and back trip.

    Stop & go, it was low 20's, but still not that bad.

    That rental was a huge factor in us recently buying a new '08 Malibu 2LT 2.4L, and so far love the responsiveness and hugely improved refinement over the last gen, and only hope the mileage can somewhat compare. Probably won't pull close to the 40's, like the 2.2L, but never know.
  • beedublubeedublu Posts: 236
    My 04 Maxx LS with over 49K miles still averages 26 MPG just being driven back and forth to work and doing errands.

    This is for an even mix of local and long trips. The typical local trip is 8 miles each way, with maybe 10 stop lights and max posted speed limit of 45 MPH. Temps range from subfreezing to upper 80s. I use the remote start sparingly in the winter.

    My worst mileage has been around the 20MPG mark...that's in the dead of winter with lots of warm-ups, slush and snow and poking along at 20MPH or less. My typical long trip gets about 30 - 32 MPG, with the all-time best still being 35 MPG (I-71 & I-90 through Ohio, with a/c and cruise).

    Overall, I'm pleased, especially when I read posts in the Honda Accord forum where owners of the new 08 models have trouble getting more than the low 20s!
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    04 LT here with 119K on it...still averaging 28 MPG on a 70 mile commute each day....30-32 on sustained highway speeds...and 25-26 around town.....
  • hickorychickoryc Posts: 25
    Purchased '04 MAXX end of 2004. Track every fill up. I consistently get between 27.5 and 29.5. Right at 50,000 miles driven. 6 cyl. Run Mobil 1 oil and filter from first oil change, which I always do myself. Driver's seat shows wear. Drove '96 Contour 220,000 before computer failed. Driver's seat looks like new. Commuter car. No complaints. Looking at a Tucson additional vehicle. Not looking to trade-in Maxx for several more years. :)
  • packer3packer3 Posts: 277
    I just leased an 08 Accord LXP 4cyl, because my 04 Malibu LS V6 20M miles lease was up and I looked at the new 08 BU nice car, however the experience I had with rattles, front drive, clanks and minor squeaks, but most of all the poor gas mileage in the city were I drive 2 miles of city stop and go ranged anywhere from 14 mpg to 16 mpg, well below the the stated number on the sticker, however straight highway was 33 mpg to 37 mpg which was outstanding. The gas mileage never improved from day one.
    The 3 year lease cost for a new 08 BU vs th 08 LXP was close to $75.00 a month more, side by side type of models, based on all that I wasn't about to take another chance, I've had the Accord for a month now and it's at 20 mpg.
    The lesson I learned is that you need to get a mpg car that meets the bulk of your driving needs, no matter what the car is..
  • hcchcc Posts: 1
    I have a brand new 2008 Chevy Malibu and it is getting between 17 and 18 MPG. It is a mix of city and hwy driving. The service dept tells me it will improve at 5 to 10,000 miles. I am very leery. Also the air conditioning only works on maximum. What do you think?
    It is the 4 cyl engine too. THis is worse than the 6 cylinder 99 Olds intrigue that I was driving.
  • packer3packer3 Posts: 277
    I doubt the gas mileage will change, they told me that when I got my 04 BU. Leased the V6 and the city mileage never moved from 15/16 mpg stop and go in the city, straight highway however was up to 37 mpg. In the winter the mileage went down to 14/15 mpg in the city, that's typical of GM cars from my experience.
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    The air conditioning should NOT only run on maximum. Some aircon controls are hard to understand, check your manual. My wife was running our Honda Odyssey in the "Defrost" mode (she left it on after needing it one time) not realizing that in the Defrost Mode the aircon is ALWAYS but DOESN'T show the little green aircon light glowing - and killing gas mileage.
  • hotrod1965hotrod1965 Posts: 19
    We have a 07 Maxx LT with about 25K on it. The longer we have had this car, the better the miliage has been. When new, it was getting 28-29 on the highway. Now it gets 29-32. I have found that at 75mph, it get around 28-29mpg, but at 70-72 mph, I get the 31-32mpg.
    Around town miliage is to hard to calculate. It depends on what around town driving we do. But typically, we average around 35mph and 25-26mpg on a tank of gas with mixed driving.
    Plus we can haul as much crap as a small SUV :)
  • au79enau79en Posts: 2
    I've had my LTZ (6cyl/6spd) for one month. I've filled it four times and have gotten 27.6, 25.1,26.4,25.0 over this period. The 25.x tanks represent a roughly 50/50 mix of highway and city driving, the other two were mostly highway. Not bad; my Mazda6S is a 6cyl and gets less, and it's only got 220hp (still a great care though).
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