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Chevrolet Malibu vs. Toyota Camry vs. Honda Accord



  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    Have a Malibu Maxx with 43K.

    My experience--
    1. Unlike a former post, I like the seats on my 05 a lot as far as comfort. They are ugly, however.
    2. The dic is much better than my other car an 07 Kia Optima, although the look of the dash certainly is not.
    3. I, for one, have no problems with the antiquated ohv v-6 and four speed transmission. I'm sure it wouldn't keep up with either the Camry or Accord but it's low, low maintenance and gets about 23 in town and 32 on the road. Not bad at all, considering the OLM indicates 7000 mile change intervals.
    4. I just wound up paying $800 to get the steering column replaced. Don't really mind the electric steering, a bit vague on center, but probably adds 2 mpg. The rack and steering column are weak points on the car, however. Things go wrong with a big stick of grease packed with electronic equipment. Ever since the Corvair, GM has experimented with cutting edge engineering and then screwed the details-- the steering may very well be the weak link on this car. Notice they're going back back to hydraulic on most of their newer 'Bu's.

    As far as comparing with the Camcords, I'm sure that both are far better with resale. However, I only paid $16.0 for the BuMaxx and (and $16.1 for the Kia with leather and the appearance pack.). With both of these cars, if you drive them into the ground they can be a good deal. At ten years and 175,000 miles I doubt if the resale is going to be that great for any car.

    I have a lot of experience with early ninties Camcords. In those days the Camry was well thought out, the Accord was years ahead of the competition. Although the last gen Camry and next gen Accord may change things a bit, I think both cars have lost their technologic edge compared to the competition. They've gotten very, very conservative and peddled based on past reputation. For most people that's enough. I can't fault Hon-yota's business plan.

    In the four cylinder arena, Car and Driver's last review had my Kia ahead of the Camry 4 and behind the Accord. Motor Trends cars of the year put Camry ahead of the Optima based on the V-6 (certainly true), but indicated that things were very close on the four cylinder end. Car and Driver mentioned that the Kia had better build quality and that's true in my experience in looking at both cars.

    I know this isn't a broader comparo so I'll lay off further mention of the Optima. In my experience, however, the last gen. 'Bu Classic was a very disagreeable car. The new one is much, much, better, ugly front-end clip not withstanding. The Maxx is odd looking, but far better looking than the present generation sedan. I wish I had a Camry and Accord hatch back to consider for purchase. I wish that I could have bought a v-6 (or even 4 cylinder) Camcord for sixteen grand with the level of goodies that my Maxx has. That not being the case, and hoping that I don't burn through any more steering columns, I'm very happy I made the choice I did.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    I've never had a vehicle with all that info available on the dash
    this is really old tech - reminds me of a 89 Ford Aerostar van I had, some pieces of which Ford is still using. But I do agree that 'Detroit' has made some strides in fit and finish. Engine development (as it relates to both power and FE), overall drivetrain sophistication (refinement etc.), and some safety features continue to lag well behind. That said, there is no reason to assume that cars like the current Malibu with that 'vintage' 3.5 will be any more (or less) troublesome than its (initially) more expensive competition. For those of us that appreciate things like the Camcordima V6s (and even the 4s in the Accord and Altima), there are 3 available cars that are 'fun' and one that is much more of an A-to-B appliance.
  • yuryyury Posts: 146
    PS - if you really are looking for a car in this category that could project to have even lower costs than a used Malibu - look around for an 05/06 Taurus. Discontinued in 05, but a car made specifically for the rental lots in 06, and now coming available at about 11k-12k, in SEL trim. And then all you have to do, is put on a kidney belt to drive it!

    Let's not get carried away here, Taurus is a piece of crap...pardon me :) Malibu was a competitor for Camry in the hp department for a number of years until current. Something tells me that majority if Camcord buyers were such for a couple of decades :) I wonder how they were able to defend their point without having a 270 hp Camry nowdays :)
    I am personally convinced a lot of it is the brandname minbdset.
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    The Malibu is uglier but much, much more pleasant to live with than the Taurus.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    Taurus is a piece of crap
    and why would you say that, the Taurus in many ways is very similar to a Malibu - decently reliable, strained pushrod or OHC V6), reasonably economical, and dirt cheap to boot.

    The reason for the new 268hp engine in the Camry, BTW, all has to do with money (Toyota is saving hundreds of millions using that engine in many cars, and the fact that the Camry's real competitors, the Accord V6, and Altima 3.5, were already pushing 240-250hp (2002) when the Camry had a mere 200 or so. I seriously doubt that Toyota/Honda/Nissan even worry about GM/Ford/Chrysler anymore, they make good trucks - but they better keep an eye on those 'Korean' companies.
  • yuryyury Posts: 146
    Taurus is a piece of crap
    and why would you say that, the Taurus in many ways is very similar to a Malibu - decently reliable, strained pushrod or OHC V6), reasonably economical, and dirt cheap to boot.

    153 hp with mileage 20 mpg / 27 mpg ? for model year 2006. Great car :) That's what Malibu was in it's initial year, 1998 if memory serves.

    OK, reliability wise, JD Powers gives it 3.5-4 stars, so I guess I was under wrong impression thinking it was very low quality.

    nonetheless. we can play the low resale value to the extreme, but....the specs just don't do it for me.

    as to the 'crap' comment, ok I retract it :)
  • dave8697dave8697 Posts: 1,498
    LX (MANUAL)  $21,070.00
    LX  $21,870.00
    EX (MANUAL)  $23,245.00
    EX  $24,045.00
    EX-L (MANUAL)  $24,945.00
    EX-L  $25,745.00
    EX-L w/NAVI (MANUAL)  $26,945.00
    EX-L w/NAVI  $27,745.00

    LX V6 $25,895.00

    EX V6 6-SPEED  $28,095.00
    EX V6  $28,095.00
    EX V6 6-SPEED NAVI  $30,095.00
    EX V6 w/ NAVI  $30,095.00

    What am I missing here. Isn't $25,895 the starting point for Accords with V6 and auto? Where do they sell SE's? I can't find it on any Honda site. I would like a v6 over a 4 cyl regardless of Chev or Honda. I would only save 20 bucks a month in gas to get a 4 cyl. My v6 requirement pushes me over 25,000 for Honda.
  • blufz1blufz1 Posts: 2,045
    Se V6 23350:21160 + dest on Edmunds.
  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    The Honda SE V6 is on the Honda website. I used the price they suggest on the Intellichoice website, and the Honda dealer said fine. I then haggled over the trade-in and we came to agreement on that. LOOK HERE I bought the SEV6, as it had everything I wanted in a car. It does not have the lumbar support as an adjustable, but the seat fits me OK. It has a 6 CD changer, stability control, and other good stuff. What I did not want is the moon roof, as those take away 2.3" of head room, and I saw no use for the thing anyway. So the deal for me = SE V6. Right price and great value. It has 17" alloy wheels instead of plastic hub caps, and the tires are Michelins. Absolutely the best deal around.

    The Aura XR is also a decent car. Not worth the extra money though, and I found all on the lot were loaded on up. As for the New Malibu to come, well let's say it will likely be a pretty fair deal. I am confident though, I got the best deal. As for the Camry, I would give it another year to be sure the bugs which can occur the first year, are worked on out. My Dad has a 2000 year Camry which is fairly good, though there is always the possibility of sludge problems occurring for that model year. The car has been good, but not as good, IMHO as his 1991 which looked like new after 9 years. The Accord is just more fun to drive and the best deal, so I did not consider the Camry. I would consider a Camry as a lower choice for me personally than the Aura XR.
  • otaku18otaku18 Posts: 10
    Consider a ford fusion its not your typical ford at all. It'll outhandle and outbrake any of the japanese brands your asking about. Also has more style to it, stands out more. And its thousands cheaper than a honda or toyota with a better warranty and it has very good predicted reliability. AWD is available which isn't on the other cars. It may not have the power of the other cars but its plenty. MPG isn't bad either (28mpg with a V6FWD) I shopped around looking at the same cars listed here and went with a loaded fusion V6 AWD for thousands less than the japanese brands. Very happy
  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    The main thing is that you are pleased with the purchase. I doubt it will cost you less. The Accord SEV6, with discounts, is a very good price right now, and the resale will be very much higher than the Ford. As for handling, the Accord is excellent. It is possible the Fusion could be a degree better in some of the handling scoring. That said, you can toss the Accord into turns and come out the other end safely, and with some good feel. The car comes with stability control, six CD changer, and 17" Michelin tires on alloy wheels as standard for the SE V6. The instrument panel lighting is excellent. The interior is of very good quality. The exterior styling is smooth-elegant, and should remain so over time. The engine is very smooth up to the highest rev point. The 0-60 is 6.6 sec. Comes with all the side air bags, and other safety items. Can find no weakness to the car made in Ohio, USA.

    The Fusion will be a fun car for you to own, no doubt. With the six, it is pretty quick, and the steering is pretty good. The look is fresh. As for the Fusion not being the typical Ford? Well, it will be in the future if they use more Mazda platforms. They do have Volvo to play with too.
  • shadow5599shadow5599 Posts: 101
    I agree...the Fusion is probably the best [non-permissible content removed] killer around now, based on what I've read. I havent tried one but I will next time
  • yuryyury Posts: 146
    What am I missing here. Isn't $25,895 the starting point for Accords with V6 and auto? Where do they sell SE's?

    in Canada. all that was based on Canadian hondas and prices in canadian dollars.
  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    Actually the Aura XR is current competition to Japan makes. The New Malibu, once out, will compete with the Aura and the rest of the worlds mid-sized in this price range. Fusion is a competent car, but no killer package. Same goes for the Mazda6. Unless the new one is a hit, you can see those cars not moving off the lots. I could have gotten $5K off. Ford is in serious trouble, and GM is still in the woods, though using a better compass.
  • blufz1blufz1 Posts: 2,045
    Shadow,what's you opinion longevity wise of the 3.4/3.5 vs. 3.8/3.9 gm motors?
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    the Fusion will be competitive to the 'Japanese' models if and when it gets rid of that 3.0 V6, and the 4 cylinder, while OK, is still not up to Honda's benchmark and/or Nissan's power.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    the 153ho maybe the old pushrod Vulcan V6, which is ancient even by Ford's standards. The 24 valve 3.0 DT, at 200hp is a little more agreeable in a car the Taurus' size although it is so far behind the Camcordima offerings that they shouldn't be mentioned in the same sentence - which I think I just did :blush:
  • shadow5599shadow5599 Posts: 101
    Based on GM motors in the past I see no reason why the 3.5 isnt going to be as good or better. I just sold my van with a 305 that had almost 300,000 kms and it had never been touched and still ran smooth and quiet. I think the biggest problem these days with any engine is the use of 2 different alloys, such as aluminum heads on iron blocks. The expansion rates are different so eventually can cause gasket problems. That problem is certainly not confined to North American vehicles.

    I've actually never had serious engine problems on any of my North American vehicles other than a 289 in a 67 Cougar I bought that had the crap driven out of it. I had to do the main bearings in it. My 03 Malibu had a 3.1 with some piston slap noise, but again that problem isnt confined to North American engines.

    My 3.5 now at 35,000 kms is very quiet and smooth.
    I've owned vehicles with 289, 225, 302, 350, 305, 360, 3.5L 3.8, 3.1, 1.9. The only non pushrod engine in that group is the 1.9, in my kids Escort. It's one of the more noisier engines I've owned.

    Sometimes what is considered old technology isnt so bad. The pushrod engines of the world are solid, tough, time proven engines. And when you can get the fuel economy out of a 3.5 that GM has done, that's a combination tough to beat.
  • shadow5599shadow5599 Posts: 101
    I've never had a vehicle with all that info available on the dash.

    This is really old tech - reminds me of a 89 Ford Aerostar van I had, some pieces of which Ford is still using. whats that mean? It's a digital readout, gives all sorts of info, in nice little LEDs. Has buttons to push, things to see and get information from. What new technology is there and what can it do? Wash your car for you? There's only so much info the average driver needs...or wants.

    And I simply do not agree that my Malibu cant be fun to drive. I've driven the rest and some are more refined or tuned to be more sporty but for a heavy, midsize car, this things handles quite well and certainly has enough juice to be fun. In fact, I have fun every time I drive it ;)
  • blufz1blufz1 Posts: 2,045
    Appreciate the info,thanks.
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    My 'Bu's DIC is a lot more complete than my Optima's.

    Two trip odometers
    A sophisticated OLM that shows 7K+ change intervals and percentage to change, not just a light.
    Outside temperatures
    Miles to Empty
    Average MPG
    Average speed.
    Sometimes annoying messages for stuff like ice on the road.

    Everything I could think of but a compass.

    Did an 89 Aerostar have all of that? My cars of the late eighties/early nineties including Camrys certainly didn't.
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    The EPA site reporting drivers actual mileage. 2005 model year (to allow enough responses):

    Malibu Maxx: range 28-37 average 30.5 mpg.
    Accord 6: range 18-31 average 23.9 mpg.

    The Malibu is the only car I've owned that did better than the old (inflated) epa mileage charts.
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    A friend of mine had a Nissan that would talk to her. It would tell her if the door was open, lights were on, fuel was low and such things. She thought it was great at first, but after a while, you get tired of hearing the car tell you, what you already know. Car makers can go too far, with all the useless gadgets.
  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    To each his own, I test drove the Aura and G6 with the 3.5, then the 3.6 DOHC, and it seems like day and night, the difference. But then again the 6 sp. vs the old 4 sp. is yet another advantage for the Aura XR with the 3.6. I prefer the smoothness, sound and performance of the 3.6. I guess I may own a pushrod again, one fine day, if I buy a used Corvette for a play car / club driving car. The old 350 had one hell of a long run, as did the 3.8V6. I have owned cars from GM with pushrod V6s and they all ran... except the 3.8 in the Olds98, which stopped on occasion, then ran again. Pretty good gas mileage, I suppose it is tall gearing, a bit rough, but never broke engine wise. None were smooth and powerful like the Honda I have now however.
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    The eighties DID produce talking and digital dashes both of which were tremendously annoying. Knowing the percentage of your oil life left and how many mpg you're getting is helpful, however.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    the 3.6 (and possibly the new Ford 3.5) may be (I haven't driven them yet) where the GMs/Fords/DCs of the world need to go if they are going to ever hope to be competitive in the car business again. And you mention something that is equally as important as raw HP - engine smoothness, refinement, and willingness to rev - something historically dominated by those 'Japanese' (and German) makers. The old 3.0 and 3.3 Camry V6s, while down on HP, were still wonderfully refined engines - something that can't be said about those 3.0 DTs/Vs, the 3.8/3.5/3.9 GMs, the 2.7 Chrysler etc. etc. Hyundai has managed to improve their cars substantially with the 3.3 and a 3.8), never could understand why the US brands can't 'get with the program'?
  • shadow5599shadow5599 Posts: 101
    Hard to say why they do what they do. But if they cant hold onto a market share because they use pushrod engines, they'd better change. It's all about giving what the majority wants. Could be that the majority doesnt care yet. Or heaven forbid....they LIKE the sound and feel of a pushrod engine! Drive around my city and you see way more GMs than anything else.

    I still the think the average buyer for this type of vehicle couldnt care less about refinement, willingness to rev, etc. as long as they can feel that solid torque and acceleration when needed, they're happy. There's still alot of people here brought up on the solid engines of the past (and present) and like the familiarity of em, the sound of them. I certainly prefer the growl of an LT1 or Boss 302 and even my 3.5 over some pesky buzzy little thing with one of those fart cans installed as a muffler. Sounds like a radio controlled airplane, what an annoyance that is.

    Refinements or not, you put a buzz buggy against a 350 thats been done up right by some guy in his backyard and redlines at about 7500...there's no contest on what sounds and works better. Mazda got nowhere with the rotary. A supposed marvel and virtually rev limitless. Just never caught on.

    My experience with many products that claim to be new and improved, high tech, revolutionary, etc. may only lead to disappointment. People like whats familiar and what has been proven to work, and easy and cheap to fix. GM engines are all that so why knock the tried and true? Let's all live together happily....just keep that buzzing sound down will ya!
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    V8s are, well, V8s and will always have that "detroit" rumble and, if for no other reason than displacement provide the kind of torque than helps drivability a bunch - all at the expense of that $3/gallon stuff. The good V6s will 'growl', a pleasing sound in its own right, and will of course be more rev happy. 4s are 4s, and will generally lead to uneven delivery of available torque and HP, and are often buzzy, as you say. So it seem to me, that the V6 is the best compromise, for those of us that want both usable power and decent FE which is where I think the buyers are looking - I would hate to think that there are too many folks out there buying A-to-B appliances, especially for this kind of money!
    And I certainly agree with your comment that 'high tech' or 'new and improved' is not necessarily good!
  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    Pushrod V8 may sound pretty darn good indeed, such as the Ford 5.0, but the V6 pushrods do not. For the i4, I would say the Miata sound, or those older British cars got the sports i4 car sound down pretty good.

    As for the number of GM cars seen on the streets of my home town, I would say they are mainly foreign cars, though SUV and trucks, and rental cars are more likely GM. But then again, this is California. People are pretty picky about the car performance here on the left coast. Toyota, Honda, Nissan, BMW, Mercedes, VW and others from abroad seem to have a pretty good grip on sales here. I do note more GM cars on the sales lots, so they are selling some cars other than the SUV and trucks now. Cadillac is still pretty popular, and you see some GM cars like the G6. Not sure how many are rentals though, as we get tourist our way.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    Drive around my city and you see way more GMs than anything else
    well, not if you discount all the pickups and SUVs - at least down here in Texas - all kinds of sedans from T,H and N and an increasing number of Hyundais. Rarely a US brand, and a significant portion of them have rental co. stickers on them, or look 'fleet'. I think 'Detroit' effectively gave the car market to the Japanese starting in the 80s because of some really crappy products and an inability to build smaller engines - and may never be able to recover.
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