Chevrolet Malibu Maxx Design Love It or Not?

Karen_SKaren_S Member Posts: 5,092
edited July 2014 in Chevrolet
What do you love and not love about your Malibu or Malibu Maxx design?


  • kurtamaxxguykurtamaxxguy Member Posts: 677
    It appears the upcomming Malibu MAXX SS is a combination of show car with performance enhancments.

    Question is, should the Malibu Maxx SS be;

    1. mostly show ("look at me" dubbed wheels, bad boy wing, lowwww to the ground, black interior, lots of chrome, etc?

    2. Mostly go (variable valve timing, increased HP engine, 6 speed manual/manumatic, flow thru exhaust, tuned suspension (to enhance handling _and_ ride over typical roads),

    3. Both?
  • paopao Member Posts: 1,867
    Mostly go....Chevy has lost the image of the SS badging....remember the SS camaro and GO cars.....look at what the return of the Hemi has done for the Chrysler brand...Cobra Mustang for SVO Ford.....and the revamped GTO for Pontiac.....If I was in the market...I would want a improved performance package first and unique looks second....
  • chris65amgchris65amg Member Posts: 372
    It should be GO in line with the SS line, but it will be more Show, I fear.
  • navigator89navigator89 Member Posts: 1,080
    The Malibu SS seems like a decent buy, but only if you're on a budget. Otherwise, there are better vehicles like the Charger, Maxima, 6, Legacy, Altima SE-R.

    I think Chevrolet is misusing the SS badge. It should only be reserved for a few select vehicles, like the Cobalt, Impala and Silverado. I'm not sure about the Trailblazer, but if Jeep has the guts to put 425hp in a Grand Cherokee, then I guess the Trailblazer has a competitor. The Malibu seems more like a bargain sports sedan to me than a worthy competitor to the Charger, 6, Maxima, Altima SE-R or Legacy.
  • carlisimocarlisimo Member Posts: 1,280
    If their suspension is anything like the Impala SS's, I'm going to cry.

    SS vehicles should have both go and show, but the show that goes with go has nothing to do with bling show. Bling is about cruising so slowly you can get girls' numbers as you drive by, but accelerate away softly if it looks like they're about to say no - or raise a tinted window if you're approaching ugly ones. You're supposed to be late. Dubs and chrome make sense in that application, and some extreme lowering (and tints, of course). The ideal bling car interior is extravagantly upholstered, lots of lights, and with a deck chair for the driver.

    Go show is less lowered than bling show (no wheel rubbing), with a cool wing (which never look as distateful on hatches), nice but light-looking wheels (polished lips and painted centers are popular now), and sports seats. Simple interior with gauges that stand out - lots of gauges. American go show has stripes... Ford makes it work on their little Fiesta, so it could work on the Malibu.
    But they'd have to fundamentally change the car before anyone would take a performance version seriously.
  • kurtamaxxguykurtamaxxguy Member Posts: 677
    ...but not fully working. 2006 build section does not include either Malibu or Mailbu Maxx.

    was curious about available interior colors on the SS (I fear you can have any color, so long as it is black).
  • maxxlibertymaxxliberty Member Posts: 82
    It seems that automobiles are constantly in a "fad" mode. Some time ago it was fender skirts, and recently it's ridiculous tire sizes and wheels. A continuing fad is a lower than standard suspension with the usual punishing ride. Hint - roads in America, for the most part, are rough - I want a suspension designed for the roads I drive on, not a smooth race track.

    What I'm looking for in a Maxx SS is the same as any other car: competence as an automobile for my driving conditions. I want good handling and a good ride - not one or the other. No tire series below 60's, and preferabley 70's. Useability, as in a hatchback, full instrumentation - preferably the ability to tap into the cars computer and display the information on an existing screen. And, of course good performance, as in a 15.5sec. quater- mile minumum.

    Most important of all, and why Detroit has lost huge market share, RELIABILITY.
  • joey2brixjoey2brix Member Posts: 463
    They're canning the Maxx next year, so why are they bothering with the SS package? This should have been done for the Equinox.
  • kurtamaxxguykurtamaxxguy Member Posts: 677
    well they did lower the suspension but at least the wheels don't look as ridiculous as I feared.

    But why do people feel that a dark color car with all black interior is so "cool"? In many places like Southern California, a black interior's going to get terribly hot, and outgassing of the plastics will fog the windows within a day.

    So what other suspension changes did they do aside from the retuned shocks and lower ride heigth?
  • maxxlibertymaxxliberty Member Posts: 82
    What is the last MODEL year of the Maxx? Is it '06 or '07? I may want to buy another one - good hatchbacks are hard to come by. It would be nice if GM would offer some more interesting colors - even Mazda has more desirable hues for their hatchback.
  • maxxlibertymaxxliberty Member Posts: 82
    Found it:

    "Malibu, Malibu Maxx: The 2006 Malibu and Malibu Maxx receive a freshening. SS models are added, with a 3.9-liter, 240-hp V-6 four-speed automatic transmission with manual shift mode, sport-tuned suspension and exterior styling enhancements. The Maxx will be dropped at the end of the 2007 model year."
  • joey2brixjoey2brix Member Posts: 463
    probably killed it. I think the Saturn Aura has more of a chance of being a future 5 door hatchback. If Saturn picks up more Opel models, it would seem easier to just bring over a rebadged Opel rather then produce a model with low demand.
  • kurtamaxxguykurtamaxxguy Member Posts: 677
    I'd love hearing if they end up having problems with window fogging in hot climates.

    Previous black interior cars I've owned fogged their windows in a matter of hours in the hot sun. By comparison, tan interiors allowed a couple of days or so between cleanings.
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Member Posts: 1,798
    Saw a Mailbu SS yesterday (not the Maxx, unfortunately):

    Was all black save for interior which was a mix of gray/titanium (seats, sides, etc.) and a painted black dash (surface of dash looked cheap/plasticky .vs. what I've seen in the Maxx.).

    Interior colors reminded me of the HHR I drove on a 1.3K mile trip. And if GM thinks the HHR will replace the Maxx, nooooo way for me unless it gets:
    1. Malibu's V6 in it (or better, one with an aluminum block,
    2. Better seats (narrow, absolutely no side support)
    3. Sorted out rear bay (move the shelf up and you have a huge hole in the floor that makes it hard to get stuff in and out of
    4. Less tacky gauges (chrome on 'em looks stupid and makes them glare in sun),
    5. Overall higher quality feel.
  • arlabodaarlaboda Member Posts: 4
    I just purchased a 2005 certified maxx with 25000 miles and while driving home my son head a wind noise from the passenger rear side. Anyone else with this issue? Also notice condensation inside the headlamps on the car. Looked @ 5-8 other Maxx's and saw the same thing on most of them. Is this common? I do enjoy the ride and price of the car - reason I purchased it Hope it goes well. Also any idea why I only recieved 1 key flob with 2 keys on it instead of 2 remotes.? I also was not happy that there was less than a 1/4 tank of gas in it from Joe Romanno Chevy in Syracuse NY.
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Member Posts: 1,798
    you might want to post in the Problems and Solutions forum. This one's only about the Maxx SS
  • e2helpere2helper Member Posts: 1,002
    Kurt - yes this message was posted in another forum as well. I originally answered here as well but deleted post when I noticed the other post and that someone else already answered it :)
  • arlabodaarlaboda Member Posts: 4
    Thanks didn't I realized after I posted. Sorry about the error.
  • iwantonetooiwantonetoo Member Posts: 86
    Car and Driver tested the SS in the Feb.06 issue and gave it a favorable review.
  • kurtamaxxguykurtamaxxguy Member Posts: 677
    pretty favorable, anyway. They did not like the ride or tires much. They did like its ability to burn rubber and corner better.

    In fact, if one visits tire rack they'll see the Eagle LS2 was the lowest rated tire available for the SS. The compared-to Bridgestone Potenzia were much better.

    That goes for other Maxxes as well - the Bridgestone Insignias on those are another low rated tire.
  • iwantonetooiwantonetoo Member Posts: 86
    I test drove the Maxx SS yesterday. It is the first Malibu I have ever driven, so I had no idea what to expect. It was very peppy with quick acceleration. It is a bit on the noisy side with the tires and engine, but not a deal breaker. The Goodyear tires are on the harsh side, but not a deal breaker in my opinion. I am in MA and the side streets are all frost heaves and potholes at this time of the year. I found the ride firm but acceptable.

    The only real negative I found in my 15 mile test run was the torque steer. Under quick acceleration from low speeds it is very noticeable, making the steering wheel and front end quite squirrely. I have never owned a front wheel drive car and this may be part of the problem. Any FWD car I have driven feels a bit strange to me, and the more powerful they are, the worse they seem to be.

    I don't know how I would feel about this over a long period of time. I guess I would either get used to it or end up never really being satisfied with the car.

    I plan on going back on a warmer day and really check out the build quality and features when I have more time. Anyone else driven one?
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Member Posts: 1,798
    also commented on SS's considerable torque steer and the harsh ride. They liked the hydraulic power steering, handling, and loved the tire burn ability.

    The normal Maxx's also have some torque steer, but since I've added the TripleTreads, it has not been very noticeable.

    Would be interesting to see how the SS works with Bridgestone Potenzias, the __only__ other tire that will fit the Maxx SS wheels. Those tires are summer-only.

    Oh yes; C&D measured the SS's turning circle at being 3 feet wider than the regular Maxxes (41.5 .vs. 38'), 3 feet more than a Chrysler 300 SRT-8. Thank the huge tires, and plan ahead if you need to U-turn!
  • mybooomybooo Member Posts: 92
    Hello! Been following the threads on torque steer. I think you should remember that the MAXX is putting out a decent amount of HP - around 200hp and torque. You will feel it when you give her some gas :-). I do not find that my MAXX has that much torque steer, but my previous car was an 03 Grand Prix GTP - Supercharged that had 260 hp and 280 lbs of torque - when you stepped on the gas it that car you could torque steer right off the raod if you had a loose grip :-) Man that was fun! But I have no problem with the MAXX. Nice power and acceleration!
  • westy56westy56 Member Posts: 3
    I was at my chevy dealer yesterday and the 2006 Malibu Maxx LT on the display floor caught my eye. I am trading in my 2003 Blazer and looking for something that will save on gas and also afford me the space we need to transport things my wife uses in her scrapbooking business(tons). I liked the size of the Maxx and the body style is sharp. Although I got there at the end of the day and did not get to test drive one, it appears that I will probably lease this model.
    I was just hopping to get an overall feeling on this car from people who may have one. I have read many of the posts here, and most seem to have relatively minor concerns and it does not appear that there is anything more posted than what you would find on most other vehicles.
    Any comments on whether this is a good vehicle to buy or lease would be welcomed!
    Does anyone have any major concerns about the Malibu?
  • meandmymaxxmeandmymaxx Member Posts: 134
    Was into the dealer the other day checking out the Maxx SS, read the info on it and was wondering how come they went back to hydraulic power steering? Seems to me if any car wants to minimize the load on the engine the SS would be one of them.
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Member Posts: 1,798
    ..complained so much about the electric steering, Chevy appeased them by restoring Hydraulic steering to the SS. That same system is on the Pontiac G6 "sports version".

    ...and guess what? The reviewers still complain it lacks feel and is sluggish. It also hurts the SS's mileage, which is none too good for a car its size (18 mph .vs. 24 mph of regular Maxx, so says C&D). Loose, Loose, sadly.

    Meanwhile Electric steering systems get better. The Saturn ION Red Line brought few complaints about steering; it uses a recalibrated version of its Electric steering.

    And have others found their Maxxes steer/handle better with the new steering rack? My Maxx actually has road feel now and responds quite well.
  • csandstecsandste Member Posts: 1,866
    Other than a propensity to wander on some strange road crowns, I have no complaints about the electric steering. Could never figure out the numbness rap.
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Member Posts: 1,798
    my mistake...C&D did not like Hydraulic steering on the Pontiac, but did seem to like it on the Maxx. Ironic as they use the same engines and suspension parts (perhaps tire and other tweak differences account for this).
  • csandstecsandste Member Posts: 1,866
    CD certainly likes hydraulic steering on the Maxx SS better than the original take on the 04's electric steering. Me-- I'm happy with the electric. My LS's first year has been trouble free and enjoyable...

    04- LT

    "Like its sedan sister, the Maxx features electric power steering with variable assist. Combining steering and electronics to have a natural feel has eluded even the likes of BMW, and Chevrolet has done no better. In any given driving session, the steering feels tight, loose, heavy, and light. Its only consistent trait is a kind of leadenness. Need to know the texture of the road surface? Climb out and feel it with your hands. Under hard accel in 90-degree turns, there’s also some torque steer that is occasionally distracting. But on the freeway, the steering is quick to self-center, and the Maxx tracks like a champ."

    06 SS

    "Chewing the front tires was a behavior we noted often in the base Maxx. The SS corners with far less understeer at speed, whether through extra rubber or better tuning of the suspension or both. We thought the electric motor providing the power assist was supplying unusually good feedback until we realized there’s no motor. In the Maxx SS, GM replaces the electric-power-steering servo with a hydraulic one, and the SS tracks a turn flatly and impressively faithfully to the path you aim it along. Granted, it does try to aim itself under hard acceleration, tugging at the rim with torque steer, but the change in steering hardware is definitely applause material."
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Member Posts: 1,798
    the steering rack of my '04 LS Maxx was replaced with a newer version this year. This changed the steering feel for the better - can definitely feel road texture now. The new tires (tripletreads) also helped - a little harsher on small bumps, but more secure in turns and in bad weather.

    TireRack didn't think much of the stock tires on the SS, or the LS. For the SS, there seem to be very few alternatives - Bridgstone Potenzas are only ones I could find.
  • csandstecsandste Member Posts: 1,866
    The Bridgestone OEM's on the LS look awful on paper but I find them a lot better than the Michelin Energies that came with my 01 Elantra. Those WERE overpriced crap-- lost most of their wet weather ability by 30K and were totally useless at 40. Uniroyal Tiger Paw Touring H's were much better for half the money. I think I'm going to get more than 50,000 miles on the Insignias. Of course I'm a pretty conservative driver and the weather here in Missouri isn't that bad.
  • chevysalesmanchevysalesman Member Posts: 2
    the reason the the hydraulic steering is because it is more responsive the electronic and after all this is a sports car
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Member Posts: 1,798
    Newer versions of electric steering are quite good (Saturn ION redline, Audi A3, etc.) and don't suffer from hydraulic lock or parasitic loss.
    Unfortunately Chevy was not able (yet) to refine its electric steering and simply adapted the G6's Hydraulic steering.

    The SS a "sports car"? Not really. The Maxx SS is a "show" car with useless spoiler, big bling wheels, lo pro tires rated "average" by Tire Rack, and a definitely nicer engine hooked up to a higher-drive ratio version of same 4 speed. Result? A hair trigger rubber burner (some people like that :) )that guzzles gas and rides like an old truck.

    To make a real Maxx sports car, how about a 5 speed manual, change those rims to forged to get rid of unsprung weight and slap on Bridgestone Potenzias, or better yet, ditch the rims for forged 17" with Goodyear F1 tires (which work decently wet or dry)? That's what the GM Engineers I talked to years ago suggested.

    Won't happen though... :cry:
  • paopao Member Posts: 1,867
    agree with his assessment...looked at a SS Malibu sedan...same issues..and for the price.....wasnt impressed...I was also curious about the HHR.....but just looking....
  • chevysalesmanchevysalesman Member Posts: 2
    I work at a chevy dealership and just bought the SS Maxx full laod with potenzas...biggest it WONT burn rubber they hook up unbelievable, the torque steer is prolly worse and the ride is harsh buut seriously people thisis a 240 hp sports car for all intense and purposes, if you wnat a smooth camfy ride buy an Impala
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Member Posts: 1,798
    The Germans, long ago, figured out to make a car handle well without offering its driver a harsh ride. The Japanese learned well from them.
    The Maxx engineers knew this too. But marketing gave them the bling-bling wheels and the accountants the cheap tires.
    For those wanting sporty driving, an '06 VW GTI or '06 Honda SI or Subrau WTI will run circles around the MAXX SS.
  • redmaxxredmaxx Member Posts: 627
    Do you have traction control turned on? If I turned it off, the '04 I had would burn the tires.
  • paopao Member Posts: 1,867
    have to disagree this is a sports car by any stretch of the imagination....I upgraded my 04 Maxx LT to 17 inch rims and wider tires and the handling increased..but I wouldnt say I have a sports car....even the SS version is for show....the only sports car in the chevy lineup is the corvette...

    My 06 Solstice is more of a sports car..long before the SS Maxx or the Sedan.....the problem I have with Chevy is they SS badge everything.....Impala/Malibu/Monte Carlo....etc etc...

    if you want to SS badge one model..then concentrate on one...make the right SS upgrades..suspension, wheels/tires, motor, transmission, brakes etc......remember the chevelle.......SS 396....sure more of a muscle car than a true sports car...but come on.dont throw a badge on a car...give it 40 more horses..a different interior....bling bling wheels and cheap rubber, some cosmetic exterior changes and call it an SS......
  • cwesleygcwesleyg Member Posts: 64
    I don't think my Maxx LS is a sports car. But I'd have to disagree about the SS. What with SS meaning Super Sport and all. A car does not have to have a V8 and cost $50,000 to be a sports car.

    I can't see paying the extra $8000 for the HP boost though.
  • paopao Member Posts: 1,867
    SS to me was the SS chevelle of the late 60s early 70s ..not the 06 SS malibu....its mostly show.....the Malibu SS will never run in SCCA...the real super sport is gone in the muscle cars......

    and there is a distinct difference in muscle cars and sports cars......
  • paopao Member Posts: 1,867
    an 04 Maxx LT the hatch back and rear design...hate the bug-eyed look in the front.....too much chrome on the first year model in the front..that was toned down some what in follow on model the grill and the front lamps.....and give it some fog lights that actually work!!!!
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Member Posts: 1,798
    another '04 maxxer:

    The small jutting trunklet on the rear hatch sometimes looks like it was tacked on (Saab sports combi avoided that). Front dash headlight controls aimed right at knees when getting into driver seat. Dim, often unreadable DIC. Clunky front end suspension. Small bulge at bottom of seat back uncomfortable at times. Cheap interior trim in back.

    lots of room, well thought out parcel shelf, generally comfortable seats, torquey engine, good "tip in" (no "hair trigger" responses here!) good fuel economy for power engine creates, excellent road cruiser.

    Don't mind the front chrome bar that much - rather distinctive.

    Am sorry to see Chevy give up on it... Could have been a real competitor for the Euro Hatches with a little more refinement and AWD option.
  • tothemaxx2tothemaxx2 Member Posts: 22
    Good: About everything. Great fuel economy. About the best 6-cyl around, great ride, better handling that some think, quiet (better than my Volvo S70), very good seats, very good fit & finish.

    Bad: Not much. Fit & finish not quite as good as Honda & Toyota, but 3 to 10,000 less). High grade sound system is "good" but not great (my Volvo S70 it definately better. Of course it is a $39,000 car, and I only paid $18,000 (after GM card rebate) for our Maxx.

    Really think it is the best car for the $$ I have ever seen.
  • billymaxxbillymaxx Member Posts: 12
    The combination of the hatchback and the fold down seats (front and back) have made my many shopping trips to Home Depot rather easy. I can fit 8 foot+ 2x4's in with the front seat down and still be able to close the hatch. I have fit 2ft X 8ft sheets of plywood without a problem. I just bought a 32in TV and was able to fit it in the hatch without taking it out of the box and was still able to close the trunk. Can fit 2 bikes (with the front wheels off) with ease. Without a doubt the most versatile car for transporting things.
  • csandstecsandste Member Posts: 1,866
    1. Flexibility.
    2. The OHV V6 provides good mileage and is very low maintenance (OLM indicates easy 6-8K change cycles, no timing belt, etc.
    3. Comfortable interior not the best finished but isn't as bad as some reviews have it.
    4. Wonderful flexibility and room.

    1. Road feel only mediocre although electric steering more than makes up for itself by delivering good mileage, sort of sorry to see 07's go hydraulic.
    2. Front end clip cleaned up for 06 but still not a thing of beauty (styling although slabby is distinctive though).
    3. It's going to depreciate, but then I got the base Maxx for $16 grand without GM card, six thou off the list price. Haven't checked Edmunds TMV price but I think you can do better on this car if you play it right.
    4. Seat fabrics durable but ugly in 05 LS.
  • 05maxxdad05maxxdad Member Posts: 1
    I really like the design of my 2005 Maxx.
    Constantly getting compliments and the occasional "What kind of a car is that?".
    I do wish it had a little more interior room.
    What if Chevy were to make an Impala Maxx SS? I would buy that one in a heartbeat!!
  • caness67caness67 Member Posts: 6
    i have driven malibus for a while now. i actually have a 80 malibu (2 door), 01 malibu ls, (had 2 of them actually), had an 04 ls, now have a 06 maxx ss (less than 5,000 miles)

    i got my ss out of texas, it had front end damage. (both 01s and the 04 were builders) yes, i rebuilt them!

    i am almost done with the ss. it is getting aligned as we speak. need a right fog lamp, seat belts and airbag.

    we had to replace the rack in it! that was a spendy unit, which dipped into the budget.

    anyways, we are having a "disagreement" right now. i found that when it shifts at times there is a "clunk". like you hit a small pot hole at the same time it shifted. my bf said "it is an agressive tranny and they will do that". i say it shouldnt! now this morning on the way to get it aligned it didnt do it at first but then did after i turned at the 4-way.

    question is, after reading an article on the malibu ss. does anyone know if they have the same tranny? cause in that article it said it was "smooth and positive".

    i am wondering if it is just something that needs to work itself out. it does seem to be getting better. we bought the car in april and it sat for some time before we started working on it. or if this is something that is going to dip into the budget again!
  • caness67caness67 Member Posts: 6
    when i had my 04 malibu ls i got so many compliments! when i told people it was a "malibu" they were surprised.

    what i liked about it was the gas milage, leather seats, style.

    what i didnt like? hum......selling it? haha

    i now have a 06 maxx ss. just started driving it.

    like on it? the hatch back which i never thought i would like, the leather/cloth combo seats, fog lamps are kickin even tho i still need to get a right one in!

    dont like is less gas milage than my 04. dont like that it only came with ebony interior, but i will get over it!

    my teenage girls love the rear seat radio with head sets and that the seats can recline! now they dont FIGHT to sit in the front with me.

    i dont like that they got rid of the maxx. :mad: it seems that i am seeing more and more of then finally in our area. i still have the only maxx ss around.
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Member Posts: 1,798
    Sorry to hear the rack went bad.. Was surprising as SS uses hydraulic steering (where actuators push on the throughput rack gear itself), and not electric (which drives the column, and applies to power to the rack via a small gear at end of column shaft.
This discussion has been closed.