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2008-2009 Chevrolet Malibu



  • beach15beach15 Posts: 1,305
    Kind of like their view of the Saturn Outlook, and some others.

    They're often a rag, but it's one of a million (so to speak) reviews to back this fantastic car up.
  • jntjnt Posts: 316
    Chevy is always the unsung hero in the GM family. GM success and failure is linked to Chevy, not Caddy, and for sure not Saturn. The MY09 Chevy version of the Outlook (aka.Traverse) will make Outlook sales number insignificant just like the Malibu will do to the Aura. GM should spend its precious money beefing up Chevy vehicles instead of day-dreaming about Saturn division.

    If GM has given Chevy the needed cars to compete with the best of Asian makers, then GM is set for their comeback. Just look at the bland old Impala for the last two generations: basically every month for the last 5-6 years, this vehicle has hold itself well in the mid-large size market. It has been the only GM car that has made the top 10 seller in the US. It only trails Camry and Accord.

    Now with the new and highly competitive Malibu, Chevy will have a better near term future (1-3 years) until the competitors pass it again. Hope that by then, the second generation Epsilon platform will make the future Malibu better yet (wider, lighter, less expensive to build,..). Competition is good !!!

  • rvothrvoth Posts: 147
    Had the privalage to drive the LTZ V-6 yesterday.. Liked the very responsive and quick acceleration with the manual tap shift levers on the steering wheel . The radio and info console is very busy, I couldn't find the right button to retrieve the gas mileage or oil change info. Just new to me. I disliked how the front a-pillar is sloped back towards the driver and also how short the drivers window is. made it no difficult for a clear view . This car made me feel I was in a sports car not a mid size sedan . Then i sat in the show room Cadillac CTS and was amazed at how much more comfortable the view and seating position was compared to the malibu. That CTS cradles the driver perfect driving position and view from the drivers seat, everything is well laid out.

    I will be waiting for the chevy's version of the Acadia (Transverse) to be released in late spring, 09 model. We need room for the growing boys for long road trips across country. If GM continues to produce great vehicle like the Malibu and CTS then the future is look bright :) . Hope the Transverse will be priced better the GM's version and maybe with a large engine ,it is a 4200-4500 lb vehicle
  • beach15beach15 Posts: 1,305
    For the Traverse, think of a largely GMC Acadia like center, with a more curved back end like the Buick Enclave, and then a Chevy nose and interior design very much like the new Malibu...and you have it.

    It will start at a lower price than the other 3, but mainly because it will also have a full array of models (exactly like the Malibu). LS, 1LT, 2LT, and LTZ. The LS, of course, will be the one with the low pricetag.

    GM actually already put all the details for it up on the dealer DealerWorld system, as a salesperson on another forum posted what's there about it. No prices, but the 4 trim levels, same FWD or AWD, as well as Bluetooth (likely an option) and cooled seats (again, an option, probably on the top trim level, in addition to typical heating).

    The biggest change for the 2009 Lambda crossovers is that all will have the Direct-Injection version of the 3.6L V6 engine standard across the line. This is the "upgrade" engine this year for the new CTS and also STS, with more power and also less emissions and a bit more efficient. No power numbers yet, but we'll see soon enough when they reveal the Traverse in a few days. They shelved the development of the V8 that was projected to be intro'd on the Lambdas at some time, but another may be possible after a while...but really, with the power they can get out of the V6, it isn't necessary and will only hurt mileage.

    So, yeah, the Traverse (and the other 3 Lambdas) are looking better for 2009...which seems almost impossible.

    But, back to the Malibu ;)
  • I wonder when new commecials will come out that show the fine Close UP Features of this car :confuse: ?
  • I noticed considerable torque steer with the V-6 during two test drives recently. Once from a stop, and once doing about 45 mph. On both occasions, the tires also spun quite a bit. Have any owners experienced this, and is this something you get use to? Car and Driver in November 07 did mention "... heads straight to torque steer city when you tromp on the gas."
  • jaxs1jaxs1 Posts: 2,697
    Probably would be best to control the gas pedal more if are stepping on it so hard that you are getting wheel spin.
  • beach15beach15 Posts: 1,305
    There have been many comments, including on the Aura XR which is the same car "underneath" as a current Malibu LTZ with the 3.6L, both from general consumers and professionals. It tends to be a side effect of high power--not that there's a huge amount here, but still that's why--going through the front and same wheels that also do the turning. The goal is always to engineer it out.

    BUT, that said, there were similar comments with the current V8 Impala SS which has a lot more grunt also through the front wheels, and that reviewers such as C&D again saying when they'd hit it, it would tug left, right, etc. They quoted having asked the GM engineers about it, who knew exactly what they were talking about, and said it actually wasn't torque steer because they had worked quite a while on that...but was actually a side effect of how the traction control kicked in, trying to get the traction to the best wheel it could. In a sense, doing that, it would create and/or add to the tugging feel.

    With the Malibu, I think it is just torque steer, and nearly everyone has commented on it. It, of course, would be better if not there at all, but isn't something that turns into a daily bother...unless you make it a habit of constantly stomping on the accelerator excessively to roar from a stop and/or keep rolling like a freight train. Normal driving, with normal acceleration, it shouldn't be noticed much if at all.
  • bwiabwia Boston Posts: 1,907
    Well, we took the plunge and my wife bought a Malibu today. We shopped the Camry XLE, Honda Civic EXL, Acura TSX and the Malibu LTZ but ended up buying a Malibu LS. An LS? Yes, the base LS but with a twist.

    First we test-drove the LT2, 4-cylinder. My wife loved it. Then we drove the LTZ. She loved it especially the two-tone leather. However, she did not see much of a difference in the cars to justify an $8,000 difference in price for the LTZ. Coming from a Volvo she wanted leather—the nice supple kind.

    So after discussing it with the salesman we decided to buy the base LS and put in leather for an additional charge of $1,200. First, he said the after-market leather would cost $1,400 and further it would invalidate the warranty. But when we told him that the Toyota dealer would install the leather for $1,200 he went to his manager who said they could do it after all.

    Bottom line, we are getting the top-of-line looks with better-than-factory installed leather for a fraction of the price. Here are the figures on the deal:
    2008 Chevy Malibu LS
    MRSP $20,225
    Invoice $19,610

    We offered $200 below invoice, plus leather $1,200 and administrative fee $349
    for a total price of $20,959. We take delivery next Tuesday or Wednesday.

    By the way, I noticed on the LTZ model in the showroom, that the rubber lining on the rear deck glass was beginning to separate. I brought it to the salesman’s attention but he brushed it off as inconsequential.
  • jaxs1jaxs1 Posts: 2,697
    Is there a dealer installed iPod adapter accessory available for the new Malibu that gives you control of the tracks on the iPod?
    There is only an aux jack from the factory, the kit is already made for the HHR and the Malibu has that same compartment on top of the dash.

  • beach15beach15 Posts: 1,305
    That PAL integration kit will work on any of the current radios of that style...or at least a good chunk of them.

    It hasn't really been advertised as available at all yet, but as you said, it is listed for the HHR and comes up on all of the various discount GM part sites.

    Part #: 19171028

    No guarantees, but the head units are the same across most of these GM vehicles, and it SHOULD work with a Malibu if you can actually get one. From other sites, I know of many people that have been waiting on it for other GM vehicles and still nothing...but I would at least venture to order the one with the HHR part # for now, and see if it plugs right into the Malibu. It should.
  • Hey mazda6dude - been reading your posts on the NAH, wondering why you are selling it. That is one of the cars on my to buy list, but since it's not sold in GA, have been looking at the Accord, Jetta/Passat, and now that I found out about the Malibu, considering a look. Also don't think the extra $5K is justified for the small increase in MPG that I'm reading about in NAH & TCH, especially for short commutes.
  • I havent decide to sell it yet. Still have it and driving it. The MPG is improving. I am getting above 36mpg. I have seen there is only one used NAH being sold.
  • vanman1vanman1 Posts: 1,397
    Was out looking at cars and the lady from Saturn called me. In Ontario they now have 0% for 60 on all Auras or 1.1% lease for 48 months. Considering there are very few Malibus around (local dealer only has 1 base LS), this is a good alternative. Lots of Auras around. Very tempting!

    I tested a base XR, sweet ride!
  • jaxs1jaxs1 Posts: 2,697
    My local dealers are starting to get bigger shipments of Malibus, so they won't be that hard to get for people who are not impatient.
  • beach15beach15 Posts: 1,305
    Quite true, and I know of one or two other people from other boards who were Malibu shopping and loved the car...but just couldn't get what they wanted quick enough or without enough of a discount for them. So they headed to the Saturn dealer, all of which have huge Aura stocks, and drove home with one of those instead...rebates and all. It isn't as polished as the Malibu in small ways (interior looks & materials, etc.), but very much the same. I looked at them before and really liked them, but you can't get one the way my mother wanted and she didn't want a Saturn (only 1 dealer, farther away, didn't like the looks as much, etc.).

    As the last poster said, with some more time, Malibu production will better meet supply. The issue right now is that production was just ramping up and is now about max'd, but the car is still very new and with more commercials, etc., interest and buyers just keep surging more daily. Such as at the dealer where we bought ours, who actually had 3 at the time last month...and since we bought ours, the 1 or 2 more they've gotten in have sold within a couple of days.

    They're also trying to make sure production can meet demand...but doesn't then keep going to such a level that lots are stacked full, such as even the Camry & Accord. Keeps interest up, discounts down, resale up, etc. There's 2 different plants pumping them out, both Fairfax (Malibu & Aura) and Orion (was G6 and now also extra Malibus), so it should balance a little better before too long.
  • bwiabwia Boston Posts: 1,907
    Well we picked up our Malibu today and I must commend those guys who put in the leather in our LS. The finished job looks much better than the LTZ and the quality of the leather rivals anything found in a high end sedan.

    And did I mention the OnStar feature? Boy was I impressed. Turn by turn directions from the dealership to home was phenomenal. But the feature that sold me most is the ability to turnoff off the engine and locate the car should it be stolen. A big improvement over Lojack I think.

    All in all we are very impressed with the Malibu’s whisper quiet interior, comfortable ride, and fit and finish--inside and out. At a little under $21K we are very happy and satisfied with our purchase. One demerit from the wiffy is the A-pillars design that creates a blind spot which is a little disconcerting.
  • jaxs1jaxs1 Posts: 2,697
    One problem with installing aftermarket leather is that no one will claim responsibility for failed deployment of any side airbags installed in the seats,
    Side airbags "should" still deploy OK if the leather installation was designed for the side airbags, but even if they were, there are no guarantees after the factory upholstery and seats have been tampered with by a third party installing leather.
  • bwiabwia Boston Posts: 1,907
    Jaxs1, the dealer did mention that putting in leather would invalidate the warranty. But I looked at how the leather is installed and it does not interfere with the side airbags.
  • bwiabwia Boston Posts: 1,907
    Today’s Sunday New York Times has a very favorable review on the Malibu. Here are a couple excerpts:

    “It seems unreal to be considering the Chevrolet Malibu as an alternative to such world-class cars as the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry, but it has happened. General Motors has finally delivered the first-class midsize sedan it promised for years if not decades…..

    …Over all, the Malibu rides more comfortably than the Honda Accord and is far more fun to drive than the standard Toyota Camry.

    When it comes to acceleration, the 4-cylinder is adequate despite the fact that it is paired with an automatic transmission that has only four speeds (at a time when most automatics have more gears — from five to eight). More gears make a car more responsive and more fuel-efficient…..

    …The 3.6-liter V-6 has a six-speed automatic, and for the most part it worked well. Downshifts came quickly. Upshifts were smooth. But it had an annoying problem. At about 60 m.p.h. going up a slight hill, a light pressure on the gas caused it to downshift with a huge clunk. This happened several times on different hills. Mr. Meloeny [G.M.’s chief engineer for midsize vehicles] had no explanation. The V-6 accelerated strongly, though there was a surprising bit of vibration at idle.”

  • New here just drove the V4 and V6plan on buying a 2008 Malibu 2LT trying to deside on the V4 or V6 I will have to order the 6 but I'm in no rush to get it, right now I have Mazda6 V6 and Miata, the Malibu is replaceing a 93 Buick. I will be making 1 to 2 trips to Florida every year. Does the 4 have enough for that kind of driving I'm leaning trowards the 6 any help here
  • vanman1vanman1 Posts: 1,397
    I would go V6 but I love power.

    4 cyl is fine otherwise.170 hp is sufficient for a car of this size.
  • beach15beach15 Posts: 1,305
    The companies who make the leather replacements take airbags completely into account, and specifically with the Malibu where the openings are essentially doors on the hard side panel, there should be no issue whatsoever as long as nothing was unplugged and left like that.

    Shops have been doing it for years, and if it already looks great (i.e. they knew what they were doing on that regard), all should be A-ok.

    And on had it in her Avalanche years ago, then her Suburban didn't have it, and now that her new Malibu does, it's yet another fun thing to her. The diagnostics emails are fantastic to her, and moreso, she loves using the Onstar phone. Today, everyone and their brother wants Bluetooth (as do I), but the Onstar phone is still fantastic and always there even if your cell is dead, etc.

    Congrats on the leathered LS!
  • vanman1vanman1 Posts: 1,397
    Could be a software issue. I'm sure it could be corrected if there was an issue.
  • jaxs1jaxs1 Posts: 2,697
    The OnStar phone could be useful in the very rare occasion that your phone fails. I keep a car charger fpr the phone in my car so I'm not worried about a dead cell phone battery.
    If you car battery fails, you can't use OnStar to call a tow truck.

    Using OnStar for regular calls is extremely expensive and on top of that it's very inconvenient to deal with another phone number and maybe turning call forwarding on and off as you get in and out of the car as a workaround.
    What a hassle!
    Bluetooth is just simple. It turns on and off automatically as you step in and out of the car and you only have to deal with one phone number and one phone bill.
  • jaxs1jaxs1 Posts: 2,697
    It is not a V4, just a 4 cylinder or you can call it an I4 because it's straight like an I, not V shaped like the V6 configuration.

    You can test drive it yourself on the freeway to see if feels like it has enough power.
    The V6 uses quite a bit more gas. If you don't care about that, then just get the V6.
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    Last readily available V4 was in a late sixties Saab as far as I know.
  • bwiabwia Boston Posts: 1,907
    beach15, you are right on. The leather does not interfere with the side airbag but I am not sure about the passenger seat though. I believe there is sensor somewhere to determine the size of the passenger so that the airbag will not deploy with the same force for large and small occupants.

    By the way, does any boardie know how to post pics to this forum? I already have the pics on photobucket.
  • beach15beach15 Posts: 1,305
    After nothing but V8's and trading in an '04 Suburban for it, we bought a 2LT 4-cyl based on my fantastic experience with an '07 rental that had the smaller 2.2L, the $2000 lower price, etc.

    Simply put? LOVE it. The 4-cylinder is eerily quiet and smooth--even C&D and other reviewers have called the combo the most refined 4-cyl in a midsize sedan--and definitely has the power to zip around and run free on the highway. After a month, mom loves it and still thinks the 4-cyl is very quick & quiet. She came up for a visit over the weekend so I finally got some seat time in the car, and the instant response right from the getgo was very entertaining--the 2.4L feels very strong.

    No, it won't do the sub 7-sec 0-60 runs of the 3.6L or have as much grunt overall, but it's anything but sluggish and the refinement of the 2.4L in the Malibu (and also Aura) is incredible. Plus the electric steering feels great and doesn't sap any extra juice off the engine as the V6's hydraulic setup does, and the lighter engine improves handling feel up front.

    The 4-cyl factor still perturbs my father a bit (there's just never been one in the house...ever), but even he enjoys how quiet, smooth, and quick it is. Look at the Camry and Accord, and what's sold in the biggest numbers for years? The 4-cyl models.

    I understand the attraction to the V6 (it's a great engine), but more than prefer overall the lower cost and more efficient nature of the 4-cyl tied with its honest power and refinement.
  • widanwidan Posts: 3
    I took delivery of my 2008 three weeks ago. Love it! I had a 2006 G6 that was a total lemon. GM didn't even fight a repurchase. They gave me sticker price for the 2006 G6 to sticker price for the 2008 malibu. Only $120.00 difference and the Malibu has anti-lock, traction control, and on-star which my g6 didn't have.

    I added chrome pillar posts and window tints. Purchased on eBay and got both for less and $100.

    One thing that I haven't seen anyone post on here is the lack of garage door openers. I looked in my manual and it doesn't seem that they are even an option. So again I went to eBay and purchased a homelink unit that matched my interior perfectly. I didn't really want to disassemble a visor to install it and since mine does not have lighted vanity mirrors I didn't think that there would be any easily accessible wiring to tap, so I installed it between the reading lamps in the plastic header. It looks great and you can't tell that it wasn't factory installed.

    Looking for molded mud flaps and maybe a rear spoiler.

    I think the interior is great and the designers of this car have added many nice touches like a rubber pad under the ignition so your keys are not banging against hard plastic. I also like the adjustable arm rest. This was a surprise when I pulled and moved up.

    Even with the repurchase, GM allowed topped off savings of $2018 from the GM card. What value for the money. GM you have won be back!!
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