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2008-2009 Chevrolet Malibu



  • So you want each GM model to have a unique engine and everything in interior made uniquely for that model? Where exactly in competition did you see using unique interior parts, engines and etc? Nissan uses the same engines in all Nissan and Infinity models. Even interior part are the same in all its Nissan/Infinity models - it is one of advantages of mass market madufacturers have over dedicated luxury makes like Mercedes/BMW. Honda Accord and Acura TL are basically the same car, even interiors are clones of each other. Even Lexus uses the same interior parts bin in both Toyota and Lexus lines. I see your comments a way of bashing GM no matter what which is not fair - GM is the underdog this time and quality of life in America is on the line. Do you really think that if all products will be imported your quality of life will improve - I am assure you - exactly opposite will happen.
  • packer3packer3 Posts: 277
    I agree some what, I have been saying all the while on other blogs, it started from the Uplander, know from the Aveo, Malibu, Traverse Impala some what but not yet, the new coming 2010 Cruze all have the same patterned nose. However there drive trains are still one of the best. At least the Vette and the dump trucks have there own looks.
  • bvdj84bvdj84 Posts: 1,724
    lol. I really think you read into my words a little too much. I am sorry you misunderstood what I said. Honestly, like stated before I am not bashing them at all, I am praising them for finally going in the right direction. But, that does not mean they don't need improvement. My review of the GM name is made of my opinions, and I love cars, I look at many cars, all the time, and these are some of the issues they face. When compared to other brands. To each there own.
    I also am not saying each car should have their own engine, but rather focus more on the engines that they do have. I feel that have not done this too well, when compared to other models. I usually don't hear many say the buy a Malibu/Saturn/G6 for its engine. I would hear many talk more about the Nissan, Honda, Mazda engines. They at least having something to work with. I feel that if they focused on their engine more, and picked better parts within their cars, than the overall feel and quality would rise, like the plastic, leather, vinyl, knobs, all the way down to the engine, using a 5spd transmission.

    To give you a better picture of where my opinions come from, I own an 08 VW Jetta SE(5cyl) and an 08 Pontiac G6(4cyl)The G6 is pretty much like any other GM car, like the Malibu. The Jetta is so much more solid, better parts, better paint, fit and finish, better ride. The engine is AMAZING! With its 6spd transmission. Slam the doors, hang on the door, and its solid. I actually like the G6, its youthful, its fun, and appealing all on its own. I have the leather, sunroof, xm, onstar, remote start, it has everything a $30k passat I test drove. Its a great car. But, when in the Jetta, I still feel like its more upsale, classy ride. So, in a way, I am "bad mouthing" my own car. Its okay, because in about a year, I am trading my G6, for an Accord, TSX, or VW. Lets say I have new appreciate for the american brand, because they honestly think about everything a driver wants.

    Bottom line, they need to focus on quality rather than how many cars they can get out on the road. Sorry.
  • gussguss Posts: 1,181
    in a 4 cylinder G6 ? I cross shopped the Malibu with the G6 and for '08 leather was not available or alloy wheels in the G6 if you got the base version. Was it a special package ?

    BTW, I am loving the suede in the 2LT, I have not been able to use the heated option yet but I am almost looking forward to winter this year.
  • German engineers are among the best in the world in anything mechanical, you can expect them to design the best engines (but not most reliable of course, ask how they lost the war). But the quality of Jetta - I am not impressed at all. Of course it is still much better than G6, but G6 is not a benchmark eigther. I have multiple friends with Jettas and quality is not good, VW saved money on the various ways and it shows. But still they charge too much for their cheap cars. Regarding engines - GM has the best engines among American Big3. And again in USA engineering is not about perfection - it is about "good enough" to sell, and rest is marketing. But irony is that GM (and hopefully Ford) are finally getting it and people still ignoring.

    Yet I agree that Malibu could have less plastic in interior, esp steering wheel and door panels. But Jetta's beutiful interior worns out pretty fast, so good looking (initially) interior does not mean good quality.
  • bvdj84bvdj84 Posts: 1,724
    Yes, I totally agree with what you stated. Exactly. All companys have different ways to save money, but picking the best sacrifices to do this is the big trick. Some company's continue to battle this quite hard. I guess, I am mainly concerned with the transmission, its 4spd transmission is so annoying in the G6, you want to accelerate slowly or just get some decent speed, and it jumps, there is not that refined slide right into the next speed, but if I feel its because it only has 4 gears, have a 5pd with wide spaced gearing would pull more smoothly. Its seems like its searching to find the best gear. That would be why I ask that they atleast put in a 5spd. Also it would bump the MPG's up a bit, the new malibu has a 5spd option I think, and its MPG is better. My Jetta has 6, but feel the 6 is less used in normal driving. 5spd would be perfect.

    Yes, I did get the leather on my G6 4cyl, with all the options, its not the base model. Now my dealer has had quite a few of G6's like mine, but I can see that perhaps at other locations that they are not as available. But, the 2008, it is available. I see more cloth 2008 models than anything though.
    I think its nice the Malibu has the suede inserts on their leather, the carmel color is awesome! The really jazzed up the interior. This is my first car with leather, and I love it.
  • The Malibu doesn't have a 5 speed. It comes with either a 4spd / 4cyl (LS, some LT1s?), a 6spd / 4cyl (LT2 / LTZ), or a 6spd V6. And the fuel economy has gone down compared to the last generation Malibu, whatever the drivetrain. I attribute the last fact mostly to weight, but in the case of the V6's, to the fact that the 3.6l DOHC makes a LOT more power, but eats more fuel than the relatively frugal 3.5l of the previous cars. Weight still plays a role however, as you can get the 3.5l w/4spd automatic transmission in fleet cars. In that setup, the fuel economy is higher than the 3.6 / 6spd, but lower than the 04-07 3.5/4spd automatic equipped cars.
  • Ok someone please offer me some insight! I bought my Malibu 2008 (LT 4 cylinder ecotec engine) and now with close to 1200 miles the info center has the MPG at 9.4 which based on my own calculations is not too far from the truth. I have taken it to service and called GM and they came up with a story that I have to wait until the engine breaks in which is at approximately 5000 miles to get optimal mileage. I mean I understand I may not get 20 something until that point but 9 or 10 miles per gallon? I find that outrageous! I use my car for work and sometimes the motor and ac will stay on for 4 to 5 hours, this equals one whole line of the four on the display! I mean I can literally see the gas gauge needle go down everytime I drive short distances and I do not have much of a heavy foot. So does anyone else have that problem or did I have the bad luck of getting a defective car???? Is it even true about the break in period thing? Other than that the car is awesome. :confuse:
  • gussguss Posts: 1,181
    Unless you are idling 5 days a week for 5 hours that is way below where you should me. I have only had my LT2 4 cylinder for 600 miles and I am already getting 26 mpg in mixed driving.

    Try a tank or short couple of days without idling. Make sure you reset the trip odometer and do it by hand also. That should be a good gauge of your true mpg.
  • bwiabwia Boston Posts: 1,907
    What a bummer! Perhaps you should try a tankful of premium gasoline. If the MPG does not improve then you probably have a lemon. We have an LS with 6,500 miles and we average 17 - 19 MPG in mostly suburban/city driving.
  • Uh, if you're idling with the AC on for four to five hours, you're burning a LOT of fuel without going anywhere (0 mpg). The more time spent sitting still with the engine running, the lower the fuel economy will come out, as simple as that. City driving has lots of stops, waits, and acceleration to get back up to speed, so if you're doing much city driving and a lot of idling, you could be getting the right type of numbers. This is where hybrids are so nice (uh, without the constant AC use, anyway).
  • packer3packer3 Posts: 277
    If you are sitting there and just idling and getting 9.4 not bad, the place where I work security has a Jeep Cher. 4x4 210 V6, on a standing still idle for say around 4 hours the trip computer reads 4 mpg. Now if you are doing normal driving for 4 to 5 hours and getting that gas mileage you have a real big problem that will not go away at 5,000 miles. If GM doesn't or cant fix it would nice to let the EPA know about it.
  • vanman1vanman1 Posts: 1,397
    I am just about to pull the trigger on a 2008 Malibu LT2 with the 3.6L/6speed option and power roof.

    Wondering if anyone here has this combination can tell me how they like it? Also, just any general comments the V6 in general. It seems to have great pick up and handling.

    Thanks in advance.
  • I have the ruby red 08 Malibu 2LT with the v6 and 6 speed as you posted. I like it alot even though it seems to be cursed (AC stopped working, out of alignment, hailstorm damage, and hit by persons unknown in parking lot). It has been in the body shop for 7 days now so I think I remember driving it.
    It is very smooth and quiet with about 4,000 miles. I get about 25 mpg in mixed driving to work and home. No trips yet. The electronics are amazing with the OnStar, phone, and driving directions. My Mazda3 was a lot more fun but the 2LT is more luxury but still spirited.
  • bvdj84bvdj84 Posts: 1,724
    Well, the bummer part of the 4spd transmission, is that it doesn't want to make up its mind of which gear to be in, and its jumpy because of this. I just found out that the new G6 4cyl is going to have a 6spd trans, which will help alot, and its also adds about 2mpgs to it. When I drove an 06 Accord, it did not have this problem of jump around the gears, and it all ran up and down the rpm's really smooth. There wasn't that hesitation that it seems the malibu, and the G6 have on the 4cyl, and even the V6. I am not the only one to have said that too. I am not sure why the GM's engine reserves its power for upper rpm range too, the Accord had a pretty torquey 4cyl in the lower range. The 08 Jetta I own has great power too, certainly more zoomy than the G6 or the malibu 4cyl from experience.
  • vanman1vanman1 Posts: 1,397
    Thanks for the info.

    Just bought the car this morning. No roof though, the one that had one got sold. I just realized it has heated seats, my wife is going to love that.

    I pick it up later this week. Looking forward to it. The car is replacing a slightly larger Intrigue but I am really giving up very little in terms of interior or trunk space.
  • gussguss Posts: 1,181
    Congratulations on the Malibu ! Will your screen name change to sedanman ?

    I park next to someone at work that has an '03 Intrigue and I could swear my Malibu looks bigger. It may be that the Malibu is more bulges that increase space.

    BTW, I got to use my heated seats for the first time. They are really nice for an achy back. They also allow me to keep the sunroof open on chilly mornings.
  • vanman1vanman1 Posts: 1,397
    Thanks. Pick it up in about 4 hours.

    Malibu does look a little bigger as it sits higher (as most cars do these days vs. 8 years ago). The Intrigue is about 5 inches wider though and the trunk is a snick bigger also.

    Looking forward to getting it and ripping out on the highway tio try out that 3.6. I'll post later tonite if I can.
  • I own an Intrigue and have driven the Malibu. While I generally like the Malibu and may even end up buying one someday, I immediately noticed the much narrower body upon driving it. I also did not like the much reduced visibility as compared to the Intrigue. The current style trend of high beltlines and cowl made me feel claustrophobic inside the Malibu, and I really appreciated the visibility and light, airy feel of the intrigue when i got back behind the wheel. It's low cowl and beltline really make a difference for the better. The Malibu also felt very tight in the back seat and while the trunk is a good size, the opening is very small.

    I wonder if there are any new vehicles these days that still have the low-cowl and beltline design of the Intrigue?
  • bwiabwia Boston Posts: 1,907
    While I generally like the Malibu .... I immediately noticed the much narrower body upon driving it. I also did not like the much reduced visibility as compared to the Intrigue. The current style trend of high beltlines and cowl made me feel claustrophobic inside the Malibu,...The Malibu also felt very tight in the back seat and while the trunk is a good size, the opening is very small.

    kplacer, why would you want to buy a Malibu with all these shortcomings? Sounds like sour grapes to me.
  • Just got back from a month in Montana and Wyoming. Now have over 6000 miles on the Malibu. In highway driving w/the speed control 65 the MPG was 33+. We spent a lot of time in Yellowstone National Park. At park speeds(45MPH) with buffalo jams thrown in we got 28 & 29 MPG. A lot of downhill using the I on the transmission to control speed w/o using the brakes too much. Checked the oil @ 5000 and it was right on. Checked again when we got home still right on. The car was loaded with clothing, fishing gear and food for several weeks. Still no rattles. My only complaint is @ 74 years old, 6'1", 230 lbs. and a little arthritic, it's a bit difficult in and out the drivers side. Anybody know an easy way to get dried bugs off the front end?
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,703
    the bugs off with a light coat of WD40???

    BTW, wait for someone to confirm this, as I don't want you to take off may want to go over to the carwax topics, as I would think that bug removal would be a major topic in "wash and wax"...

    But only a Host can tell you where it is, as I can rarely find anything unless someone links it for me...

    Ah, to be almost smart, and yet so dumb does bother me sometimes...:):):):):)
  • prigglypriggly Posts: 642
    Try Stoner's Tarminator. Can't be beat. Takes off road tar, too.
  • How can it be sour grapes? I said that I generally liked the Malibu. Having said that, no vehicle is perfect and those flaws in the Malibu ared the things I don't like about it. There are a number of things I don't like about my Intrigue too -- road & engine noise, colorless interior, equally tight rear seat. I liked a number of things about the Malibu -- the interior finish, the quiet, and the surprising punch from the 4-cylinder engine. I just wish the visibility was better and that is was a little roomier inside.
  • vanman1vanman1 Posts: 1,397
    Yes, absolutely the Intrigue is more airy and has better visibility. I got used to that in about 2 days. Yes the Intrigue is about 5 inches wider, don't notice inside though as the Malibu is very spacious with more leg room than Intrigue. The trunk is not that much smaller either even though it has a smaller mouth. As long as my clubs fit, I'm good.

    Over all, I have to say I love my Malibu. The 6-speed transmission and V6 is buttery smooth and so much more powerful. Inside, the car is quite as a vault and I feel like I am in an Audi, very luxurious. Chevy went all out on this car and it shows. My neighbors can't believe it's a Malibu.

    Do I miss my Intrigue, very much. It was my everyday for 9 years. Try a V6, it makes a huge difference!
  • Your engine/transmission is the 2.4L with 6 speed, correct? If so, how did it pull the hills? Any regrets not getting the 3.6? Thanks.
  • My 08 Malibu always has a strong alcohol smell in the interior after I've left it parked for a while. Once I start it up, it eventually goes away. The smell is very strong, and I'm worried there may be a leak etc. The only clue is that the dash told me to check my gas cap once--I checked it and it was on securely. And no more messages since, but the smell is still there every time. Any ideas?
  • I wish it had the 6 speed. It has the 4 speed and pulled the hills mostly w/o difficulty. On speed control the tranny occasionally dropped two gears on steep hills at slower speeds(45mph). The result, the RPM jump to over 7K and you are plastered into your seat like an astronaut @ lift off. At regular highway speeds everything was OK. I felt this was pretty good as the car was really loaded with two large adults plus a LOT of stuff.
  • prigglypriggly Posts: 642
    Have you checked for drunks hiding under the seat?
  • Is your engine the 2.4, 3.5 or 3.6? In any case, you got great mileage. I drove a 2009 Saturn Aura XR with the 2.4 and 6 speed last night and it was impressive. I ended up however, buying a 2008 Aura XR with the 3.6 last night because my wife thought it was sportier with the dual exhaust and liked the color better. It was her retirement present and I didn't want to insist on the 2.4, but with uncertain future gas prices, the 2.4 was the clear choice. The 2008 Saturn Aura XR was a left over and had an additional $1750 allowance that the Malibu does not have for their 2008's. And the 2008 XR that we bought was a demo and had an additional $730 discount. All told, the car listed for $26,445 and we paid $21,719.
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