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2000-2011 Chevrolet Malibu



  • Folks who keep their vehicles until they run them into the ground do have to consider resale, regardless. What if the vehicle is totalled prematurely?

    For the record, I don't care what anyone says, but I don't think the '04 is selling worth diddly squat. 6 1/2 months into the model year, and even here in Camry-land, I should have seen more than ONE sedan (no Maxxes) on the road by now.

    I have a new theory. Why cut the model year short? A completely new (and attractive) front end might be nice, to sell some cars. I'd forgotten about all of the complaints when the vehicle was first shown in Jan. '03. If that's the case, consider the '04s depreciation GREATLY accelerated.
  • I have just received your certificate, and I have driven both Malibu LS and Maxx this afternoon.
    I am not sure which one to get yet, but truly love Maxx's rear leg room. Since I am tall, 6'5 and 1/2; I really need the front leg room too.
    My local dealers do not have a Malibu without sunroof, so I will try one Sunday afternoon to see if a Malibu LS without sunroof is the best car for me. Thanks again.
  • Triedntru, be so kind and do something to the conveyor, so that EPICA'S front is stamped to the Malibu. I can't believe that cheaper Epica has a much more attractive face. Incredible! Whoever designed the new Bu laid a HUGE egg. What were those designers thinking? Do you guys have no focus groups?
  • ab348ab348 Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, CanadaPosts: 13,889
    I agree, the Malibu front end is no prize. But I just realized today that it is very, very similar to the new Toyota Sienna's front end. They look almost like they are from the same design family. I have not heard cries of anguish over that vehicle.

    2017 Cadillac ATS Performance Premium 3.6, 1968 Oldsmobile Cutlass S Holiday Coupe

  • bc: In Dave's defense, they just build 'em. I think that the car was basically done before Mr. Lutz arrived, and he OKd it because there was just no time to redo it and get a new Bu on the streets in a timely manner. I do agree, very definitely, about your focus group sentiment. Its not "Aztec-ugly", but not far from it. Me thinks, also, that Lutz is not happy with the car. He's ordered a redo of the Saturn ION for this fall, so why not the Bu's snout too?

    ab: I agree with the similarity. But Honda and Toyota have such loyal followings that they can sell pretty much anything. Witness the current Accord and Camry. Neither would come close to winning a beauty contest.
  • The front face looks just fine, I don't know what all of the hype it about. I see a few Malibu's here and there. From the side angle it looks sharp, and from the front the car looks happy.

    The interrior dash material is almost the same as the accord material. The car is really good. Do you see any gaps inside? Material pieces not fitting? No!

    The car is less aggressive than I prefer, but I'm not the only onlooker. Its smooth, clean, and just plain happy with itself.

    BTW it looks really good in black.
  • I guess you have seen a happy toad or two, cause I have seen none in my life :-)

    I have seen a few new Bu's in Vancouver, and I drive very little. So, my guess is, Canadians are buying the new Bu's much more than Americans

    As for the new Accord and Sienna, these are two butt-ugly vehicles. Toyota, like one automotive journalist has recently said, is "trying to out-ugly itself." How true! Toyota trucks and SUVs look fine, though. Go figure
  • "but I don't think the '04 is selling worth diddly squat" "no cars to be seen"

    Remember when the 2000 Impala came out? It was a slow ramp up also. Now, it's a top 10 selling car.

    I have seen a few here and there. Expecting it to sell 10K a month overnight is not realistic.
  • "Remember when the 2000 Impala came out? It was a slow ramp up also. Now, it's a top 10 selling car."

    Yea, but it takes heavy incentives to cell them...
  • are in the rental car fleet, taxi fleet, and police service. Nice car with very high quality though. My only two complaints (drove it for 1 week) are horrible overboosted steering and gas
  • In mesaage #3679, you reference a dealer on the skytrain line that you were happy with, were you talking Expo or Millennium?

    I'm VERY displeased with my dealer, (A wild dog like animal) and I'm looking for a dealer that can tell the difference between a lug nut and a spark plug.
  • by a mall which is by a Millenium station. The dealers' labor rates in GVRD are approaching 100 dollars an hour. For this amount, they better dance in front of us, not bark at us
  • deminindeminin Posts: 214
    I've seen at least 3 of the new Malibu's, and 1 new Maxx..I recent weeks here is rural central Missouri. I stopped by the local Chevy dealer last week to get some touch-up paint, and the salesman said they had sold 9 Malibus and 2 Maxx's so far. That's pretty good for an area where pickup's are king. I would expect that sightings of these will be rare for quite some time when you consider that there are probable 150 million cars in the US, and only a few thousand Malibu's sold so far.
  • vuefor2vuefor2 Posts: 490
    I was shopping for cars with my dad and noticed a base Malibu (ecotec power plant) with 4 wheel disc brakes as an option (for around $70 I think). Is this a new thing? I thought the base models were disc drum?

    My dad is now considering a base car as he likes all disc brakes.
  • I was amused that the first responder on the Yahoo website for Maxx owners said, "Buy this car! It is a babe magnet."
    Whatever the motivation, I am convinced that all the '04 Malibu models offer unmatched value, features and quality. This includes comparisons to the Camcord-things that are now selling for below invoice locally. My brother and his wife just bought a new Sienna LE, for which I don't blame them because GM doesn't yet make the best minivans.
    The new malibu and maxx represent the return of Chevrolet to the heights achieved back in the day. Find a good dealer and go.
  • fredvhfredvh Posts: 857
    Did anyone see the "Dateline" show last night on the "safety" or lack-there-of on the tested vehicles in reference to their respective bumpers? The 2004 Malibu did poorly. GM did not win any new customers as a result of that show. The other vehicles were not much better. The current standard for bumpers is 2 1/2 mph but should be the previous 5 mph standard. Some current vehicles are rated at 5 mph but I do not remember how to find this information. Does anyone know?
  • vuefor2vuefor2 Posts: 490
    I saw that show and it's actually not a safety issue at all, it's a cost of damage issue. Malibu's damage was second worst in the comparison next to the Acura TSX. They also mentioned GM is re engineering the bumpers so they will cause less damage.
  • In my 99 Bu, I rear-ended a Porsche (it was standing still and flew forward several feet upon impact) with no scratches (let alone dents) on either my Bu or Porsche. Then, I also rear-ended a standing Honda Odyssey - the Odyssey got a small dent, my Bu not a scratch. After that, I rear-ended a Corolla (it was slowing down), and had to pay 300+ Canadian dollars to repaint Corolla's scratched back bumper while mine, again, had not even a single scratch, let alone a dent.

    Finally, I had a parking mishap, where I thought I had transmission on R, while it was on D. I hit gas, and Bu flew into a support beam. This time, the bumper did get scratched and slightly cracked in one place, and the radiator also got cracked and had to be replaced. Cost me about $1000 Canadian at the dealer to get it all fixed.

    Methinks GM really cut some corners with the new Bu, in order to present a "loaded" vehicle at a very competitive price. Better not rear-end people like me!!!
  • fredvhfredvh Posts: 857
    A number of years ago we had a DOT requirement that all new cars had to have a bumper that would survive a "minor" 5 miles-per-hour collision. This requirement was changed and it is too bad. Some manufacturers still make their bumpers to the old standard but most do not. As someone once said: "This is not brain surgery" referring to making a bumper survive a minor 5 mph crash. GM could have easily done it and now they are considering a bumper redesign for the new Malibu. Why did they not do it in the original design? They say that their vehicle meets all current Federal Safety Standards but why not make them better. The new Malibu was supposed to be a "new start" for much improved quality and design at GM but I wonder if it is really so. IMO.
  • mitzijmitzij Posts: 613
    Watch that 'assured clear distance' thing. That's a lot of rear-ending! Who-whee!
  • triedntrutriedntru Posts: 73
    But I think the test they did on Dateline didn't have much to do with safety.

    If you want a bumper to survive impact, get a rubbermaid bumper, or a solid steel-core bumper that will deliver maximum whiplash per minimum impact. To heck with crumple zones! They cost money!

    I thought it was kind of amusing that they accused the one car (can't remember which) of cheating, because of strategically placed foam padding under the bumper. How is that cheating? The car company adapted their design to the nature of the test.It was totally wrong that the testers removed the padding and changed the location of impact on just that one car. Maybe it was the test that was flawed and insufficient rather than the bumpers.

    Anyways, I consider safety over the little things. To me, Onstar is an incredibly important safety feature that makes the Malibu stand out.

    I'd feel more comfortable in my Malibu knowing Onstar detected air bag deployment and help was on the way rather than bleed to death in a Toyota.

  • deminindeminin Posts: 214
    I put about as much faith in most of these "crash test reports", as I do in Consumer Reports ratings. Personally, I've always felt that it is more important to drive in a manner so as to avoid accidents, than it is to worry about the cars surviveability. Heck, if I wanted to drive something that could withstand bumper damage, I'd go get an old pickup and strap a pair of railroad ties on its front and rear.
  • 37453745 Posts: 152
    My Ecotec powered 2004 Malibu is great. It has adequate power. My car is fitted with disc brakes all round. Best of all, I get 36.8 mpg on the highway! The Ecotec engine never ceases to amaze me.
  • It took me several rear-ends to finally realize that Bu's brakes aren't matching its lively engine. Oh, well!
  • ab348ab348 Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, CanadaPosts: 13,889
    Those bumper tests are obviously faulty. The Acura TSX could not possibly have bumpers as weak as the Chevy, since everyone on the Internet knows that all Honda products are perfect in every way. I suspect the next test will show the Acura sustaining zero damage, while the Chevy's damage shoots up to $8000 to compensate... ;-)

    2017 Cadillac ATS Performance Premium 3.6, 1968 Oldsmobile Cutlass S Holiday Coupe

  • Acura charges more for labor, which explains an exhorbitant cost to repair its bumper
  • tomcat630tomcat630 Posts: 854
    Impala/Malibu incentives are not as high as other cars in GM's line. When GM cars sell poorly it's "see they are dying", when they do sell, it's "well they need rebates".

    What excuse do they have for Nissan and Mitsubishi's rebates? Also, Toyota has local incentive programs.
  • triedntrutriedntru Posts: 73
    Well, we finally got some serious rain here in KC, enough for me to really try out the wipers on the 04 LS. The setting for the intermittent wipers really are speed-sensitive!

    I was driving down a main street at a pretty good pace, and I noticed that my wipers were sorta keeping pace with the music on the radio. As I started to slow down for the stoplight, they didn't move when I was expecting them to. That's when I realized they were adjusting to the speed of the vehicle.

    I really wish they would have explained that better in the manual. My wife was a little irked because I kept over-accelerating afterwards so that I could play with the wipers.

    Is that a feature on other vehicles? This is a first for me, but I like it a lot -- no constant fiddling with the wiper controls. Now, it's just fiddling with the gas pedal!

  • Any word on whether GM's new design chief will change the Bu's front and steering wheel? BTW, exactly the same wheel is on Chevy Equinox, and it looks just as odd and out of place there as well. And the yellow bowtie in the middle of the steering wheel...they didn't name that color YELLow for nothing - it just YELLS at you. Blue would have been much nicer. Thank you for listening to the customer's concerns :-)
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Consumers' Most Wanted Vehicles for 2004 Survey is posted and ready for your input!
  • taft4taft4 Posts: 57
    I was getting close to negotiating the purchase of a Malibu LT having looked it over very carefully and reading all the brochures. This morning in talking to the sales lady I asked her to point out where the curtain air bags deployed from. She told me that the airbags were not out yet and they did not anticipate getting Malibus in with them until near the end of the year. Nowhere in the literature I received on this car did GM indicate anything other then that the cars had this equipment NOW. I immediately lost interest in the car.
  • triedntrutriedntru Posts: 73
    She was totally wrong. My 04 LS has the curtain airbags, and I'm pretty sure that it is standard on the LT.

    Look where the headliner meets the b-pillar (that's the pillar nearest the headrest) and there should be something stenciled in the plastic. I can't remember exactly what it says, but it's something like "airbag."

    They have always been an option on LS, and I'm pretty sure they are standard on the LT.
  • taft4taft4 Posts: 57

    This was a large dealership I went to today and you are correct that the curtain airbags are standard on the LT. However, the saleslady told me that no curtain airbags are available at this time on any 2004 Malibu because the factory hasn't started installing them, and won't do so until near the end of the year. Are you sure your car has them? It is interesting that this seems to conflict with your experience and before I go back to the dealership I thought I would check back with you.
  • taft4taft4 Posts: 57

    After posting my last message I went to this dealer's online site, checked his inventory of Malibu LT's and found that they posted the MSRP sticker for each car. I clicked on a couple of them and they all showed that the car had curtain airbags so it is obvious that I ended up with a saleslady that doesn't know anything about her product. I suppose that is par for the course. Sorry to have inconvenienced you.

    Incidentally, the other day I stopped by another dealership to see a Malibu and immediately knew I was in trouble because as I got out of my car a salesman rushed up to tell me they were dealing and had the best deals in town, that was before I even had a chance to tell him what I was interested in looking at. I told him the Malibu as he waltzed me into the show room hovering so close to me that I thought he was going to ask me to dance. I then asked him if he had any LT's in stock with both a passenger and driver power seat and he assured me that he would be glad to get one for me, "at the best deal in town." I knew power passenger seats were not available, told him so, and hurried out of that place as quickly as I could. There are some awful sales people working in these dealerships.
  • 37453745 Posts: 152
    They are indeed fitting head curtain side airbags to all models of 2004 Malibu's. My base Ecotec Malibu has them fitted. Disc brakes all round are now standard on base models.
  • tafkasrptafkasrp Posts: 5
    Anyone else noticed that the "Customer Cash Back" rebate is up to $1750?
  • andy71andy71 Posts: 96
    I just finished reading the mid size sedan comparo on Edmunds. The Malibu finished 7th out of a 10 car lineup, not very promising. Some of the other reviews I have read also places this car in the middle of the pack. Although no doubt the new Malibu is an improvement over its "Rent a Car" predeseccor, Chevy still has some ways to go until they can truly claim it as a solid alternative to Honda Accord or Toyota Camry. The selling price of the Malibu is likely to be thousands of dollars less than the Camry or Accord.
  • 37453745 Posts: 152
    The car grows on you. I was also skeptical when I first got mine. However, I wouldn't change it for anything else now. I don't believe in snap reviews and use my own judgment when buying a car. So far my gut feeling about a car has never been wrong.
  • 2004 Bu is thousands less than Camcords. Thus, it is not reallty competing directly against them, just like Camcords aren't competing with BMW 3, Acura TL, etc
  • tgp1810tgp1810 Posts: 112
    This past weekend while driving around, I counted 17 different Malibu's on the road. Its popularity is really picking up here in the metro Detroit area. I personally like the exterior styling. I also think of this: when the Cadillac CTS came out - no one liked the styling and it was heavily criticized, but like the CTS it seems that more people are warming up to the design of the Malibu.
  • 37453745 Posts: 152
    Both the 2004 6 cyl. and 4 cyl. Malibu got a "very good" score in the latest Consumer Reports magazine. The Ecotec engine which powers mine has been around for some time now and seems to be pretty reliable. The engine is quite a potent wee beastie with very good fuel consumption. I get 36.8mpg on the freeway which is not to be sneazed at. At 70mph the engine revs are about 2200rpm. Also, with dual counter balance shafts there is no engine vibration and the ride is really very smooth.

    We'll see what the long term reliability is but I know the engine is very tough because the same base engine has been blown to produce 1000hp. This is not for drag racing but for speed records so the power must be sustained for some time.
  • taft4taft4 Posts: 57
    A local dealer ran an add showing all the Malibu's he had in stock with their MSRP and the price he was asking. I looked at the LT prices and none of them were less then $3000. off. The higher the MSRP on his cars, the greater the discount with the top at about $3500. off.

    When I looked at an LT (sedan) the other day I sat in the back seat and noticed the back of the seat was not very soft. I assume that because it folds down they didn't put very much padding in it to keep it slim, and so riding in that seat for much of a distance could be very uncomfortable.
  • tomcat630tomcat630 Posts: 854
    I am seeing more of them on the streets here in NE IL.

    So far this year, combined sales of the 2004 Malibu and Classic are above 2003 Malibu alone. So, they must be getting added and more desirable retail orders.
  • andy71andy71 Posts: 96
    Detroit is very patriotic when it comes to cars. My uncle and aunt won't let me park my 1999 Corolla in their driveway. So I won't be surprised if it sells well there. I actually got a chance to drive a new Malibu and I can say I was pleasantly surprised. A colleague of mine leased the Bu and wanted my opinion about the car. The acceleration from a dead stop actually felt slightly more responsive than my 2004 Camry SE V6 which I think has a more powerful engine. The OHV engine is almost as smooth and quiet as my Camry. The thing I don't like about the Camry is the drive by wire gas pedal. The acceleration although quick has a sort of artificial disconnected feel to it.
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    I drove the new Malibu here in So Cal. I am in sales and log about 150 miles a day in different directions, so I am always looking at my next car. I was impressed with the Ecotex 4cyl. which is the way I am leaning with gas prices and everything. But what I don't understand is the comment that the Malibu is "thousands less" than Camrys and Accords. You can buy a Camry LE with power windows, automatic,air,4cyl, etc. all day long out here for $16,800. The best price I can get on a Malibu that is stickered at $20,250.00 is $17,000.00 So the Malibu competes against these cars. There are tons of Accords and Camrys out here. The truth of the matter is I see very few new Malibus. I think in order to sell these cars in California they need to be much more aggressive on rebates. The $1,750.00 is not going to cut. That is the current rebate here. And we won't even mention RESALE!!!!!
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    LA is a very competitive market, where I usually go to buy a car (from San Francisco). Yeah, there are advertised specials all the time for sub $17,000 Camry's, with air con and auto.

    I was interested in the Malibu at one time, but Chevy is blowing it on the pricing.
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    I heard the 2005 is going to be bumped to 2.4 liters and up to 170 horsepower. Any confirmation?
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    The Malibu is WAY OVERPRICED to compete with Camry and Accord. You can buy a Camry for less, an Accord for slightly more. Don't forget, we are talking about the Southern Calif. car market. Hey Chevrolet! I want to buy a Malibu-but it has to be competitive. How about another rebate....A CALIFORNIA SPECIAL????
  • Chrysler had problems selling Pacifica precisely because the price was too high, so they dropped it.

    It the new Bu doesn't sell well, GM would increase incentives. But if it sells well, why say no to the money coming your way?
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    Don't misunderstand me, In Southern California I have seen very few new Malibus on the road. The old style ("classic") is all over the place. And I can tell the people driving them are not all tourist driving rental units. While I have not seen any sold numbers for the So. Cal area, based on my journey all over the place, I would have to conclude this redesign is not selling well. I believe it's the price. There are new Camrys and Accords all over the place! I think the old style with "incentives" sold very well. After all, the old Malibu had a V6 motor while the competition had 4's.
This discussion has been closed.