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2008-2009 Chevrolet Malibu



  • Whew, okay I'm back from the Malibu launch event in Memphis. I do have the answers to your questions, but unfortunatley it's a four pager, so I don't think I can cram it all in here.

    I hope that I answered everbody's questions.
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    Very complete review. Thank you.
  • jaxs1jaxs1 Posts: 2,697
    It's really odd that there are not more road test reviews on this vehicle. This car is already released and there are more reviews available for some other vehicles that don't go on sale for weeks or months.
  • Lonestar98 - Thanks for the complete and balanced review. Did you get a chance to drive one in a highway setting? I drove a LTZ Friday and on one stretch road at lower speeds it tracked straight and true. On the interstate doing 70 mph it drifted to the right where my old car does not. Did you notice this situation? Thanks.
  • rmanke,

    we did get some freeway mileage in. i didn't notice any drifting between 60-80mph on the cars that i drove, they all tracked straight. lot of factors though: crown of the road, crosswinds, difference in tire pressures, etc. i'd take another test drive in a different vehicle and see if you can repeat it.
  • Thanks. I'll give another LTZ a shot as soon as one comes in. This was the only V6 in our area Friday.
  • RManke,

    When you do take a test drive again, use the Driver Information Center to see what the tire pressures are. The cars that I drove and was most comfortable in were running at about 30psi front and rear. Make sure all the pressures are even. Good Luck.
  • Saw my first 2008 Malibu today, the LT model. Interior reminded me of the Saturn Aura, but better finished (some plastic panels were warped, though). The chrome is supposed to convey luxury, but every car I've driven with chrome inside the cabin gets very annoying once sun bounces off chrome into eyes. General fit/finish was as good or better than '08 Camry sample parked next to it. Bu's Seats were comfortable, rear seat very roomy (no surprise on latter as a somewhat revised Maxx chassis is the basis for the new 'bu). Trunk was rather low in heigth but but well finished - good touch with the struts.

    I didn't drive it as I'm not really interested in Sedans (also, Bu's gotten longer than my current Maxx - too big for a single driver). But dealer told me they simply couldn't sell the Maxx (I guess Americans are hooked on trunks).

    If '08 Bu holds up well and proves reliable, Toyota has a real competitor.
  • jaxs1jaxs1 Posts: 2,697
    2LT Interior with suede seats


    LTZ interior
  • I know beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but I will take the 2LT over the LTZ interior. The color combo of the LTZ is something I simply couldn't live with.
  • mackabeemackabee Posts: 4,709
    I like this car. What bothers me is the leather boot on the auto shifter. Looks tacky. Otherwise I like it. That's saying a lot for someone who sells and drives Toyotas,
  • mackabeemackabee Posts: 4,709
    Looks like it's got a nice, beefy steering wheel. Another plus.
  • " The point is can this car compete with Camry/Accord/Altima? Three models which in combined sales move probably a million units a year without sitting all over rental lots. "

    What??? Whenever I rent a car, about once a month, all I get are Altimas which I like a lot. Camrys are also readily available, but I avoid them if at all possible. However, I've never seen an Accord as a rental.
  • jaxs1jaxs1 Posts: 2,697
    I have driven a rental Accord. They are not widely available, but they do exist.
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    Have you seen a brown LTZ? Looks far better to me in person.
  • albookalbook Posts: 1,282
    Hey- you can't speak badly about all American autos because of a few bad personal experiences.Through recent years I've experienced Hondas GMs, and Fords, with and without flaws, and a Chrysler product that went 10 years almost flawless. If you look in auto testing magazines, you will find that the reliability of an American car has gone up, an Asian model slightly down. CR doesn't even recommend the godly Camry anymore. Not to "diss" Toyota or Honda- I'm jsut tired of their stirling record coolaid.
  • jaxs1jaxs1 Posts: 2,697
    Meh. It's okay ... The light tone in the two-tone scheme is a bit too light.

    Notice how the darkened trim for the radio/HVA faceplate on the LTZ models doesn't match the silver trim around it. That looks mismatched.

    A bit cartoonish in this video:

  • I have seen the biege/brown interior in person and it is very nice. The interior as a whole is well done and stylish without going overboard. The exterior looks like a $30-35K car. That said, I think one of the best things is all the standard safety features: Front and rear head curtain side-impact bags, front-seat-mounted thorax bags, and dual-stage front bags are all standard. ABS, traction control are alos standard and stability control is standard on some models. Trying to compare is hard but I don't think any other car offers this much safety equipment standard.
  • jaxs1jaxs1 Posts: 2,697
    Accord and Sonata have all that standard. Stability control is optional on many Malibu models.
  • Forgot to mention the standard OnStar and Turn by Turn Navigation on Malibu
  • All I see in the commercials are pictures of an Oriental wantabe and the promise of something special. A normally aspirated V6 is not special, and I still don't see if this is another cookie cutter front wheel drive platform for folks who aren't happy with the shifter boot or color combo. The makeup and lineage of the drivetrain is what will make this car stand out for years to come. But GM has been designing to the lowest criteria for years. Even the excitement of the retro Camaro will be long gone before a production unit hits the street to compete with the Mustang. Now, what was the name of that Chevy roadster that languished for years between "show car" and production?
  • We bought our 2008 Malibu last weekend. It was the very one first the dealership had in and it was exactly what we wanted...2LT with the upgraded engine package. I have been driving it for a week now and I absolutely love it! We got the red one with ebony interior. It has the ultralux suede seats. Condsidering that I was driving a Buick Rendevous previously, I was amazed at the power this car has. It is easy to cruise along at 70 to 75 and not even realize it. The interior is very quite also. I can't tell if the car is running or not when I'm sitting in it.

    My husband and I are very happy with our new Malibu. I would highly recommend it to anyone. If someone can tell me how to post pictures on this forum, I would be glad to share them with you.
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    finally saw one in the Northern VA area...they are beginning to trickle into the dealerships was an LTZ, black with the ebony and brick leather interior.....first off...I can honestly say the brick leather interior looks horrible in my opinion....I would definitely not buy the car with that combination.....Im looking at the red metallic with the cashmere interior......while I didnt test drive the was raining and the dealer had it parked outside on a grass slope....I started the car..sat in it front and back and checked out the trunk.....coming from an 04 Maxx LT the ergonomics of the LTZ were very nice...easy to reach controls, easy to read controls, very functional, very nice comfortable seating, but the change was the cockpit feel of the 08 ...resulting from the curved dashboard and sweeping center is much more pronounced in the LTZ than in my 04 LT, could be a result of how the gauge cluster is designed in the new malibu as well.....this left me with the feeling of lost of space and a more confined feeling.......there is definitely less leg room in the back than in my Maxx, but I was pleasantly surprised with the trunk space....

    The lines of the car are very nice, the engine sounded very smooth and very quiet, adn the upgraded sound system in the LTZ was very good as well.....again, I didnt take the car out on the road....I beleive this is a step up for the Malibu, but pushing $29k at MSRP, I will wait till end of the model year for any incentives to consider the purchase......
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    The last numbers I remember (and these are probably a good 18 months old) were 2% fleet sales of the Accord. The Camry had 14% at the time (I think this referred to 2006 models). I do not remember rental/fleet numbers for the Altima.
  • I checked out the new '08 Malibu last weekend. Took it for a nice long test drive and was very impressed with the quiet ride and interior design. I noticed however that the rear shelf by the back window was covered in hard plastic and was not carpeted. It looked cheap. I've noticed other car companies have started doing this. The new Honda Civic, the Toyota Corolla and Camry, and the Mazda 3 all have uncarpeted rear shelves. Is this a new trend? Also how hard would it be to install some carpet back there or can you buy "dash mats" for the rear shelf?
  • aa5byaa5by Posts: 3
    The last sedan was an '83 Pontiac 6000, a good car but I hated the left leg room and swore off mid size sedans. Grandkids forced a return to a sedan as we didn't want to give up good mileage of the '02 Monte Carlo with the small V6 yielding 25-32 mpg.

    The stretch in the '08 Malibu caused us to place an order for a 2LT with 4 cylinder delivered a week ago. Test drives confirmed that the engine had plenty of power and that leg room wasn't a problem. The stretch combined with the adjustable pedals and telescoping wheel might attract others sworn off mid size sedans because of leg comfort.

    We like almost everything except perhaps a minor annoyance of the protruding windshield washer heads mounted on the hood. The universal remote also wouldn't interface with our thirty year old garage door operator.
  • rvothrvoth Posts: 147
    Hey, I thought you were ordering a 08 CTS Caddie in January, with the 306 hp engine. Have you changed your mind on the price of the caddie or are you interested in the 08 Malibu ?????????

    The dealers in Canada want a least $36 at MRSP for the loaded LTZ , makes me want to buy one south of the border and pay differences in taxes ...I would be farther ahead...

    I have a 05 LS malibu and I found the back seat head room in the 08 was compromised with the new shape........ Still think the CTS is a much better car for the price...
  • vanman1vanman1 Posts: 1,397
    Just took a look at an 08. What a beautiful car, this was a base LTZ they had.

    If it drives as well as the reviews and has at least the quality of the old Malibu I may have found my car. Looks like GM is back in the car game!
  • I currently have a 2000 Malibu, and am looking to replace it with a new car sometime in the next several months. The salesman that I've bought my last two GM's from, called me Monday night to tell me that they got their first 08 Malibu in. To hear him talk, you would have thought that this was the ultimate perfect car. I've bought two other cars from him, and had come to trust him.

    I stopped in Tuesday morning after work.

    I am looking for a roomy, but not TOO big, family sedan. After all the hype over this new Malibu, I was very disapointed. Even my 2000 is more roomy that this 2008. I did like the exterior design and sleek lines. Did not care for the front grill design. It was the cramped (for me) interior that turned me off. And the hard-to-the-touch materials used in the interior.

    We have a 2007 Accord that I bought for my son earlier this year. When I got home, I told my wife that I'd take (son's) Accord handsdown over this new Malibu. I had driven the new 08 Accord last Saturday, and feel that it was a much better car.

    Don't mistake me for a Chevy hatter. I've have two GM's in my garage (2000 Malibu,2003 Envoy), and have really liked my 2000 Malibu, but I have not cared much for BU design that followed mine, and this new generation does NOTHING for me. Like I said, I was disappointed. After all the excitement that my salesman was expressing to me, I thought maybe Chevy had produced a winner in this new Malibu.

    If I stick with GM, I'll probably have to look at the Impala.

    Just my opinion.
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