Chevrolet Malibu Review
The original Chevrolet Malibu was a trim level on the 1964 Chevrolet Chevelle, and by 1978 had became its own model. But the current Chevrolet Malibu, introduced for 1997, has very little to do with the original, except for the name. The new front-wheel drive Malibu was a critical success, winning Motor Trend’s “Car of the Year” when it was introduced. The Malibu was redesigned for 2004. Now based upon the Epsilon platform, the new Malibu is offered as a four-door sedan and as a wagon, dubbed the Malibu Maxx.
The BuyingAdvice Team Says:
The Chevrolet Malibu is a competent but dull contender in an overcrowded market. Arguably GM’s most solid sedan, the Malibu’s strong safety scores inspire confidence as a family car. Compared to its more celebrated import rivals the Malibu offers a highly competitive price. If you are on a tight budget and more concerned with function than looks, the Malibu offers good value for money.
The frontal airbags are now dual-stage, and are paired with a passenger detection system. Front and rear side airbags are now standard on the LS and LT trims. The Malibu’s V6 engine now has variable valve timing for increased performance.
What’s New For 2017:
What is the Predicted Reliability:
The 2017 Malibu received four out of five stars in initial quality from J.D. Power and Associates. The 2004 Malibu — the same generation — received five out of five stars for reliability from Automotive Information Systems, with a slight warning of issues with starting and charging. Despite fairly high marks and overall driver satisfaction, there have been numerous problems with the Malibu, particularly the 2004-05 models. Issues that have plagued the current Malibu include poor radio reception, defective chips and OnStar, engine knocks and noises, nonfunctional fuel gauges, hoods not staying shut in cold weather, oil leaks, and power steering failure. Expect average to below average reliability out of the Malibu. The basic warranty lasts for three years or 36,000 miles.
Analysis Of Safety Ratings And Features:
The Malibu boasts some impressive safety scores, earning five out of five stars in government frontal crash tests, and four and a half stars in side impact tests. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Malibu its best “Good” rating for both frontal and side impacts, and a solid “Acceptable” score for rear impacts. Front dual-stage and side airbags are now standard in all trims. All V6 Malibus include traction control and anti-lock brakes. The Malibu was recalled in 2004 for erratic anti-lock brakes and disconnecting seat belts.
Pros and Cons:
+ Strong safety scores
– No electronic stability control
– Mediocre gas mileage
There are a number of alternatives to the Chevrolet Malibu. The hot-selling Toyota Corolla costs about $1,000 less, and is more fuel efficient by about eight more miles to the gallon, but an automatic transmission will cost you extra. For about $600 more than the Malibu, you can get a Volkswagen Rabbit that comes standard with anti-lock brakes, traction control, CD changer, and a five-cylinder engine. Once again, however, an automatic will cost extra. For about $1,300 more, you can upgrade to the Honda Civic sedan, which comes with anti-lock brakes, and gets six to eight more miles to the gallon than the Malibu.
What Others Are Saying:
“With its solid platform, athletic responses, and attractive pricing, the Malibu is a competitive player in the mid-size-sedan arena.” – Car and Driver
“Once past the, “This isn’t a performance vehicle” attitude some staffers subconsciously develop, we’re finding the Maxx useful, if somewhat average. It’s clever, but couldn’t it have a bit more personality?” – Motor Trend
“This is an all-American car that is manufactured in Kansas City, Kansas. People who are looking for a generic, all-purpose family sedan should have this car high on their list. The Malibu is a conservative transportation appliance that is practical, comfortable and economical. It is a practical car that someone like Ned Flanders might drive.” – The Family Car
Read more about the 2017 Chevrolet Malibu at the Chevrolet manufacturer web site.