Last post on Feb 09, 2013 at 10:37 AM
You are in the Chevrolet Malibu
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Chevrolet Malibu, Sedan
#133 of 4972 Just test drove a 2001 Malibu LS
Nov 13, 2000 (3:50 am)
After going to the Auto Show, I was impressed with the Malibu. So I went to my local Chevy dealer and got to test drive an LS model. It handled much better than I expected. It shifted gears without me even noticing and had plenty of pickup. However, I have two concerns:
1) The wipers seemed short. They didn't seem to swipe high enough. Does anyone else feel this way?
2) I didn't notice a Day/Night switch on the rear-view mirror. Does it have one? I meant to look but forgot.
Thanks in advance for any input.
#134 of 4972 Malibu99
Nov 13, 2000 (4:07 am)
The HVAC controls on my Impala are very easy to get to. Not sure about having to strech to get to them. They are very comfortable to operate with no fuss and minimal distractions. I have the bucket seats and center console so perhaps this makes access easier to them than in the bench model.
Saw the other day a Navy blue 2001 Malibu. Looks very nice. However, I am still unimpressed by the poor side crash scores on that car. What's up with that?
Nov 13, 2000 (4:49 am)
I have a base 98 Malibu. Do not know about 2001 LS, but:
1. My Malibu have different-size wipers. 22 inches driver-side, and 19 inches passenger size. The driver-side wiper is the same as with larger GM cars: Buick Regal, Olds Intrigue, etc. Big enough, never have problems.
I have impression, that the passenger-side wiper also is better than adequate. By the way, Regal is 3 inches wider, than Malibu - and the total size of wipers are 3 inches larger too.
Any case, the size of passenger wipers is not a safety item.
2. The rear-view mirror of my Malibu have a manual Day/Night switch.
Do not know, if the automatic electrochromic mirrors are available as option in the 2001 LS. If yes, I would suggest to buy it. I have such a mirror with other car, and was impressed. With all the SUV and blue-headlight cars on the roads, often driven with high beams, this is a really useful feature, not a luxury.
Nov 13, 2000 (3:40 pm)
It should have the day night switch. You probably have the one with the reading lamps and that one definetly has the switch.
I just didn't like teh interior of the Impala, nothing to harp on. I just hated the exposed screw heads and the dash was simply boring and difficult to reach. My car's HVAC controls are slightly closer to the driver than the rest of the dash so I don't have to move forward ( not even a bit) to operate them. On the Impala they were flush with the dash board and it was just not ergonomic at all. I belive that Chevy ( and again I am a Chevy fan and I don't like imports) could have taken a lesson from the Taurus ( and maybe teh Accord). When I sat in the Taurus all I could think to myself was,"damn this feels very luxurious", whereas in the Impala I was just unimpressed and I felt like I was in a cheaper car. So anyways just a small peave that I'm sure Chwevy will correct for the freshening of the Impala, so I'm glad I bought my Malibu when I did, just can't wait to see the next one .
#137 of 4972 Malibu99
Nov 13, 2000 (3:53 pm)
The Impala's dashboard doesn't have any exposed screws...are you sure you were looking at the right car? The only place where you see such screws is inside the handles of the door panels. they don't even bother me, I don't see them often. Been in both Taurus and Accord (My sister has a '99). Taurus looks nice but cramped up front and plastics are nothing impressive some trim pieces could be prank open with one hand. THe Accord, luxurious? The last generation of this car looks cheap! Plastics and the way some trim pieces are assembled look very budget grade. Luxury look? A pre-1998 Accord interior boasts better plastics and fit (Been there done that).
In all honesty I think the Malibu looks more luxurious than the new Accord (Fake wood, something missing in the Accord). The Impala is a damn good comfortable and ergonomical car. After having owned nothing but Hondas and Acuras (The "Kings" of ergonomics) I think GM did a heck of a job with the Impala. Remember that the Taurus is an Import wanna be car, the Impala is meant to compete with traditional full size American cars, not the Accord and Camry like the Taurus. If you sat inside an Impala with gray trim, yes it looks very stark. Try it with the light neutral or beige color and see the difference leaning to a more warm and luxurious look.
Nov 13, 2000 (4:30 pm)
No man I didn't mean the Accord looks luxurious, by all means no. I noticed how bland and boring these cars are. i meant the Taurus was luxurious looking.
I also didn't mean the dash had exposed screws, I meant the door panels but I guess I wasn't clear enough, sorry. Overall i like the Impala and I feel it's a better car than the Accord or the Taurus, I just wished Chevy would apply it's full devotion to this car. We all know GM can do a lot better and they can become the world standard again but they seem not to care about that anymore .
I agree the Impala is meat to compete in the large car segment but if they give it that little extra touch, invest a few more cents in covering the screws and smoothings things out a bit the Impala could become a best seller. They are doing a good job with the Malibu but I can't wait to see the next generation of GM cars, if they play their cards right they can re capture the market share they lost. The Impala and teh Malibu should have the attention the trucks are getting from Chevy and then you will see how things change. But yea, it's a good car
#139 of 4972 Impala
Nov 13, 2000 (4:41 pm)
Is the only GM W-body car that needs (Has none) no incentives or special rebates to be sold. The car has consistently rank on the top ten car sales since the beginning of the year.
Nov 13, 2000 (5:58 pm)
Which is why they should pay attention to it and refine the interior a bit. Never should anyone be conform with being in the "top ten list", the goal should always be to be the best of the top ten. That is the disease that is plagued Chevy for so long. Why improve if we already sell so much? It's just not enough. I believe GM needs to be less comform with what they have and tehy should aim at being the best. Believe me small touches such as covering those exposed screw heads and tilting the HVAC controls towards the driver make a HUGE difference. I'm not one to not consider a car because of that but unfortunaltely most Americans do. So while they do not need incentives to sell, they can still do better by paying attention to small details. Screw heads...who cares...but sadly I di hear a lot of people commenting on those things at the show. the cure should be take the 3 bread and butter sedans ( Impala, Malibu, Cavalier) and devote attention to perfecting the small details in each. Spend the money on the sedans now that the SUVs are on the roll and things will start to improve. I know they will do it eventually but being comform with what they have is simply not enough. They should have car people like you and me working at the top, not people who only look at the dollar sign and forget the rest. i still believe though that both the Malibu and teh Impala are better choices than the blandness of teh Camry and Accord so atleast I'm happy there but we can still improve
#141 of 4972 teo, malibu99
Nov 13, 2000 (6:11 pm)
GM sold 149,120 Impala(s) this year, Jan-Oct., vs. 185,968 Malibu(s). This is hard facts, see
Concerning comparisions: let first agree on what is compared. Apples to apples, or apples to oranges.
Other equal, Impala is a better car than Malibu, period. Much larger interior and trunk, higher safety, and more powerful engine provides better acceleration. It is also more expensive. Very natural.
Though, the key words here are "other equal". With the price ranges overlapping, there is some confusion in comparing. When shopping for a new car in about 18k-19k range, people would compare a somewhat loaded Malibu LS with a very base Impala. This is what Malibu99 probably did.
The later car is still larger and have better crash rating, but that is all. Barely adequate powertrain, with acceleration worse than for Malibu. Mushy brakes. Soft suspension. And cheap interior.
With the base engine (or rather the base gear ratio - the 3.4l engine itself is not so weak, and have excellent torque curve), the base suspension, and without ABS, Impala is hardly even safe enough. It still have better crash rating, but, I believe, is not as good as Malibu in avoiding the crash. Especially when used in city, or in hilly terrains, or in rainy / snow climate.
By the way, with different trim compositions for the two models, even the bare-bone base Malibu have the same engine, ABS, instruments, air condition, etc, as LS. Personally, I would prefer the base Malibu to the base Impala without ABS.
It is generally a bad idea to buy the bare-bone Malibu - the one with manual side mirrors, and without rear defroster. At least in North-East.
Dealers often have one bare-bone car, and are advertising its low price in local newspapers. Something like $14,995. People drive to the dealer lot to see the car, and, after test-drive, are buying another one, with better options, for about $1,500 extra.
Nov 13, 2000 (9:51 pm)
How do i post a picture? I have the pics of my car and I wanted to post em but I dodn't know how