Last post on Feb 09, 2013 at 9:37 AM
You are in the Chevrolet Malibu
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Chevrolet Malibu, Sedan
#2574 of 4972 2004 Malibu company car
Oct 12, 2003 (7:11 am)
I recently acquired a 2004 Malibu as my new company car, replacing a 2000 Ford Taurus with the Duratech.
The new Malibu is a base model with the 1SF equipment group, available to fleets only. This package adds the V-6, 16inch wheels, cruise, ABS/Traction, custom cloth, and interestingly, 4 wheel discs. With this group, it is equipped like the LS.
I must say, the car is superb, with great low end torque, compliant ride and agile handling. The car never rattles, no matter the road surface. The power is available at a useful RPM range, with GM's signature 4 speed automatic, being well matched to the smooth running V-6.
The appearance is conservative but classy,with nice styling lines.
I am 6 foot one and have room to spare in the well designed interior.
I had the Taurus for 4 years and really liked the car, but the 2004 Chevy Malibu is better. It rides and handles better, has better power, is quieter and has a more composed feel.
I drive the car in the New York City metro area, and most other drivers have not yet seen the 2004 Malibu. They must wonder what kind of car it is, someone even mentioned that it looks like a larger BMW 330 from the side.
I have the car for only a week, but I would say this is the best overall car I have ever driven.
Oct 12, 2003 (7:25 am)
Oct 12, 2003 (7:52 am)
Are you looking for an all-season performance tire or a touring tire?
I have owned Dunlop Sport SP2 and Continental ContiExtremeSports. Both are great tires, the Continentals shine a bit better and are not as noisy.
Best touring tire: Bridgestone Turanzas.
I have driven the 'Bu and commented to the dealer that the tires do suck. Too high of a sidewall and their soft. If you are able to, do a plus zero. Go from 215/60R16 to 205/55R16. Narrower sidewall, wider footprint without altering the speedometer.
Personally, I would go with the Conti's. You will retain the all-season capabilities while having a little more performance. 205/55R16's are running $75/tire on TireRack. I believe you can order them through Discount Tire for $96 per tire, but that includes the road hazard, mount, stems and balance.
#2578 of 4972 There is a Possibility, however slim
Oct 12, 2003 (8:42 am)
That members who own Camcords and other Japanese competitors are casting a wary eye towards the new Bu, not because they want a new Bu, but because they know what's coming around the bend. The Maxx. And, like C&D said, that WILL get a LOT of attention.
Hope revka's battening down the hatches over in the Maxx discussion!
Oct 12, 2003 (9:22 am)
wpbharry: i'm not a cubs fans but unfortunately a brewer fan. it would be nice if the brewers could somehow become competitive because quite a rivary could develop bewteen the two teams. go dolphins though!
rwisem: lets don't forget i'm quite fond of german cars too. but i'm interested in all cars in my means except for trucks, minivans and suvs.
i crossed off the malibu as a future potential car based upon my visual inspection of the car. i just couldn't get by the exterior mirrors and overall interior decor. how the car drove would be irrevelant to me (it would be though if the car passed step 1).
but driving a GM car is not foreign to me. i've spent lots of time driving my father's buick regal. and guess what, it does comes across as crude to me.
there was much fanfare from the GM brass about how this new car would be competitive with its japanese rivals. the implication from this hype is that the old malibu wasn't up to one of those superbly engineered, crafted japanese cars. one of the new malibu's objectives i believe was to get some sales from people like me. so my opinion has some revelance on the malibu's goals.
no bones about it, i do think the top japanese cars are superbly engineered, crafted cars. as you know i can back my opinion with numerous media sources. but the marketplace speaks volumes here with the top japanese cars commanding higher resale values and actual purchase prices.
my next hope for a domestic car meeting my standards will probably the ford futura.
i do feel that cadillac is making a positive presence with some of their models. i'm not quite sure if i like the looks of the CTS but it makes a presence when i see one on the road and has a look of high quality.
#2580 of 4972 Media Coverage
Oct 12, 2003 (10:43 am)
(halftime break, so far, so good, barely. Guess no one wants to talk today.)
In defense of the Malibu, I do have to say this; much like Road&Track has a Ferrari/Porsche fetish, C&D has a Honda fetish. In that light, the review of the Bu was actually quite positive.
To the best of my knowledge, Motor Trend has no particular fetishes. Assume there'll be a full road test in their 12/03 issue, which (ahem), some of you will be receiving next week. Let's see what they say. AND they also need to be careful, since when you factor in the all-important "Market Significance" criteria, nothing touches the Maxx for Car of the Year and they can't exactly slam the Bu one month and then place it on a pedestal the next. FYI: the award will be presented during the Las Vegas Auto Show, which runs from 11/28-30 (so your 1/04 issues will be a bit late). Since it's during T-Giving weekend, maybe we can figure out how to get a feed online into it via the MT website.
If anyone saw it, yesterday on MotorWeek (PBS), the bit on the Bu was only a preview and they spent 3/4 of the time on the Maxx. No road test. If you didn't, not to worry. Full road test will follow in a few weeks, I'm sure.
Oct 12, 2003 (1:21 pm)
do you have some inside information from motor trend? you seem so sure about the malibu winning their award.
and why can't the dolphins play like this at the end of the season?
#2582 of 4972 Road and track
Oct 12, 2003 (1:48 pm)
I thought the short Road and track first drive report was very positive.The put ride and handling at or a step above class standards. They said the V6 matched the class standard for power delivery and smoothness. They did make the comment about some plastic parts not feeling as good as best in class.I think the positive Malibu reivews will get people to check out the car and hopefully spur good sales.Regarding black mirrors, I don't know what color the mirror housing is fabricated in but if it is black then I would rather it stay black.I agree body color looks better often, but there is nothing worst in the long run than paint coming of a mirror. One thing about spoilers, I don't like them anyway, but I do notice older cars with spoilers where the paint is wearing off ,while the surrounding area has sound paint. For those who don't keep a car long that should not be an issue.
Oct 12, 2003 (1:48 pm)
(Note: I'll be posting something very interesting for you in the "vs." forum later, but the grill is nearly ready. Not right now.
I agree about the 'Fins. Whew, though.
Motor Trend: Take a look at their New Car Guide(10/03 issue, if you still have it). What else is there with the Maxx's market impact? Everything else (like, say, Prius, XLR, even TL) isn't even close in terms of volume. Prius will get it next go-round (model re-do) I bet.
I'll be buying the 11/03 Road & Track and Automobile late this week; haven't seen either yet. Glad R&T has something for a change.