Last post on Mar 26, 2013 at 8:58 AM
You are in the Chevrolet Malibu
What is this discussion about?
Chevrolet Malibu, Chevrolet Malibu Maxx, Fuel Efficiency (MPG), Hatchback, Sedan
#98 of 470 Re: 40 MPG [gdubya2]
Jul 08, 2006 (1:26 pm)
First, thank you for your detailed response -- it does clarify some
,--- You said
| First, let me say that I was not trying to boast about my fuel
| economy in my earlier post, I was just reporting on the results I
| obtained under the conditions stated. But here is some additional
| info in response to your post:
In post #93, I, of course, didn't mean to say that you were trying to
boast. You definitely provided interesting and detailed information
-- but the number seemed too good not to be scrutinized.
| But here is some additional info in response to your post:
| 1. I checked the elevations for both the start and end points of my
| trip. I actually climbed 246 ft. Most of my trip was on relatively
| flat terrain.
You just eliminated one suspicion I had. Very impressive!
| I agree with your point that the short length of this trip could
| compound any error in determining actual MPG. However, I did attempt
| to make fuel use as accurate as possible by "topping off" each time
| by slowing adding fuel until the tank would take no more. I may be
| off a little here but I don't believe by more than the quarter of a
| gallon you mention.
So, let's say that you MPG was not less than
| 162.1 / (4.04 + 0.25) => 37.78 (much more realistic -- and surely great).
-- which seems great to me, too.
| 3. As far as my 40 MPG being an aberration, I'm not so
| sure. Remember, this trip was made during dry, warm (upper 70's)
| conditions on a weekday with very little traffic to contend with. I
| was alone in the car and did not use the A/C. I did use cruise
| control set at 70 mph for most of the trip, except when slowing for
| construction areas with posted speeds of 60 mph or 45 mph. I filled
| up just before entering the highway and just after exiting it.
With this information in mind, 40 mpg doesn't seem like a stretch to
me now -- it doesn't go against my own data.
| In my previous post #87 I mentioned getting 37.09 MPG. This was done
| on the exact same route only going north instead of south and the
| car only had 3,797 miles on it at that time. The trip was in mid May
| with much colder temps.
Yeah, I have noticed the dramatic difference the temperature makes to
the MPG. The data you have reported looks very coherent now.
Mind you, I am a **huge** Malibu fan -- so huge that I have two of
them -- almost complete twins (and I am the only one who drives them
both for now). Your data makes me love the car(s) even more
| In your post you mention that you came within 3.68 MPG of getting 40
| MPG yourself in a year older car
First, the car that made that trip from MA to the South and West and
then back is not quite a year old -- it was produced in November 2004
but then spent a year on some dealers' lots. I purchased it in
I started the trip with 5458 miles on the odometer (counting from the
gas station, right before the trip) -- and ended it with 8199 miles
(again, counting it on the same gas station, visited shortly after the
Three days before the trip, I dumped the OEM oil and replaced it with
Mobil-1 synthetic (I change oil and rotate tires myself).
The trip was by far not under the optimal conditions. Consider this:
my average speed for the trip was 59 mph. This is after going mostly
over the roads with 65 and 70 mph posted speed limits (and not
dragging feet there).
a. I did have some city driving during the trip (my points of
interest were obviously off the highways.)
b. I did go through some stop-and-go maneuvers on the major
highways. In this regard, going from DE and MD to Washington DC
was the hardest -- we had to creep for miles to cross bridges
and toll plazas... A sad experience.
Both "a" and "b" accrued much smaller miles compared to the rest --
the normal highway driving, but obviously they took my number somewhat
down. I want to say, by 0.5 mpg -- but I don't know, of course.
| on a much longer trip that entailed mountain driving and heavy rain.
These two were likely significant factors working against me.
Roughly a third of the trip was under a scary blinding rain -- with
the car's AC working periodically to defog the windows.
Mountain driving was such that the car's MPG display (showing the
cumulative data for the trip) went from 38.3 to 36.8 -- and this after
making one third of the (long) trip. The mountains certainly didn't
| You didn't mention if you used your A/C during any of your trip.
Moderately -- perhaps running it over 1/3 of the miles, too.
| Were you making on conscious effort to stretch your fuel?
No -- my absolute priorities were getting to the four pre-set
destination points on time.
Also, I should mention that I had a passenger in the car, plus a
meaningful load to stay mostly autonomous for five days -- food,
water, clothing -- perhaps an equivalent of a slim second passenger.
| Anyway, I put the info up for what it's worth.
| Maybe others out there can confirm that the Malibu 4 cylinder sedan
| will do 40 MPG under the right conditions?
Thinking about what your reported and my own data, I want to hope that
under the right conditions 40 mpg is possible -- and I mean a long
trip, taking at least 8 gallons of fuel -- without net-descending, of
But I've never seen an evidence of such an experience -- that is,
until reading your last post. Would be lovely to hear from somebody
else that 40 mpg has been achieved -- on a long "level" trip.
When I was going on my long trip, I was hoping to get 38-39 mpg in the
end, based on my past experience.
Got 36.32 mpg, as you know -- great in itself, and even better when
taking the circumstances into account.
BTW, my MPG experience is very consistent between my two Malibu's.
The first one was bought in May 2005 and, as of last fill-up, has
11562 miles on the odometer. On both cars, MPG falls during winter
months, and during warm months (April-November?) the city MPG can be
estimated as falling in the range of 24-26 mpg, while on a level
highway, under good circumstances, I could hope to get around 36-38
mpg -- in line with the results of my long trip.
Hope to get 40 mpg, one day, though .
All in all -- Malibu is a perfect car for me, and the MPG is just one
of the things I love. Thank you Chevy and e2helper, if you read this!
#99 of 470 Re: 40 MPG [malexbu]
Jul 08, 2006 (7:12 pm)
Read your post with interest. Only other thing I can add is that I keep my tires inflated to 32 psi cold. This might make a slight difference too.
Coincidently, I just changed out the OEM oil today with Mobil One. Car has 6210 miles on the odometer and the DIC was showing 22% oil life left. Didn't want to push it any further on the original oil though.
I will be making this trip to and from northern Michigan often as I have a summer place "up north" in Manistee. Will see if I can duplicate the 40 MPG again.
#100 of 470 Re: 40 MPG [gdubya2]
Jul 09, 2006 (10:11 am)
,-- You (gdubya2)
| Only other thing I can add is that I keep my tires inflated to 32
| psi cold. This might make a slight difference too.
I keep mine at 32 psi cold -- checked right before *that* trip, too
| Coincidently, I just changed out the OEM oil today with Mobil
| One. Car has 6210 miles on the odometer and the DIC was showing 22%
| oil life left.
Which comes to the 7961 miles (6210 / .78) OCI, per your computer.
I do this computation after every gas fill-up and (just checked it)
normally have an estimate of full oil life to be somewhat lower than
your number. It may fluctuate from 6500 to 8000+, but, I'd say, 7500
is my idea of what the average result would be. Your reading, if
consistent, probably indicates that you are driving gentler than I --
and/or under better conditions.
FYI, after my long trip (with the oil changed on the eve of it), the
oil data was:
* Run on this oil: 2785 m
* Oil life left (as per DIC): 64%
--> Estimated oil life (between the changes): 7736 miles.
| I will be making this trip to and from northern Michigan often as I
| have a summer place "up north" in Manistee. Will see if I can
| duplicate the 40 MPG again.
I will be rooting for you and expect the results eagerly. Good luck!
Aug 20, 2006 (9:44 pm)
I got my 2001 malibu V6( basic type but almost full loaded) last year. I live in LA. These days I caculated the MPG and found that the combined is about 24 with 68% high way ( half of it has terrible traffic, Mph is only 20. another half mph is about 56-60) and 32% local.
Almost AC on all the way.
I must say based on the standard figures given by Chevy(20 local 29 high way), the result is reasonable. But I have seen so many of you have a terrific mpg which my result is only a mediocre.
#102 of 470 Re: 24 mpg [maybenow]
Aug 23, 2006 (7:43 pm)
Most of the results quoted are for the new Malibu, which were rated 24-35 MPG for the 4-cylinder engine and ??-32 MPG for the 6-cyl one. "Were" -- that is, before model year 2006 when Chevy adjusted them down (to max 32 MPG, if I remember correctly).
This is just a very different car than the 2001 Malibu.
Sep 19, 2006 (5:17 pm)
I think the torque peak of the new engine is higher RPM than the old one...what I could find suggests the LX9, older engine has 220 lb-ft at 3200 rpm, while new LZ4 has 220 lb-ft but at 4000 rpm.
Is that true?
Dec 01, 2006 (11:31 am)
My 2005 Chevy Malibu, puchased Nov. 2004 is the new styled version with the 4 cylinder, and I have owned it since new and it now has 43,000 miles. Most delighted, I just finished a trip from Gulf Shores Alabama to Buffalo and back - I logged 2,600 miles. From Start to stop, including all the hills, traffic jams, city driving, I posted an over-all 33.7 MPG average. However I got 39.9 the last leg of my trip where I was doing 72MPG, and up and down hills for a point. I have seen my car get over 40 MPG before, but I am making this post because I know many people just can't beleive this car get's this mileage, but for me and the other owners, it's not fantasy, rather reality. Why this car isn't listed in the Top Fuel Economy Sedans is beyond me. I now have ZERO respect for Consumer Reports who hasn't given this car much praise, but I have owned Toyota's and Honda's and my 4 cylinder acts like a 6 cylinder, and divvies up some impressive numbers for it's owner.
#107 of 470 Re: 39.9 MPG [clarencehollow]
Dec 01, 2006 (11:59 am)
I actually subscribed to the extensive buying guide on Consumer Reports, and they did praise the 4 cylinder Malibu (new version) for good handling, slightly better than the 6 cylinder (less weight in front). Admittedly they then opined that you might as well get the 6 since the gas mileage was so close. What they didn't point out is that the HIGHWAY mileage on the 4 cylinder is much better than the 6 - but if you mix in an average amount of city driving, the difference narrows.
I have a Cobalt with the same 4 cylinder, but a stick shift, and get 35 mpg on my daily freeway commute and up to 37 mpg on road trips. I'd love to have a 4 cylinder Malibu for the extra space and the automatic!