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Chevrolet Malibu Maxx, Hatchback
#43 of 63 looking to lease maxx lt
Jan 21, 2006 (9:14 am)
I was at my chevy dealer yesterday and the 2006 Malibu Maxx LT on the display floor caught my eye. I am trading in my 2003 Blazer and looking for something that will save on gas and also afford me the space we need to transport things my wife uses in her scrapbooking business(tons). I liked the size of the Maxx and the body style is sharp. Although I got there at the end of the day and did not get to test drive one, it appears that I will probably lease this model.
I was just hopping to get an overall feeling on this car from people who may have one. I have read many of the posts here, and most seem to have relatively minor concerns and it does not appear that there is anything more posted than what you would find on most other vehicles.
Any comments on whether this is a good vehicle to buy or lease would be welcomed!
Does anyone have any major concerns about the Malibu?
Feb 07, 2006 (7:56 am)
Was into the dealer the other day checking out the Maxx SS, read the info on it and was wondering how come they went back to hydraulic power steering? Seems to me if any car wants to minimize the load on the engine the SS would be one of them.
Feb 07, 2006 (1:21 pm)
..complained so much about the electric steering, Chevy appeased them by restoring Hydraulic steering to the SS. That same system is on the Pontiac G6 "sports version".
...and guess what? The reviewers still complain it lacks feel and is sluggish. It also hurts the SS's mileage, which is none too good for a car its size (18 mph .vs. 24 mph of regular Maxx, so says C&D). Loose, Loose, sadly.
Meanwhile Electric steering systems get better. The Saturn ION Red Line brought few complaints about steering; it uses a recalibrated version of its Electric steering.
And have others found their Maxxes steer/handle better with the new steering rack? My Maxx actually has road feel now and responds quite well.
#46 of 63 Re: the enthusasists... [kurtamaxxxguy]
Feb 08, 2006 (8:37 pm)
Other than a propensity to wander on some strange road crowns, I have no complaints about the electric steering. Could never figure out the numbness rap.
Feb 10, 2006 (1:37 pm)
my mistake...C&D did not like Hydraulic steering on the Pontiac, but did seem to like it on the Maxx. Ironic as they use the same engines and suspension parts (perhaps tire and other tweak differences account for this).
#48 of 63 Re: incidently, [kurtamaxxxguy]
Feb 12, 2006 (1:26 pm)
CD certainly likes hydraulic steering on the Maxx SS better than the original take on the 04's electric steering. Me-- I'm happy with the electric. My LS's first year has been trouble free and enjoyable...
"Like its sedan sister, the Maxx features electric power steering with variable assist. Combining steering and electronics to have a natural feel has eluded even the likes of BMW, and Chevrolet has done no better. In any given driving session, the steering feels tight, loose, heavy, and light. Its only consistent trait is a kind of leadenness. Need to know the texture of the road surface? Climb out and feel it with your hands. Under hard accel in 90-degree turns, there’s also some torque steer that is occasionally distracting. But on the freeway, the steering is quick to self-center, and the Maxx tracks like a champ."
"Chewing the front tires was a behavior we noted often in the base Maxx. The SS corners with far less understeer at speed, whether through extra rubber or better tuning of the suspension or both. We thought the electric motor providing the power assist was supplying unusually good feedback until we realized there’s no motor. In the Maxx SS, GM replaces the electric-power-steering servo with a hydraulic one, and the SS tracks a turn flatly and impressively faithfully to the path you aim it along. Granted, it does try to aim itself under hard acceleration, tugging at the rim with torque steer, but the change in steering hardware is definitely applause material."
Feb 13, 2006 (8:25 am)
the steering rack of my '04 LS Maxx was replaced with a newer version this year. This changed the steering feel for the better - can definitely feel road texture now. The new tires (tripletreads) also helped - a little harsher on small bumps, but more secure in turns and in bad weather.
TireRack didn't think much of the stock tires on the SS, or the LS. For the SS, there seem to be very few alternatives - Bridgstone Potenzas are only ones I could find.
#50 of 63 Re: evolving.. [kurtamaxxxguy]
Feb 15, 2006 (6:33 pm)
The Bridgestone OEM's on the LS look awful on paper but I find them a lot better than the Michelin Energies that came with my 01 Elantra. Those WERE overpriced crap-- lost most of their wet weather ability by 30K and were totally useless at 40. Uniroyal Tiger Paw Touring H's were much better for half the money. I think I'm going to get more than 50,000 miles on the Insignias. Of course I'm a pretty conservative driver and the weather here in Missouri isn't that bad.
#51 of 63 Re: How Come ?? [meandmymaxx]
Mar 31, 2006 (9:41 am)
the reason the the hydraulic steering is because it is more responsive the electronic and after all this is a sports car
#52 of 63 Re: How Come ?? [chevysalesman]
Mar 31, 2006 (11:05 am)
Newer versions of electric steering are quite good (Saturn ION redline, Audi A3, etc.) and don't suffer from hydraulic lock or parasitic loss.
Unfortunately Chevy was not able (yet) to refine its electric steering and simply adapted the G6's Hydraulic steering.
The SS a "sports car"? Not really. The Maxx SS is a "show" car with useless spoiler, big bling wheels, lo pro tires rated "average" by Tire Rack, and a definitely nicer engine hooked up to a higher-drive ratio version of same 4 speed. Result? A hair trigger rubber burner (some people like that )that guzzles gas and rides like an old truck.
To make a real Maxx sports car, how about a 5 speed manual, change those rims to forged to get rid of unsprung weight and slap on Bridgestone Potenzias, or better yet, ditch the rims for forged 17" with Goodyear F1 tires (which work decently wet or dry)? That's what the GM Engineers I talked to years ago suggested.
Won't happen though...