Last post on Oct 15, 2013 at 11:45 AM
You are in the Chevrolet Malibu
What is this discussion about?
Chevrolet, Chevrolet Malibu, Automotive News, Sedan
Go to NHTSA to file a safety complaint.
Or call Monday-Friday (8 am to 8 pm ET) (888) 327-4236 TTY: (800)424-9153
#537 of 1514 Test Drove 2008 LTZ Today
Nov 01, 2007 (2:45 pm)
I stumbled upon an opportunity to test drive a 2008 Malibu LTZ today.
Jewel Red exterior, cashmere/cocoa interior, sunroof, rear power pack.
I currently drive a 2005 Malibu Maxx LT (which I like). Here are my impressions:
Exterior: Car looks MUCH more upscale than current model. From far, I think it kind of looks like a Lexus GS series. The 18" wheels do look nice (but probably expensive to replace...). There are lots of nice chrome details such as the rear border around the license plate along with the dual exhaust pipes. Overall, a very nice looking car that catapults this Chevy into another realm.
Interior: Overall impression is very nice. The door panel sides are somewhat soft, not the rock hard plastic in my Malibu, making a nice resting area for your elbow. The switch gear all have a nice upscale feel to them - movements are liquidy, if that term makes any sense. The interior materials and colors do blend well with one another. The center arm rest is nicely padded, slides forwards and backwards, and there are multiple compartments within it. The seats were supportive, and with the seat adjustments, the tilt/telescoping wheel, and the movable pedals, there is no way anyone should not find a comfortable seating position.
As for a complaint, I was not as impressed with the radio as I had hoped to be. I set the equalizer up properly before listening. While the sound was loud and never distorted, it felt kind of boomy/flabby. Maybe after awhile the speakers would sound better, but not sure at this point.
I was surprised though in that the space, especially in the rear, is kind of on the small size. I researched interior size against Fusion, Accord, etc. and by numbers the Malibu is smaller. In reality, it does hold true.
The driving impression was solid. The car had nice pickup (I noticed a little, not too bad torque steer). The engine note was muted, but MUCH IMPROVED over my Maxx (not tinny at all under hard acceleration). The transmission shifted smoothly and downshifted quickly. I did try out the paddle shifters on the wheel, but I did not have time to test them thoroughly. The suspension felt right - tight, but not punishing.
Overall, I really like the car. I am a little concerned with the size (I have 3 small kids is the reason - should be sufficient for most others). I also hope that my initial impression of the radio was just a bad one and that the sound is much better than what I heard today.
Right before the test drive, I drove a Mercury Milan V6 Premier. The one I drove had many of the same features without the sunroof, stability control, wheels were smaller, no remote start. But for the Milan it was fairly loaded at $25k. The Milan is also a little bigger, but it actually drives a little tighter due to suspension set up. This too was a nice car. I think transaction price between a loaded Fusion/Milan with comparable (but not same) options will be about $2k - $2.5k less vs. the LTZ.
That being said, Chevy has a winner here.
#538 of 1514 Being better than the current model misses the point.
Nov 01, 2007 (3:49 pm)
All makes and models are supposed to improve on the previous generation. The fact that this new Malibu is much better than the outgoing model is irrelevant. The point is can this car compete with Camry/Accord/Altima? Three models which in combined sales move probably a million units a year without sitting all over rental lots. Looks go along way and this car looks very nice. Unfortunately GM's well earned reputation of making cars inferior to Toyota/Honda and Nissan is going to take a long time to be erased. If ever.
Gm needs hit after hit in the passenger cars segment that do not require $5,000 of MSRP to move off the dealer's lots.
#539 of 1514 Where are the road test reviews?
Nov 01, 2007 (3:52 pm)
Considering that the car is at dealers already, I'm surprised that there are few very detailed road test reviews from the car web sites or magazines?
#540 of 1514 Re: Let's not repeat a mistake... [bmark]
Nov 01, 2007 (4:55 pm)
Don't let the Honda fans here you say that, they tend to slam Hyundai quite a bit.
Yeah- like this guy:
I am not sure what you all are talking about but Hyundais are some the ugliest most boring cars on the road. Yeah the relaibility is good but who cares they are crap
This statement makes no sense. Who ever this guy is he needs to think before he posts, and he is just mad because the media gives Hyundai Sonatas more praise than his Camccord. Forget 5-10 years from now- Hyundai is as good as Honda Toyota NOW. Compare their SUVs. You'll see.
#541 of 1514 Sat in LTZ today...
Nov 01, 2007 (6:06 pm)
Present rides 05 Malibu Maxx and 07 Kia Optima.
I think that the new 'Bu roughly equals the Accord and comes in better than the Camry. Frankly I think my Optima beats the Camry as well at least in the fit and finish department. The Malibu looks better all around than both the Optima and Sonata although the 09 interior Sonata upgrades may put it back on top if it matches (say) the Veracruz.
Didn't get in the back seat but had plenty of front room. The two tone brown leather looks much less garish than in the pictures. The Accord's interior may be slightly better but I like the exterior lines of the Malibu. I know Lutz likes the new hood but it gives it an extra seam on each side of the front clip. The seams do seem pretty tight, though.
To me the interior looks better than the Saturn Aura, but not the exterior. So, if you had a three way comparo with an Accord and an Aura the 'Bu might finish second out of three on both interior and exterior design.
I'm not a huge GM loyalist. Neither am I strictly for American cars. In the last twenty years I've had good luck with three Korean cars, a fair amount of used Prizms and Toyota Camrys, two GM cars and a Dodge van (only troublesome car since the mid-eighties, really). I'm happy with my present rides but would be wide open for a replacement.
All in all a big improvement on the present car, too bad they killed the Maxx. I still love my Maxx! Nothing beats a largish hatch.
#542 of 1514 Maxx it out
Nov 02, 2007 (3:32 pm)
The new thing instead of wagons is CUVs- like the Equinox. But the new Malibu would look great in hatch form- really great.
Can't wait to see the new Impala!
#543 of 1514 Re: Let's not repeat a mistake... [albook]
Nov 02, 2007 (8:30 pm)
I agree, but their reputation for shoddy quality from the mid eighties still lingers on with many consumers. The Veracruz is a hell of an crossover. I put it next to a Highlander and I was very impressed with it. I would buy one myself if I were in the market for something like that.
Nov 04, 2007 (8:10 am)
Went to the seattle auto show yesterday to look at replacing the wife's SUV. Also wanted to look at new sedans, especially the Malibu and the Accord.
Either I missed it, or Chevy did not bring it, but I could not find an LTZ (highest trim I think) Malibu to look at. There was a very plain model to climb in - not bad, but I wanted to see the best Malibu that Chevy is going to offer.
Over at the Honda display I saw a mid level accord and an EX-L V6 with Nav - nice car IMHO.
I was dissapointed that I could not compare the both top of the line cars back to back.
#546 of 1514 Re: 2008 Malibu Answers to Questions [lonestar98]
Nov 04, 2007 (5:04 pm)
Very complete review. Thank you.