- sedan 156,928
- 6,995 overpriced
- Wake Forest, NC
- 3 years
2005 chevrolet malibu review this car review is specific to this model, not the actual vehicle for sale. Solid mid-size sedan; practical maxx. introductionthe chevrolet malibu was launched to compete with the mid-size imports from japan. We were surprised by the acceleration performance from the v6 and delighted by the crispness of handling on winding roads. It feels firmer than the camry, but softer than the accord, a good balance, in other words. Malibu's solid structure is based on gm's new epsilon platform used by a couple of highly successful european sedans. Along with its compliant suspension, this gives the malibu a smooth, comfortable ride, yet allows for spirited driving. This is no mush-mobile. It's quiet underway. No question, this is a highly competent sedan that's practical and easy to live with. where the malibu needs work is in the appearance department. Introduced as an all-new model for 2004, the malibu is better looking than the plain-looking previous model, but it's no raving beauty. That silver band across the front is designed to clearly identify this as a chevy, but it won't go down in history as a great design. the malibu has something the imports don't: the maxx. Maxx is a longer-wheelbase variant, whose extended roofline and rear cargo hatch suggest a sporty station wagon. While malibu seems destined to disappear into a crowd, maxx looks just as determined to stand out and be noticed. starting at just a hair under $19,000 and topping out below $25,000, malibu base prices are extremely competitive with the prices of the honda accord and toyota camry, which can approach $30,000 with options. The previous malibu ranked tops in the midsize car class in the j. Ls and lt versions come with a 3. 5-liter overhead-valve v6. Anti-lock brakes (abs) with traction control are optional 400). Side-impact airbags and head curtain airbags are optional for base and ls models 690) and we recommend them highly. A package 1,095) for the ls sedan includes: side curtain airbags; remote vehicle starter; carpeted floor mats; and six-way power driver's seat. lt adds: automatic climate control; seat-mounted side-impact and side curtain airbags; front and rear reading lights; remote vehicle starter; leather seats; heated front seats; 6-way power driver's seat; seat cushion storage pockets for outboard seating positions; leather-wrapped steering wheel with steering wheel-mounted audio and cruise controls; leather-wrapped shift knob; two illuminated vanity mirrors in front; fog lamps; power and heated outside rearview mirrors; body-color rocker moldings; a rear spoiler; 16-inch tires and wheels. An optional package for the lt 1,230) includes a homelink transmitter for opening garages and security gates; a light-sensitive auto dimming rearview mirror, xm satellite radio and a power sunroof. maxx is built in the same three trim levels: base 20,760), ls 21,260), and lt 24,405). But the base-level maxx is better equipped than the base-level sedan, and comes with the v6, cruise control, traction control, anti-lock brakes (abs), 16-inch steel wheels, power hatch release, and other highline features. Similar options packages are available for maxx. A dvd entertainment center with wireless headphones and a monitor that flips up from the front console 995) is available. options for malibu sedan and maxx include: xm satellite radio 325 plus the $9. 99 monthly subscription fee); gm's onstar communications system 695); a power sunroof 725); and a rear spoiler for the sedan 175) or maxx 300). Three levels of audio are available, from the base am/fm stereo and cd player to the top-of-the-line system with an in-dash, six-cd changer, six speakers, and automatic volume and tone controls 300). A unique option is the remote starter 150), useful both in cold climates to warm up the car before the driver climbs in and in extremely hot climates to cool it down. walkaroundthe chevrolet malibu looks more contemporary than its bland predecessor, with more character and class. It also looks more substantial, giving the impression it's a more expensive car than it is. And it is, indeed, more substantial, slightly wider than the model it replaces. the front features a chrome bar across the full-width of the car, with the familiar chevy bowtie in gold in the center. The bar along, along with malibu's squinty headlamps, attempts to invoke a family resemblance to chevy trucks, which have been highly successful in the marketplace, but the design execution didn't work as well on this mid-size car. the rear of the sedan resembles the upright rears of european cars. And indeed, the malibu shares its structure with the highly successful german opel vectra and the swedish saab 9-3. Malibu is built on gm's new epsilon global platform, a front-wheel-drive architecture developed by a team of american, german and swedish engineers. Epsilon is also being used for the new pontiac g6. The bottom line is that the epsilon platform provided good bones for a new malibu sedan. from the center post of its roof forward, malibu maxx is identical to the sedan. From there back, however, maxx is a different and more innovative vehicle. Maxx isn't larger than the sedan, but it is proportioned differently. At 106. 3 inches, the wheelbase of the malibu sedan stands at the small end of the mid-size spectrum. Maxx rides a wheelbase that's six inches longer, stretching 112. 3 inches. Yet in overall length the maxx is a half-inch shorter than the sedan (187. 8 inches vs. 188. 3). That gives the maxx very short overhangs, a good thing. Maxx is a half-inch taller than the sedan. Its roof is longer, its trunk shorter, increasing space for rear-seat passengers. interiorthe malibu looks as substantial inside as out. With 101 cubic feet of interior space, the malibu sedan is extremely roomy for five passengers. The seats are comfortable. The front passenger seat cleverly folds flat for carrying long objects such as skis. The rear seat splits and folds 60/40. the interior is conservatively styled. Controls on the center dash are conveniently backlit for night driving. The heating and air conditioning controls were a little confusing, however. Likewise, the stereo seemed designed more for style than function, though it worked well. We thought the wipers were a little loud. And the triangularly shaped outside mirrors are small, limiting rearward vision more than we liked. otherwise, it's a convenient interior. Its rear seat is split 60/40 not only in the back, but in the cushion; and each unit slides fore and aft as much as seven inches to adjust between passenger and cargo room. Rear-seat passengers sit farther back in the maxx and enjoy nearly identical room as the front-seat occupants, and as much as the rear-seat riders in a full-size domestic sedan. Maxx's rear seatbacks also recline for improved comfort. In short, the back seats of the maxx are a comfortable place for adults. standard in the maxx is a fixed skylight over the rear seating area, so rear-seat passengers can see clouds by day and stars by night. Or they can close their individual sunshades. back in the cargo bay, maxx provides 22. 8 cubic feet of space, vs. 15. 4 for the trunk of the sedan. Fold down maxx's back seats and the available space expands to 41 cubic feet. There's a 12-volt power outlet way in the back in addition to the two up front that it shares with the sedan.
6,995 Wake Forest, NCWake Forest, NC 3 years at autoshopper.com