Home » The 2004 Chevrolet Malibu Is The Worst Of 2000s GM Distilled Into One Car: GM Hit Or Miss

The 2004 Chevrolet Malibu Is The Worst Of 2000s GM Distilled Into One Car: GM Hit Or Miss

2004 Chevrolet Malibu Topshot 2
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Misjudging a segment can have funny results. Sometimes, the result is a complete overachiever with disappointing sales like the Volkswagen Phaeton. Sometimes, the result is something with swimming pools full of character even if it isn’t as dialed-in as its competitors, like the Jaguar F-Type. Sometimes, a car’s just ahead of its time and history vindicates it, like the original Acura NSX. Oh, and sometimes you end up with the 2004 Chevrolet Malibu. I bet you wish that you didn’t have to think of this car today. Welcome back to GM Hit Or Miss, where we peel back the layers of GM’s pre-bankruptcy product planning in an attempt to understand the ultimate question: Why?

2003 Midsize Sedan Composite

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

In 2003, the midsize sedan market was in the middle of an arms race. Nissan was cranking out as many 245-horsepower Altimas as it possibly could, Mazda was showing off gadgetry and handling prowess, the Honda Accord was objectively better than ever before, and the Volkswagen Passat was a full-fat German family sedan with four-, six-, or eight-cylinder power. For the first time since the revolutionary 1992 Toyota Camry, the most popular passenger car segment in America was in the midst of a shakeup, and any determined manufacturer could make huge strides.

2000 Chevrolet Malibu 1

It just so happens that in 2003, the Chevrolet Malibu was ready to be replaced. Based on the N-body platform, it was perfectly in-tune with the needs of the late 1990s, but the new millennium demanded more, and GM recognized this yearning. So, the automotive giant hatched a cunning plan: What would happen if they were to take a Vectra and make it worse?

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2004 Chevrolet Malibu 2

Yes, the 2004 Chevrolet Malibu was the first U.S. marque-branded vehicle on GM’s Epsilon platform, but certainly far from the only car on it. The sixth-generation Malibu has a litany of global relatives including the Opel and Vauxhall Vectra, the Saab 9-3, the Cadillac BLS, the Pontiac G6, the Saturn Aura, and surprisingly enough, the Fiat Chroma. That’s quite impressive when you consider that all of those vehicles are more appealing than the Malibu, a true feat of disgusting mediocrity made possible by pre-bankruptcy GM’s dysfunction.

2004 Chevrolet Malibu 1

The Vauxhall Vectra is a deeply anonymous car, but the Malibu was downright ugly at launch. From the plastichrome schnoz to weird sweeping character lines over the arches that go absolutely nowhere, the sixth-generation Malibu is awkward at every angle. Sure, the car it replaced was almost featureless aside from peanut-shaped headlamps, but I’ll take boring over unsightly any day of the week. However, the Malibu’s exterior styling is nothing compared to its cabin.

2004 Chevrolet Malibu Interior

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This mass of hard, unpleasant, woefully chintzy brain matter grey plastic was what GM decided mid-aughts customers deserved. Look at it: The panel gaps visible from the International Space Station, the pitiful askewness of everything on the door cards, the central air vents looking like a cheap humidifier. Sure, the seats were comfy, but how much does that help when every other interior component is an advertisement for better life choices? Adding insult to injury, the 2004 Malibu has a less-attractive, cheaper-feeling interior than the car it replaced. Seriously, just look at the old fifth-generation N-body Malibu’s cabin.

2000 Chevrolet Malibu Interior

Admittedly, that’s not a phenomenal cabin, but the pillar-mounted air vents are neat, and there’s a nice enough mix of colors, vinyl-clad panels, and acceptable fake wood here that it doesn’t seem terrible. I wouldn’t balk if a fifth-generation Chevrolet Malibu was my rental car in 2002. Plus, it also had reasonably comfy seats.

2004 Chevrolet Malibu V6 Engine

With the horsepower war in the midsize segment raging on, you might expect Chevrolet to have put a particularly strong optional engine in the 2004 Malibu. Although stronger than the standard 145-horsepower 2.2-liter four-cylinder engine, the day-one upgrade was a 3.5-liter 60-degree pushrod V6 making 200 horsepower and 220 lb.-ft. of torque. Good going, GM. You really showed the competition how it’s done. Oh, and I hope you like four-speed automatic gearboxes because that’s all you’re getting.

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2004 Chevrolet Malibu On The Road 1a

Alright, so the powertrain lineup was a disappointment ranked somewhere between dropping your ice cream and the finale of “Game of Thrones,” but that Epsilon platform is a promising set of bones. After all, the Saab 9-3 drives pretty well and newer Epsilon-platform cars are alright, so maybe the 2004 Chevrolet Malibu redeemed itself on the open road? Well, not quite. Upon the Malibu’s introduction, Car And Driver noted some ride quality concerns.

Although the rigidity is supposedly improved, we didn’t get the sense that our Malibu was as tight and solid as a 9-3, or an Accord, for that matter. After any significant bump, we felt aftershocks reverberating through the car, resulting in a “gut jiggle” sensation from the driver’s seat. Maybe this isn’t the structure flexing but rather some suspension component whose frequency is poorly matched to the body’s and is therefore exciting the structure like a plucked guitar string.

Guess what? Every clapped-out Malibu today rides exactly the same as it did when new. Who’d have thought? Oh, and don’t think a jiggly ride resulted in good handling because it didn’t. The electric power steering is vague, and body roll is sufficient enough to classify the Malibu as a single-use ocean-going vessel.

2004 Chevrolet Malibu 3

So far, it seems like the sixth-generation Chevrolet Malibu was a way for company bosses to punish middle management, rental car companies to punish customers, and brand loyalists to punish themselves, mostly because it was. However, not all sixth-generation Malibus were created equally. Sometimes, you just need to take it to the Maxx. You didn’t think I forgot about the Malibu Maxx, did you?

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Chevrolet Malibu Maxx 1a

This was essentially the last mass-market midsized station wagon from a mainstream American automaker, although there’s some debate over that wagon moniker due to the weird stepped hatch. Still, this was a practical family car with 22.5 cu.-ft. of trunk space and some neat available features.

Chevrolet Malibu Maxx Cargo Area

On the more practical side of things, the rear seat could fold, recline, and slide, the front passenger seat could fold flat, and the cargo cover could be used as a table. As far as more lavish amenities go, the rear seat occupants were treated to their own sunroof, and you could even get rear seat entertainment in the Malibu Maxx. All in all, it was an exceedingly practical family car that was unfortunate enough to inherit questionable styling, a low-rent dashboard, and a subpar driving experience from the regular Malibu sedan.

Chevrolet Malibu Ss

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Oh, and then there was the Malibu SS, because this was the era of Maximum Bob and GM Performance, so everything needed a sporty version. Granted, the Malibu SS was more flash than substance as its 240-horsepower pushrod V6 was outgunned by segment leaders, and its four-speed automatic out-geared. Car And Driver managed a zero-to-60 mph run in 6.9 seconds, which doesn’t look brilliant next to, say, the sub-six-second dash afforded by Nissan’s medium-spicy Altima 3.5 SE. Still, at least it got hydraulic power steering over the regular model’s electrically-assisted rack.

Handling and ride? There’s still some learning to do. For such a modern suspension, the Maxx SS’s supplies a leaden ride in the style of Big Three performance packages of yore. Over bumps the floor shivers with impact clunks and resonant vibrations. There’s always an acute sense of the metal in motion down below.

Oh dear, that’s not good. On the plus side, the handling of the SS was much improved over the standard model. On the minus side, fit-and-finish was still atrocious. From one-grit mold lines unsuitable on even the cheapest patio furniture to an inherent feeling of flimsiness, the cabin of the Malibu SS was a pretty terrible place to be. Perhaps Car And Driver summed it up best when it said, “There’s this sense that if you turned the car over and shook it vigorously the entire interior might fall out.”

2006 Chevrolet Malibu 1

Coinciding with the 2006 launch of the Malibu SS, the standard car got a facelift that deleted the chrome nose and made Chevy’s midsizer substantially less offensive to look at from the front. The shit character lines down the profile remained, but at least this revised rental special wouldn’t make you want to do a technicolor yawn if you saw one coming up in your rearview mirror. After the 2007 model year, the sixth-generation Malibu was semi-retired for the 2008 model year as the Malibu Classic before mercifully being taken behind the woodshed and put out of its misery.

2004 Chevrolet Malibu Rear

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Car And Driver reported that Bob Lutz confidently stated “The importance of this car is the demonstration that General Motors will do world-class automobiles.” Sorry Bob, this ain’t it. The sixth-generation Chevrolet Malibu is a deeply flawed car, an indisputable miss, and perhaps the most prominent symbol of GM’s pre-bankruptcy race to the bottom. I don’t hate many vehicles, but I despise what the standard four-door sixth-generation Malibu stands for. It was a miss of colossal proportions, as evidenced by the vastly-improved seventh-generation Malibu that won hearts across America. Pre-bankruptcy GM was capable of so much better, so long as it actually tried. Cheap shit is still both cheap and shit. With a high enough price tag and stiff enough competition, everyone will eventually get fed up and splash more cash on something better.

(Photo credits: Chevrolet, Honda, Mazda, Nissan, Volkswagen)

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Windnsea00
Windnsea00
11 months ago

I remember renting one and driving it from San Diego to Reno through the Eastern Sierras, that was not a pleasant vehicle in those conditions. The good news is we got rear-ended at freeway speeds so the car was a total by the time we arrived in Reno.

Drive By Commenter
Drive By Commenter
11 months ago

I rode in one once. It was garbage. Comparing it to my post-bailout GM product was comparing a Madagascar hissing cockroach to a dirty apartment cockroach. One has fans while the other needs a big can of Raid.

Space
Space
11 months ago

I thought the Ford Flex was the last American wagon?

Squirrelmaster
Squirrelmaster
11 months ago

I’ll admit the 6th gen was crap, but as someone who begrudgingly spent a fair amount of time in the 5th gen (and also a lot of time fixing both the 5th and 6th gen), I think you are giving far too much credit to the 5th gen. Both generations were terrible crap replaced by terrible crap. The 6th gen rode poorly, but it was still better than the 5th gen which had cowl shake that would make you think it was a convertible Sebring. By all means, mock the 6th gen, but don’t pretend that GM replaced something good with something bad.

Geekycop .
Geekycop .
11 months ago
Reply to  Squirrelmaster

Agreed. A 5th gen is the reason I ended up stranded 6 miles from town in the middle of the desert outside Yuma AZ in August at 126 degrees. That was a hell of a walk, and honestly it was touch and go for a while with needing IV fluids etc. Damned thing’s ignition switch decided to become an unassembled lego kit inside the column. ’02 model specifically, white with the v6. Utter shitbox, i honestly preferred the chevy prism that I’d had before, that was a weirdly fun little car.

Paint-Drinking Thundercock Harvey Park
Paint-Drinking Thundercock Harvey Park
11 months ago
Reply to  Geekycop .

The Prism was a corolla with shit GM plastic trim. Far from a shitbox. The engine block said Toyota.

Squirrelmaster
Squirrelmaster
11 months ago

My sister had a Chevy Prism she either bought new or very lightly used, and that silly little car was amazing and flawlessly reliable for the 200,000+ miles she had it. The only problem it had was hilariously ironic: the Chevy badge on the trunk lid kept falling off.

Geekycop .
Geekycop .
11 months ago

Oh I’m aware, but my version had the chevy trim so chevy labeled it was.

Der Foo
Der Foo
11 months ago

I find it quite funny when people use the Chevy Prism as an example of GM actually being able to build a great car. Some will even still deny it was a Toyota because there is no way in heck GM would have gotten in bed with the Japs. I smile at them and change the subject.

Mr. Fusion
Mr. Fusion
11 months ago
Reply to  Squirrelmaster

Yes, the quoted Car and Driver article aside, I remember the 6th-gen Malibu getting generally favorable reviews. Not favorable as in “This thing is better than the Accord!”, but favorable as in, “Nothing went wrong during our test, and this car gives us a glimmer of hope that GM can actually make a credible midsize sedan going forward”.

Which was borne-out by the 2007 Saturn Aura and (to a lesser extent) 2008 Malibu. (BTW, my 2007 Aura XE had the 3.5 OHV V6, and that was a perfectly fine engine. I’m certainly glad that my car had that instead of the 4-cylinder Ecotec that replaced it in the lineup the following year.)

rctothefuture
rctothefuture
11 months ago

My family had an obsession with GM vehicles of this era (really my Mom’s side) and boy howdy were they something else.

My Grandparents had an 01 Malibu that they loved. It was Silver with the LS trim, spoiler, and a magnetic CB antenna for road trips. They loved that car and it got them (and my sister and I) everywhere. They finally got rid of it in 08 after going through pads and rotors every 10,000 miles.

What did they replace it with? Well my Grandpa really wanted the new Malibu Maxx SS as he had a 62 Impala SS back in the day and he thought that new Malibu looked sweeeeeeet! We went to Bergstrom Chevrolet to take a blue Maxx SS for a spin, Grandma and I sitting at the salesperson desk of course. My Grandpa got back, walked in, and said “Let’s go!” We didn’t think to question him right there with the scowl on his face.

We thought the sales guy might have pissed him off, but he apparently never got anywhere near price and trade in. He said he drove it onto the highway and “it sounded like the damn wheels were going to come off!” He then went on a tirade of how he hated the interior and that there was “no good ashtray on the fucking thing!”

I think he just hated the driving experience or that he couldn’t believe a car with that legendary badge could be so bad. We drove home in silence, only stopping for a McDonald’s Hambuger (no pickle, extra salt and pepper!) and turned in for the evening. The next day we drove to a Griffin Ford and test drove a new 08 Ford Fusion SEL. He loved the car, as did my Grandmother as it was “Badger Red” and they traded in their Malibu for a Fusion. The whole time we owned the car until my Grandfather passed he used to say “Damn thing is gonna break something, I just know it!” but it still hasn’t almost 15 years later, minus normal maintenance.

So way to go GM, you made a life longer Ford joker a proud Fusion owner thanks to one test drive!

Paint-Drinking Thundercock Harvey Park
Paint-Drinking Thundercock Harvey Park
11 months ago
Reply to  rctothefuture

Older American car brand loyalty is the most bizarre thing.

Speedway Sammy
Speedway Sammy
11 months ago

I see these cars all over the place. It’s the old adage GM cars run poorly long after others go to the junkyard.

rctothefuture
rctothefuture
11 months ago

It used to mean a lot more, especially with the days of NASCAR, Trans Am, and NHRA. Ford, Chrysler, and Chevy employees at the track would scowl at each other, crack jokes when either guy’s engines blew up, and would jokingly offer a business card to join the “winning team” in a joking manner. Ever seen Ford vs. Ferrari? The reason the GT was made was to piss off old man Ferrari for backing out of a deal. It was also a great F you to Chevy and Chrysler that Ford was just better.

I remember as a kid buying the “Ford vs. Chevy” racing game. The in game announcers would make boomer era jokes about each brand and it kind of cemented my thoughts on it at a young age.

Do I want a 4th gen Camaro? Yes.

Would I drive a SN95 Mustang? Yes. (albeit with jokes and fear about Ford reliability)

Dar Khorse
Dar Khorse
11 months ago

I generally enjoy your writing, Thomas, but you really out-shone yourself with this one. Poetry, sheer poetry! I LoL’ed so much while reading it and I needed that as I’ve had a truly shit day. But not as shitty as this Mali-boo! This is the kind of writing that you won’t find on any other automotive website and I hope it helps bring in many more subscribers and readers.

Duke of Kent
Duke of Kent
11 months ago

Malibu Maxx sounds like the name of someone with an OnlyFans.

Angrycat Meowmeow
Angrycat Meowmeow
11 months ago
Reply to  Duke of Kent

BRB doing research for “scientific purposes”

Erik Hancock
Erik Hancock
11 months ago

Malibu Maxxss

Speedway Sammy
Speedway Sammy
11 months ago

Don’t forget to also check Malibu MaXXine

Last edited 11 months ago by Speedway Sammy
V10omous
V10omous
11 months ago

I distinctly remember this car getting if not glowing, then at least highly complimentary reviews in magazines at the time, and this dissonance being the beginning of my disillusionment with/skepticism of professional reviews.

Jack Trade
Jack Trade
11 months ago
Reply to  V10omous

Me too. The reviews made it sound like we were in the 80s and GM was finally reemerging from the depths of the malaise era, and anything that didn’t catch fire on the lot was wonderful. I recall thinking “Huh? It’s the 2000s, GM has shown itself capable of making reasonably good stuff when it wants to for like a decade now.”

Carlos Ferreira
Carlos Ferreira
11 months ago

“the sub-five-second dash afforded by Nissan’s medium-spicy Altima 3.5 SE.” Say what!? Maybe in an alternate universe. 0-60 in 6 seconds on a very good day, which is STILL damn impressive, espcially for a mass market modestly priced family sedan.

UnseenCat
UnseenCat
11 months ago

Contrarian opinion: The first-gen Malibu was crap, and the second-gen Malibu was marginally better, but really just as half-assed. The first-gen interior was blobby 90’s/2000’s dreck. The pillar-mounted vents were a gimmick, and their positioning made aiming them effectively more of a challenge than necessary. The second-gen Malibu had bland styling and a plastic-fantastic interior, but so did other GM cars at the time. It was an unremarkable car in an unremarkable pack of GM cars.

Oh, and I recall the headaches at GM when the first-gen Malibu’s year one sales kept getting cannibalized by Corsicas still on the lot. And when those sold out, Malilbu sales still got cannibalized by low-milage used Corsicas turned in from leases. That car couldn’t catch a break from buyers in its first year or so.

I drove an assortment of late-90s Tauruses and both generations of Malibus in a fleet for a nearly a decade and a half. The Tauruses were cockroaches. Generally awful but they refused to die. The first-gen Malibus were ousted by the second-gen ones while a good number of the Tauruses hung around. I distinctly preferred driving the second-gen Malibus. They rattled more, but the seats and driving position were definitely better than the alternatives in the fleet. Mirrors and visibility were good, and the headlights were better than the others for night driving when you really needed to see if a deer or, god forbid, a moose was wandering onto the road. For relative comfort and safety, the second-gen Malibus had the edge. Doesn’t make them a great car, but they were better than some of the alternatives.

EXL500
EXL500
11 months ago
Reply to  UnseenCat

I recall renting these and really enjoying the visibility.

Root
Root
11 months ago

I think this car is one big reason why the Chevy SS was not exactly a success. From the front, to my eye the SS looked too much like the facelifted (’06-’07) Malibu. If you bought an SS, your neighbor might think “gosh, Chet must be having money problems because he had to downgrade to a used Malibu.”

Der Foo
Der Foo
11 months ago
Reply to  Root

If only GM had kept the Holden Commodore styling and not priced the Chevy like a Cadillac.

StillNotATony
StillNotATony
11 months ago

IIRC, Car and Driver described the front of the pre-facelift Malibu as looking like it was wearing orthodontic headgear.

Eephus
Eephus
11 months ago

I feel like the first-gen Ford Tempo deserves similar treatment

Last edited 11 months ago by Eephus
LTDScott
LTDScott
11 months ago

Chevy called the Maxx a “5 door extended sedan.” Really?

Atszekelyhidi
Atszekelyhidi
11 months ago
Reply to  LTDScott

It seems like this Maxx thingy was the US version of the weird but cool looking Opel Signum, which itself was slotted somewhere between the Opel Vectra and its station wagon, so the ‘extended sedan’ makes sense.

Angel "the Cobra" Martin
Angel "the Cobra" Martin
11 months ago

Had a Pontiac G6 (same car as Malibu) as a rental in 05. Drove it from Las Vegas to Mesquite in Nevada. By the time I hit the LV city limits I knew GM was doomed. It was a terrible vehicle in every way. Why would GM make owners endure such a terrible vehicle. The owners had to leave GM after this car. Truly a penalty box on wheels.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
11 months ago

“Why would GM make owners endure such a terrible vehicle.”

Why indeed?

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=z0UdKbGJs0o

...getstoneyII
...getstoneyII
11 months ago

Hooboy, I was gonna get salty if you said bad things about the Maxx! I leased my loaded black one on a crazy deal. Something like $120/month. The 200hp did its job pretty well (enough) and it was a darn good car in the (never plowed) Downtown Detroit snow.
Say what you want about the plastic all over, but it was durable and easy to clean. Even my 85lbs Rhodesian Ridgeback with his crazy nails never scratched it. Plastic is perfectly fine in a car. Also, the seats were pretty darn good as well and the stereo was surprisingly good.
Sure it wasn’t a Camaro w/the handling, but I don’t agree that it didn’t handle just fine as a daily, and it was a secret speeding sleeper on the highway.

Most of you would be more than happy to have it as your daily/beater some 19 years later. No slander of the Maxx in my book! lol

Brandt S
Brandt S
11 months ago

I appreciate the context this article gives to the contemporaries of this utterly bland POS. I had the B5.5 Passat, purchased new in 2002. It was unbelievably nice for its time in the top trim spec that I had, better than the Audi A4 that it was based on. For its warranty period it was such a joy to own – and I’ll leave it at that.

Clark B
Clark B
11 months ago
Reply to  Brandt S

My ex has an ’05 wagon, we got it back when we were in college in 2012 with 115k miles on it. Things went wrong…a lot. But local junkyards kept the interior looking fresh and I did all the work myself. My ex and I still talk, since we split six years ago it’s been almost trouble free and has over 200k on it. I’m pretty proud of myself, those 1.8t engines can be maintenance nightmares.

I would never, ever recommend one to anyone. I have steered people away from them numerous times. It was a great car, drove great, comfortable, nice interior, the styling has aged well, but it wore me out.

Dogisbadob
Dogisbadob
11 months ago

Too bad the Maxx SS didn’t get the LS4.

Also, too bad that the Maxx wasn’t available with the I4.

Ford was smart enough to just rebadge the Mazda6 and call it a Fusion.

That Guy with the Sunbird
That Guy with the Sunbird
11 months ago
Reply to  Dogisbadob

I’m in a Mazda owners club based out of Louisville, KY and our President drives a 2004 5-speed Mazda6 with 393,000 miles. 🙂

It is semi-retired now as she has upgraded to a 2014 Mazda6 as her daily driver, but she still has the 2004.

Jack Trade
Jack Trade
11 months ago

Wow that’s an interior. Funny thing is, even if you hadn’t specified the date, I suspect most of us could roughly ID the year, as coming from the SUVs are just so tough and everything should look like that era.

That dash is so blocky and upright, it makes me feel Chrysler spies saw it and said “yeah, that’s it…let’s turn that idea into a whole vehicle and we’ll call it Caliber!”

Trecoolx
Trecoolx
11 months ago
Reply to  Jack Trade

The Caliber was like climbing into and driving a plastic castle playhouse.

Citrus
Citrus
11 months ago

This was the absolute worst styled car to ever leave the doors of GM. And I am not an Aztek apologist, but even THAT had some kind of curb appeal. This just looked like shit and the door looked like someone kicked it.

Also it was terrible by every metric.

Luckily they’re all rusted to shit now.

Lokki
Lokki
11 months ago

I remember seeing a Malibu Maxx SS at a car show when they were new. I saw it from a distance, and having a bit of a thing for ‘sport wagons’, I went over to examine it close up. Wow. Just Wow. That was the moment I knew GM was dead; still on its feet perhaps but so far gone there was no saving it. That Malibu reminded me of that “Rent-to-Own” furniture that looks like furniture but is really just cardboard covered with cheap cloth.

Newcarpetsmell
Newcarpetsmell
11 months ago

My grandma had a Malibu Maxx and it had a pop-up screen with dvd player attached to the back of the center console from the factory, so it was the coolest car ever as a kid.

Last edited 11 months ago by Newcarpetsmell
Alexander Moore
Alexander Moore
11 months ago

I remember these were hailed as a ‘new beginning’ for GM and they sure were mediocre, but was the following seventh gen really that much better? That was again called a ‘world beater’ but I just saw the plasti-chrome interiors and weird, chunky looks as ‘oh, more GM’.

https://cdn.carbuzz.com/gallery-images/2008-chevrolet-malibu-steering-wheel-carbuzz-489518-1600.jpg

Add onto that the pushrod V6s were replaced by early timing chain tensioner-eating High Features and I don’t think the 2008 model that replaced this was ‘vastly-improved’ outside of being flashier and technically newer mechanically. In fact, I’d argue the proven ’90s GM pushrod V6s were probably more reliable; no 3800, but similar enough and just as understressed.

Last edited 11 months ago by Alexander Moore
Citrus
Citrus
11 months ago

It truly was that much better, it’s honestly a massive leap in every conceivable metric. And still not a car you’d buy over an Accord or Camry of the same vintage.

The seventh gen was a quantum leap into the middle of the pack. The 6th was really just THAT BAD.

Alexander Moore
Alexander Moore
11 months ago
Reply to  Citrus

I guess I’m not thinking of them against their competitors at the time (against which the 6th gen is no doubt woefully outclassed) but rather which would be more reliable as a used car today. The 6th gen strikes me as having that cockroach-esque GM mediocrity where it’ll run poorly forever whereas I’ve seen several broken-down seventh gens even when they were only a few years old.

GreatFallsGreen
GreatFallsGreen
11 months ago

Aside from the gray interior like you pictured, other interiors broke from the monochrome styling like on the 6th gen. There was still catching up to be done, in things like detailing and the feature set (like…no center rear armrest), but it was a significant improvement even in measures that are hard to quantify like dynamically.

The High Value 3500 was probably the best blend of performance and reliability out of all the motors they offered, but on the 7th gen Malibu I think it was limited to fleet sales only; Auras offered it 07-08. But the I4 was pretty good even when saddled with just 4 gears, no longer were they just doing the old “V6 for the price of a I4!” value play.

Terranape
Terranape
11 months ago

I have to agree. This was not a car. It was pure sadness and hatred on four wheels.
My MIL had one and it was an egregious poo filled sock from go. I was thrilled when it went to the junkyard.

Last edited 11 months ago by Terranape
Rippstik
Rippstik
11 months ago

This was the car that made Chevy stop putting SS badges on everything.

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