|Midsize car; Built in USA|
|Good condition price range: $3,800 – $9,200*|
2004 Chevrolet Malibu
2005 Chevrolet Malibu
2005 Chevrolet Malibu
Chevrolet aims the Malibu at Honda Accord and Toyota Camry buyers. While the sedan is a bit smaller than those rivals, the versatile Maxx offers more rear-seat room than either. The four-cylinder engine disappoints, but in V6 form, Malibu combines good pep with competent road manners, and an impressive list of standard or available features. New-car prices were reasonable, and Malibus tend to be moderately priced secondhand as well.
Chevrolet’s midsize Malibu was redesigned for 2004, returning as a four-door sedan and adding a companion hatchback body style. New features included available remote-control starting and, in the hatchback, a rear seat that slid fore/aft 7 inches. The restyled Malibu shared its new front-drive platform with the near-luxury 9-3 sedan from GM’s Saab brand, as well as the new Pontiac G6. Malibu rivals included the Honda Accord, Nissan Altima, and Toyota Camry.
Base Malibu sedans held a 145-horsepower four-cylinder engine. LS and LT sedans got a 200-horsepower V6.
Named Malibu Maxx, the hatchback had a 6-inch-longer wheelbase than the sedan, but a slightly shorter body. Maxx LS and LT trim levels were offered; both came only with the V6. A four-speed automatic was each Malibu’s sole transmission.
Antilock braking in tandem with traction control was optional on the base sedan, standard on other Malibus; the Maxx added all-disc brakes. Head-protecting curtain side airbags were standard on the LT sedan and LT Maxx, and optional on others.
All models came with a power driver-seat height adjuster, tilt/telescoping steering column, and power windows/locks/mirrors. Power-adjustable brake and accelerator pedals, OnStar assistance, satellite radio, and heated front seats were available. The remote starter worked via the keyfob from up to 200 feet away.
Both body styles had a fold-flat front passenger seat and split folding rear seatbacks. The Maxx’s rear seat had reclining seatbacks and could slide to favor either cargo space or rear leg room. Its rigid cargo cover doubled as a tailgate table. Maxx also had a glass skylight over the rear seat and was available with DVD entertainment.
Curtain side airbags now included front side torso airbags. The Maxx LT added a rear wiper this year.
Additional models and revised styling marked the 2006 season. Both body styles now came in uplevel LTZ and sporty SS trim. LTZ models had leather upholstery, while SS versions got cloth/leather. Most LT sedans and the LS used a 144-horsepower four-cylinder engine. The LTZ and other LT models held a 201-hp 3.5-liter V6. SS models got a 240-horsepower 3.9-liter V6 and an automatic transmission with a manual shift gate. A sport suspension, 18-inch tires and sport seats went on SS editions, while the LTZ rode on 17-inch rubber. Front torso airbags and curtain airbags were standard in LTZ and SS models.
The smaller of Chevrolet’s two midsize sedans is largely unchanged for 2007, pending a 2008 redesign due in calendar ’07. Previously optional curtain side airbags are now standard on all models.