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avro206

test drove 06 Malibu SS

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I was thinking of getting out my 2.4L Cobalt SS coupe and into a Malibu SS.

Nothing wrong with the Cobalt--I just miss low end torque and an auto would be nice sometimes. Plus now that I have a kid--4drs would work better.

I have always liked the SS Malibu--its sqaure, angular lines and SS exterior treatment look far more interesting the Accords, Camrys ect.

I like this short wheelbase epsilon...much neater, tider dimesnions then it's long wheelbase brethren (G6, Aura)

And I still do but after test driving the car it has too many faults for me. Namely the powertrain and a couple of very minor sqeaks/ratles that my Coblat does not have.

The 3900 provided very strong launches, spinning the tires pretty good, it would hook and leap out of the gate. It is for sure a bit faster then my 2.4L SS.

But the 4 speed auto is a letdown. Oh it shifts nice but needs more ratios. Crusing at a certain speed, where there was no lower gear to downshift to--you were left with ho-hum forward progress.

I did like the manumatic shifter buton on the gear selector.

And then there is the sound. Under part to medium throttle the engine sounded good. Under full throttle however, it was awful. Very agricultural, industrial..very bad.

I was a bit surprised by this. I drove an Aura with the 3.5L and it sounded much better. Although it was quieter, the tone and note were far different. You can't attribute that to extra sound deadening.

Interior accomadtions were very good. Although its a bit too black and stark for me. Aluminum or silver accents would go a long way.

Visibilty was great--paticulary out of the front--you can nearly see the end of the hood.

Did not push at all in the handling dept. It rode very very but not too harsh. It did seem to have a high speed wander.

I think at sticker its too much money. If the 3.6L HF/6 speed auto were in this car..maybe I would get it. I have driven the Aura with this combo it it was a bit faster and sounded great. Oh well--I look forward tot he 08 Malibu.....I just hope its not tooo aerodynamic and boring.

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The SS has Aluminum/Silver accents on the dash and console (though I am looking for something else to spice up the interior a bit.)

The strong point of the 3900, I have found after 4,000 miles, is 40 - 70 mph. I have had no problem with the shift points at those speeds and find the engine pulls like a mother at mid-range.

No high speed wander is evident in my car. The hydrolic steering makes it an easy point and shoot car to drive at higher speeds, unlike the G6 GT, which makes me worry sometimes.

The engine has little sound at low revs, and when it kicks in, there is a bit of a growl (it's a six-banger, what do you want. At least it doesn't sound like the "coins in the coffee can" Infiniti 3.5. Worst sounding engine exhaust, EVER).

My MAXX SS has been a trouble free car for the past 4,000 miles.

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The SS has Aluminum/Silver accents on the dash and console (though I am looking for something else to spice up the interior a bit.)

The strong point of the 3900, I have found after 4,000 miles, is 40 - 70 mph.  I have had no problem with the shift points at those speeds and find the engine pulls like a mother at mid-range. 

No high speed wander is evident in my car.  The hydrolic steering makes it  an easy point and shoot car to drive at higher speeds, unlike the G6 GT, which makes me worry sometimes.

The engine has little sound at low revs, and when it kicks in, there is a bit of a growl (it's a six-banger, what do you want.  At least it doesn't sound like the "coins in the coffee can" Infiniti 3.5.  Worst sounding engine exhaust, EVER).

My MAXX SS has been a trouble free car for the past 4,000 miles.

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Interesting

I don't mind engine growl (I was not talking about exhaust)--its the qaility. At full throttle...John Deer comes to mind.

Yes therre is a TINY amount of silver accent but other then that its all balck and very stark looking. MY mistake I should have said MORE..... :)

Glad you like yours, they look nice and its pretty close to being a very good car. Just those points I mentioned, hold the car back.

I can say now, that after drinving the 3900 GM has got to consoilidate its V6 line up. Its way too big. Just keep the HF DOHC engines (2.8L, 3.2L, 3.6L) and make all the transmssion 6 speed auto. Thats a world class powerrtain with no excuses.

Edited by avro206

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I can say now, that after drinving the 3900 GM has got to consoilidate its V6 line up. Its way too big. Just keep the HF DOHC engines (2.8L, 3.2L, 3.6L) and make all the transmssion 6 speed auto. Thats a world class powerrtain with no excuses.

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There isn't a 3.2L HF v6 in NA, is there? Wasn't that the old 54 degree v6 from the caterra with no vvt or whatever its called. In general I do agree with your comment. Aside from the Atlas and Honda 3.5L engines, there is OHV 6 cylinder engines of 3400, 3500, and 3900 some with and some without vvt.

Edited by haypops

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the new 08 malibu will be larger on the same wheelbase as the G6 and Aura.. the new one will have the 3.6L 6 spd auto combo. the 3.9L wont be offered on the 08 malibu, it will only come with the 2.4L ecotec, the 3.5L OHV V6 and the 3.6L dohc V6.. the 08 G6 may drop the 3.9L also. hopefully they have finally "figured" out how to mate the 3.6L with a 6 spd manual.

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The SS version looks so good on the street....has a chunky aggressiveness about it. It's so far beyond the plain Malibu, both in performance and looks, like it's not the same car. And you are right, it's far more interesting than the competition.

Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image

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Eh... The Malibu SS is the bottom of the rung to me. You can't get much worse, other than cheaper Malibus. Ugly, even after the update. Cheap... and this isn't just about the interior. The front bumper feels like I could remove it by hand, the grill feels like it will just pop out of the bumper the same way. The front bumper on our Sunfire is more solid than it and that's saying alot. Then there's the powertrain. Quite frankly, the 08 Malibu can't come soon enough.

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I invite everyone to walk through a parking lot and start pulling on bumper covers. A lot of bumper covers are loose to the touch. Normal.

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Haha... Yeeeah, as much as I browse the car lots... I don't think so. Certainly not as loose as the Malibu's. Each of the three cars in my driveway have much sturdier bumpers and with them, there's no fear of pulling too hard and breaking something, like it feels like will happen with the Malibu.

Edited by blackviper8891

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There isn't a 3.2L HF v6 in NA, is there?  Wasn't that the old 54 degree v6 from the caterra with no vvt or whatever its called. In general  I do agree with your comment.  Aside from the Atlas and Honda 3.5L engines, there is OHV  6 cylinder engines of 3400, 3500, and 3900 some with and some without vvt.

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You don't want that 3.2. That was the original engine in the CTS and while it was modestly powerful, it had a weird idle. The best I can describe it would be a "limp".

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That 3.2 was carried over from the Catera, wasn't it? It used to love to throw harmonic balancers, and GM made the dealerships repair the damage done to those engines instead of replacing them under warranty.

Viper, I am intimate with car bumpers all day. Some plastic bumper covers are loose when pulled in certain spots. If they were tight, they'd be more apt to do more damage to other parts in a low speed collision.

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There isn't a 3.2L HF v6 in NA, is there?  Wasn't that the old 54 degree v6 from the caterra with no vvt or whatever its called. In general  I do agree with your comment.  Aside from the Atlas and Honda 3.5L engines, there is OHV  6 cylinder engines of 3400, 3500, and 3900 some with and some without vvt.

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no I meant the 3.2L HF they have in Europe. Thats why I said "HF" ;) ---denotes an engine family. Not that defunct POS 3.0L-3.2L thing.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GM_High_Featu...gine#Holden_3.2

hmm...I thought Europe too...

Edited by avro206

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Viper, I am intimate with car bumpers all day.  Some plastic bumper covers are loose when pulled in certain spots.  If they were tight, they'd be more apt to do more damage to other parts in a low speed collision.

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Pull in certain places? You don't even have to pull.. and it can be anywhere, and the entire bumper cover of any Malibu will move, making considerable gaps below the headlight and hood. I have never came across any vehicle with such a loose and flimsy bumper. It's not normal... It's cheap.

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no I meant the 3.2L HF they have in Europe. Thats why I said "HF" ;) ---denotes an engine family. Not that defunct POS 3.0L-3.2L thing.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GM_High_Featu...gine#Holden_3.2

hmm...I thought Europe too...

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part of the same HF family that our 3.6 is. i can't figure out why GM refuses to bring this engine over here. The 2.8 in the CTS is barely adequate for that kind of car, it would greatly benefit from having the 3.2 standard. The next CTS should have 3.6 standard and DI 3.6 as an option unless they plan on catering to the ~30k crowd. I completely agree with the comment about engine consolidation. If Hyundai/KIA/DCX/Ford can figure out how to equip thier cars with competitive DOHC engines affordably, then I see no reason for GM to continue producing the "HV" line, what a stupid notion HV is. IT's like saying, your car is totally cheap, that's why we've used cheaper materials and components.

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BV, I wash the car once a week, and I never came to that conclusion. I let you know when the bumper falls off at 90 mph. You're just Mazda's bitch now. :-)

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^^ ahh no. As someone who has owned an alero currently owns a 'bu SS sedan and who's brother owned a grand am the malibu SS is not at all badly put together. Im with Walt on this one malibu owners forever!

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^^ ahh no. As someone who has owned an alero currently owns a 'bu SS sedan and who's brother owned a grand am the malibu SS is not at all badly put together. Im with Walt on this one malibu owners forever!

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who honestly buys a car because the front bumper looks sturdy? honestly if you walked through car lots ganking on bumpers to choose a car you have serious issues. The maxx ss i teste drove had really good quality. yes the 3.9 is a little trashy at some points on the powerband. bv normaly i ignore your comments but come on? the bumper is flimbsy? thats like saying the cigerette lighter is mounted upside down so now i hate all malibu SS's. people need to start practicing a process called thinking before you type.

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who honestly buys a car because the front bumper looks sturdy? honestly if you walked through car lots ganking on bumpers to choose a car you have serious issues. The maxx ss i teste drove had really good quality. yes the 3.9 is a little trashy at some points on the powerband. bv normaly i ignore your comments but come on? the bumper is flimbsy? thats like saying the cigerette lighter is mounted upside down so now i hate all malibu SS's. people need to start practicing a process called thinking before you type.

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Dude, practice that yourself with your own post. I only said the bumper is flimsy, which it most certainly is. I didn't say that makes it a bad car. I didn't say it's the decision in choosing a car. I didn't say this makes me hate all Malibu's. Look above. I said the car itself is decent as far as quality goes. Look at my original post, too. If you can't read, I'm afraid it is not me that has issues... It is you.

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On a side note, my friends and I were at the junkyard once, and they decided to jump on the front bumper of one of the Shadows...comibined they weighed at least 500 pounds...yeah.

The bumper stayed on and didn't even crack or warp. How's that for sturdy? o.O

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Dual 427 c.i. LS engines, one in front, one in back, each with their own '66 Toronado transaxle. You heard it here first. Now, who will be the first to bitch about no trunk space? :)

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