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VenSeattle

The best midsize Chevrolet in 30 years

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Hehe... Eat your heart out USA Today. Another good review for the Chevrolet Malibu which happened to be in today's Seattle Times Motoring section. Even though the article was provided by The Virginian-Pilot, it's good to see a local source print a positive review. Love the Nordstrom reference at the end. Should resonate with locals. :thumbsup:

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/moto...vymalibu07.html

The best midsize Chevrolet in 30 years

By Larry Printz

Suppose I said the 2008 Chevrolet Malibu is a midsize sedan worth considering alongside the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry. Would you believe me?

I could understand if you didn't.

The Malibu competes in the toughest part of the auto market, one dominated by Camry/Accord/Altima.

Chevrolet, once the center of the American automotive cosmos, buried its reputation long ago under tons of Corsicas, Luminas and Celebritys that promised quality but failed to deliver.

Not so with this baby.

The new Malibu is the finest midsize car Chevy has produced in three decades.

I'm not alone in that thinking. The Malibu elicited many questions from co-workers — and it turned heads wherever it went. Its sleek lines evoke the 2008 Cadillac CTS. Subtly beveled sheetmetal and chrome trim reinforce the deception. This handsome car is a sharp contrast to the new Honda Accord and Toyota Camry, which seem dowdy by comparison.

Unlike previous Chevrolet interiors, which must've been targeted by GM accountants for cost-cutting, the Malibu boasts the same soft-touch surfaces, ambient lighting and expensive detailing seen in Asian rivals. The twin cockpit dashboard design recalls '60s-era Corvettes. A two-tone color scheme is carried throughout the cabin. The instrument panel is refreshingly simple, lacking the overload of buttons that plagues too many cars in this class.

The front bucket seats are comfortable and supportive. The seat bottoms have good depth and thigh support. The rear seat is comfortably high off the floor, though it lacks a fold-down center armrest. Legroom is plentiful.

And there are little delights throughout, such as the rear power outlets, adjustable foot pedals, rear sunshade.

But the Malibu offers more than great styling and build quality. Underneath is a platform that exhibits equal finesse.

Malibu isn't a sports sedan, but it has enough agility to make the daily commute entertaining. Its personality is more like a European car. Yes, there's body roll during cornering, but it's offset by good grip. The car insolates occupants from road impacts without robbing the driver of road feel. Steering is responsive and precise. This Chevy's excellent balance between ride and handling is surprising for a family hauler.

b[Performance comes from two smooth engines[/b]. For fuel-economy fans, there's a 169-horsepower 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine hooked to a four-speed automatic. It provides adequate power, but the power-hungry will want the 252-horse, double-overhead-cam 3.6-liter V-6. It comes with a six-speed automatic that can be shifted manually via steering-wheel paddles. The car reaches 60 mph in less than 7 seconds, and it returns good fuel economy. The V-6 test car had overall mileage of 24 mpg.

And it's very serene, with just a bit of road noise. The solitude can be banished with the AM/FM/XM/CD audio system.

The trunk is very deep, but not tall.

The car Chevrolet sent for testing was the top-of-the-line LTZ model. Standard equipment includes anti-lock disc brakes, stability control, traction control, 18-inch wheels, heated outside mirrors, heated leather seats; split folding rear seats, power adjustable foot pedals, tilt/telescopic steering wheel wrapped in leather, and remote starting.

GM is charging Wal-Mart prices for a product with Nordstrom elan.

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I do agree that the 1978-83 A/G body Malbu was a fine car for its day. May not have had 200+ hp, but it handled well, and lasted long. Only the rear doors with sealed windows were a drawback.

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How come I've never read :

>>"The new camry is the finest midsize car toyota has produced in three decades."<<

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How come I've never read :

>>"The new camry is the finest midsize car toyota has produced in three decades."<<

Don't worry... People will buy them in Costco volumes anyway <_<

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I do agree that the 1978-83 A/G body Malbu was a fine car for its day. May not have had 200+ hp, but it handled well, and lasted long. Only the rear doors with sealed windows were a drawback.

My dad bought one of those G-body Malibus brand new. It was a 1983 blue CL sedan with blue interior, 305 4 bbl V8, limited slip 2.73:1 gears and the normal helping of options to keep him happy. That car would lay rubber on command, rode like a dream and saw 26-27 MPG on trips to Cape Cod! It also gave him years of trouble free service with nearly 150K miles before he sold it to a college kid who kept it another couple of years before smashing it up. I would call that a very good Malibu indeed.

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My aunt and uncle had a brand new 1978 Malibu. Silver outside with the red interior. They had a few things at the beginning with it but it ultimatly ran for them and the next owner for almost 20 years, I want so hard to like the new Malibu but every time I get in and out of it I hit some part of my body on a part of it. Not a problem with the Impala or even moms Aveo.

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Just saw this article and I'm hardly on here anymore, but I have to disagree with one point about Chevy's past mid-size cars: I still see lots of Celebrity's around, generally 1986-onward-the A-Body was and still is a car to beat for durability, longetivity, and passenger/cargo room for its size (I didn't have a Celebrity, but had the similar 1987 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera base sedan and 1989 Buick Century Limited sedan), and there's even more of those two from that era around still (not so much for the also-similar Pontiac 6000). Still a fair number of 1978-83 Malibus-had the similar 1983 Olds Cutlass Supreme base sedan-didn't like that you can't roll down the rear windows on the 1978-87 A/G-Body sedans/wagons. What engine did your 1978 Malibu have?

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I think the whole quality issue thing with GM in the past 30 years have been way overstated.

I've owned many and had very good experiences with them.

To me, where GM went wrong, is in the styling department, they stopped making really good looking cars.

They are starting to change that.

And the Malibu is good example of that.

A good car and good looking too.

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I think the whole quality issue thing with GM in the past 30 years have been way overstated.

I agree. I've had a 3100 powered corsica that was great (trans went out at 180k+, would have replaced it if it hadn't broken down out of state), and a 3800 powered Regal that went well over 200k miles (unfortunately not sure how many, as the odometer only made it to about 135k miles).

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GM eventually fixed reliability problems, but that doesn't make the cars desirable. Coarse engines that still run are still coarse, nasty interiors that don't fall apart are still nasty.

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i liked the car in my sig....only problem was the engine crapped at some point and was replaced with a rebuilt ..in 91 maybe? I still wish I could have kept it... but i think the frame may have had been bent slightly...?

best midsize in 30 years... we are aware that that term has meant different things in that 30 years, right?

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Just saw this article and I'm hardly on here anymore, but I have to disagree with one point about Chevy's past mid-size cars: I still see lots of Celebrity's around, generally 1986-onward-the A-Body was and still is a car to beat for durability, longetivity, and passenger/cargo room for its size (I didn't have a Celebrity, but had the similar 1987 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera base sedan and 1989 Buick Century Limited sedan),

I had a Celebrity with a 2.8 for a bit. Bought it in college for $500 with 130k and put many more miles on it. Drove it all over the place, including a few long road trips. I'm not sure how GM got such a bad quality rep either, the celebrity was MUCH better than the corolla I drove later. Comfortable reliable car that could start at -30, mine was anyway.

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Yeah my Cutlass Ciera had the standard 2.5-liter OHV 98hp I-4 engine/3-speed automatic transmission-Mom's car from 1996-2001, replaced the 1983 Olds Cutlass Supreme base sedan (3.8 110hp V-6/3-speed auto), but luckily the Century had the 3300 V-6 (160hp) and 4-speed OD auto, we had that from 2003-06, miss them both but not as much as the Cutlass Supreme, but they were really good cars. Hopefully the current Malibu will last this long, as some of the 1997-2004 Malibu/Classics aren't starting to sound or look too good these days.

Loki-is your Regal Wagon a 1982 or 83? 3.8 or 4.1 V-6's or one of the diesels?

Still wish there were more variety and creativity with Malibu though, in their lineups at least.

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I agree. I've had a 3100 powered corsica that was great (trans went out at 180k+, would have replaced it if it hadn't broken down out of state), and a 3800 powered Regal that went well over 200k miles (unfortunately not sure how many, as the odometer only made it to about 135k miles).

Yup, first car was a '89 Bonneville SSE, had 215k on it and a tree took it out... ok, I hit the tree. ran great otherwise. Another car I had was a '90 Bonneville, had 225k on it when I gave it away. Current commuter car is a '00 Alero with 245k on the clock, still runs and shifts great. Other than rutine maintanence, only had to replace the oil sending unit seal and a front broken coil spring.

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This is a nice car, which pains me to have seen a "geiko.com" decal on the side of a white one the other day.

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had to replace the oil sending unit seal and a front broken coil spring.

I hear those Michigan roads can be brutal, as bad if not

worse than New England roads....

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I think the whole quality issue thing with GM in the past 30 years have been way overstated.

I've owned many and had very good experiences with them.

To me, where GM went wrong, is in the styling department, they stopped making really good looking cars.

They are starting to change that.

And the Malibu is good example of that.

A good car and good looking too.

+1

Chris

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