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Long story TBD...but have a 'Bu drivetrain/model poll


If buying a new Malibu, which model/drivetrain would you prefer (and why)?  

27 members have voted

  1. 1. Which model/drivetrain?

    • 2LT V6
      13
    • LTZ 4-cyl
      14


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Eventually, I have quite a story to tell, but in the meantime...I have an opinion question for you guys. A lot of you may put 2 and 2 together, from the question and choices :scratchchin: , but I digress.

If you were buying a new '09 Malibu right now, and had already picked colors (White/Cashmere...don't need help there, so don't bother), but were between 2 models, which would you prefer and why? If it makes any difference, say if you were coming from a current Epsilon 3.5L/4-speed car and enjoy the combo of power & economy it has, and could take more of either, and have narrowed your choice to the following 2 cars.

#1: 2009 Malibu 2LT with V6 package, premium mats, power package (rear shade & 110-volt plug), sunroof as below:

Image00006.jpg

Image00002.jpg

87.jpg

#2: 2009 Malibu LTZ 4-cyl with sunroof as below:

Image00021.jpg

Image00041.jpg

23.jpg

Here has been my take, so far:

2LT V6 - Clean, cool, SS-like look. 2LT V6 "rarer" than most, not that most would notice the difference between every other Malibu now, but I would. Great 3.6L power, sound, and I think economy given my driving; very quiet, smooth, and effortless, then a beast when you drop the hammer. Firmer steering, which I'm used to and enjoy. Suede is closer to my cloth and I like the feel, generally, just not as hot on the vinyl bolsters and solid color.

LTZ 4-cyl - LOVE the look, from the extra chrome to the wheels. 2.4L is spunky the first bit off the line and nice once up to speed, but often can seem dead in between and at other times. From experience, generally strong economy once cruising. Steering is lighter, but still nice. LOVE the look and feel of the 2-tone leather, except for that leather-->back "sweat" when it's hot (last car).

Pick your choice and then "do tell" :AH-HA_wink:

Edited by caddycruiser
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I think the LTZ looks better on the outside, and I like the color scheme of its interior more than the one in the 2LT. But I'd really rather have the V6.

Would an LTZ V6 be out of any question?

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I think the LTZ looks better on the outside, and I like the color scheme of its interior more than the one in the 2LT. But I'd really rather have the V6.

Would an LTZ V6 be out of any question?

Good question, and yes. A bit out of the "range" being stuck to.

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LTZ 4cyl all the way.

22/33MPG really can't be argued with. From what I hear the 2.4 is no slouch in the Malibu, either.

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I'd take the LT6 *but* the seats don't match the two tone of the rest of the interior which is pretty hideous IMO (LTZ seats are nicer) but if that doesn't bother you/you like it that way, then get the V6 because (as I see it) powertrain is really important... I just don't like the idear of a sub 200HP engine in a car that size.

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I voted V6, but it's difficult to make a decision without driving the specific cars. My prior experience with other GM vehicles with the 3.6 liter V6, ecotec, and electric steering would lean me towards the V6 model, and the cloth seats instead of leather would seal the deal. The LTZ does look a little bit better, but I value the driving experience more than looks.

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I'd take the LT6 *but* the seats don't match the two tone of the rest of the interior which is pretty hideous IMO (LTZ seats are nicer) but if that doesn't bother you/you like it that way, then get the V6 because (as I see it) powertrain is really important... I just don't like the idear of a sub 200HP engine in a car that size.

Yep, I get that. The 2LT seats are the same shade as the one half of most of the interior, and in person I liked it. It's a bit loud, in the Cocoa-Cashmere with almost a gold/orangey hue, but I wanted something that wasn't black or gray, and it lives up the white outside.

The LTZ in the same coloring is VERY nice and I love the Cocoa trimmed seats, but, you know. And then this thread...

The powertrain and model has been making me go crazy this past week, on top of just color. Hah, all the thinking, and then I settle on Amana white;)

Edited by caddycruiser
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LTZ is my vote. There isn't much difference in equipment.

I used to have a CTS with the 3.6 and it's a great engine, but with today's gas prices I no longer find it justifiable. If this car will primarily be used for commuting just get the 4-cylinder. If you're looking for something to throw around... well... you're looking at the wrong car anyway.

I just priced out a fairly base 9-3, new... and they can be had with the Turbo-4 and 5-speed for 24 and change with a sunroof. Far more tossible. If you really want the V6, well get yourself something that has the moves to go with the muscle and find yourself a CPO CTS.

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I personally would go for the LT2 V-6, for first and primemost reason the V-6, and I like how the suede hugs you while you push the car around. I do not like the extra chrome on the LTZ, although I gotta give the spectacular grille of the LTZ compared to LT2, a subtle rim on the perimeter makes a lot of difference.

On a side note is there any chance the DI V-6 will see a light under Malibu hood?

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Hmmm, I know what happened, but I don't kiss and tell. It's your story to tell caddycruiser. Oh by the way, if you get white, I don't want to hear you complain when DELDOT runs over your A$$ when it snows. :smilewide:

Hah! True...

Well, at the beginning of last week it was black, only for me to shop every day and end up...back at white. Years of only white cars in the driveway and me crabbing about them, only to know be a fan myself. Oh well. Clean, crisp, bright works for me.

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On a side note is there any chance the DI V-6 will see a light under Malibu hood?

or the upcoming 2.3L DI for that matter.

i'd agree with olds. if it's an everyday car, the 4cyl. if you want the power that's fine, but you may soon wish you got something else.

note: i've not driven any gm newer than an 03 buick if i'm thinking correctly.

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note: i've not driven any gm newer than an 03 buick if i'm thinking correctly.

REALLY? Wow, you need to take some test drives :AH-HA_wink:

Great comments and votes guys. I'm still leaning one way and I told my salesperson on Saturday afternoon to try and trade for "that one", which she's supposed to do first thing tomorrow morning. Hope it works out, but if it doesn't, I'll just go to the other. Odd, again, but I think I liked both equally in their own ways.

The comments certainly help...and I can't wait to see how the voting eventually turns out 8) Oh, yeah, and that story...ugh...

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Was your G6 a lemon or something?

Oh, SLIGHTLY...enough for it to go back to it's maker, following repeated apologies as well. I'll talk about that in depth soon.

The LTZ seems to be winning most...not a shock, I guess.

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Go with the LTZ... Sorry to hear about the G6! Could you do a V6 G8?

Funny you mention that. A base G8 V6 was what I was thinking for a while there when I knew we were getting close to a decision, and I took one out Thursday. Really liked it and it had a LOT of room, comfortable cloth seats, felt like a tank, and of course the RWD factor, but at the same time I just wasn't "sure". Compared to a 3.6L Epsilon, it felt more sluggish--of course, due to the RWD and weight--and the interior was solid and "cool" but drab in comparison to what I had been looking at. Still, an awesome car, and I almost signed the dotted line for a white one last week;)

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LTZ vs. 2LT...11 vs 6

This has been a great poll, guys, on the different forums I have it on. I even learned a few more details about the cars, from the posts, to think about.

No word from my dealer on anything yet, but I'll have to check in soon.

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WELL, the ruling is in!

I hadn't heard from my salesperson yet so I stopped in at lunch and she told me she had arranged to get the 2LT V6 "your #1", tomorrow. Of everything, they're trading a base '09 HHR for it, which after being at the other dealer, I could see as they seemed short of HHR's.

This is good, because driving my G6 more out and around today, I really do love the V6 grunt and firmer steering and, the more I thought about it, the comfort of the Ultralux vs. the gorgeous but hot/cold prone LTZ leather.

I still think the LTZ is gorgeous but also, again, looking at more of them today on the lot, the extra chrome and wheels are a little much in comparison to my typical trend towards the cleaner "touring" style with less decor--such as on my current molding, chrome, and excess trim free G6.

Now it's just the waiting. The car isn't far away and I already test drove it at the other dealer, it's just getting all the paperwork through GM for the repurchase in hand and submitted properly. My salesperson has basic information, but nothing detailed yet--hopefully very soon, so we can do delivery and turn-in ASAP.

Image00003.jpg

Bye-bye pretty but troubled G6...hello 'Bu!

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You only live once... go do some smoky burnouts with that hairy-chested V6 torque monster. You get a far nicer interior (no cheesy piping and shiny leather to deal with), the LTZ chrome pieces probably cost $12.95, and if the 5-7 mpg drop is too much, you could always slow down.

Edited by empowah
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I'm not worried about mileage because reading owner reviews of both Malibu's and Aura's with the 3.6L, it seems quite good and at least a match to my 3.5L in most cases. Just, of course, also with "holy hell!" power when tromped on.

On the 3 forums I posted this, the LTZ 4-cylinder won out for various reasons. So, to that end, going against the vote sounds like my kind of response, hah;)

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I just voted now, and would choose the LT2 V6 like you just did. ECOtec's are good motors, but sadly the Bu is quite heavy. I take my moms 2007 LT V6 MAXX to work and although it's only a 201hp 3.5, it still gets up and goes VERY well.

BTW I know the last generation Malibu's weren't the best in the land, but my mom's is spacious, comfortable, quiet and quite strong w/ acceleration.

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Eventually, I have quite a story to tell, but in the meantime...I have an opinion question for you guys. A lot of you may put 2 and 2 together, from the question and choices :scratchchin: , but I digress.

If you were buying a new '09 Malibu right now, and had already picked colors (White/Cashmere...don't need help there, so don't bother), but were between 2 models, which would you prefer and why? If it makes any difference, say if you were coming from a current Epsilon 3.5L/4-speed car and enjoy the combo of power & economy it has, and could take more of either, and have narrowed your choice to the following 2 cars.

#1: 2009 Malibu 2LT with V6 package, premium mats, power package (rear shade & 110-volt plug), sunroof as below:

Image00006.jpg

Image00002.jpg

87.jpg

#2: 2009 Malibu LTZ 4-cyl with sunroof as below:

Image00021.jpg

Image00041.jpg

23.jpg

Here has been my take, so far:

2LT V6 - Clean, cool, SS-like look. 2LT V6 "rarer" than most, not that most would notice the difference between every other Malibu now, but I would. Great 3.6L power, sound, and I think economy given my driving; very quiet, smooth, and effortless, then a beast when you drop the hammer. Firmer steering, which I'm used to and enjoy. Suede is closer to my cloth and I like the feel, generally, just not as hot on the vinyl bolsters and solid color.

LTZ 4-cyl - LOVE the look, from the extra chrome to the wheels. 2.4L is spunky the first bit off the line and nice once up to speed, but often can seem dead in between and at other times. From experience, generally strong economy once cruising. Steering is lighter, but still nice. LOVE the look and feel of the 2-tone leather, except for that leather-->back "sweat" when it's hot (last car).

Pick your choice and then "do tell" :AH-HA_wink:

Actually, I HATE the two-tone interior in the LTZ.....that alone would keep me from it.

I think the 2LT is the way to go......and I love the thought of the V6 in this car......as good as the Ecotec is with the 6-speed auto.....

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Thanks guys!

I actually loved the 2-tone seats of the LTZ BUT think I'll be more comfortable on the 2LT UltraLux compared to my cloth preference now--as my mother has enjoyed hers for 9 months, never hot or cold and always soft.

And as for the engine. I'm still a big Ecotec fan, for sure. I loved the 2.2L in my rental '07 and have been pleased with our '08 2.4L, although it did start to feel like a slug after I was used to my 3.5L G6--not unexpected. It still moves well and once up to speed, sips gas. But as I've found with my G6, I love the V6 grunt without it having to work hard and I really like the firmer hydraulic steering in comparison to the still very nice, but lighter electric. In comparison, an Ecotec 'Bu feels a bit featherweight'ish, even though it's still decently quick--some dead spots, even with the 6-speed. Plus, uh, the 3.6L in an Epsilon is a bit of a beast...even more so than my 3.5L VVT that already is mean. I typically drive like Grandma Betty (yes, really) and should be again able to eek out nice mpg numbers with the 3.6L, as well as being able to drop the hammer and just go screeching away should the need arise :D

The dealer is trading a base HHR for it, and it should be up here tomorrow. I hope we can do delivery ASAP because now that I've finally decided and a car is coming, I want it NOW, and my bad G6 memories to be history. Just depends on the GM paperwork, which I hope is quick and painless for my salesperson and I.

Good sign...I already ordered an accessory for it, WeatherTech Floor Liners. As much as I loved my G6, I never bought a single thing for it, as with the issues, it just never seemed like "mine". The 'Bu already does, and I hope it's perfect.

Hopefully prep & paperwork aside, I can just borrow a dealer tag tomorrow and take the car for a short stroll, maybe back to work to show off. Otherwise, delivery sometime this week...

Edited by caddycruiser
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Oh, how the tides have changed. After the LTZ was clearly pulling away, it's now 11 to 12, 2LT to LTZ.

I was kind of solemn all day, even after finding out about the car coming, maybe because now the shopping process is over again--too much fun for me. But now I'm excited and can't wait to drive my new refrigerator! That's my name for it, jokingly, after it took me a week to decide on basic white. At least it's classy and never gets old.

On a side note...I just checked my G6 Average MPG tonight, after about a week and a half of since last resetting it. Throw in the weekend's high speed jaunts, speed racer acceleration, and more blasting around today just for the heck of it...25.1 mpg. Awesome. See why I'm happy to continue with a powerful V6 :AH-HA_wink:

Edited by caddycruiser
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caddycruiser, I never voted the other day when you posted this but I voted now and it was for the 2LT V6. A neighbor of mine has one in the ocean mist color and I like the way the car looks with the old 'bu SS rims. When I was trying to sell the wife on a Malibu before she chose the G6, I really wanted her to get a 2LT (although she would have not choosen the 3.6L V6 sport package). It's a shame what happened to you with the G6 Coupe, but atleast GM came through for you and you only had to endure 3 months of the G6 and it's many problems. Here's to wishing a much more pleasant ownership experience with the Malibu!!
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Oh, how the tides have changed. After the LTZ was clearly pulling away, it's now 11 to 12, 2LT to LTZ.

I was kind of solemn all day, even after finding out about the car coming, maybe because now the shopping process is over again--too much fun for me. But now I'm excited and can't wait to drive my new refrigerator! That's my name for it, jokingly, after it took me a week to decide on basic white. At least it's classy and never gets old.

On a side note...I just checked my G6 Average MPG tonight, after about a week and a half of since last resetting it. Throw in the weekend's high speed jaunts, speed racer acceleration, and more blasting around today just for the heck of it...25.1 mpg. Awesome. See why I'm happy to continue with a powerful V6 :AH-HA_wink:

If you're going from a 3.5 to a 3.6..... be careful, the difference in power will get you followed by a guy with flashy lights on the roof.

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caddycruiser, I never voted the other day when you posted this but I voted now and it was for the 2LT V6. A neighbor of mine has one in the ocean mist color and I like the way the car looks with the old 'bu SS rims. When I was trying to sell the wife on a Malibu before she chose the G6, I really wanted her to get a 2LT (although she would have not choosen the 3.6L V6 sport package). It's a shame what happened to you with the G6 Coupe, but atleast GM came through for you and you only had to endure 3 months of the G6 and it's many problems. Here's to wishing a much more pleasant ownership experience with the Malibu!!

Thanks Roger, I hope so too!

If you're going from a 3.5 to a 3.6..... be careful, the difference in power will get you followed by a guy with flashy lights on the roof.

You know...it's not THAT much of a leap. When buying my G6, I drove both a GT with the 3.5L VVT and then a GXP with the 3.6L back to back. I loved the scream and silky pull of the 3.6L BUT off the line and at low speeds, I swore and still do that the 3.5L with the sport gearing of the GT G6 feels stronger. It runs a little out of steam where the 3.6L still wants to start roaring higher up, but in typical driving, wow, does the current setup impress me. I never expected it for "only" 219 horses and the old growly pushrod engine.

But yes, good advice;) I still haven't driven a 3.6L long enough to know the setup, but combined with the extra smoothness and quiet of the Malibu...warp speed cruising can sometimes just happen. You know.

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Oh, and still no news on the car. It was supposed to be in today, but I just ran by the dealer again while out and the HHR being traded is still sitting there. No rush, I guess, we still have paperwork to receive and figure out.

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Hey, there's nothing wrong at all with basic white. :AH-HA_wink:

Nope. Our Dark Gray Malibu is sure a looker, and people still comment on it, but I'm still glad I picked this color.

In my weeks of casual shopping, this car matched my specs but was at the bottom of the list due to the white. Funny how the tides change when you actually start looking at things in real life.

Oh...and we're now at 13/13 2LT/LTZ. That's a pretty good showing, and I definitely understand points from both sides.

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Drum roll please...it's in, I took pictures pre-prep, and went for a test drive again and all seems A-ok. Even tried playing with the Bluetooth already but was shot down as I did it while in motion:rolleyes:

Me like. Me like a LOT. Now, if we could just get paperwork from GM so we can do more than just look at it sitting down there...

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Okay...not so fast...

The GM "paperwork" still has a long time coming. I called GM just now and since they now finally have the 'Bu invoice, it's now going to the repurchase department who will then contact us in 7-10 days. I heard that and was baffled...so it seems like Mr. Pontiac will be around for a bit longer.

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Here we go, from today after the official arrival (but of course, as it will stay on the lot for a while yet). First some pictures:

Image00003.jpg

Image00001.jpg

Image00005.jpg

Image00006.jpg

Image00008.jpg

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Image00011.jpg

And now for those who think the 3.6L is a pig...

This was the average (no idea when last cleared, but still) on the DIC when I first got in after 75 miles of test drives and bringing it to my dealer:

Image00013.jpg

And here's me driving it down the highway, where you can notice the Instant MPG readout at a steady--albeit slower, but still--60mph cruise:

th_MVI_1031.jpg

YES, I am so glad to have a V6 again, that can loaf along at low rpm and sip gas or drop a few gears and blast by anything in sight without delay. Oddly enough, like on my original G6 test drives, I still think my pushrod 3.5L now is ballsier right at line step off but the 3.6L is a screamer and has more to it as the speed keeps increasing. Love the 6-speed too, and it works very well with the 3.6L.

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I prefer bright white to pearl white. Pearl white always looks dirty to me, plus it is a bear to match if a panel ever needs to be painted. You done good... but I'm still curious about the G6's troubles.
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I prefer bright white to pearl white. Pearl white always looks dirty to me, plus it is a bear to match if a panel ever needs to be painted. You done good... but I'm still curious about the G6's troubles.

You KNOW, I love White Diamond but after the past weekend where I started looking in depth at Summit White cars and parking the G6 near them, it did start to look like yellowed or dirty white to me. I still love it, but now like pure bright white more...a good thing.

G6 troubles coming soon, I promise. I'm stretched as it is just getting my latest 'Bu news on the forums, but watch for this weekend, a new thread.

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