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Old Nov 12, 08, 7:58 am   #1
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Ride Report: 2009 Chevrolet Malibu LTZ (Fullsize)

I was able to find one of these at MCO last weekend. I was pleasantly surprised on how much I enjoyed driving it.

The car only had 1,400 miles on it and was in very good condition. It was also an upgraded model with the larger 3.6L V-6, moonroof, and working OnStar and XM.

Cabin comforts are very nice, with ample room for four adults. Two-toned leather seats are nice, but I found the lumbar adjustments difficult to adjust and I had a backache the first day after driving. The auto a/c was not dual-zone , but did a fine job of regulating the temperature. Audio was very good. The trunk did a good job of holding the luggage of three adults; about five bags in total.

Performance from the V-6 is good and car rides well on 18" rubber. The six-speed transmission has a manual shift mode with shifter paddles on the steering wheel. Also present on the wheel are audio and cruise controls. I averaged about 21 mpg in mostly city conditions.

IMO, a car to be sought in the future.
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Old Nov 12, 08, 1:38 pm   #2
 
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Thanks! Added thread to the Ride Report index.
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Old Nov 12, 08, 10:26 pm   #3
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyinHawaiian View Post
I was able to find one of these at MCO last weekend. I was pleasantly surprised on how much I enjoyed driving it.

The car only had 1,400 miles on it and was in very good condition. It was also an upgraded model with the larger 3.6L V-6, moonroof, and working OnStar and XM.

Cabin comforts are very nice, with ample room for four adults. Two-toned leather seats are nice, but I found the lumbar adjustments difficult to adjust and I had a backache the first day after driving. The auto a/c was not dual-zone , but did a fine job of regulating the temperature. Audio was very good. The trunk did a good job of holding the luggage of three adults; about five bags in total.

Performance from the V-6 is good and car rides well on 18" rubber. The six-speed transmission has a manual shift mode with shifter paddles on the steering wheel. Also present on the wheel are audio and cruise controls. I averaged about 21 mpg in mostly city conditions.

IMO, a car to be sought in the future.
I looked up the LTZ on GM's web site. The engine is a 2.4 ltr 4 cyl. Glad you liked the performance! It fooled my hubby too!
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Old Nov 12, 08, 10:53 pm   #4
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I had one of these last weekend and was pleasantly surprised (I usually avoid American made cars). The 4 cylinder engine fooled me as well - it felt like it had the kick of a V6. My one complaint was the manual transmission mode was extremely sluggish and slow to respond to shifting with the paddles on the steering wheel.

While I will still lean towards selection foreign cars, I would not hesitate to take an 09 Malibu again if no foreign options were available.
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Old Nov 13, 08, 12:25 am   #5
 
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Well I'll be darned, you can get a 6-speed auto on the 2.4L engine. I have to try one of these things out soon, I've been hearing a lot of good reviews.
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Old Nov 13, 08, 5:49 am   #6
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Originally Posted by Tuneman1984 View Post
Well I'll be darned, you can get a 6-speed auto on the 2.4L engine.
For 2009, the LTZ and LT2 get the 4-cyl/6-spd combo as the base pairing. The DOHC 'high feature' V-6 is optional, but we know National doesn't tread too deeply into the options list, and the LTZ itself is a rarity IME.

Four cylinder LT1 Malibus have the 6-spd automatic optional. The high feature V-6/6-spd is also available in Detroit-speak.

LS models - basest of the base - are 4-cyl/4-spd only.

Rear decklids are marked LS, LT and LTZ, but the LT1 and LT2 distinction isn't marked on the exterior. One may need to break stride to assess Malibus properly on the EA/ES!
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Old Nov 13, 08, 6:23 am   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paminaz View Post
I looked up the LTZ on GM's web site. The engine is a 2.4 ltr 4 cyl. Glad you liked the performance! It fooled my hubby too!
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3Cforme View Post
For 2009, the LTZ and LT2 get the 4-cyl/6-spd combo as the base pairing. The DOHC 'high feature' V-6 is optional, but we know National doesn't tread too deeply into the options list, and the LTZ itself is a rarity IME.
While I didn't pop the hood, the car I had did have the V-6:

http://www.edmunds.com/new/2009/chev....html?action=1

Quote:
OPTION PDQ - Includes 3.6L V6 SFI 24-valve DOHC engine with variable valve timing and 252 hp @ 6,300 rpm and 251 lb-ft of torque @ 3,200 rpm, dual chrome exhaust tips and hydraulic power steering.
I did notice the dual exhaust on the car; I also noticed a LTZ at SNA upon my return with a single exhaust so that was one with the I-4. It also had the CF5 sunroof and 58U metallic paint options; I think I really lucked out.
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Old Nov 13, 08, 1:47 pm   #8
 
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Looks like someone in the ordering department splurged a bit and purhaps ordered a few with the 6 cyl upgrades.
Kewl for you! I guess the key is to look for the Dual Exhaust if you think you need the 6 cyl.
IMO the 4 cyl kicks it great. Go for the better gas mlg and be happy with the standard when you get them though.

I can't wait to be in the garage seeing ppl checking for the dual exhaust though. LOL
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Old Nov 13, 08, 2:10 pm   #9
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I'm going to be the downer here: this car is significantly smaller than the Impala, yet National seems to call both of them full-size. I got stuck with a 2008 LS in Albany a few weeks ago as it was the only "full-size" they had left, and my head was touching the top of the interior even with the seat back all the way and significantly reclined.

While I'd probably still take an Malibu LTZ over an Impala LS, it's not an obvious choice for me.
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Old Nov 13, 08, 2:23 pm   #10
 
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Remember Nick, size is not the All determining factor in the placement of the cars in their classes. I know that sounds weird but that's how Grand Marquis's and Maxima's were in the Premium sections at the same time. Or how M35's and Deville's are in the Luxury section at the same time.

You are also Taller than the average guy! You have to book what works for you. In your case you have to hope a car has power seats with more flexibility or their are "gifts" in the Aisle area.

I know it's tough for Vertically Gifted souls such as yourself.
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Old Nov 7, 09, 8:49 pm   #11
 
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I rented a Malibu recently and it's overall a nice driving car, with a nice smooth engine and good looks as far as typical mid-size/full-size sedans go. My biggest complaint about the car, however, is the ridiculously small-sized opening for the trunk. According to Chevrolet, the trunk is 15.1 cubic feet, which is fairly normal for this size car. However, the "height" of the opening (i.e., from above the rear bumper to the bottom edge of the open trunk lid) is WAY too small, so that it's really difficult to make good use of the space and put in larger suitcases (or kids' bikes, as I was trying to do).

I've wanted to try out the Malibu but on a prior trip literally could not get all my luggage into the trunk because of the small nature of the opening and so switched to another sedan. Just a warning to those of you out there who try it out. It's a nice drive (certainly a nicer car than the Impala, which is often the other alternative available), but if you're looking to get a car to fit a larger amount of luggage, it comes short in that area.
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Old Dec 29, 09, 3:23 pm   #12
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Malibu LT (Standard Car)

I just had a Malibu LT (Standard Car) at SFO, I'm guessing the standard 4-cylinder model.

Basically a solid ride, adequate pickup (dstan, Sr. pointed out that's because it revs up to 4K rpm before shifting), good sight lines and handling, lots of cupholders and other compartments, seats 4 comfortably.

On the downside: manual seats, manual lumbar on driver side only, no satellite radio, no Onstar, inaccurate tire pressure sensors (68 psi on one?!), squeaky brakes. As noted above, the trunk opening is very small, but the rear seats flip down and dstan, Sr. was able to fit a 7-ft Christmas tree in there .

15K miles , 20 mpg city / 29 mpg highway.
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Old Dec 29, 09, 4:23 pm   #13
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From your description, dstan, that's trim level 1LT, up from base LS. That got you the six-speed automatic in place of the four-speed. If these are classed as Standard (and so don't find their way onto ES routinely), that seems fair.
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Old Dec 18, 10, 7:07 pm   #14
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Malibu LT (now Fullsize Car)

Just took one of these out for the day from HNLC01 (Honolulu Waikiki). I'll add to my notes above that the thing corners like a bus - not easy making those illegal U-turns in rush hour traffic!

15K miles, 19 mpg city, driver's side power 2-way + lumbar seat, so a step up from the one I had last year.
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Old Jul 11, 11, 1:29 pm   #15
 
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I received a 2010 Malibu 1LT today as a rental while my car is having some warranty work done. Its actually an enterprise car, but since alamo, national and enterprise are the same company i thought I'd include my thoughts about the car.

I have always wanted to try a malibu since it got many good reviews when the current bodystyle was first introduced. My rental is a 4cyl with the auto 6-spd and steering wheel shift buttons. The car has just about 30k miles so it should be nearing retirement from rental use. The was very disappointed with the 4cyl in this car. I was pulling into traffic and i had to hold the pedal to the floor to avoid being rear-ended. Maybe the gap was smaller than i thought, but i feel the malibu just can't get up and go. Having driven a sonata and fusion within the last 6 months, those are much better cars. The interior is very bland, black and cheap looking. Maybe if the interior was grey or tan it would look better, but it looks terrible and cheap. I'm also not crazy about the blue-green gauge lights. The drivers seat is firm and has an power up/down feature. I'm 6' and needed the seat almost all the way down and i felt like i was sitting in a bathtub. The shoulder belt did not adjust high enough for my liking and the steering wheel felt to low, even in its highest position. I do like the large volume knob and tuner knob for the radio and the a/c is simple and easy to use. Vision to the rear is poor and I don't know what you can fit through the trunk opening. Its a decent sized trunk, but if i had this on a family vacation, there may be a problem trying to fit a suitcase. After being car of the year in 2008 or something, i had much higher expectations for the car. Now i can just walk past it.

I am a GM fan and loyal customer, but cars like the malibu would want my to look elsewhere when its time to update my garage.
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