2003 Chevrolet Malibu Base Sedan 3.1 V6 from North America
Not bad if you get a good one.
This car developed an engine vibration about two weeks after it was picked up from the dealer. It is most noticeable with the engine at warm idle, the transmission in drive and with a load on the engine such as the having the air conditioner or the rear window defroster turned on. Dealer service department stated that the car is operating within design of General Motors and industry standards. I guess General Motors has developed a new design, the vibrating car.
The pulsating brakes started acting normal after 300 miles. It may have been corrosion on the rotors or high spots that wore down. I had the same problem with my 2000 Malibu which was finally cured with new front rotors and brake pads at 6300 miles. There is a factory service bulletin that covers this problem. GM keeps adding new model years to the bulletin. Don't let the dealer service department give you a song and dance.
Fit and finish is okay except for sloppy application of sealant around the trunk lip adjacent to the weather stripping and some slight bumper misalignment.
The instrument panel is easy to read and controls are positioned logically and easy to reach. It would be nice if car manufacturers made a instrument panel top that does not create glare on the inside of the windshield. Maybe they should include polarized sunglasses as standard equipment.
The engine has plenty of zip and the transmission shifts points are barely noticeable. This car handles better than my 2000 Malibu which had a vague feel at high speeds and a front end with a too low ground clearance. But it did not vibrate.
Fortunately I leased my last two GM cars. Considering some of the problems I have read about it was the right thing to do. I would never buy a GM front wheel drive car or lease one for a period longer than the warranty. It's like rolling dice. You bet your money and you take a chance. An expensive chance.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know
Review Date: 4th February, 2003