2004 Chevrolet Malibu Base 2.2 4 cylinder ecotec from North America
Full Size luxury with Compact Economy
I have had no problems so far with this car.
When I went looking to trade in my Cavalier, I was dead set against a Malibu, having read the comments on this sight. However, the 2004 Malibu is redesigned from the ground up, using the Saab 9-3 chassis.
The four cylinder engine at 140hp offers ample power for around town and will get you going on the freeway, albeit a little noisy on acceleration. Once you reach speed, it quiets down nicely. I average 29 mpg on a highway/city mix and have reached 38mpg on straight highway driving.
This is a very comfortable car to drive long distances in. The seats are supportive and the ride superb. GM put a lot of thought into the cabin of this car, with all controls easily found. It has electric power steering which allows you to turn with one finger at low speeds, yet tightens up nicely at higher speeds.
For being a base model, this car is loaded up nicely. It has a trip computer, all power, cruise, excellent stereo, automatic headlights, and lots of nice little storage compartments.
The trunk is very roomy, more so than the Impala, which I also test drove that day.
If you want a nice car for the money (19830 sticker, pd 18200 w/rebate), you can't miss here. A very comfortable economical mid size car!
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 30th March, 2004
11th May 2004, 10:31
Update #1 to original post:
The car now has 8,500 miles on it and all is still well. The only repair was to the Chevy emblem in the center of the steering wheel, which broke when I pounded on the horn one day. My gas mileage is still averaging around 29-30 in a mix of city/highway with around 37 on straight highway driving with the cruise on 75. At first, I kind of regretted not getting the V-6, but with gas prices still climbing ($2.02 for unleaded here in South Florida) I am appreciating the 4 cyl more and more. I will post again around 12k to keep everyone updated. I am still happy with my car.