2004 Chevrolet Malibu Maxx LT 3.5 V6 from North America


I like the concept, features, and performance of the car, but it's reliability is poor.


Almost immediately the rear seat recliner lever broke.

The rear sunshades retainer did not function.

Recalled for steering column malfunction.

Fog light indicator switch failed.

Noise in trans-axle resulted in two repairs and eventual replacement.

Harsh braking noise resulted in turning rotors and eventual replacement of one.

Seat heaters come on intermitently without being switched on.

Clunking noise investigation showed that front suspension parts were loose and had to be tightened.

General Comments:

I really like the ride and handling.

The gas mileage is outstanding.

The power and acceleration is notable.

The car's design was well thought out to offer great versatility for cargo arrangement.

The car has the most features of any car I have owned.

Though most of the problems I have had with the car were not serious, there have been too many, indicating either poor quality control or insufficient pre-market testing.

The dealer's service department has been accommodating, but often knew too little about this new model.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 18th August, 2005

18th Aug 2005, 17:18

I feel your pain!!! I had an 04 Base Malibu with the same steering issues, as well as a faulty CD player, brake issues and the worst paint job in the history of the automobile. Mine had three steering columns replaced and was finally repurchased under the Florida Lemon Law. I now have an 04 Impala, which is a much better car, though lacking in some of the bells and whistles department of the Malibu. However, it is nice to have a car that will actually turn when you turn the steering wheel:)

30th Aug 2005, 10:54

Well actually if you go to Toyota or Honda in this site you'll probably have 1 out of 11 negative reviews there as well. All cars have lemons and minor issues. The Malibu seems to have way more positive reviews than negative.

16th Jul 2008, 12:40

Who said anything about Honda or Toyota?

3rd Aug 2008, 13:02

Our 2004 Maxx LS is the wife's daily driver with approximately 38K miles as of 8-08. Been a great car and I drove from GA to CA a couple of years ago in relative comfort though not the most comfortable car for long hauls. Averaged 29.9 mpg with cruise set at an average of 75 mph.

Down sides: Battery replacement, 5-6 turn signal/DRL bulb replacements (would be nice if GM would engineer this pesky problem to solution) all under warranty to date. Front brake rotors need replacing due to warpage but blame this on over torquing of lug nuts by tire rotation shop. Only other "gripe" about the car is it seems to be a door ding magnet. Not the cars fault but negligent neighbors in any parking lot you use nowadays and wifey. Shame on GM for discontinuing the Maxx line.

28th Nov 2010, 16:46

This is the best car that I have ever owned. It was originally purchased for my wife at 19k miles.

I now have 139k miles on it and have only had the minor recall issues that have been dealt with by the dealer miles ago. One thing, the back seat recline lever broke about a month ago.

I commute to work every day over 100 miles both ways and the mileage is great 33 MPG on a 3.5 v6. I plan on keeping it instead of trading it in.

2004 Chevrolet Malibu LS 3.5 V6 from North America


Driving with Your energy


Nothing. I've driven it too short time.

General Comments:

The car is, in my humble opinion, for ones who like a bit faster drive. May the target audience be youngsters looking for comfort or mid-aged looking for sportiness.

It feels stable when cornering near limits. The car sings along with Your energy in one of those days when feeling really good (or bad). Relatively big body has some characteristics of a ship though, so don't loose attentiveness.

The engine, 3.5 V6 is ready to pull. It can give You much of a fun, but automatic transmission unfortunately eats it up to some extent. I haven't tried stick-shift, but still think that the compromise in the car is best balanced with automatic.

Comfort features are more than enough for me. But how it handles bad road conditions, needs a discussion. The thing that in automotive can never be balanced is unfortunately comfortable driving versus fast driving. It is no problem for me to feel bumps if car handles as well as Malibu. But people struggling between sportiness and convenience should decide their preferences before going out for a such corner-lover.

As a summary - if You consider Yourself a person with energy and You don't mind a few bumps on the road (on any road in Your life) then Malibu seems a good choice for You.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th June, 2005

15th Jun 2005, 09:04

I doubt that many "youngsters" are going to be interested in a Malibu.

Unless by "youngsters" you mean those under the age of 50?

16th Jun 2005, 07:04

The reviewer should try to stick to reporting facts and objective observations, instead of talking about the car singing along with your energy, wth that means. This review has nothing useful to report on the car.