"This car was built to fail. Period. I have a 2003 malibu, and because of cheap parts in the engine and the coolant system along with the garbage dex cool anti-freeze that GM recommends you put in this car has destroyed and degrated almost the entire cooling system including: intake gaskets, radiator, and heator core. These repairs have cost me over $3,000, and as of right now that's more than the car is worth. This issue has mainly affected 6 cylinder, 2003 and older model GM cars. GM still continues to run dex cool anti-freeze even in their brand new models. You would think after GM had a class action law suit over this issue last year they would have discontinued the use of dex cool, and fixed the problem."
"I bought it with 58K miles on it in 2005 for $5500.00. The car now has over 157,000 miles on it and it still runs great. Gets 34 mpg on highway and about 24 mpg in the city. The dreaded intake manifold gasket problem appeared at about 155k. Right now, it appears to be leaking externally and losing very little coolant. In any case, it's a well known and easily fixed problem, but you have to shop around for the best price. The lowest price I got from a mechanic is $200.00 plus parts. Debating on whether to repair or replace the car. This is probably the best car I've owned in terms of repairs and maintenance. Up to now it only needed brake pads & rotors, a battery, various lamps and filters, and a serpentine belt - parts that were low in price and I was able to do most of the work myself. The intake manifold gasket issue is more of an inconvenience than a financial burden. I've already have easily obtained my money's worth from this car."
"I have gotten good gas mileage on the highway; 35 miles to the gallon. In the last past two years I started having trouble with the transmission and constantly replacing the rear tail lights. I can saw after six years of driving my car; it was time to have some problems."
"I loved the looks and the feel since I bought the car - but it is a nightmare. It eats brakes, air conditioning problems, antitheft lock a nightmare since I bought the car (keeps coming on and you have to wait for 10 minutes before you can start the car again and cannot be repaired as it keeps happening over and over.) Check engine light keeps coming on. Now at 43,000 miles the intake gaskets need replaced which 2 dealers told me this is common with the Malibu. ($1000)
The ultimate os that the paint is peeling off, 3 dealers told me it is a defect with the primer. GMAC will do nothing about the problems. Will never buy or recommend anyone to buy one. A friend is having the exact same problems."