"I purchased my 2002 in July 2003. It had 21K (+) miles on it and was originally a rental car, whose first year was spent in Florida. In 10.5 years, I've put only 29K on it. The first problem I noticed was when I opened the spare tire compartment to find that water had been seeping (apparently) from the time it was new--the jack was covered with rust and had to replace that...my local Chevy dealer didn't bother to inspect it or if they did, didn't tell me about it; the weatherstripping leaked around the trunk opening. The turn signals quit working but this was a common recall and it was still under warranty for that. I personally replaced the front brake pads, about $40, saving some money there. I've had to replace a noisy, faulty alternator--$130, did that myself also, and most recently the engine intake gaskets ($640), exhaust system (hole in muffler)--$400 but the catalytic converter was salvageable, thank God, rear brake shoes and cylinders--$264, new battery $110--18 months ago. So you can see that even tho' I haven't driven much (3K/year on average), I still had to replace "stuff." So, even if you don't drive much, a car will still get into your bank account one way or another; it goes "downhill" just sitting still...!! The body's in very good shape--never garaged--never been hit--and I keep it waxed, esp. the hood, top and trunk which take most of the sun's punishment. I didn't do my "homework" before purchasing this car--Consumer Reports gave the '02 Malibu a lot of black marks, the '03s did somewhat better. I plan on keeping this car five more years because I had a trailer hitch put on several years ago and can put my bike rack on it (Reese hitch) and rarely, hook up my utility 4'x8' trailer. I think this car will be OK for 5 more years because of low annual mileage. By that time, I'll be ready to trade it in or sell it, probably going with a non-GMC product! It has been just "fair" over the past 10.5 years. Thanks for reading."
Pros: "Appearance, Reliability, Hiway gas mileage"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"I bought this car new in 2002. This was my primary car until it had about 90K miles on it and since then, I only
put about 2k miles per year. I have been happy with all
aspects of the car. I've only replaced tires, brake pads,
a few batteries, and a brake line. It still looks good!
I have heard about head gasket and other coolant gasket
leaks but, thankfully, I have not experienced these problems. I used to get 30MPG on long trips! I'm still
"We bought this car used, I think 2007. It has not given us a bit of trouble. The only thing we have replaced besides tires, oil etc was a right front wheel hub bearing. It has been very economical, even though there is nothing cosmetically special about it."
"I have just about seen every possible variant of my car From the base sedan up to my LS I see the newer ones and I am proud I own a popular Generation of it I have owned my car for 6 years since I became the second owner and have spent a great deal on this to make it a safe reliable and clean car for whom ever in my family needs to use it of my car I will say this I bought it with 18,000 miles on it it now reads 53,153 not bad for an 11 year old car huh? Yeah I don't drive it much and use it on days where the weather warnts usage IE rain or snow"
"I was sold this car without a disclosure or Carfax. Mine is pretty much bottom of the barrel. After the 1 year warrantee from the dealership, things started going wrong... electrical gremlins, service engine lights, evaporator leak, ingnition switch, clear coat issues, ect.
There's no comfortable way to drive this car on long trips. The seats are "minimal" and the armrests are very ill-placed. The rear suspension is mushy and doesn't like to be loaded, even though there's loads of trunk room. 4 grown (160-185#)adults makes the car bottom out on bumps.
On the up-side, the mileage is pretty good at 25 mpg /-, and it runs fair for a small 4 cyl. in that size of car. It's fairly inexpensive to maintain even with "better" parts. There are plenty of these in the salvage yard, so used parts are abundant also."
"This car was great when I first bought it and drives great especially for a beginning driver (it was my first car). However there are some quirks to be aware of... number one is the Anti-Theft System. This system will randomly engage and you must sit and wait for about 10 waiting for it to "relearn" itself (a major inconvenience). The blinkers randomly stop working while you are driving which can honestly be pretty dangerous... The mileage is fair, especially for its age (average about 24 mpg). It's an okay car and with work has the potential to be great... but I would suggest going for an '05 or later model that doesn't have as many issues."
Pros: "The powerful engine and driving performance"
Cons: "Manufacturer problems with the intake gasket"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6
"The intake manifold gasket went out 3 times during the life of this car. Coolant leaks were a common frustrating problem.
Other than that it drove great, had tons of power and always out performed all of the trucks we passed on our way up the snowy mountain roads."
Cons: "not enough cupholders, speakers aren't the best"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"im 18 years old and my dad bought me this car. it gets me where i need to be. heat is warm so fast. my friend owns this same car and they say it is also amazing. if you're buying it for a kid for a first car its awesome! a lot of the parts are inexpensive too so if something does happen you won't spend to much money fixing it."
"I bought my '01 Malibu, used, in November 2001 and up to now (01/2012) I have added about 105K to the odometer. When it is working right, it works great. The Malibu is very good as a daily driver and also for long trips. It gets very good MPG for a V6; I have seen up to 32MPG and no less than 29 MPG on long trips. The V6 also has plenty of oomph for the average driver. The Malibu impresses on the first drive.
Long-term ownership, however, has been a disappointment, especially on the issue of reliability. This car makes frequent trips to the mechanic, sometimes under it's own power, sometimes not. It has barely limped into a shop more than once. It will usually get me where I want to go, but the breakdowns have been just often enough to make me doubt.
The frequent repair bills take the joy out of owning this car. The worst so far has been repairing a coolant leak at the intake manifold for $800. Twice. And everything that breaks, will break at least twice due to a steady stream of poor quality replacement parts from Chevy. The worst offenders, besides the intake manifold, have been the A.C. control panel (4 repairs and ready for a 5th), Mass Air Flow Sensor (3 repairs), and the ignition anti-theft system (2 repairs), to name a few. Nothing catastrophic, like the transmission, but the constant re-repairs leach away at my confidence in the Malibu.
In short, the Malibu has decent features for a decent price and the peppy V6 makes it fun to drive. But when it comes to reliability, Chevy simply failed: not miserably, but enough to make me question why I bought the car in the first place."