KBB Editors' Overview
By KBB.com Editors
- Updated Date: 10/5/2007
You'll Like This Car If...
The Malibu Maxx SS marks a return to the days when Chevrolet built sporty cars that were fun to drive and anybody with a decent job could afford to purchase and operate. While the Malibu Maxx SS won't ever be mistaken for a Chevelle or Camaro, this highly versatile vehicle delivers a European-inspired ride and handling, room for five and respectable fuel economy. The racy good looks and big wheel and tire package of the Malibu Maxx SS shun the Soccer Mom image many
wagons and five-doors now share, and the bold SS badges are sure to make Dad happy, too. If you're looking at a Mazda6 Sport
Wagon, Dodge Caliber or
Volkswagen Passat, be sure to add the Malibu Maxx SS to your shopping list. You may be in for a pleasant surprise.
You May Not Like This Car If...
If you like the versatility and good fuel economy of a small
hatchback, but need a vehicle larger than the average compact car, the Malibu Maxx SS makes a great choice. The extra power and appealing SS package will have your kids begging to borrow the family car.
What's New for 2007
The Malibu Maxx's truncated rear somewhat limits its cargo carrying ability, although it is big enough inside to be classified by the EPA as a Large Car, and the fold-down front passenger's seat allows hauling long, narrow items. Still, if cargo capacity, or cargo-carrying shape is important, you may want to give it a careful check.
No major changes for 2007
In the areas of acceleration, cornering and steering feel, the Malibu Maxx SS delivers performance on par with the best imports. The steering feel is nicely weighted and the car tracks straight without the need for constant steering inputs. The big 18-inch tires contribute greatly to its solid cornering manners, yet the firm sport suspension manages to deliver a comfortable ride that is never jarring or bouncy. Although the V6 does deliver good power and potent passing performance, the four-speed automatic saps some of the fun, delivering a sluggish performance marked by slow downshifts. Fortunately, the automatic's programming can be overruled by engaging the Tap-Up/Tap-Down manual mode which, though not as fun as a true manual, allows the driver to hold a lower gear during spirited drives.
Power-adjustable foot pedals
Standard power-adjustable foot pedals make it easy to find the perfect driving position.
Fixed Rear Roof Panels
A neat feature that creates a more airy feeling for rear-seat passengers.
The Malibu Maxx SS provides a roomy and wide cabin, with nicely bolstered front sport seats and a very convenient 60/40 split rear seat that will slide fore and aft. The passenger-side front seat can fold flat, thus extending the load length right up to the instrument panel. From behind the wheel the driver views a set of circular instruments trimmed in chrome and housed in a hooded bin. The audio and ventilation controls are stacked one atop the other and protrude slightly for ease of use. The Malibu Maxx SS offers a number of innovative features rarely found in this class, such as power-adjustable pedals, rear fixed glass skylights and an optional flip-up rear-seat DVD player.
Notable Standard Equipment
The Malibu Maxx's blocky, upright body presents a satisfying change from the rounded look so common in this class. The SS treatment adds a more powerful engine, 18-inch five-spoke wheels, a sport suspension, rear spoiler and silver SS logos adorning the front doors. The revised front end features a mesh pattern filling the grille and lower air intake and a set of integrated fog lamps. The Malibu Maxx SS features a fixed glass panel roof allowing rear-seat occupants more sunlight, with dual individually retractable shades for those times when it gets too hot for comfort.
Notable Optional Equipment
The Malibu Maxx SS features a long list of standard equipment, including a four-speed automatic transmission with Tap-Up/Tap-Down sport shifting, 18-inch aluminum wheels, four-wheel anti-lock (ABS) disc brakes, traction control, sport seats, three-spoke leather-wrapped steering wheel, automatic air conditioning, front and rear head-curtain airbags, remote keyless entry, cruise control, power adjustable pedals, six-way power driver's seat with manual lumbar support, tilt/telescoping steering wheel, AM/FM/CD stereo with rear seat audio controls and a rear wiper/washer.
Under the Hood
The Malibu Maxx SS can be outfitted with a power glass sunroof, flip-up rear-seat DVD entertainment system, XM Satellite Radio, OnStar and an in-dash six-disc CD changer.
The Malibu Maxx SS is powered by a 3.9-liter V6 engine utilizing variable valve timing (VVT) and a variable intake manifold for increased low-end torque. This engine is a derivative of the 3.5-liter V6 found on the base Malibu Maxx, meaning it uses an iron block with aluminum heads and has only two valves per cylinder. Although the engine lacks the sophistication of dual overhead camshafts, it still develops an impressive 240 horsepower and 240 pound-feet of torque at a very low rpm. Strong performance is accompanied by smooth operation and respectable highway fuel economy.
240 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
240 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4600 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/24
The Malibu Maxx SS has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $24,200. A look at the Fair Purchase Price shows the Malibu Maxx SS is selling for about $450 over dealer invoice. Prices may vary by region, so be sure to check the price in your area before you set out to buy. The Malibu Maxx SS is expected to retain an average value, but lower than the
Hyundai Elantra GT, Chrysler PT Cruiser, Dodge Caliber and the