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2008 Chevrolet Malibu

Overview
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2008 Chevrolet Malibu Review

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Chevy's mid-size Malibu, like most GM passenger cars, suffered corporate neglect in the 1990s and early 2000s as customers---and the company's engineering attention and budget---increasingly shifted toward trucks and SUVs. Still, the plain-looking previous Malibu has drawn kudos as a solid, reliable, high-value contender and has sold fairly well. This new one, though, vaults Chevrolet straight to the top of the mid-size sedan game. It looks wonderful, is solidly built and carefully crafted inside and out, offers good fuel economy, drives wonderfully and is priced to sell in serious volumes. There is even an affordable "mild" hybrid version that performs better than the base four-cylinder car and gets two miles-per-gallon better economy.

You'll Like This Car If...

The Malibu's bold, attractive sheetmetal and stylish interior touches are backed by confident handling, a quiet ride and an overall level of refinement competitive with the category's best.

You May Not Like This Car If...

The Malibu doesn't offer the same all-encompassing feel of precision that some of its competitors have been able to achieve.

What's New for 2008

The 2008 Chevrolet Malibu---which shares GM's global mid-size platform with the Saturn Aura, Saab 9-3 and same-size German Opels---offers a stiff, solid, quiet-riding structure and precise build quality. More than three inches longer than the 2007 Malibu sedan, and on a six inch-longer wheelbase, its added length and wheels-at-the-corners stance simultaneously enhances its appearance, handling and interior roominess.

Driving the Malibu

Driving Impressions The 2008 Chevrolet Malibu's long wheelbase, wide stance and stiff structure combine for a pleasing balance of ride and handling that's not at all common in this class, particularly for...

a domestic brand. The energy-efficient electric power steering on four-cylinder models---though better than earlier GM electric power steering applications---feels a bit artificial on-center; the conventional hydraulic power steering on V6 cars offers more precise feel. The standard four-speed automatic, a perceived disadvantage to competitors with five-speeds, is smooth and pleasant on the road. GM's new six-speed automatic, offered with the V6 only at launch, will become available on four-cylinder cars later in the year. The Malibu hybrid, though not as fuel-efficient around town as the more expensive "full" hybrid Camry, delivers smooth performance and a two miles-per-gallon economy enhancement for about $1,800 more than a conventional 1LT four-cylinder.

Remote Starting
Available on 1LT models and standard on 2LT and LTZ, this terrific feature lets you start the engine and warm or cool the interior from a distance, with the car still locked, well before departing.

Turn-by-Turn Navigation
A GM OnStar feature, this service provides precise verbal directions through the car's audio system without the need to program in a destination.

2008 Chevrolet Malibu Details
Interior

The 2008 Chevrolet Malibu's beautifully crafted interior uses premium materials throughout. The "dual-cockpit" instrument panel's major gauges are backlit in blue, ambient lighting provides a warm environment and overhead LED floodlights project subdued light on the console area between the front seats. The deep center console's sliding cover opens to accommodate large items, there's a handy storage compartment atop the instrument panel and an available "rear power center" provides a 110-volt AC power outlet. Two available two-tone trim combinations---Ebony and Brick and Cocoa and Cashmere---offer a choice of metallic-look or woodgrain accents, while an all-Ebony combination is accented with tasteful woodgrain.

Exterior

The 2008 Chevrolet Malibu hits a high-water mark for its size and price with taut proportions, elegant lines and a crisp, clean profile. Its split grille represents the new global face of Chevrolet cars, and its twin round taillamps are traditional Chevy cues. LTZ models feature front fog lamps and clear-lens LED taillamps, while V-6-powered Malibus sport twin chrome exhausts. With tight panel gaps and rich-looking details, this new mid-size Chevy looks like $40,000 while starting at half that price.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Malibu's comprehensive list of standard safety features includes four-wheel disc brakes with ABS and traction control, front seat-belt pretensioners, "Gen 7" OnStar and six air bags: Dual-stage front, front seat-mounted thorax (side) and two-row head-curtain bags. Also standard are a four-speed automatic transmission, 16-inch painted steel wheels, XM Satellite radio and (surprisingly) a choice of interiors that includes two-tone trim combinations. Mid-range LT models add Stabilitrak stability control with panic brake assist, remote starting (2LT) and 17-inch chrome wheels. The range-topping LTZ offers front fog lamps, 18-inch aluminum wheels, dual chrome exhausts and clear-lens LED taillamps.

Optional Equipment

2008 Chevrolet Malibu option and equipment packages include such features as power-adjustable pedals, uplevel interiors, leather seats, power equipment groups and a premium audio system. A GPS navigation system is not yet available (partially because the center stack design doesn't provide room for a screen), but "turn-by-turn" verbal directions can be easier to use (you call in destinations to an OnStar operator rather than program them in) and you may not miss the screen.

Under the Hood

The 2008 Chevrolet Malibu offers a choice of a standard 169-horsepower 2.4-liter ECOTEC four, a 164-horsepower four-cylinder "mild" hybrid system or a 252-horsepower 3.6-liter V6, all with dual overhead camshafts, four valves per cylinder and variable valve timing. The Hybrid teams a small electric motor with a more fuel-efficient version of the 2.4-liter four-cylinder to deliver two miles-per-gallon better fuel economy. The four-cylinder is teamed with a four-speed automatic, while a six-speed automatic is standard with the V6. A new six-speed automatic will become available on four-cylinder models later in the model year.

2.4-liter 4-cylinder
169 horsepower @ 6400 rpm
160 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/30

3.6-liter V6
252 horsepower @ 6300 rpm
251 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/26

Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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2008 Chevrolet Malibu Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.6
Out of 10

Based on 545 Ratings for the 2008 - 2012 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.8/10
    Quality
    8.7/10
  • Reliability
    9.0/10
    Performance
    8.7/10
  • Comfort
    8.8/10
    Styling
    8.9/10

Nice looking affordable car

By on Monday, December 15, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 81,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Great look, good price, and nice car"

Cons: "Driver's side not made for a tall person"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"We bought a brand new Chevy Malibu in 2009. Very nice looking car, a real head turner. The car looks like a BMW it looks that nice. The price was not bad. We bought the LS base model and have no problems with it. The inside is very classy, the dashboard set up is nice and fun to look at. The car is not bad on gas V4 although it the engine does struggle when you dive over 60mph. The car gets around 25mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the hwy. We really like the car. The cons are the power locks went out after having the car 4 years, the A/C sounds very weak now like its about to go out, and I'm 6'3'' 225lbs and the steering wheel doesn't adjust upwards. With the seat pushed all the way back I can hold the wheel with my knees. The wheel does adjust downward but not upward. But overall we do like the car. Very nice looking, very dependable, and the price was not bad at all. I would recommend this car to anyone looking to purchase one. I would purchase another one if they fix the steering wheel problem."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

good car.

By on Monday, December 15, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 33,400

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "price, features, comfort, mpgs"

Cons: "style is a bit bland, new body in 2013"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"About six months after having bought a kia soul, we sold the soul and bought this Malibu. That was a huge change, and was a good one! although the kia soul was an ok car, we could tell after about a month of driving it that it was not going to hold up very well. This Malibu was a complete change for the better in that regard. The build quality of this car is twice that of the soul. Also, this car has more features, and still cost about the same as what our soul was. We love the Malibu, and haven't had any problems with it. In the 5 months that we have owned it, we have put over 15k miles on it, and they have been a joy. overall, its been a really good car, and we would recommend it to anyone."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Good car easy to drive

By on Saturday, December 13, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 46,500

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Easy to drive - good gas millage - roomy"

Cons: "With 2011 year only - blind spots - hydro plaining"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7

"This has been a good car for the most part; it gets good gas millage, has decent pickup and go when you hit the gas, roomy enough on the inside- front and back, big trunk too. With the 2011 Malibu, I do have a problem with blind spots, when backing out or trying to pull out into traffic from an angle. Also, the car is so light, that hydro plaining has been a scary experience with this car. This is my 3rd Malibu, both of my previous Malibus' have been Excellent cars with no problems, the 2011 is the only one that has had these problems."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

Good car, but...

By on Sunday, December 07, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 69,000

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "Generally a great car overall"

Cons: "headlamp design means $200 repair bills!"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5

"Changing headlamps is a nightmare in this car. You have to take the whole front end apart, which is a dirty trick if you ask me. Other than that it's a great car, comfy, roomy, good on gas, handles ok, and reliable so far. I'd give it a 9 if not for the not-user-friendly headlamps."

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Bought my HYBRID Used

By on Sunday, November 23, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 75,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "feels tight, comfortable size,"

Cons: "cup holders in door and not big enough."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I bought this car used. I find it to be one of the tightest used cars I have bought. Other than the fact that the cup holders are not sufficient and spill everything I put in them, as they are in the door, it has everything well placed. I Love the controls on the steering column for the radio and cruise control, and the features of the radio such as automatically lowering when at a lower speed. The gas Mileage is various as I am on the highway and city streets at various times. Overall, I am perfectly happy with this car and have already recommended it to friends. There is no information that i could find as to how many of the HYBRID were made. But It is wonderful."

3 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Fun, Classy, Excellent Condition Malibu LTZ

By on Friday, November 21, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 46,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"This vehicle is owned and has been driven by a married couple nearing their early 70's. Excellent maintenance and exterior care. Principally my wife's car. And never driven by anyone with unruly driving habits."

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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