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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

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2008 Chevrolet Malibu Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.6
Out of 10

Based on 518 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

Chevy malibu hybrid

By on Friday, July 18, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 93,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Handles very well very smooth ride"

Cons: "Too much electronics (computers)"

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

"One of the most comfortable cars I've owned. The little 4 cylinder engine is enough for it to get up and go. the highway mileage is phenomenal for the size of the car. I'm 6'2" and this is the only car that the seat isn't all the way back. The telescopic steering wheel is great. The room this vehicle has is almost comparable to a 70's Cadillac almost. It has a huge trunk and spacious interior."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

It's a great and very reliable, comfortable ride.

By on Wednesday, July 16, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 24,800

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Great car and I like it much more than the Impala"

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

"When driving on highway I set on cruse control and the MPG is so good. I have a need for a pick up at this stage of my life, or I would hold on to this car. It rides real smooth and I haven't had any problems at all. It's been serviced every 3000 miles. Currently has 24850 miles on the car. The color is pearl, and some folks call it metallic white. Very nice paint and great wheels. No dings or dents, as I always parked in away from others, and it's in the garage when it isn't in use. It's style is LTZ which has a lot of options. Interior is leather with a beautiful walnut wood trim."

Except for steering noise has been a very good car

By on Sunday, June 22, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 70,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "mpg, comfort, quiet, dependable."

Cons: "noise in steering."

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

"Bought one of the first "new" malibus. Noticed a clunking noise as I was driving it home for the first time. Took it in and they "fixed" it. The noise came back. The dealership "fixed" it two more times and it continued to come back. The last time I took it in (still under warranty) I was simply told that "all malibus do that" as if it was ok because they all are messed up. This turned out to be the same problem I had with my GMC pickup. The steering column develops a slack in it and while it is not a safety issue it is very annoying and speaks to GM's failure to build a quality vehicle that they will make right if it has something wrong. Long story short, every time I drive it, especially on cold days when the noise id particularly bad the car (and truck) sing me a song that goes something like this ... Never again, never again, I'll never buy a GM again. The pickup was new in 2004 and stickered for 41k and the malibu was 28k. For that kind of money GM should make it right. At the right price a used malibu would be a good car but just know that they "all do that"."

4 people out of 5 found this review helpful

comfortable for long drives

By on Wednesday, June 11, 2014

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

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Looks great, easy to drive."

Cons: "not enough cup holders in easy to get to places."

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

"Love this car. Roomy enough for 5, great ride, comfortable interior. Looks great even after almost three years."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Great car for trade in from 2001 Ford Taurus

By on Sunday, June 08, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 71,588

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "gas mileage, ambient lights, doors open wide"

Cons: "small trunk, no onstar, no satellite radio"

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

She's new to me

"I had a 2001 Ford Taurus SES that I loved but it had major problems. Well I decided to stop in at a dealership because of traffic, I love car so the guy comes up and says "I will not bother you but if you have questions just ask" I had questions and drove some cars, then after everything; he asked if I wanted to see if I could be approved. I had been approved and I'm working on my credit :) They financed me for a 2010 Chevrolet Malibu LS and I never even test drove it. When I took it home everyone loved it and so did I. I had to take it back to the dealership three days later because the alignment was off a little bit. They said it was fine and turned the steering wheel back straight and it was still eating up the drivers tire. Other than the tire problem and noise from the tires the car is awesome."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

She's new to me

Good value , great handling , sharp body styling,

By on Wednesday, June 04, 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
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Great value, style, interior appointments."

Cons: "Not as quiet a ride as I had hoped."

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

"I really enjoyed my Malibu LTZ. Handled beautifully, enough power and great in the mountains. The Interior appointments were really nice and dash was well thought out. My only disappointment was I felt the car could have been a quieter ride, although I may have experienced some additional tire noise due to the fact I had the larger 19" wheels , (gorgeous), and sport tires. All in all I really enjoyed my time in my Malibu. I unfortunately won't buy the new one. I'm just not fond of the new body style."

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