'06 Ford 500SE vs. '06 Malibu LT V6

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6,786
Location
Huntington Beach, CA
The 500 is a nice car...waiting for a better engine. The new Ford 3.5L with 265 HP should be an opyion within the year. ...then you have something. As of now, the Dutratec engine is barely "adequate" IMO Don't know about the Chevy
 
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4,292
Location
Central Wisconsin
The 3.4 L V-6 is one of the GM engines with a tendency to leak at the intake seals. I'm not sure if GM has finally fixed the problem yet. They are on the third 'revision' of that gasket. Time will tell. If you trade every three years, either should be a reliable drive.
 
Messages
182
Location
Longview, TX
After riding in both, I prefer the Malibu, although I'm a little biased toward the GM anyway. I think the Malibu is more responsive, and I think gets better MPG, but I'm not sure about longevity.
 
Messages
516
Location
Massachusetts
I think the 500 is supposed to compare more with the Impala than the Malibu. I agree with tenderloin about the Duratech engine. If it is adaquate for you, I would go with the 500, I think it's much better built. Maybe apples and oranges, but I know of a municipal fleet that switched from Crown Vic's to Impalas because of cheaper inital price and better fuel economy. After a while their maintenance costs went through the roof. Personally I'd check out the Chrysler 300 (or Charger) with 3.5 V6. Far superior engine than either the Ford or Chevy IMHO.
 
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3,558
Location
SE Pa
The 500 is based on the Volvo S80 platform. With a better drivetrain (wait a few months), I'd go with that one over the Malibu.
 
Messages
6,902
Location
Louisiana
Yeah, you'd be getting much more car with the 500....Although the Malibu is no slouch, especially since they redesigned the front fascia a bit.
 
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1,397
Location
Katy, Texas
quote:
Originally posted by dwendt44: The 3.4 L V-6 is one of the GM engines with a tendency to leak at the intake seals. I'm not sure if GM has finally fixed the problem yet. They are on the third 'revision' of that gasket. Time will tell. If you trade every three years, either should be a reliable drive.
This engine isn't in the Impala, nor Malibu... they have moved to a 3.5L V6 engine with 217hp.
 
Messages
3,558
Location
SE Pa
One caveat on the 500: while it's based on the S80 platform, one shouldn't necessarily expect it to perform or hold up like an S80; it is not assembled in Belgium and stuffed full of German and Swedish parts, nor is it priced as such. Still, a good and very capable platform design. If Ford would tone down some of the more garish trim touches on the 500, I think it might do better than it has been doing.
 

LC

Messages
536
Location
Wisconsin
We have a 2005 Freestyle FWD which is of the same platform. Problem free and wonderful fuel mileage. 27 to 30 on the HWY. Low to mid 20's around town. 5 star safety rating on the 500's also.
 
Messages
3,094
Location
Metro Detroit
If I was your age, Critic, I wouldn't be caught dead in a 500. Those cars are stodgy, stodgy, STODGY! What a boring design! My apologies to the Ford people here, but the Malibu, while not a design leader in it's own right, is a much better looking car. The 3.5L is reliable and has fixed the intake gasket issues. Besides, GM now offers a 100k mile warranty that will cover that if it does fail. Most gaskets were failing WAY before the 100k mile mark.
 
Messages
1,979
Location
Dallas, TX
I'm afraid I'm gonna have to agree with the Charger comment above. At least do yourself the service of going for a test drive. My parents just bought an SE and I liked it a LOT more than I thought I would. 250hp is more of an acceptable output for a car in this size segment, and they get great gas mileage. Lexus, Mercedes and BMW produce RWD cars for a reason...noise, vibration, weight balance and handling are naturally better in a RWD car. The 500 suffers from very uninspired styling, and the Malibu has always screamed "rental car" to me. Also mentioned above...isn't the Impala closer in size to a 500? The Malibu is GM's Accord and Camry fighter.
 
Messages
4,118
Location
Olathe, KS
500 hands down. No comparison. The resale of the 500 has been good thus far also (compared to Taurus, Malibu, etc.). The 500 is a much larger car, has a huge trunk, and you don't see thousands of them on used lots. I guess I don't know your age. If you're single, under 30,no kids; I'd pick something other than both: Fusion, 6, Jetta, etc...
 
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13,228
Location
1/2 hr N.E. of Detroit
quote:
Originally posted by The Critic: Cost is within $500 for the two. Which is better and why?
Why are you comparing an apple to a orange?? The 500's close rival in the GM lineup is the Impala. I would speculate that the Malibu's closest rival in a Ford is the Fusion. In both cases, I'll take the Fords -- despite buying a GM product with my last two purchases.
 
Messages
3,558
Location
SE Pa
One good thing that Ford has done with their passenger car line is draw from some of the mechanical and engineering elements of their affiliated companies. I don't think they have done it as well as they could have, but it has helped improve the product. By the same token, they've pumped a lot of cash into companies such as Jaguar and Volvo, and made them stronger units. In my opinion, I think Ford's styling has fallen behind the curve (Mustang excluded), and may be hurting them more than anything else. People other than fleet buyers like exciting cars. If you've read the latest news today, it is getting very bleak in Dearborn. Hopefully, they'll make it through the trauma unit. Love 'em or hate 'em, they've done a lot of overall good for America over the decades.
 

JTK

Messages
13,391
Location
Buffalo, NY
The 500 weighs about 400lbs more & is quite a bit larger in all dimensions than the malibu. IMO- malibus are comfortable (BIL has a maxx), but I like the higher up seating of the 500 better. I like both GM & Ford, but if I had to choose, I'd go with the larger 500. Joel
 
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