09 Malibu Avis Rental

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Rented 1 for 3 days in Maui going all over the place and racked up 500 miles. Great handling for its size, at least compare to the 01 Ford Taurus, 03 Buick Regal, and 97 Toyota Camry that I had driven before. It does feel like a much smaller car (like a civic) in the handling department and I'd definitely drive one. Navigating around parking is not bad. Few blind spot and the steering feel is just right. Interior material is rubbery. Sure it is soft but the fit and finish is typical rubbery soft instead of a firm support with soft coating you expect from VW or Lexus. At least it is better than Camry that I tested drove 2 years ago with sharp edges on the steering wheel that can cut your finger/palm. The leather seat (or fake leather, IDK) is low quality and has a smell that can make you uncomfortable in mountain driving. I'd take a cloth seat if possible next time (the car has 7500 miles on it). Now the bad part: fuel economy in 2009 for a car like this should not be 18-20 mpg. Even going downhill or cruse on flat land is only giving me something like a 40-50mpg without AC on and 34-36mpg with AC on, and gas pedal completely depressed. The fuel indicator on my IS250 manage about 40-80 on similar flatland cruse in a matter of 1-2 seconds. Well, to be fair it is a 2.5L V6 with direct injection compare to a 3.6L V6 from GM. Will I buy one new? Probably not because there are better cars out there, and a big car like Malibu is not something I'm in to, and I expect better quality even if I have to pay more. If they have a slightly smaller car that looks better in the rear, and even higher quality, I'll consider it, but not as is. However I would definitely consider it if the used car price is low enough, like 1 year old with 13k miles for only $13k-14k, and I do think that it is a significant improvement compare to the domestic cars up till 2005 or so.
 
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I think it's one of the most handsome cars to come out of GM in a long time, despite their efforts to adapt the last-generation Silverado nose to a car. It's got nice lines and proportions and the wheel designs and sizes are FINALLY up to par. If I were in the market for something that size, I'd definitely look closely at one. There's a dark charcoal colored one at my office parking lot...lots of metallic flake, and the owner keeps it very clean. It's a good looking ride.
 
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Not sure its fair to compare a rental car to a $35,000 luxury sport sedan; I'd expect Lexus interiors to be more upscale than a $25,000 Chevy. Have to admit VW does a nice job on their interiors. It's the rest of the car that is suspect. Fuel economy should not have been too different between the cars. According to the EPA, the IS250 gets 21/29 and the Malibu V6 gets 18/29.
 
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A Rental!!! come on, go to your Dealer and test drive a REAL Malibu, I have an 08 Malibu LTZ with the 3.6 and I couldn't be happier, the fit and finish is up to par if not better than anything else in it's class, as for fuel mileage I just came off a 1300 mile round trip to Tucson Az. and with the cruise set at 75 going across the desert I was getting 32.3 mpg. a RENTAL and yeah that 32.3 was with the AC on \:\!
 

PandaBear

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 Originally Posted By: bretfraz
Not sure its fair to compare a rental car to a $35,000 luxury sport sedan; I'd expect Lexus interiors to be more upscale than a $25,000 Chevy. Have to admit VW does a nice job on their interiors. It's the rest of the car that is suspect. Fuel economy should not have been too different between the cars. According to the EPA, the IS250 gets 21/29 and the Malibu V6 gets 18/29.
Completely agree. Wasn't really a fair comparison, I agree. But I do try to compare it against the Camry and mentioned that it is better (not perfect, but better), didn't I. Not sure why the fuel economy is so low, and it wasn't only me because when I first got the car the previous average was about the same. Probably have to do with the Hawaiian fuel (high ethanol?) or the terrain of mountains that you don't notice, or the slower than expected driving condition you weren't aware of, because everything thing is so beautiful around there.
 Originally Posted By: ViragoBry
I think it's one of the most handsome cars to come out of GM in a long time, despite their efforts to adapt the last-generation Silverado nose to a car. It's got nice lines and proportions and the wheel designs and sizes are FINALLY up to par.
I would agree too, they just need to fix the rear and it would look much better. Oh, one thing I have to mention is how difficult it is to put a large carry on luggage into the rear, because the opening of the trunk is very small (height wise). I end up having to put my oversized luggage into the rear seat. I went to the airport from home with a hatch back, so I haven't got a fair comparison on other midsize sedans on its trunk opening. It is deep so you can put a lot of smaller luggage into it.
 
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 Originally Posted By: Malo83
... I have an 08 Malibu LTZ with the 3.6 ... and with the cruise set at 75 going across the desert I was getting 32.3 mpg.
32.3 with a 3.6 Your Malibu is rated at 26mpg in the highway.
 
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 Originally Posted By: Billy007
 Originally Posted By: Malo83
... I have an 08 Malibu LTZ with the 3.6 ... and with the cruise set at 75 going across the desert I was getting 32.3 mpg.
32.3 with a 3.6
Uh....been there done that with my 10-year old 3.1. Best tank I got was almost 34.5mpg, and I was doing 70-75 at the time.
 
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GM's V6 engines always kill their EPA highway estimates. I've seen close to 40 mpg highway before out of my 3800-powered Buick now rated at 27 mpg highway. Granted that was trying extremely hard for fuel mileage. When I'm not pinching the fuel lines I still see 33-34 mpg highway. From everythning I've heard the Malibu is a nice car.
 
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 Originally Posted By: Billy007
 Originally Posted By: Malo83
... I have an 08 Malibu LTZ with the 3.6 ... and with the cruise set at 75 going across the desert I was getting 32.3 mpg.
32.3 with a 3.6 Your Malibu is rated at 26mpg in the highway.
My 3.9L Monte Carlo is rated at 26 mpg highway and if you set the cruise at 70 and sit back will easily do 31 mpg, as calculated both by hand and by the computer.
 
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Heck yeah, I can even get darn close to 29mpg highway with my 1994 LT1 350 V8 (Corvette Auto 4spd)
 
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This [censored] me off... the V6 Malibus get better highway MPG than I do with the Ecotec... I only get 29-30 highway, but mine is a LS witht the 4-speed. I know the 6 speed guys get 2+ MPG better.
 

PandaBear

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 Originally Posted By: zulu
This [censored] me off... the V6 Malibus get better highway MPG than I do with the Ecotec... I only get 29-30 highway, but mine is a LS witht the 4-speed. I know the 6 speed guys get 2+ MPG better.
It depends on how you drive (lead foot vs hyper mile) and the fuel you use (ethanol?)
 
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