Chevy Malibu Years To Avoid

Chevy Malibu Years To Avoid – Is The Malibu A Good Car?

Are you planning to purchase a Chevy Malibu and you are looking for the Chevy Malibu years to avoid? Well, if that is the case then you are at the right place because there will be quite a lot to cover on this topic where we are going to learn all you need to know when it comes to the Malibu.

Doing the right research before you decide to spend a ton of money on a car should be one of your top priorities. Why we are saying this? Well, the first reason is that cars have gone up in value quite significantly and they cost a whole fortune to purchase right now. So, you definitely don’t want to make a mistake.

And the second reason why you would want to do research is obvious because of the problems. Not all cars are created equal and some of them have more problems than others. And these problems can be rather expensive to fix and sort out. In the worst cases, you might end up paying thousands of dollars to sort a problem out on your Chevy. Which is a bad thing. But you shouldn’t worry because we are going to help you out.

First, we are going to learn what is the Chevy Malibu and learn a bit about its history. Then we will cover the last four generations and learn a bit about their specs, common problems, reliability, best years, and also the Chevy Malibu years to avoid. So, you definitely don’t want to miss that.

What Is The Chevy Malibu

Now let’s introduce ourselves to the Chevy Malibu before we dive into the Chevy Malibu years to avoid. Let’s learn the basic concepts of this model and what is this model all about. This will be really helpful for the people that not been introduced to the Malibu nameplate and want to learn more about it. So, let’s cover this briefly.

If you didn’t know, the Malibu badge is probably one of the oldest badges still in production right now. And this model is quite legendary. Namely, because it participated in NASCAR and other sporting events between 1973 and 1983.

But this model is even older, the first generation of the Malibu was introduced in 1964. And as of today, this model is in its ninth generation. Which is a crazy number. But what is worth noting is that this badge was on hiatus between 1983 and 1997. So, between these years there were no Malibu models introduced to the market.

And even though the Malibu took many shapes in the distant past, nowadays the Malibu is a mid-size sedan. This means that it is placed between the Chevy Cruze and the bigger Chevy Impala.

And the sad thing is that both of these models were discontinued. So, the Malibu is the only offering by Chevy in this sedan segment along with the Chevy Spark. A sad thing, but sedans are slowly becoming a dying breed. But what about the Chevy Malibu years to avoid? More on that in a bit.

Chevy Malibu Generations

So, we briefly introduced ourselves to the Chevy Malibu and we learned that this model has a lot of generations. But for the sake of simplicity, we are going to stick to the last four generations of this vehicle.

We will discuss the specs of the models, as well as their common problems, reliability, best years, and also the Chevy Malibu years to avoid. So, let’s dive into the topic.

Sixth Generation Chevy Malibu (2004 – 2007)

The sixth generation of the Malibu debuted in 2003 and the first model year was 2004. This model was produced up until 2007 when it was replaced with the next generation of the Malibu.

For this purpose, Chevy based the Malibu on the GM Epsilon Platform. This platform was a front-engine, front-wheel-drive platform upon which the German Opel Vectra was built. As well as the Saab 9-3, Pontiac G6, Saturn Aura, Cadilac BLS and the Fiat Croma in Europe.

What is interesting to note is that this model came as a 4-door sedan, as well as a 5-door hatchback. Overall, the Epsilon was a good platform that allowed Chevy to create a proper FWD car. The wheelbase is 106.3 inches for the sedan and 112.3 inches for the hatchback. The overall length of the car is 188.3 inches for the sedan and 187.8 inches for the hatch. But what about the Chevy Malibu years to avoid? More on that in a bit.

Engines & Transmissions

In terms of engines, there were a few options. The base engine was the Ecotec L61 2.2L inline-4 producing 144hp and 155lb-ft of torque. There were also more powerful V6 3.5L and 3.9L V6 engines producing 200hp and 240hp respectively.

In terms of transmissions, there were two 4-speed automatics available. But what about the Chevy Malibu years to avoid? More on that in a bit.

Fuel Economy

The fuel economy was rather good on the Malibu. The 2.2L got 21 mpg in the city, 31 mpg on the highway, and 25 mpg combined.

Safety

The Malibu was tested by the IIHS and got Good scores on most of their tests. As we all know Good is practically the highest rating when it comes to safety. So, we can say that this generation performs well in this aspect. But what about the Chevy Malibu years to avoid? More on that in a bit.

Problems With Chevy Malibu

This model has a lot of problems. Namely with the steering column. A lot of people reported the power steering going on and off intermittently, as well as other issues like noises coming from the steering. And the whole steering column had to be replaced.

Other problems included electrical issues with the internal accessories like the stereo, fuel gauge, door locks, fuses blowing, and dash light problems. Overall, a ton of minor electrical issues.

Also, problems with the light bulbs were reported. These bulbs tend to burn out quickly on these cars.

Head gasket problems were reported as well. The coolant simply mixes with the oil and causes problems. As well as timing chain issues with the V6 engines were reported as well on carcomplaints.com.

In addition to this, problems with the fuel pump failing were also common in these early 2004 models. But what about the Chevy Malibu years to avoid? More on that in a bit.

Chevy Malibu Reliability

When it comes to the overall reliability of this model, we can say that it is rather good. Not the best out there since it has a lot of problems with accessories and other electrical issues. But still, it is not a bad deal if you can live with them.

Best Years Chevy Malibu

The best year of this model is 2007. There were the least problems reported in this production year from all other production years. So, we would definitely recommend you buy the most recent one if you want to avoid some problems. But what about the Chevy Malibu years to avoid? More on that next.

Chevy Malibu Years To Avoid

When it comes to the years to avoid, we would definitely recommend avoiding the 2004, 2005, and 2006 production years.

Chevy Malibu Years To Avoid

Namely, because there were a lot of issues reported on these models and they can be rather problematic. So, better avoid them if you want to avoid some annoying issues.

Seventh Generation Chevy Malibu (2008 – 2012)

The seventh generation of the Malibu was first shown in 2007 and the first model year was 2008. This generation was produced until 2012 when it was replaced with the new eighth generation.

This model was extensively re-engineered in order to make the model more appealing to people that buy Japanese cars. And there were three trim levels, the LS, LT, and LTZ. The model was based on the Epsilon platform that was shared with the Opel Signum and Saturn Aura. The model was assembled in Kansas at the Fairfax Assembly.

The wheelbase of this model was 112.3 inches and the overall length was 191.8 inches. The curb weight was 3.415lbs. But what about the Chevy Malibu years to avoid? More on that in a bit.

Engines & Transmissions

This generation used 2.4L inline-4 engines that produced about 169hp. And the 3.5L V6s made about 217hp. There was also a high-performance engine 3.6L V6 that produced 252hp.

There were also three transmissions, a 4-speed automatic and two 6-speed automatics.

Fuel Economy

The Malibu with the 2.4L engine performed rather well. It got 22 mpg in the city, 32 mpg on the highway, and 26 mpg combined.

Safety

The Malibu of this generation performed rather well and the 2012 model even got the Top Safety Pick by IIHS. But what about the Chevy Malibu years to avoid? More on that in a bit.

Problems With Chevy Malibu

When it comes to problems with this generation of the Malibu, it is worth noting the power door locks failing and numerous complaints on this problem.

Problems with the steering wheel shaking, knocking, whining, and power steering failures were present as well.

Light bulbs also tend to burn too quickly, forcing you to frequently replace them.

In terms of the engine, there were reports of the 3.5L engine consuming too much oil. Two quarts between regular oil changes, according to an owner on carcomplaints.com.

From 2009 to 2011 many transmissions failed on the 2.4L engine. Also, on the 2.4L engine from 2010 to 2012, there were reports of timing chain failures. But what about the Chevy Malibu years to avoid? More on that in a bit.

Chevy Malibu Reliability

In terms of reliability, this model is pretty reliable. Not the best because still has a lot of issues with the transmission and the 2.4L engine.

Best Years Chevy Malibu

When it comes to the best years, this time we would recommend the first model years, 2008 and 2009. Namely, because these model years have the least serious mechanical problems.

Chevy Malibu Years To Avoid

When it comes to the Chevy Malibu years to avoid, we would definitely recommend avoiding the 2010, 2011, and 2012 model years. Mainly because of serious mechanical problems.

Eighth Generation Chevy Malibu (2011 – 2016)

The eighth generation of the Malibu debuted in 211 and 2012 was the first model year of this car. The model was produced until 2016 for the North American model.

This new generation was based on the Epsilon II platform by GM. This platform was shared with the Buick Regal and the Opel Insignia.

The wheelbase of this model is 107.8 inches and the overall length is 191.3 inches. The curb weight is between 3,393lb and 3,660lb depending on the model. But what about the Chevy Malibu years to avoid? More on that in a bit.

Engines & Transmissions

This generation offered different engines from the Ecotec family by GM. There was a 2.0L turbo making 260hp, a 2.4L making 164hp, a 2.5L making 196hp, and a 3.0L V6 that made 260hp.

The transmission was a 6-speed automatic. But what about the Chevy Malibu years to avoid? More on that in a bit.

Fuel Economy

The 2.5L engine of 2015 produced 25 mpg in the city, 36 mpg on the highway, and 29 mpg combined. Which is rather excellent when it comes to a car of this size.

Safety

The 2014 model was tested by the IIHS and got really good grades in almost all of the categories. Except for the headlights it got a poor rating. Overall, this model is a good performer.

Problems With Chevy Malibu

This model just like the previous model suffered a number of electrical failures. The most reported problem on the 2013 Malibu model is the sudden power loss from the engine. The engine simply dies and stops working. This was reportedly due to bad battery cables.

Other problems include problems with the water pump, excessive oil consumption, check engine light, and premature wheel bearing wear.

The most serious problem was the rocker arm oil control valve failure. There was even a service bulletin issued on this problem. Only for the 2014 model year. But what about the Chevy Malibu years to avoid? More on that in a bit.

Chevy Malibu Reliability

In terms of reliability, this generation of the Malibu is really the opposite of the previous one. And we will happily recommend this model. There are rather low mechanical issues reported. Just make sure that the engine and transmission are sound and the vehicle has relatively low miles.

Best Years Chevy Malibu

When it comes to the best years of this generation, we can say that 2014 and 2015 are rather good with a low amount of problems reported on the car. But what about the Chevy Malibu years to avoid? More on that next.

Chevy Malibu Years To Avoid

When it comes to the Chevy Malibu years to avoid, we would advise avoiding the 2013 model year. This year has more reports than the following ones. Mainly because of some electrical problems that tend to occur in this model year. So, avoid the 2013 and you will probably be good without electrical issues.

Ninth Generation Chevy Malibu (2016 – Present)

The ninth generation of the Malibu debuted in 2015 at the New York Auto Show and 2016 was the first model year of this generation. This generation is still in production. Even though it is getting a bit older now.

The Malibu is based on the GM E2XX platform that is shared with the Buick Regal, Opel Insignia, and the Holden Commodore. This model is assembled at the Fairfax factory in Kansas.

This new generation comes with four different trims, the L, LS, LT, and Premier. The Premier has replaced the LTZ used previously.

Nevertheless, this model has a wheelbase of 111.4 inches and an overall length of 193.8 inches. The curb weight of this model is between 3,086 and 3,457lbs depending on the model. But what about the Chevy Malibu years to avoid? We will get to that in a bit. Now let’s discuss the engines and transmissions used in this model.

Engines & Transmissions

In terms of engines, there are a few used on the new generation of the Malibu. The smallest is the 1.5L turbo. This engine produces 160hp and 184lb-ft of torque. There is also a 2.0L turbo that is producing 250hp and 260lb-ft of torque. And also there is a 1.8L in a hybrid configuration. The hybrid produces 182hp and 375lb-ft of torque.

There are two transmissions used on this model. A 6-speed automatic, and an 8-speed automatic. But what about the Chevy Malibu years to avoid? More on that next.

Fuel Economy

The fuel economy is rather good on this model and it gets our recommendation. The hybrid averages 46 mpg. The 1.5L also delivers 27 mpg in the city, 37 on the highway, and 31 mpg combined. The 2.0L turbo is the worst performer with 22 mpg in the city, 33 mpg on the highway, and 26 mpg combined.

Safety

In terms of safety, this generation of the Malibu performed rather well. The 2016 model of this car got the Top Safety Pick+ award from the IIHS. So, we can say that is rather good in this aspect.

Problems With Chevy Malibu

The first three model years are rather problematic. With check engine light and other issues. The engine quite often entered limp mode and the engine reduced power.

Also, on a lot of cars, there was the shift to park message on the cluster even though the shifter was in park mode. Overall, a lot of minor electrical issues made owning the model a lot more frustrating. But what about the Chevy Malibu years to avoid? More on that next.

Chevy Malibu Reliability

When it comes to reliability, we can say that this model is fairly reliable. It does not have major mechanical problems.

So, if you want to get a good running car, this model will be it. Just try to avoid the first one or two years with the 1.5L turbo engine and you should be good with your choice.

Best Years Chevy Malibu

When it comes to the best years, we will say anything from 2018 to the present day. This model is a long time in production and is very proven on the roads. So, anything newer will do the job just fine. But what about the Chevy Malibu years to avoid? More on that next.

Chevy Malibu Years To Avoid

When it comes to the Chevy Malibu years to avoid, we would advise you to avoid the 2016 and 2017 models.

Chevy Malibu Years To Avoid

These are the models that are most problematic. Mainly because of electrical issues. So, better avoid them unless you want to deal with minor bugs.

Conclusion

In this article, we cover the Chevy Malibu, we learn what the Malibu is and the core concepts behind this vehicle. We learned that there are a lot of generations.

So, we covered the four most recent generations of this model. We learned their specs, common problems, best years, and the Chevy Malibu years to avoid.

Frequently Asked Questions

Now let’s answer some frequently asked questions.

Is A Chevy Malibu A Full Size Car

No, Chevy Malibu is a mid-size car. Previously the model was slotted between the smaller Cruze and the bigger Impala. But nowadays only the Malibu is left in the lineup. And who knows, maybe this is the last Malibu model.

Where Is Chevy Malibu Made

The Chevy Malibu is manufactured in the US. More precisely at the Fairfax factory by GM in Kansas. Previously it was also made in Detroit, Michigan.

How Much Does A Malibu Cost

The Chevy Malibu starts at $24,500. This is the base MSRP for this model. A well-equipped Malibu Premier will cost you more. This model starts at $34,600. But if you want the best, for this price, it is really worth it. You also have the RL, LT, and LS trims that are far cheaper.

Are Chevy Malibus Good Cars

Genuinely they are good cars. Especially the newer models are very reliable. The last two generations are probably the best of all of the Malibus before. So, getting one with good history is the way to go. Make sure that the car was regularly maintained if you buy used and if it has some warranty left on it. This way you can be sure that you don’t end up with a problematic car.

How Long Does Chevy Malibu Last

These models last for 200,000 miles with no problems. Especially the larger displacement engines. The 1.5L is rather small and this could affect its lifespan and could be lower than this number. So, avoiding this engine might be a good option if the car has a lot of miles.

How Many Miles Can A Chevy Malibu Last

On average the Malibu models last for about 200,000 miles. Some of them less. It really depends on the engine and how well-maintained it was. The service history tells everything you need to know.

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