2005 Chevrolet Malibu Maxx LS 4dr Hatchback (3.5L 6cyl 4A)
The Maxx is probably the neatest car we've ever owned -- quick, very roomy, fairly comfortable, very good on gas, and distinctive in styling. Hatchback sedans are a great idea: Recently we hauled home a 42" big-screen TV, still in the box, which fit right thru the hatch opening. After helping to load 70 parcels into it, a guy at my American Legion post asked, "What kind of car is this?" GM didn't know how to market the Maxx, so didn't sell many (but watch how well the new Toyota Venza sells). However, a common problem is weak steering gear; the rack was replaced under basic warranty, and the intermediate column for $100 (there must be a service bulletin on this)
Hatchback design, fold-down rear seats (wish they folded flat!), very roomy rear seat area, excellent fuel economy 21 to 35 mpg), good power and handling, quietness at all speeds, and distinctive styling.
Wish the seats were more cushy (maybe the Maxx LTZ's seats are better), and that the steering gear had been adequately designed. Chevy does warranty the electric-steering part of the column (which hasn't yet failed on our car) for 7 years/70K miles, though.
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