2005 Chevrolet Malibu Maxx LS 4dr Hatchback (3.5L 6cyl 4A)
Had to buy a car capable of handling my wife and I, two toddlers, and our three dogs (Great Dane, Boxer, Jack Russell). With the back seat slid forward (but back enough to allow legroom), the dog gate to the rear hatch is large enough to hold the Boxer and Great Dane. On a recent trip to Houston, I averaged 32 MPG on the highway at 70 MPH. Handling is borderline fun though the electric steering seems to sometimes lose the driver's intent and seems to emphasize torque steer at times during hard acceleration. With the dogs out and the back seat slid back, its a limo!
I bought it used for $12,000! Thank goodness American minds steer away from station wagons and lower their resale value.
I like the 2006 front end restyling. Maybe a couple of inches added to the rear to point it towards more of a wagon than hatch.
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