2005 Chevrolet Malibu Maxx LS 4dr Hatchback (3.5L 6cyl 4A)
We bought our Maxx because it's light enough (3,600 lbs.) to tow behind our motorhome. It's also quick, versatile, roomy and economical (23 to 36 mpg, according to the optimistic readout). At 26K miles it had brake rotors turned and the steering rack replaced under warranty. Those are the only problems so far. The Maxx is an excellent alternative to heavy, thirsty SUVs, but Chevy hardly advertised it at all. The new Malibu should have a hatchback version but doesn't because GM spent $billions on crossover SUVs and now must sell them. It'll take Toyota with its Camry-based (I think) Venza hatchback, coming late this year, to sell the concept. We Maxx folks will then look pretty smart.
Hatchback rear and folding/sliding rear seats work like a wagon, and there's limo-like leg room back there. Maxx is rare, so is distinctive, and I like its chunky styling. Car is quiet and fairly comfortable; it's nimble in town and stable on the highway. I look at other cars but Maxx is still tops.
Better front seats would help (my wife has a very bad back and would like some Caddy-like "cush"), and passenger's seat should be power- adjustable. Are the LT and SS seats better than the LS's? Rear seats don't fold flat and should so the floor would be flat. (The new Malibu has the same fault).