2006 Chevrolet Malibu Maxx Hatchback Review | Edmunds.com

2006 Chevrolet Malibu Maxx Hatchback

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Chevrolet Malibu Maxx Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 3.5 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 4-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 201 hp @ 5600 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 20/28 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2006 Chevrolet Malibu Maxx

  • Spacious and well equipped, the 2006 Chevrolet Malibu Maxx is a well-executed design that adds the functionality of a wagon without giving up sedan drivability.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Hatchback configuration makes for easy loading, spacious interior with adjustable rear seats, plenty of safety and convenience features, innovative remote-start feature, standard V6 power.

  • Cons

    Lackluster interior, subpar braking and steering, less cargo space than true wagons or SUVs.

  • What's New for 2006

    The Chevy Malibu Maxx gets a few updates for 2006. Most interesting is a new performance-oriented SS trim level that features a 240-horsepower, V6 engine. Chevy has also juggled the trim levels: the base model is now called the LS, the former LS is now the LT, and last year's LT is now the LTZ. Other minor changes include freshened front-end styling, new wheel designs, flashier trim pieces for the instrument panel, a new four-spoke steering wheel and standard child security rear door locks on every trim level.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (8 total reviews)

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Hatchbacks are great!!

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Vehicle: 2006 Chevrolet Malibu Maxx LTZ 4dr Hatchback (3.5L 6cyl 4A)

I bought my car new in 2006, and it has been great. The seats are very comfortable for me on long trips, and, while not a sports car, it has plenty of power and handles well. I got the LTZ because I wanted a few gadgets like HomeLink that weren't available on cheaper trim levels. The gas mileage, while not great, is at least as good as could be expected for a car this size and power. I get in the low- mid 20's in mixed driving, and 29-30 on the interstate going as fast as I can get by with. The reliability has been great; I've had no problems in 3 1/2 years of ownership.




This is a terrific mid-sized

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Vehicle: 2006 Chevrolet Malibu Maxx LTZ 4dr Hatchback (3.5L 6cyl 4A)

I’ve owned my Maxx for two months and love it. I had to replace my 270,000 mi. BMW 318is commuter car and needed great gas mileage and four doors. I looked at Vibes and Mazda 3 wagons but liked the Maxx better. This car has exceeded my expectations! It has comfortable seats with lots of leg room, sun roofs front and back and the rear seat audio controls and headphones keep the kids busy and happy. The hatch area holds all our stuff. It is a fun car to drive. I like the power steering. Average mileage is 26/33 city/highway. Some don’t like the looks of the car but I do. This is a real winner! GM should build it with the new Malibu styling. Now that would be fantastic!




My maxx

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Vehicle: 2006 Chevrolet Malibu Maxx LTZ 4dr Hatchback (3.5L 6cyl 4A)

I bought my Malibu Maxx in mid 2006 because I wanted better gas mil3age. Well, I got it! I drive from Leland NC to Myrtle Beach SC about 2 to 3 times a month, and I manage to get 30 to 32 mpg. I can get 30 mpg at 65 mph easily. I must say that I do love this car. All I have ever done so far to this car is change the oil when it tells me to and rotate the tires when it tells me to. I have OnStar maintance package and so far that is all that has be noted.



2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Great for family of five

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Vehicle: 2006 Chevrolet Malibu Maxx LTZ 4dr Hatchback (3.5L 6cyl 4A)

Very surprising car, but it's based an an Opel, after all. We chose it over a Mazda 5 mini-mini van. Big and versatile enough for 3 boys aged 7, 10, and 12 for long trips and has enough room for our suitcases too. The van will stay home unless we take the camper on future trips. Bought it because Bambi wrecked our '89 BMW 325i, so we were kind of spoiled and skeptical, but not anymore! Great features for the price, especially with the rebates. XM radio is excellent, would not have bought it except it was already installed which we're glad of. With the 2006 interior updates and more external chrome it looks more contemporary. Hope it proves reliable!




Ltz max

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Vehicle: 2006 Chevrolet Malibu Maxx LTZ 4dr Hatchback (3.5L 6cyl 4A)

We went to the dealer with the intention of buying an Impala. The salesman suggested that we take a look at the Max. We found that with 2 young children that it would probably be a good car for us with the windows above the rear seats and the rear dvd system. The kids love it and so do we. We definitely would suggest at least getting an LTZ model. The bigger wheels and chrome accents really add to the looks. We like it more and more. We commute about sixty plus miles per day a combination of highway and city driving and have averaged 28mpg and on our trip highway was 34ish.




Gm sales consultant owned

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Vehicle: 2006 Chevrolet Malibu Maxx LTZ 4dr Hatchback (3.5L 6cyl 4A)

I recommend the Maxx LTZ to anyone who loves functional space and long trip comfort. I average 24 mpg city and 30 on the Highway and have exceeded 34 mpg on some trips. A Large Size Pet Porter fits in the cargo area for hauling my 100 lb. labrador. A great amount of features for the money. As a performace oriented person, the LTZ is sufficient but I would love to try the SS on my next lease, as long as they add heated seats and auto dimming mirror options!



Full 2006 Chevrolet Malibu Maxx Review

What's New for 2006

The Chevy Malibu Maxx gets a few updates for 2006. Most interesting is a new performance-oriented SS trim level that features a 240-horsepower, V6 engine. Chevy has also juggled the trim levels: the base model is now called the LS, the former LS is now the LT, and last year's LT is now the LTZ. Other minor changes include freshened front-end styling, new wheel designs, flashier trim pieces for the instrument panel, a new four-spoke steering wheel and standard child security rear door locks on every trim level.

Introduction

The Malibu Maxx takes the idea of a car-based crossover to a new level -- or maybe it's just a modernized version of a 1970s Chevrolet Malibu wagon. Either way, the Maxx represents a step forward in Chevrolet's thinking. The company has learned a lot by selling hundreds of thousands of Tahoes every year, and with the Maxx, Chevrolet is applying SUV versatility to a capable midsize sedan.

Chevrolet is hoping the Malibu Maxx will woo some import sedan and wagon buyers, and indeed it's based on GM's Epsilon platform shared with the nimble Saab 9-3. The Malibu Maxx offers a roomy interior with a fixed rear skylight to give the cabin an airy feel. Neither the styling nor the materials quality is anything special, but the control layout is at least straightforward. Additionally, there's plenty of head-, shoulder and legroom in all directions.

In order to accommodate a variety of drivers, every Maxx comes with a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, and power-adjustable pedals are optional. The rear seats are split 60/40, and each section offers 7 inches of fore/aft travel as well as a recline feature. Passengers are protected by an optional set of front side-impact airbags along with front and rear head curtain airbags, and Chevrolet is offering an interesting remote-start feature that allows owners to get a head start on heating or cooling down the cabin before setting out for the day. To enhance its family-friendly nature, the Chevy Malibu Maxx offers an optional DVD entertainment system with wireless headphones, video game console jacks and a remote control. The hatch area offers 22.8 cubic feet of capacity, and you can fold down the rear seats and the front-passenger seat to open up more room for bulky items. An adjustable parcel shelf allows for two-tier loading in the cargo area, and it can also function as a makeshift picnic table. Various hooks and nets help keep grocery bags from spilling their contents.

The ride quality of this Chevy car is smooth and comfortable on the highway. Handling is predictable in the corners, though an oddly calibrated electric steering setup makes it feel less adept than many of its competitors. The brakes perform adequately in everyday traffic, but we've measured longer-than-normal distances in simulated panic stops. Most buyers will be satisfied with the Maxx's dynamics, but more enthusiastic drivers will want to look at the Dodge Magnum, Mazda 6, Subaru Legacy and Volkswagen Passat. While the Malibu Maxx is no substitute for seven- and eight-passenger SUVs, there are plenty of people who really don't need more than five-passenger capacity but could use a little extra flexibility to keep up with a growing family. If that describes you and your family, then the 2006 Chevrolet Malibu Maxx is a crossover wagon worth consideration.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The Chevy Malibu Maxx comes only as a four-door wagon and is available in three different trim levels -- LT, LTZ and SS. The LT is well equipped with features like air conditioning; a remote vehicle starter; a six-speaker stereo with a CD player and driver information center; a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel; cloth seats with height and lumbar adjustment for the driver; power windows, mirrors and door locks; a multiadjustable 60/40-split folding rear seat; a fixed rear skylight with retractable shade; and a rear cargo shelf. The LTZ adds automatic climate control, leather upholstery, power-adjustable pedals, side curtain airbags and a rear spoiler. The SS adds features like leather-and-cloth sport seats with extra bolstering, a sport-tuned suspension and 18-inch allow wheels. Options include an in-dash CD changer, satellite radio, separate rear audio controls, a rear-seat DVD player and OnStar telematics.

Powertrains and Performance

Standard on the Malibu Maxx LT and LTZ is a 3.5-liter V6 that makes 200 horsepower and 220 pound-feet of torque. The SS features a potent 3.9-liter V6 with 240 hp and 241 lb-ft of torque. A four-speed automatic is the only transmission available, and the SS includes a manual-shift mode.

Safety

Safety is a strong point for the Chevrolet Malibu Maxx. Four-wheel antilock disc brakes and traction control are standard. Front-seat side-impact airbags and full-length head-protecting side curtain airbags are optional on the LT and standard on the LTZ and SS. Though neither the NHTSA nor the IIHS has tested the Maxx, one could expect it to perform similarly to the five-star-rated Malibu sedan in frontal impacts.

Interior Design and Special Features

Inside, the Malibu Maxx offers plenty of passenger space. Head-, shoulder and legroom in the front and rear seats are competitive with what the roomiest midsize sedans offer. The Maxx is 6 inches longer than the Malibu sedan, and the 60/40-split rear seat reclines and offers 7 inches of fore/aft travel. A standard fixed sunroof over the rear seats contributes to the cabin's open feel. Cargo capacity behind the rear seats measures 22.8 cubic feet, and a parcel shelf allows for two-tier loading. Though not particularly upscale or stylish in feel, the cabin is at least functional with a straightforward control layout.

Driving Impressions

In most driving conditions the 2006 Chevrolet Malibu Maxx is a competent and comfortable performer, but handling suffers as a result of its overboosted electric steering. The SS fares better with its traditional hydraulic power steering. Although the base V6 might seem down on horsepower for this class, generous low-end torque and a quick-shifting transmission make the Chevy car feel more powerful than its numbers suggest. The V6 found in the SS model is even more sporting. Braking performance is adequate in everyday traffic, but stopping distances are longer than they should be for a car in this class.

Talk About The 2006 Malibu Maxx

Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 20
  • cty
/
  • 28
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs