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 No

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 (5 total reviews)


Saved my life

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Chevrolet Malibu Maxx LS Fleet 4dr Hatchback (3.5L 6cyl 4A)

I bought this car after falling in love with it at the dealership. It was sporty enough to rationalize the "station wagon" style hatch back. It has a great stock sound system and all the features were great for the price. The thing that impressed me about this car is the fact that, when I blew a tire after running something over on the highway at 60 mph, hit dirt and rolled it over twice, I was able to walk away with nothing but a small bruise on my shoulder. This car saved my life, and I recommend it with the highest regards!




Love to the maxx

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Chevrolet Malibu Maxx LS Fleet 4dr Hatchback (3.5L 6cyl 4A)

Got a great deal for this 2 year old Maxx with 21,000 miles on it. Great car to drive. I had read the reviews about the steering feeling wierd, uh what are you talking about? This car handles great. The power is incredible. The Chevy maxx is a great utilitarian car. Oh and I am averaging 28 miles per gallon in mixed driving.




My favorite of all

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Chevrolet Malibu Maxx LS Fleet 4dr Hatchback (3.5L 6cyl 4A)

I was looking to buy a crossover SUV like a Nissan Murrano but when I found the Maxx I looked no more! I get the feel of a crossover with the fuel economy of a car and the safety of not having having the roll over risk! I thought my son would love the moon roof in the back but in fact he loved the console in the back seat and the many cup holders! I bought this as a used rental car and it was very well taken car of.




Great comfortable ride

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Chevrolet Malibu Maxx LS Fleet 4dr Hatchback (3.5L 6cyl 4A)

This was the first brand new car I have purchased. I love it! It gets great gas milage for the long trips. But doesn't fair so well when traveling the gravel roads. I tend to put about 20,000 miles per year on a car and I haven't had any problems with mine untill this spring when our road became a mud road (instead of gravel). It sits to low to the ground and scraped bottom several times causing some minor problems with the traction control and ABS.




Underrated excellent competitor

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Chevrolet Malibu Maxx LS Fleet 4dr Hatchback (3.5L 6cyl 4A)

Maxx is a mini-Saab. Good foreign feel, interior a bit basic. If Chevy invested in upgraded interior materials this car can compete with imports hands down. Good mileage, great pickup excellent style. I researched BMW, Saab, Volkswagon Wagons Maxx best value for the dollar. Just wish the interior could compete with imports.



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