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 3.9 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 4-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 240 hp @ 5800 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 16/24 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…

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (18 total reviews)

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Love this 2006 malibu ss

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Vehicle: 2006 Chevrolet Malibu Maxx SS 4dr Hatchback (3.9L 6cyl 4A)

I really do love this malibu ss and it drives so smooth and fast. I get a lot of compliments about this car. It has a lot of truck room and seating is perfect for me. this is a car to get for sure. This car is so much better then hatchbacks out there and thats a fact.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful


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Vehicle: 2006 Chevrolet Malibu Maxx SS 4dr Hatchback (3.9L 6cyl 4A)

I bought this car with right around 30k. It was a lease turn in so i know it was treated well by the previous owner. Being an American car guy chevy has been all I have ever owned. I was tossing this car up with a mazda 3 hatch. This car had a much smoother ride and a ton more power, SS package sold. Ohh yeah and it had plenty of space for my bicycles to fit without needing a rack.

My first maxx

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Vehicle: 2006 Chevrolet Malibu Maxx SS 4dr Hatchback (3.9L 6cyl 4A)

I bought a 2006 maxx ss model BRAND NEW in sept. 2009. For all you maxx lovers there is one more left, brand new in silver, ss model with dvd player, onstar and 2 sunroofs. Anyway, smooth quiet ride, lots of power, nice interior, awesome AC, lots of features. I like the adjustable gas/brake pedals, you can move them closer to you with push of button!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Sts twin turbo 3.9l ss

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Vehicle: 2006 Chevrolet Malibu Maxx SS 4dr Hatchback (3.9L 6cyl 4A)

I loved the SS Maxx from the first time I saw it. It is naturally fast. Very comfortable, and quiet (for those who like quiet, I prefer a throaty exhaust). I would totally recommend this car to anyone (modded or not)

Bad to the bone and

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Vehicle: 2006 Chevrolet Malibu Maxx SS 4dr Hatchback (3.9L 6cyl 4A)

The BATMOBILE.. as our car is Black w/tinted windows. This car will SCARE you. With the manual shift feature you can lay down a 20 foot path of rubber..just like the old days. SS stands for SUPER SPORT again and this car is all that. We love the design and functionality of the car. The rear sunroofs and dvd player make it like our own private jet for fast travel. The torque range is SMOOTH all the way past 100mph. You have to be CAREFUL or the tires will break loose when shifting thru the gears. All I can say is we are one of the lucky few to get to drive this car everyday. After 50,000 miles NO SQUEAKS or RATTLES as QUIET as the day it was NEW, LUVIT SS stands for SWEET and SEXY !!FAST

Maxx-imum overdrive

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Vehicle: 2006 Chevrolet Malibu Maxx SS 4dr Hatchback (3.9L 6cyl 4A)

I've owned this car for almost three years now. I originally fell in love with its sporty look, large, comfortable interior and huge storage ability. I have not been disapointed too much with this vehicle. I've had a really annoying rattle in the front dash since day One, but of course Chevy mechanics "Could not duplicate the problem." I talked them into replacing the heater motor and the rattle is still there. Also hate the brakes -- need to change them often and way underpowered for the car. And now my sunroof will not close when open unless I manually guide it in. I also get cruddy gas mileage, but I do have the larger 3.9 v-6, so I guess the extra performance outweighs fuel economy.

Gas Mileage


  • 16
  • cty
  • 24
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs

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.


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 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