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!
Great power with decent fuel economy. Capable handling, smooth on bumpy dirt roads. XM radio. Driving position, visibilty. Adjustable/reclining rear seats. Sunroof, and separate tuner keeps 3 kids happy. Attractive interior with the cashmere leather. Easy to use switches
Head rest in center rear seat needed, like on Opel Corsa. Rear sunshades stink. How about a segmented plastic design? Door lock switch is awkward. Rear bumper top should have a black rubber pad like on minivans to prevent/absorb scratches when loading trunk.