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Like, um, seedless watermelon, the Chevrolet Malibu Maxx was the end result of selective, consumer-friendly design. Seedless watermelon was created because consumers love watermelon but hate spitting out seeds. Launched in model-year 2004, the midsize Malibu Maxx was created because many consumers like the utility of wagons but want the cooler look and style offered by sedans.
Most Recent Chevrolet Malibu Maxx
Hoping to avoid any potential stigma, Chevrolet describes the Malibu Maxx as a "five-door extended sedan." Built on a lengthened version of GM's Epsilon platform, the Maxx has a hatch-type rear door and a glass roof over the rear seat. And unlike the sedan that offers both four- and six-cylinder engines, the Maxx comes with V6 power only.
Its hatchback design makes loading the Chevy Malibu Maxx effortless. The rear cargo area has 22.8 cubic feet of space available (about 8 more than the average midsize sedan's trunk) and folding down the rear seats opens up 41 cubic feet. Further versatility is gained by rear seats that slide forward and back -- either side of the 60/40 setup will slide independently with a 7-inch range of adjustment. Other strengths include an agreeable ride and outstanding crash test scores.
All in all, the Chevrolet Malibu Maxx is a great choice if you're seeking utility at an affordable price -- provided you don't take issue with its drab looks and unremarkable handling. Those seeking brisker performance can choose the SS trim (launched in 2006), which comes with a more powerful engine.
Alas, the Malibu Maxx has not been a particularly popular offering for Chevy, and it was announced that the car would be discontinued after the 2007 model year. More information about the Malibu can be found here.