1997 Chevrolet Malibu Base Sedan Consumer Reviews | Edmunds
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1997 Chevrolet Malibu - Consumer Reviews

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1997 Malibu Consumer Reviews

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Money pit after 100,000 miles
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By matty
on

Vehicle

1997 Chevrolet Malibu Sedan 4dr Sedan


Review

I bought this Malibu with 50k on it. It now has 140,000. One thing I noticed on this car was that as soon as I hit 100,000 all the nickel and dime crap would break. I had to replace all the pulleys because a bearing went bad, replaced the ignition cylinder lock which turned out that if it fails you need to buy the ignition switch as well. I try to do my own repairs this repair went from 35 bucks to 285 in parts I had to buy both. (awesome engineering, way to go gm) the build quality with gm has been crap for many years as well as the other 2 manufacturers. Things break that shouldn't. Driving down the road one day and the overhead light just came off. Come on! Really? Average.


Favorite Features

none


Suggested Improvements

attention to details, make things last


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Only buy if you need a cheap car
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By K Webb
on

Vehicle

1997 Chevrolet Malibu Sedan LS 4dr Sedan


Review

Multiple problems. Was fine for me for the two years, but buttons fall off in the climate control, intake gasket leaks, and car just isn't built great. If you only have $1500, buy it. Don't expect any money back.


Favorite Features

Low price.


Suggested Improvements

Better quality.


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Could be cheaper to maintain
1 of 2 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Would I do it again?
on

Vehicle

1997 Chevrolet Malibu Sedan 4dr Sedan


Review

Rebuilt transmission $2,500, replaced steering rack $800. Rear brake adjusters seem not to work well on this model which causes high front brake wear. Have put two sets of rotors on and many pads on front. Have replaced the water pump twice. Due to the way the water pump is driven from the timing chain. It has a long shaft. That is subject to a high side load on the front bearing from the oil pressure activated chain tensioner .Chevy dealer here wants $800 plus to do the repair. Spring rates on the front struts are high which causes the front shocks ride at a extended height that causes early front shock failure. Replaced 3 sets. The car now has 166k and still going


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1997 Chevy Malibu LS-V6
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Anthony
on

Vehicle

1997 Chevrolet Malibu Sedan LS 4dr Sedan


Review

I bought this car in 2002 with 90,000 miles. It now has 171,000 and I only had to replace 3 parts, altenator, water pump, and thermostat. They were really cheaps parts and I've never had to replace anything else besides tires and brakes. It's a really good car and I recommend it to anyone. I've added a cold air intake for a few extra horses and it shows


Favorite Features

Smooth transmission, peppy V6, and pretty smooth suspension


Suggested Improvements

Get rid of the Delco sound system. Could use better cupholders and add about 30 for horses


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Poor quality
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By consultant3
on

Vehicle

1997 Chevrolet Malibu Sedan 4dr Sedan


Review

Purchased car from family/original owner at 40k. 6 cycl. 40k replaced alternator, brake pads and adjustment, battery and tires by 30k, by 70k serp belt, headliner-visor worn, a/c - Freon, now at 78k, oil pan gasket leaks, est. -up to $300. Suspension is bad, you feel every minor bump. This is the fifth and last gm for me. Imports are not perfect, but, this is terrible! I might try a Mazda?


Favorite Features

none


Suggested Improvements

Install better quality parts like the imports do. Longer warranty, 70k.


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Great bang for the buck
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By love my chevy
on

Vehicle

1997 Chevrolet Malibu Sedan LS 4dr Sedan


Review

This car is so fun to drive. The perfect mixture of performance and fuel economy. We bought this car with a lot of highway mileage but it was a great little car. It still is and we have only had small problems that were easily fixed and back on the road. Even the usual gasket problem didn't affect it until over 120,000 miles. I can't complain. Beats the old Ford Taurus by a long shot.


Favorite Features

Great V6. Responsive and powerful. Acceleration is great. Nice stock stereo and comfortable seats. Handles great too.


Suggested Improvements

Electronic system has had some problems. Still nothing bad except a tricky windshield washer pump.


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'97 Malibu Review
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By MalibuFan
on

Vehicle

1997 Chevrolet Malibu Sedan LS 4dr Sedan


Review

I bought the Malibu used with 40,000 miles on it. It was our second Malibu, with the first one totaled in a wreck. We drove the second Malibu to almost 140,000 miles before selling it. Overall, a good car with good gas mileage. We did replace the power steering pump, all of the front pulleys, and alternator during our 100,000 miles of use. At the time we sold it, the head gaskets were needing to be replaced (A $900 expense if done at the Chevy dealership). We would purchase another Malibu.


Favorite Features

A lot of interior room and standard equipment for the price. Fun to drive and easy to park. Loved the fact that the back seats folded down to allow for long objects to be carried. Good gas mileage for a v6 engine.


Suggested Improvements

Air conditioning could be improved so that it did not cut off and on by itself. I suspect this was a fuel savings tactic.


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Not a bad car
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Cory R. Yost I
on

Vehicle

1997 Chevrolet Malibu Sedan 4dr Sedan


Review

Ever since I have had my license I have always bought GM cars. I believe in supporting the American auto companies and I have never had very many problems with them, and if I did they are cheap to fix. I recommend this car to someone that is looking for a standard and reliable vehicle!


Favorite Features

Gas mileage, handling


Suggested Improvements

Fix the lower intake manifold gasket problem. It seems that many people have had those go on their Malibu's.


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Crappy car
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By jescalex
on

Vehicle

1997 Chevrolet Malibu Sedan 4dr Sedan


Review

This car has been through 2 water pumps, one timing chain, (due to a dumb mechanic!), I have had brakes put on 4 times. It wears tires quick. Everything that goes wrong is very expensive to fix. Brakes alone for this car are $150. This car is not worth any amount of money paid for it. I know it's a used car but 2 water pumps in 6 months. That's nuts!


Suggested Improvements

Everything under the hood! And the gas cap. Doesn't go on good and then the check engine light comes on!


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She's a good car
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By OftheNorth
on

Vehicle

1997 Chevrolet Malibu Sedan LS 4dr Sedan


Review

I know lots of people have had problems with their Malibu's, but I've had nothing. The car was purchased new and has been driven in the mountains, cross country, in city commuting mode and more. Its never failed me. It's currently serving me well in the Canadian north, where it fires up every time, even in -40 weather (without being plugged in). It gets good gas mileage (~35mpg) if one goes easy on the highway, but in city traffic, the best I can usually muster is 22 mpg. Not good there! It's a comfortable roomy car, and would make for a good first auto for a new driver. It's safe, not too fast and they're cheap to get parts for (most of the time!) While I'm no Chevy fan, iIdo like this car.


Favorite Features

Highway gas mileage, trailer pulling capacity, interior room


Suggested Improvements

City gas mileage.


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