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.
Highway gas mileage, trailer pulling capacity, interior room