Bought this car new and after 8 yrs still haven't had major problems. The only 2 issues with this car I have had are the rear lights (brake/reverse) burn out frequently and have had water pump replaced twice. Other than this, the last 93k miles have been problem free.
The car from the outside is very nice with it's soft lines and curves. The muffler is tucked up under the body, unlike some cars of this class. The look is sporty for a functional sedan. The reliability suffers with some poor engineering and very high cost parts. Problems with my car have been repeated lock cylinder and intake gasket replacement, with overheating issues. For the cost of repairs, the car continues to be strong competition for cars in this price range, and functionality.
Body design and 6cyl power are very nice.
Better road noise suppression. Fix known problems with Dex Coolant, and intake gasket. Get rid of Passkey design for replacement of lock cylinders with something less costly to fix. Reduce cost of replacement parts, such as $400.00 hub assymblies that need to be replaced when wheel bearings go out
This car was just ok. Purchased at 63,000 miles. Heater and air conditioner went out within first year of owning it. Tires went bald fast, needed to fill with oil every two weeks after it hit 70,000 miles. No "get up and go". Forget about good gas mileage. Needed new transmission as soon as I hit 101,000. Automatic windows work only when they want to. Back window motor went out. I put almost half as much in to this car as I paid for it. Don't count on this car lasting over 100,000 miles. Save your money. Buy a Honda or a Toyota.
My favorite feature was the XM radio that I installed myself.
I have had my Malibu for about 6 years now. I purchased it used basically good as new as it had only been driven for one year prior. It drives nice, is quite reliable and the factory speakers sound good. Although I have had to replace the brakes three times in the past two years. Other reviews mention the AC a lot, I have noticed my AC turning on and off on one occasion, and it has not acted up since. I wrecked the Malibu about a month ago going 45 mph, without a seatbelt on. I slammed on the brakes and the car skidded about 10 feet into the back of the car in front of me. Not sure what speed I was at when I hit the car, but airbags weren't deployed.
Good trunk space. Most people mistake my factory speakers for subs. Good acceleration, Very good handling. Seems to be more comfy if you are fairly short.
My ABS light turns on from time to time and I have taken it to get looked at, and was told that my ABS is fine. No one has an explanation.