We bought our 99 Malibu used. It handled fairly well, not at all as you would expect for its size. Since then, it has had new brakes 2x, has a perpetual coolant leak and constant electrical problems. The fuel gauge no longer works, two relays have gone out, the HVAC controller died, the blower resistor burnt out taking the blower with it. The windows work when they want to. The factory CD/cassette players no longer work. Not much power for a V6 (I could out-accelerate it in my 4cyl 5spd Kia Sephia.) Smooth ride. When the windows are rolled down hot air comes up through the floor. Have since bought a 2002 Malibu which has been a dream, so it could have just been this particular car or year.
Rides smooth. Decent gadgets. Handles much tighter than you'd expect for its size. Decent room. Nice exterior styling.
Fix the electrical problems. 4 wheel disc brakes. Most other issues seem to have been fixed by the 2002 model.