I purchased my 2000 Malibu in 2003 with 60k miles. The owner was a senior citizen who had made lots of road trips and meticulously kept up with maintenance and had all receipts to prove it. I've now had my Malibu for 9 years and love it. I've had to do most of the expected routine maintenance - brakes, rotors, tires, filters.
There's been a few pieces of non routine maintenance but overall this has been a great vehicle for me. I'm now at 162k and expect to take it to 200k+. When I'm done, I hope I can find a similar car - malibu from same era with meticulous records and low miles and likely non aggressive driving previous owner.
Gas mileage ranges from 25-30/gallon.
The completely removable back seat.
The stock audio system has alot of bass.
Power Steering and brake fluid fine after 13 years (mechanics see no need to flush, fluid color is like new).
I can change the oil without even jacking the car up.
Its not the easiest thing but its quite doable.
The oil pan plug is a funny angle but reachable.
Radiator is also easy to change.
Alternator, starter, fuel filter, oil, coolant, air filter, radio, ignition, seat belts (got a chunk of wood in it), tie rods, windsheild wipers, etc are all DIY repairs for a semi handy owner.
Enough leg room for a 6'4 dude.
Could have more room for passengers in back.
The stock CD player wouldn't play burned CDs and I replaced.
A/C controllers are notorious for dying slowly, and settings 1-2 die within a few days of installing a new one.
Transmission fluid is difficult to replace or even see how full it is.
You must remove an engine mount to replace the serpentine belt.
The rear spark plugs are very hard to get to and more than a non mechanic owner can usually handle.
The rear spark plugs basically disintegrated when I finally got them off and had to grab piece by piece.
Thankfully this is a ever 50-100k mile change.
Radiator hose fell off at one point.
had my Bu for about 2 years, only problem was external head gasket leak. just kept antifreeze in and drove it like that for over a year. had to send to junk yard due to my stupidity with jacking it up in the rear in the wrong spot and bent something that cause the back end to come around when you hit the breaks. didnt want to take the time to fix as I got another car I was fixing. great car tho loved everything about it!
control around corners at high speeds and reliability
I do love my Malibu - it was a gift, but it's just eating all my money. I got in in February '11 with 115k miles and by August '11 it has 123k, and I've put in almost $1,000 to keep it running. I just blame the water pump/serpentine belt on the age and the control arm on our terrible roads, but it's kicking my butt. I do love my Ali though :) It's not a terrible car but I just don't have the money for the upkeep.
Ok this car is junk, why did they make this? Someone gave me this car. For free, all I had to do was fix it up. Leaking coolant, malfunctioning ignition switch, new starter, new head gasket, struts go every couple months, intake gasket went, blower only works on 3 and up, signals don't work, omg the list goes on and on and on, not to mention I've only had this for a little over a year. Don't buy it, or take it for free. Worst car ever built, I will get my vengeance Chevy.
I have owned this used car for 7+ years. Stuck with a 3 year loan, only to shell out more money immediately after buying it! Within the first 6 months, when it hit 50k miles, the engine completely DIED. Spent $4k on a new one. Even after a NEW one, I've replaced the intake gasket 4 times. It's gradually gained a large 6" round rust hole near the bottom of the fuel door. The ignition fails randomly and after 3 repair shops, no one can find the problem. The A/C needs recharged every month during the summer and on 80°F & hotter days, you can't tell it's working. I've quit making repairs ($6k during 3 yr loan!) and am driving it til it's dead. After this car, nothing will make me buy GM again.
Spending $6k in repairs, including a new engine, yeah, that was fun! [/end dripping sarcasm]
Nothing less than a class action lawsuit for willful fraud on GM's part. GM should pay $10k to each owner for all the repairs paid in, then be grateful they didn't have to pay more.