We were looking for a good family car. The Malibu is the best car for the price and provides some neat features not normally found on cars in the price range.
This car seems to be low maintenance (time will tell) due to many features like the 50,000 mile coolant and such. The anti-lock breaks being standard is very nice, this car handled very well in the snow over the 2001-2002 Utah winter where we drove several times for hours on slick highway and secondary roads.
New in the 2001 is a delayed locking/ security feature. This is by FAR our favorite feature of the car-- and is NOT on our neighbors 2000 model Malibu. When you go to lock the car, you can shut the doors and re-open them within 7 seconds (to allow getting children out of the back).
For such a nice car you would think that a hood with springs and an under-hood light would be provided but not to be found. Thier is the old prop-style bar to hold the hood up and no lighting provided for looking under the hood (where's my flashlight again?)