The 2002 Malibu is extremely normal. It's practical, a bit faster than you might think, but its boring looks keep it in the "grandma car" category.
-Practical size. Not to big on the outside, plenty of space on the inside.
-Reluctantly fast. At first I thought I was driving a slow car since I got it from my grandmother, but it's actually pretty quick compared to these new eco-friendly 4-cylinder sedans with a million gears that won't let you touch 4,000rpm. If you coax it, it'll move.
-Looks. It's not ugly, it's just boring. Silver lining: cops won't notice you.
-Lots of little repairs. Annoying things like the indicator keeps clicking for no reason.
-V6 engine. Not strictly speaking fast, but it'll downshift and put you back in your seat if you give it some encouragement. Solid at high speed, will do over 100mph without making you nervous.
-Plenty of small storage in the cabin
-Seems to be good on tires
-Cops won't notice
-Holds its value relatively well
-Pleasant engine sound
-Surprisingly good road feedback for such soft suspension.
-Indicator clicking noise sometimes won't stop for 5 minutes or more. Repair is over $500 because they have to take the dash apart
-Air conditioning is not very cold. It also keeps turning off randomly. The fans keep going, but all of a sudden it's ambient air coming through, not cold and you have to push the button again.
-Soft handling, understeer in the corners
-Incredibly boring to look at
-Cheap interior plastics, very GM quality.
-Sound system is cheap
-Has power, but always seems reluctant to use it. You generally have to hit the gas pretty hard and wait a second for it to wake up and kick in.
-Gas mileage isn't great, but can be improved with gentle driving.
We had a 2002 Malibu that we originally bought in 2007.
Never had any major issues with it and because of high mileage hubby put on it driving 90 miles back and forth to work, we decided to look for another car.
We found a 2002 Malibu (this one is loaded) with 80,000 miles on it and promptly bought it.
My husband is a back yard mechanic of sorts (built a '66 Chevy II from the ground up into a pro-street car) and so he does regular maintenance on it and changes the oil religiously and tune ups and such.
Sure, we've had to change the brakes on both our vehicles, but that is the norm.
Great, great car.
Comfort, ability to get up to speed quickly if needed, gas mileage, design, very few mechanical problems.
Enough room for trips with our dog and all the gifts we bring back.
Just a wonderful vehicle.
Other than asking for the impossible-50 mpg-I have no suggestions for improvements.
bought at 87,000 miles I haven't had any mechanical issues after a year. I drive it almost every day for 100+ miles as a delivery driver. I think the only people that review this car are the ones that are pissed that it isn't working how a car should.
I bought this car with about 110K on it. I've had this car for about 3 years now and it has over 130K on it. So far really nothing has gone wrong with it just needed to fix the gas cap once which was no more than a hundred bucks and the brake pads twice so far. But overall no engine problems. The car drives smoothly but a bit heavy (which I prefer). As long as you get it in for your yearly service nothing should go wrong. It's a great car and will get the job done. Just a little bit of rusting on the body but overall engine sounds great and never anything major.
I bought this car in 2005, and it has been in the shop nearly every year.
Last year, it was in the shop 3 times, and it it would be on it's way again if I wasn't getting rid of it!
The fuel pump, lower intake gasket, anti-theft sensor that won't turn off (the key IS in the ignition), and then some routine maintenance things.
I don't mind paying routine up keep of a car, but the parts and labor is outrageous for the most basic things!
The thing that appalls me the most- Chevy KNOWS about these problems but has done nothing to make it right by their customers.
Will not own GM again.
The interior is roomy.
Deal with known issues.
Lower intake gasket that goes out because of Dex-Cool anti-freeze that is required.
Anti-theft system that won't turn off or let the car start even though the key is in the ignition because of known tumbler issues.
The insane cost of parts.