2006 Chevrolet Malibu Sedan Review | Edmunds.com

2006 Chevrolet Malibu Sedan

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Chevrolet Malibu Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.2 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 4-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 144 hp @ 5600 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 21/29 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2006 Chevrolet Malibu

  • Roomy, safe and well equipped, the 2006 Chevrolet Malibu offers excellent value but can't match the handling dynamics and refinement of the class leaders.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Smooth ride quality, fuel-efficient engines, plenty of passenger and cargo space, outstanding crash test scores, ample safety and convenience features, innovative remote-start feature.

  • Cons

    Lackluster interior, subpar brakes and steering, base four-cylinder down on power for this class, no stability control or manual gearbox.

  • What's New for 2006

    The Chevrolet Malibu gets a few updates for 2006. Most interesting is a new performance-oriented SS trim level that features a 240-horsepower V6 engine. Chevy has also juggled the existing trim levels: the base model is now called the LS, the former LS is now the LT, and last year's LT is now the LTZ. Other minor changes include freshened front-end styling, new wheel designs, flashier trim pieces for the instrument panel, a new four-spoke steering wheel and standard child security rear door locks on every trim level.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews



Check the undercoating

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Vehicle: 2006 Chevrolet Malibu LS 4dr Sedan (2.2L 4cyl 4A)

I noticed last year that the black undercoating was just peeling away from the rear tire walls..and a few months later from the front! what the hell? of course its no longer under warranty, and got no where with gm. so there is no rust proofing left, am waiting for it to rust out from under me, being in the northeast, it will happen. Im thinking I should sell it before that happens and buy a toyota. I'm sure the 7 year rust through warranty has a catch, so we will see. The dealer will charge me a couple hundred bucks to fix the problem. I'm not sure what to do at this point but there is my rant!




Worth the money

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Vehicle: 2006 Chevrolet Malibu LS 4dr Sedan (2.2L 4cyl 4A)

I bought this car in July 2006 with 13,000 miles. I now have 87,000 miles and am looking at my first set of brakes and new tires. I have had some front end work done both under warranty and last year for tie rods. This car gets about 34 miles to the gallon on rural roads. The interior controls are well placed and good to use when driving. The seats are comfortable in the front and serviceable in the back. Trunk room is good and the rear seats fold down for extra cargo room. I paid $13,500 used and I am pleased with the car.




Worst car i've ever bought

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Vehicle: 2006 Chevrolet Malibu LS 4dr Sedan (2.2L 4cyl 4A)

I purchased this car with 4000 miles on it, rattle in dash at 10k. Torque Converter went at 40k. The stock tires were horrible and made loud noise on the road. The interior of the car stained when it rained. The dashboard rattle became louder as time went on. Despite attempting to tighten everything in the dash, nothing fixed it. The catalytic converter clogged at 50k. At that, I turned the car in and took my losses. I spent 4k on the car in repairs in 2 years and it was draining me.




Great first car

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Vehicle: 2006 Chevrolet Malibu LS 4dr Sedan (2.2L 4cyl 4A)

I got this Malibu after I had a 2000 Chevy silverado. It had a lift and big tires so it got about 17 mpg hwy. This car is such a difference, and gets such good gas mileage. From going state to state in that truck. That's a lot of gas. But when I got this, it isn't the most comfortable, and I miss siting so high up in a truck. But I live in Chicago and I drove to Arizona in my truck because it was like driving a living room. But my wallet got really skinny. So I drove the car, I only had to stop to get gas 4 times. That's awesome! The truck, I had to stop about 14-15 times. The only problem with the car, because I bought it used, was the steering arm. My son will have this car when he's 16.




22 times in the shop

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Vehicle: 2006 Chevrolet Malibu LS 4dr Sedan (2.2L 4cyl 4A)

I bought this car new! It was in the shop from week one, which the guys in the service dept have bent over backwards for me. They did not design or build the car, not their fault. The rattle was finally fixed, after the 3rd visit struts replace, strut mounts replaced 2 times in first yr, rack and pinion replaced? steering column sleeve replaced at 34,000 miles visor 2 times radio replaced ac fan motor, Car drifts to left all the time Car is very loud with road, noise brakes are showing signs of issues. Haven't taken it back in yet. Headlights shake even if road is smooth. This is my 3rd Malibu and last Chevy.




Great car

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Vehicle: 2006 Chevrolet Malibu LS 4dr Sedan (2.2L 4cyl 4A)

I drive 600 miles per week in this car and it has been flawless in 109000 miles I still have not done a brake job on this car yet!!! I have done oil changes and a set of tires and thats it in 109000 miles!!! I tuned it up at 100000 just as normal maintenence. I alwas get 30-35 miles per gallon depending how fast I am driving. This car has been outstanding!



Full 2006 Chevrolet Malibu Review

What's New for 2006

The Chevrolet Malibu gets a few updates for 2006. Most interesting is a new performance-oriented SS trim level that features a 240-horsepower V6 engine. Chevy has also juggled the existing trim levels: the base model is now called the LS, the former LS is now the LT, and last year's LT is now the LTZ. Other minor changes include freshened front-end styling, new wheel designs, flashier trim pieces for the instrument panel, a new four-spoke steering wheel and standard child security rear door locks on every trim level.

Introduction

Since its introduction in 1964, the Chevy Malibu has gone from affordable family car to high-horsepower muscle car to little-noticed rental car. Despite its historic value, the Malibu nameplate was discontinued after the 1983 model year, returning in 1997 as Chevrolet sought to give customers a value-packed midsize sedan that still cost thousands less than the imported competition.

The designers and engineers at Chevrolet listened to consumers from across the country in an attempt to design and build a sedan with broad based appeal. The result was a roomy, tasteful-looking midsize sedan that offered just about everything you might want in a family car. Unfortunately for Chevrolet, this Malibu never received enough attention to get it noticed by mainstream buyers. The company tried again last year with a fully redesigned Malibu riding on an all-new platform and powered by a larger 3.5-liter V6 engine.

Chevrolet is hoping this Malibu will woo some import sedan buyers, and indeed it's based on GM's Epsilon platform shared with the nimble Saab 9-3. Ride quality is smooth and comfortable on the highway. Handling is predictable in the corners, though an oddly calibrated electric steering setup makes Chevrolet's family sedan feel less adept than many of its competitors. The brakes perform adequately in everyday traffic, but we've measured longer-than-normal distances in simulated panic stops. In general, those who make few demands on their cars should be satisfied with the Chevy Malibu's dynamics, while those accustomed to the sharper reflexes of other cars in this class may want to look elsewhere.

Inside, the Chevrolet Malibu is quite roomy, with as much headroom, shoulder room and legroom as anything else in the class. The spacious trunk offers 15.4 cubic feet of capacity, and you can fold down the 60/40-split rear seats and the front passenger seat to open up more room for bulky items. Passengers are protected by an optional set of front-seat side-impact airbags along with front and rear head curtain airbags, and Chevrolet is offering an interesting remote start feature that allows owners to get a head start on heating or cooling down the cabin. The interior is bland compared to the competition, but it is at least functional with a straightforward control layout. Build and materials quality is still several steps behind the Accord and Camry, though.

In order to accommodate a variety of drivers, all Malibu models come with a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel and standard seat-height adjustment for the driver; power-adjustable pedals are available on all models. The Chevy Malibu is purposefully conservative with regard to exterior styling. Fresh without being funky, Chevrolet refers to the Malibu's exterior style as "enduring." While the company still has some work to do before it can dream of stealing Honda and Toyota customers, the roomy and well-equipped Malibu is certainly a step in the right direction.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The four-door Chevrolet Malibu is available in four different trim levels -- LS, LT, LTZ and SS. The LS model comes well equipped with air conditioning; a CD player; a height-adjustable driver seat; a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel; power windows, mirrors and door locks; and a 60/40-split folding rear seat. The LT adds remote vehicle start, premium cloth seats, front map lights, a cargo net in the trunk, adjustable lumbar for the driver and an upgraded stereo. The LTZ adds a rear spoiler, antilock brakes, automatic climate control, leather upholstery, power-adjustable pedals and side curtain airbags. The SS adds 18-inch alloy wheels, a sport-tuned suspension, bolstered sport seats and unique trim. Various options include an in-dash CD changer, satellite radio, a sunroof and OnStar.

Powertrains and Performance

LS and LT models come with a 2.2-liter, four-cylinder engine rated at 144 horsepower. Standard on LTZ models and optional on LT models is a 200-hp, 3.5-liter V6. The SS comes with a 3.9-liter V6 with 240 hp. All engines are mated to a four-speed automatic transmission, and the SS features a manual-shift mode.

Safety

Front-seat side-impact airbags and full-length head-protecting side curtain airbags are standard on the LTZ and SS; and optional on the LS and LT. Traction control and antilock brakes are standard on all cars with a V6 and optional on those with the four-cylinder. In NHTSA crash testing, the Malibu earned a perfect five stars for front-occupant protection in head-on collisions. In the side-impact test, a Chevy Malibu with side airbags garnered five stars for front-occupant protection and four stars for rear-passenger protection. In IIHS testing, the Malibu earned the top score of "Good" for frontal offset crashes and side impacts when equipped with side airbags (without the bags, it rated "Poor" for the side-impact test).

Interior Design and Special Features

Inside, the Chevrolet Malibu offers broad, flat seats with plenty of head-, shoulder and legroom in both the front and back. Optional adjustable pedals and a standard tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel allow drivers of all sizes to get comfortable behind the wheel. The cabin design is functional but bland with a straightforward control layout. Trunk space is generous at 15.4 cubic feet, and a 60/40-split rear seat and fold-flat front-passenger seat make it easy to expand cargo space when needed.

Driving Impressions

Power is adequate with the base four-cylinder, but most buyers will want to step up to one of the V6s, both of which offer plenty of torque for merging and passing. A softly tuned but composed suspension gives the 2006 Chevy Malibu a smooth ride and predictable handling in the corners. Unfortunately, the car's electric steering ruins the fun by providing too much power assist much of the time. The SS fares much better with its traditional hydraulic power steering and sport-tuned suspension. The brakes perform adequately in traffic, but stopping distances are long for this class.

Talk About The 2006 Malibu

Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 21
  • cty
/
  • 29
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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