2006 Chevrolet Malibu Sedan Review | Edmunds.com

2006 Chevrolet Malibu Sedan

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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

  Average Consumer Rating (172 total reviews)

3 of 16 people found this review helpful

I would never buy this

by on
Vehicle: 2005 Chevrolet Malibu

When I purchased this car in 2007 I was happy because It looked prtty good. But after a few months past that's when the problems started. First it was the linement which I'm still working on getting it corrected. I;ve had this problem for years I don't know what it feels like driving a car that has good linement. I can't check my trans fulids I have to go to the dealership which I know will charge me a arm and a leg. Now my engine is shaking when I put the car in P or D. That started when I changed the air filter. the list goes on and on.. I hate this car..



3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Worst car i owned

by on
Vehicle: 2005 Chevrolet Malibu

I don't know what people see in this car, but it is the worst car I have ever owned in my life. Family always told me to stick with toyota camry or Honda Accord, I wanted something different, and boy did I made the biggest mistake of my life. A hollow car with very bad steering and tie rod ends breaking every 10 to 20k miles. It's started to rust and good luck if you want to do some extra mods on this vehicle because it will make sure to either use stock products or it will make you pay arm and leg to drive around again. GM should be shamed of themselves and I will NEVER, EVER BUYING A GM FOR SURE. And anyone who want to take chances, good luck with disappointment. You've been warned.



2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Truly the perfect sedan

by on
Vehicle: 2005 Chevrolet Malibu

My 2005 Chevy Malibu has 56,500 miles and has never given me any problems, barring the occasional Malibu moment. The 2.2L 4-cylinder engine is surprsingly robust and highway passing is not as difficult as it generally is with these type of engines. The interior, while considered boring by many, is to me just practical enough without being completely ugly. The cargo space, both in the passenger cabin and the trunk is very surprising. Several employees at department stores have doubted that large objects could indeed fit in my spacious trunk, but they were also surprised that a full-size outdoor grill slid in with ease. Overall, my only complaint about the car is the lack of reading lamps.




Good car ls v6

by on
Vehicle: 2005 Chevrolet Malibu

two yaers done me good so far But if it's hard to start when hot hit the gas while cranking if it don't twince. My radio just went out got A Refurbished for $185 works good now. the staring wheel got tight once coming out one tight parking space. I put in park and hit gas a littie never had that proplem agan. My wife share this car drop me off and go home and go to work and pick me up 60 miles a day alway ready to go.



4 of 4 people found this review helpful

286,000 miles and still going

by on
Vehicle: 2005 Chevrolet Malibu

Most inexpensive car I've ever owned. Absolutely no unexpected issues. Normal brake and tire wear about 80k miles each, 1 set of spark plugs, 1 belt, 2 tie rod ends and 1 battery. I've used Mobile 1 and change oil at 9k, and had the trans. serviced twice. As you've guessed I drive for my job a lot, and I don't baby it. V-6 Fuel mileage averages about 34 highway, 28 overall. Would consider a trade but afraid I can't find a more dependable car.




Needs work

by on
Vehicle: 2005 Chevrolet Malibu

I purchased this car with 26K miles on it and now has 70K. It has had a starter issue since purchase keep saying nothing wrong and wont fix. Lights burn out constantly, now the body control module has gone out. Great fuel economy, smooth ride, fun car, just has to many problems for the price I paid. I'm hoping the body control module solves all the electrical problems going on because I could not even drive the car while waiting the last 3 weeks for the backordered part to come into the dealer. Also this part can only be installed by the dealer because of programing my cheaper mechanic can not do it. I'm not thrilled, most likely will go foreign next time around.



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