First of all I would like to say that I find it disappointing to read negative reviews on such a marvelous car. Anyone experiencing major engine or trans. issues has probably not serviced their vehicle at regular reccomended intervals.
The 2.2 liter ecotec engine is incredibly economical, though it could use a few more horses.
Before i purchased this car from my father, it had been used every day as a company car.
My father is a salesman who is on the road daily with considerable amounts of extra cargo weight added.
He was putting 500+ miles on it weekly.
This car has had no issues with engine, transmission, torque conv, etc.
It currently has 105,432 miles and still runs strong.
My favorite features are the massive trunk space, great gas mileage (34 mpg highway) and 28 city.
Lots of legroom and extremely quiet while driving.
The chevy malibu also has electronic steering instead of the usual power steering which I find very crisp and provides great driveablity.
This car also sticks to the road and has available traction control during our insanely cold connecticut winters.
For a 2wd car is performs suprisingly well in winter time driving situations.
I would suggest improving the awkward 4 speed transmission with torque converter.
The concept is great and i can understand that the cars shift ratio is set up for good gas mileage but the malibu has an excessive love for low rpm bandwiths which can lead to almost a struggling of the engine to overcome steep inclines.
I would also suggest that GM jump on the "not cheap interior" bandwagon and actually outfit the inside of their vehicles with quality items.
Other than those mentioned above, the 2007 Chevy malibu is an extremely reliable car, great for a first car or family vehicle.
I would suggest this car to any one of my friends or family members.