1999 Chevrolet Malibu Review

Pros & Cons

  • Comfortable and roomy interior. Decent acceleration with V6 engine. Contemporary styling. Ultra-low price yet loaded with features.
  • No traction control. Refinement is exchanged for low car payments.
List Price Estimate
$326 - $830

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Edmunds' Expert Review

Vehicle overview

Chevrolet is producing good cars and trucks. Witness the excellent values to be found in the Blazer, Camaro, Cavalier and Lumina. The Malibu is more of a good thing. In fact, this is probably the best family car produced by any domestic automaker today.

Consumer clinics determined much of the Malibu's design. Engineers used a nearly identical methodology when concocting the recipe for the successful Lumina. What consumers have demanded is a tight, solid, roomy, fun-to-drive mid-sized sedan. Guess what? Chevrolet delivers, and delivers big. The Malibu is all of these things and more, wrapped in unobtrusive but attractive sheetmetal and sold at a price that undercuts similarly equipped imports and domestics, including stablemate Lumina.

Two models are available. The base Malibu features a 2.4-liter twin-cam four-cylinder engine, which is the same motor found under the hood of the Cavalier Z24. Gears are shifted automatically, and standard equipment includes four-wheel antilock brakes, four-wheel independent suspension, battery rundown protection, theft deterrent system, tachometer, air conditioning, rear seat heat ducts, tilt steering wheel and remote trunk release. Step up to LS trim, and you leave the showroom in a fully loaded car. The LS includes a 3.1-liter V6 engine, aluminum wheels, fog lights, remote keyless entry, power driver's seat, power windows and door locks, cruise control, uplevel stereo and a trunk cargo net.

This Chevy goes, slows and turns corners well enough to be entertaining. Interior design elements include a handy left-handed cupholder, backlighting for major controls and switches throughout the interior and heating and air conditioning ducts located on the A-pillar to help direct air flow to rear seat passengers. Also notable is the dash-mounted ignition switch because the driver doesn't have to crane his neck around to find the ignition slot.

Safety concerns are covered by the Malibu. Dual airbags, four-wheel antilock brakes and child safe rear door locks are standard. According to Chevrolet, side-impact door beams exceed federal standards for protection, though federal side-impact crash tests indicate that occupants may actually be rather vulnerable in this car. Maintaining the Malibu has been made easy with platinum-tipped spark plugs that last 100,000 miles, engine coolant designed to last five years or 150,000 miles and transmission fluid that never has to be changed or checked.

Our list of gripes is short. The fake wood in the LS is unnecessary. We also want to find an integrated child safety seat on the options list in the future. And why can buyers get traction control on the Cavalier but not on the Malibu? The list of improvements for 1999 is nearly non-existent, and doesn't address our gripes. Solar-Ray tinted glass is standard and new colors called Sunset Gold and Medium Bronzemist have been added to the paint palette.

The Malibu impresses us. It's one of the few domestic models that can go toe-to-toe with the imports on comfort and features, while beating them on price.

1999 Highlights

The 1999 Malibu is identical to the 1998 model, except for the addition of Medium Bronzemist Metallic to the paint chart.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1999 Chevrolet Malibu.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Very Good Quality Car! I Love It!
malibuls1,05/04/2014
My grandma bought this car new with only a few miles. She wasn't easy on the car. She would run hard from red lights and the car pulled a big mountain 5 miles long and another 30 something every day for 11 years for her work. The car now has 207,500 miles on the original engine and transmission and STILL has great passing power! I am 18 and I bought this car from her last year. I take it on very long trips(200 miles at a time). People don't think it's reliable anymore with so many miles, but I feel very assured that it will get me there and back! It's a very pretty car and has great trunk and leg room! I think this car will reach 300,000 miles no problem. Quite on roads and rides very smooth
Wow Runs and Runs
Electroman37,09/03/2010
I picked up this car with 200,000+ and keep on driving it. Now yes i have put in several things but when it comes down to it - it is cheaper then a car payment. It has alt, water pump, radiator, bearings, lots of brakes and rotors, couple random sensors, etc. This thing is more reliable the my wife's newer ride and it cracked 300k recently!
Never own another one
Lee,07/09/2005
I bought this car new. Constant brake problems. Some electrical problems. Replaced the front wheel bearings. Fuel gauge went crazy at around 80,000 miles. Very uncomfortable for a taller person.
my 1999 chevrolet malibu
tiger56,02/10/2012
i have never had a problem from my 1999 chevy malibu. i bought it from a junk yard for $800, it got hit in the front end. no major damage. its still running. i replaced the front bumper cover and thats all that got messed up on it. i got it and it only has 164,000 miles on it. have not had to put any work into it. have had it since nov last year. motor is still strong. you have to take care of the car for you to have it a long time. you know not hot rodding it.... etc

Features & Specs

See all Used 1999 Chevrolet Malibu features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver1 / 5
    Passenger3 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    RolloverNot Rated
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Acceptable

More about the 1999 Chevrolet Malibu

Used 1999 Chevrolet Malibu Overview

The Used 1999 Chevrolet Malibu is offered in the following submodels: Malibu Sedan. Available styles include LS 4dr Sedan, and 4dr Sedan.

What's a good price on a Used 1999 Chevrolet Malibu?

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Which used 1999 Chevrolet Malibus are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 1999 Chevrolet Malibu for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 1999 Chevrolet Malibu.

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Should I lease or buy a 1999 Chevrolet Malibu?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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