I read most of the reviews here and it almost made me back out of my decision to by a 2000 Malibu LS. But the car was like new, even with 200K miles, and it was very inexpensive compared to the other junk I'd looked at for the same price or more. The prior owner had quite of few of his repair papers and like many of these cars it had the intake manifold redone, a new fuel pump, new water pump, plugs, wires, and one injector, all at around 100K. Also had brakes done several times but no more often them most other cars.
I purchased my 2000 Malibu in 2003 with 60k miles. The owner was a senior citizen who had made lots of road trips and meticulously kept up with maintenance and had all receipts to prove it. I've now had my Malibu for 9 years and love it. I've had to do most of the expected routine maintenance - brakes, rotors, tires, filters. There's been a few pieces of non routine maintenance but overall this has been a great vehicle for me. I'm now at 162k and expect to take it to 200k+. When I'm done, I hope I can find a similar car - malibu from same era with meticulous records and low miles and likely non aggressive driving previous owner.
Front panel electrical system has been a chronic problem. Blower has had to be repaired 3 times. Intake/Recirc is now broken. Bulbs blow out, a fortune to fix. Brake repair and battery replacement. NOW, the car's transmission will not shift in the cold weather. Needs 5 minutes to warm up to even think of shifting. Repair shop says all these problems are KNOWN issues with this car. Cheve Customer Service was HORRIBLE. Quote: "Once you buy the car, it is your problem". Dealer sold me a warranty, now the warranty company is bankrupt and the dealer said it is my problem.
This was my 1st car. I got it as a college graduation gift. I saw it on the lot and test drove it and fell in love with it (think it was the sunroof and the cheesy woodgrain). A year later, I wish I would have left it there! It's been problem after problem! At first, it was the brakes. Then it was the hazard/signal lights which have their own mind. Now, it's the intake gasket problem that is going to cost a MIN of $1000! And the value of the car has went down tremendously. I am seriously about to trade this car in for an Acura RSX or a Honda Accord or something--- anything but a Chevrolet!