2003 Chevrolet Malibu Review

Pros & Cons

  • Comfortable and roomy interior, low price, ample feature content.
  • Poor expected resale value, not as refined as top-selling Japanese family sedans.
List Price Estimate
$690 - $1,686

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Edmunds' Expert Review

Chevy's non-descript Malibu is one of the best cars General Motors makes. Roomy and loaded with features, the often-overlooked and affordable Malibu is worth consideration.

2003 Highlights

The Malibu gets little in the way of upgrades for 2003. There are two new colors to choose from -- Summit White and Medium Gray Metallic -- and a new seat fabric on LS models. ABS brakes are now optional on base models, but remain standard on the LS.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2003 Chevrolet Malibu.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

One Hell Of A Car
jc775,02/09/2013
To Start off, I don't care about the negative comments foreign car fans have to say. The Chevy Malibu is an amazing car! I got my '03 in'04 as a first car and i'm happy i did. This car got me home EVERY time. Yes i've changed the Intake manifold gasket and fuel pump but like they say, take care of the car, car will take care of you. Just recently, I was coming down the mountain road covered in black ice. Going the 50 mile speed limit, the car hits the black ice and crashes, hitting the side wall. She still started right up and drove us down not to far to safety at a chain instal shoulder. She took all the damage which cost her her life. This car saved my life and the lives of my friends.
Great Experience
Bob,09/16/2006
We bought the Malibu new in September 2003. Actually we bought two (one basic and one LS), and have been very pleased. This review is based on our experience involving the basic Malibu after 59,000 miles. Mainly interstate driving, 20,000 miles per year. Using cruise control, I consistently average 30 MPG. New tires at 43,000 miles. Replaced front brakes at 56,000 miles, at a dealership cost of $127.90. Rear brakes still good shape. Oil changes every 3,000 miles. We are happy Malibu owners, and armed with hindsight, we would make the same purchase decision as we did in Septemer 2003.
Oh, my.
Oh, my.,09/08/2010
I got this from my mother who purchased it new. I prefer a different brand, but had to keep her from driving. I'm having same problems as others. I've had to have the AC button fixed several times. You'd think that Chevy would offer some kind of rebate or recall to those of us who have to have it fixed since this is a problem with most of the '03s, but they don't. Once is bad, twice is inexcusable. I also have trouble with the brakes when it rains. Glad to know others are having the same problems. I thought it was just me.
No complaints
chevyok,04/24/2014
LS 4dr Sedan (3.1L 6cyl 4A)
Going on 16th year since new. Fairly reliable car given normal maintenance. Beside the normal problems others have reported, such as sticky flasher, stuck A/C button, wrapped rotor, etc, I really cannot complaint too much. I did replace the water pump and thermostat, shocks all around 100K miles, the ABS sensors at 115K and again at 153K (though it started to go intermittently at 175K) , by-passed the anti theft system at 147K, fuel pump at 159k, alternator at 175K, starter at 179K, all of these problems were well documented for the model year. Corner of body panel kickers started to rust. The trunk latch hook finally rusted away and came out of the bottom of the trunk at 179K, but it was an easy fix by simply drilling a few holes and riveting the thing right back on. Other than that, everything still works approaching 180K. My goal with this car is 250K miles, but I am not using the car as much as I did before and I will see when and if it can get there.

Features & Specs

See all Used 2003 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
    Driver3 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    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
    Poor
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Acceptable

More about the 2003 Chevrolet Malibu

Used 2003 Chevrolet Malibu Overview

The Used 2003 Chevrolet Malibu is offered in the following submodels: Malibu Sedan. Available styles include 4dr Sedan (3.1L 6cyl 4A), and LS 4dr Sedan (3.1L 6cyl 4A).

What's a good price on a Used 2003 Chevrolet Malibu?

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Which used 2003 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) 2003 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 2003 Chevrolet Malibu.

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Find a used Chevrolet Malibu for sale - 7 great deals out of 23 listings starting at $23,048.

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Should I lease or buy a 2003 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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