2005 Chevrolet Malibu Maxx ?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Elixer, Mar 30, 2009.

  1. Elixer

    Elixer Diamond Member

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    Trying to help a senior citizen find a decent car that is reliable, and has ABS + traction control (which she wants).
    I saw this 2005 Chevrolet Malibu Maxx LS, for around $9K, and it seems to offer the features she wants, and it has 24K miles on it.

    Anyone know the track record for this model?
    Or should I steer her toward another car? She has $10K max to spend.

     
  2. angry hampster

    angry hampster Diamond Member

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    Great cars. Ugly though.
     
  3. Vette73

    Vette73 Lifer

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    The Maxx was a great car. As AH was going toward its not the best looking but it functions very well. You should be able to to talk them down a bit since its not a real popular car and a older design.

    But also its not a small car. Not large like a Caddy DTS but make sure they test drive it if used to smaller cars.
     
  4. Mermaidman

    Mermaidman Diamond Member

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    If only people had bought cars like the Maxx instead of pretend-SUVs . . .

    --Maxx was the first car in which I noticed a very awkward headrest angle forcing my head forward. (Nowadays most new cars are like that!) Hopefully it can be flipped around for better comfort and worse safety.
    :D
     
  5. desy

    desy Diamond Member

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    The MIL has a Max, my mom has a regular
    The only real issue with the cars of that yr are the Steering gear and intermediate shaft make a clunk on turns. They both get as good as or better than EPA estimates on fuel
    One of the reasons it get good mileage is they went to electronic steering.

    It will require upgraded parts and if you google the problem its well known on the web.
     
  6. Mermaidman

    Mermaidman Diamond Member

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    Ahh--I know that clunk! It only happens at very low speeds, like during parking lots maneuvers. It costs about $200 to replace the intermediate steering shaft.
     
  7. MikeMike

    MikeMike Lifer

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    I own one.. what do you want to know?

    intermediate shaft is a problem and will clunk, and go bad after about 25k miles
    there is so much legroom that shaq could sit in this car... both rows of seats slide fore and aft. both rows also recline.
    tilt/telescoping steering wheel
    power adjustable pedals.
    horrific turning radius
    good, but not great MPG.
    i have one rattle in 50k hard miles.. and its somewhere in the vents with a fan.
    brakes are sufficient and will last a decent amount of time
    the cloth seats are almost impermiable to stains.

    what other questions do you have? i have an 05 with 53k...
     
  8. vi edit

    vi edit Elite Member <br> Super Moderator
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    My wife abuses one on a daily basis. It's an interesting car for the money. We bought ours a year old with only 2k miles on it - GM Exec car. For $15k it had power & heated seats, sunroof, XM, onstar, and backseat DVD player. Nice options for the money.

    The 3.5L in there is a very robust motor. Give it a little bit of throttle and it acts like a grunty little 4 cylinder. Mash it and it really snarls and gets up and moving with authority. Even with a low tech cast iron engine & a high criticized 4 speed AT, it still gets 33MPG @ 55MPH on two lane highways, 25 around town, and 30MPG @ 70MPH. It really is a frugal 3.5L motor.

    Backseat legroom is unrivaled by just about anything else I've ever seen. When my wife is driving and has the front seat slid forward a bit...I think I could actually comfortably sit in the floor space between her seat and the back seat. It has something like 42" of legroom in the backseat. That's a good 6" more than many full size sedans. The back seats also recline making for even more comfort and room.

    Trunk space is decent given the fairly abrupt cut-off. My 80 pound dog fits back there fairly comfortably, although the step in is a little rough because the hatch has a bit of a lip around it that she has to clear instead of just jumping right in.

    It's a quiet and composed ride on the highway. My only real complaints coming from the electronic steering. It's just really unnatural and very rubbery feeling. Not a good implementation at all. I drive a Mazda with the same type of setup and Mazda did it right...GM needs to learn from them.

    Then there's also the typical GM cost cutting interiors. We've had the visor mirror snap off and the plastic trim around one of the back doors peel back that we have to keep putting back together. Plus some of the the stuff just wasn't built well - the plastic around the cubby & power outlet in the dash is flimsy. The armrest feels like it will snap off if you aren't careful, ect.

    But it's a functional, frugal, and cheap car so some of that can be overlooked.
     
  9. MikeMike

    MikeMike Lifer

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    btw, i bought mine in Jan of 06 with 7500 on the hood, and GMS... it was 15k b4 ttl, with a 5k trade in, after ttl brought it up to 12k
     
  10. iamwiz82

    iamwiz82 Lifer

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    We had the intermediate shaft replaced on our Aura after less than 10k miles under warranty. It has the same TSB as the Maxx.
     
  11. MikeMike

    MikeMike Lifer

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    the Aura, G6, and prior body Malibu all have the same Intermediate shaft... i had mine replaced, and saw numerous G6's come in for that issue when i was selling cars... mine is now clunking again but im out of warranty...
     
  12. fffblackmage

    fffblackmage Platinum Member

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    I have the regular 05 malibu, and my aunt has the malibu maxx of the same year. As far as I know, she doesn't have any complaints about it. I also have that clunking issue when taking turns, but other than that, I haven't had any major issues with that car. My only complaint is craptastic acceleration on second gear, but on first gear, it's pretty good. I consistently drive on the freeway, and get ~30mpg @ ~65-75mph. That mpg really surprised me.
    I guess there's more plastic in the interior like other people have been saying, but somehow, it doesn't really bother me, at least not nearly as much as in the new Pontiac Torrent my dad got.
    I only wish it had the upgraded wheels like the old malibu had (they were wider)... which reminds me, the tires seem to squeak more easily on the 05 malibu (still using the original tires from the dealership). But overall, I really like the car.
     
  13. Elixer

    Elixer Diamond Member

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    Thanks for all the input so far.

    Her main concern is reliability. She don't want to have to take it into the shop every other week/month.
    She has to make allot of trips to the doctors (3 times a week), so she can't be without transportation.

    A friend of hers said he can find a '08 Sonota for around what she wants to spend. I have no idea about that car either.

     
  14. Mermaidman

    Mermaidman Diamond Member

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    That's a fine choice too if the price is low. Just be aware that Hyundai's long-term warranty is not transferable.
     
  15. angry hampster

    angry hampster Diamond Member

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    '06-later Sonatas have a very solid reliability record so far. Either car would be a fine choice.
     
  16. vi edit

    vi edit Elite Member <br> Super Moderator
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    I'll say this - if you are in the market for value oriented hatch/wagon with flexibile seating and storage options, the Maxx is a good choice.

    If you are in the market for a basic 4 door midsize sedan, there are likely better options for your money than a Malibu sedan. IE: the Sonata.
     
  17. Elixer

    Elixer Diamond Member

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    Last question, (at least I hope ;)), which would be the best place to take the Sonata (which she is leaning towards now) for a vehicle inspection?
    The only major chain around here is Firestone Mastercare, but I had bad experiences with them in the past.
    The local guys, I have had no experience with. I called a few, and the range of responses was from, it would take 15 mins & cost $80, or 30 mins, cost $200 or 20 mins with a cost of $115. None of them actually guarantee anything though. By that, I mean that if there is a problem, and they missed it, they won't refund anything.

    She was telling me it would be OK for her to tell the dealer to have their mechanics check it out, and see what is needed. I am not sure it is the best idea for the dealer's mechanics to check the car out, since the dealer is the one selling the car.
    Then again, I wonder if they do check, and something does happen, then at least she would have written proof about what they wrote down.



     
  18. MikeMike

    MikeMike Lifer

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    The dealership does check, but not as well as an independent mechanic... they wont check compression, etc if you use the dealer... just brakes, tires, oil, etc... and they will claim they already did i.
     
  19. BUTCH1

    BUTCH1 Lifer

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    I have an "05 LTZ sedan, they just lubed the shaft on mine u/warranty. There is a procedure i read about lubing it yourself if out of warranty, it's not too involved, I'll try to dig it up. These cars also come with factory remote start, a great feature. Also as already noted my sedan gets 22/26/32 MPG, tested with refills, not with DIC, that's just amazing for a 3.5 V6.
     
  20. MikeMike

    MikeMike Lifer

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    remote start was only the ltz, i have the lt which does not, i also thought that it was standard starting in 06.
     
  21. Vetterin

    Vetterin Senior member

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    I will agree with the others in that the Maxx is a really good car for the money. I looked real hard at them myself before deciding on my Subaru Legacy Wagon. Now if your wife is looking for safety ABS + AWD maybe you might want to look into an 05-06 Legacy Wagon or even Outback for her.