The review template at Truedelta required me to prioritise my pros and cons. In reality they are all completely interwoven. Style, cost, performance factors must all align for me to be satisfied with a car. 2 out of 3 isn't enough, despite what Meatloaf might sing.
And I am very satisfied with the Malibu thus far, albeit only 4 months 6500 km. Unlike like some of my previous GM cars, this one seems fully baked. I haven't discovered any major annoyances, let alone any glaring faults. Everything seems well thought out.
But the car certainly is not perfect. And watchout for some truly bad colour combinations.
My car is an LT with two notable option packages: True North - Leather and Bose; Sun and Wheel - 18inch wheels and panoramic sunroof. Butte Red w factory tint.
I really like the proportions. And I like the overall styling, esp the front end. The subtle sculpted lines in the roof and the hood are nice touches. I have the optional 18 inch wheels which makes it stand out a bit more.
I have the black leather interior, which looks absolutely great. I think it looks more expensive than you might expect in a Malibu. The overall design is well executed.
Please note that I didn't like any of the other interior options. Parts of the dash, on the left side of the steering wheel and in front of the passenger, are matched to the seat colour and fabric. This means with a grey cloth interior there are swatches of grey fabric on the dash, which looks very strange to my eye. So on ans so forth for the other fabics and colours. But maybe you might like this? Only black leather truly blends into the black dash.
My Link looks really good, well integrated into the console and easy to use.
The steering wheel is good, with easy to use controls (although in typical GM fashion, they are on the wrong side,.e.g. volume control on the right.)
Double sized sunroof keeps everything airy.
I'm very pleased with powertrain. I have the 1.5lt and six speed auto. It has plenty of power for my modest needs. The fuel economy has been good so far. 5.3l highway and 7.4 city. My previous car was a Buick Lucerne, so this a big improvement.
I was nervous getting such a small motor. But I have zero concerns now.
It has stop/start tech, which I enjoy. It is generally quite smooth and unobtrusive. I have noticed some roughness when restarting on a slight incline.
My wife dislikes this feature a lot.
Nice quiet car. Even my 11 yr old niece noticed it.
The most pronounced noise sems to come from the trunk or rear wheel well areas. But it is not loud.
Wind management must be really good, Even with the windows down at 80 km/hr, the cabin is still quiet enough to talk or listen to music and enjoy it. My Lucerne was nowhere near this good.
Price or payments
The price was very good - a year end model with factory discounts. Plus the dealer moved on their price after haggling a far bit. And 0% financing. 2 yrs maintenance.
This is not the car if you prize responsive handling. It is definately errs on the side of isolation.
The 2.0lt premier models may offer better?
I can't believe I didn't get a heated steering wheel when I chose the True North package - leather and sunroof. What the...
I also wanted the 2.0lt engine initially. But it is only available on the Premier trim in Canada. Which was ~ $3000 more. Should be a choice for LT models, as it is in the USA.
Driving position & visibility
The rear window distorts your view. Everything looks a bit squished and too tall.
Materials & workmanship
I have discovered a couple minor paint blemishes. The chrome side trim on the doors windows doesn't quite align as well as it should with rest of the trim n the body.
All in all. This car works really well for me. Why?
Because I like the design much better than the comptitors -which is subjective. I enjoy the powertrain alot and enjoy all my time in the car. The many features are so well executed. But perhaps most decisive in the end is the financial component.
In my area, GM dealers are more willing to negotiate. Combined with longterm 0% and various GM discounts, the real world cost of ownership can be significantly lower than most other dealers. Your experience may differ.
Put these all together and it adds up to a satisfying deal.