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2005 Chevrolet Malibu Sedan

4dr Sdn LT

Starting at | Starting at 22 MPG City - 32 MPG Highway

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  • $24,060 original MSRP
Printable Version

2005 Chevrolet Malibu Sedan

Printable Version

2005 Chevrolet Malibu Sedan


2005 Chevrolet Malibu

Source: New Car Test Drive


The Chevrolet Malibu was launched to compete with the mid-size imports from Japan. Like the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry, the Malibu emphasizes civilized road manners, quality construction, and buttoned-down practicality wrapped in innocuous if not anonymous styling.

The driving performance of the Malibu exceeded our expectations. We were surprised by the acceleration performance from the V6 and delighted by the crispness of handling on winding roads. It feels firmer than the Camry, but softer than the Accord, a good balance, in other words. Malibu's solid structure is based on GM's new Epsilon platform used by a couple of highly successful European sedans. Along with its compliant suspension, this gives the Malibu a smooth, comfortable ride, yet allows for spirited driving. This is no mush-mobile. Steering effort is light at low speeds, so the Malibu is easy to maneuver through crowded parking lots and park.

The cabin offers roomy accommodations for five passengers with comfortable seats and logical controls that are easy to use. It's quiet underway. And you can start the car remotely, a great feature on cold, winter mornings. No question, this is a highly competent sedan that's practical and easy to live with.

Where the Malibu needs work is in the appearance department. Introduced as an all-new model for 2004, the Malibu is better looking than the plain-looking previous model, but it's no raving beauty. That silver band across the front is designed to clearly identify this as a Chevy, but it won't go down in history as a great design.

The Malibu has something the imports don't: the Maxx. Maxx is a longer-wheelbase variant, whose extended roofline and rear cargo hatch suggest a sporty station wagon. While Malibu seems destined to disappear into a crowd, Maxx looks just as determined to stand out and be noticed.

Starting at just a hair under $19,000 and topping out below $25,000, Malibu base prices are extremely competitive with the prices of the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry, which can approach $30,000 with options. The previous Malibu ranked tops in the midsize car class in the J.D. Power Initial Quality Surveys for two consecutive years; we expect the 2005 model to offer quality construction.!!

Model Lineup

Malibu is available as a conventional four-door sedan, or as the longer-wheelbase Malibu Maxx.

The sedan comes in three trim levels: base ($18,995), LS ($21,060), and LT ($23,855). The base model is powered by a 2.2-liter dual overhead cam four-cylinder engine. LS and LT versions come with a 3.5-liter overhead-valve V6. All models come with a four-speed automatic transmission.

Standard features at all levels include: air conditioning; a power vertical height adjuster for the driver's seat; power windows, door locks and outside mirrors; tilt/telescoping steering column; four-speaker stereo with compact disc player; dual-stage front airbags; and 205/65R15 touring tires on 15-inch steel wheels. Anti-lock brakes (ABS) with traction control are optional ($400). A Preferred Equipment Group ($835) for the base sedan consists of: cruise control; remote keyless entry; power adjustable pedals; driver manual lumbar seat adjuster; front seatback map pockets; a cargo net; and the audio system that is standard in the LS.

The mid-level LS comes standard with anti-lock brakes (ABS); traction control; cruise control; remote keyless entry; front-reading lights; map pockets in the backs of the fronts seats; power adjustable pedals; manual lumbar adjustment for the driver's seat; six-speaker stereo with Radio Data system (which displays the kind of station you are listening to); 15-inch aluminum wheels; a cargo net; illuminated driver's side vanity mirror and non-illuminated vanity mirror on the passenger side; and body color moldings. Side-impact airbags and head curtain airbags are optional for base and LS models ($690) and we recommend them highly. A package ($1,095) for the LS sedan includes: side curtain airbags; remote vehicle starter; carpeted floor mats; and six-way power driver's seat.

LT adds: automatic climate control; seat-mounted side-impact and side curtain airbags; front and rear reading lights; remote vehicle starter; leather seats; heated front seats; 6-way power driver's seat; seat cushion storage pockets for outboard seating positions; leather-wrapped steering wheel with steering wheel-mounted audio and cruise controls; leather-wrapped shift knob; two illuminated vanity mirrors in front; fog lamps; power and heated outside rearview mirrors; body-color rocker moldings; a rear spoiler; 16-inch tires and wheels. An optional package for the LT ($1,230) includes a Homelink transmitter for opening garages and security gates; a light-sensitive auto dimming rearview mirror, XM Satellite Radio and a power sunroof.

Maxx is built in the same three trim levels: base ($20,760), LS ($21,260), and LT ($24,405). But the base-level Maxx is better equipped than the base-level sedan, and comes with the V6, cruise control, traction control, anti-lock brakes (ABS), 16-inch steel wheels, power hatch release, and other highline features. Similar options packages are available for Maxx. A DVD entertainment center with wireless headphones and a monitor that flips up from the front console ($995) is available.

Options for Malibu sedan and Maxx include: XM Satellite Radio ($325 plus the $9.99 monthly subscription fee); GM's OnStar communications system ($695); a power sunroof ($725); and a rear spoiler for the sedan ($175) or Maxx ($300). Three levels of audio are available, from the base AM/FM stereo and CD player to the top-of-the-line system with an in-dash, six-CD changer, six speakers, and automatic volume and tone controls ($300). A unique option is the remote starter ($150), useful both in cold climates to warm up the car before the driver climbs in and in extremely hot climates to cool it down.


The Chevrolet Malibu looks more contemporary than its bland predecessor, with more character and class. It also looks more substantial, giving the impression it's a more expensive car than it is. And it is, indeed, more substantial, slightly wider than the model it replaces.

The front features a chrome bar across the full-width of the car, with the familiar Chevy bowtie in gold in the center. The bar along, along with Malibu's squinty headlamps, attempts to invoke a family resemblance to Chevy trucks, which have been highly successful in the marketplace, but the design execution didn't work as well on this mid-size car.

The rear of the sedan resembles the upright rears of European cars. And indeed, the Malibu shares its structure with the highly successful German Opel Vectra and the Swedish Saab 9-3. Malibu is built on GM's new Epsilon global platform, a front-wheel-drive architecture developed by a team of American, German and Swedish engineers. Epsilon is also being used for the new Pontiac G6. The bottom line is that the Epsilon platform provided good bones for a new Malibu sedan.

From the center post of its roof forward, Malibu Maxx is identical to the sedan. From there back, however, Maxx is a different and more innovative vehicle. Maxx isn't larger than the sedan, but it is proportioned differently. At 106.3 inches, the wheelbase of the Malibu sedan stands at the small end of the mid-size spectrum. Maxx rides a wheelbase that's six inches longer, stretching 112.3 inches. Yet in overall length the Maxx is a half-inch shorter than the sedan (187.8 inches vs. 188.3). That gives the Maxx very short overhangs, a good thing. Maxx is a half-inch taller than the sedan. Its roof is longer, its trunk shorter, increasing space for rear-seat passengers.

Interior Features

The Malibu looks as substantial inside as out. With 101 cubic feet of interior space, the Malibu sedan is extremely roomy for five passengers. The seats are comfortable. The front passenger seat cleverly folds flat for carrying long objects such as skis. The rear seat splits and folds 60/40.

The interior is conservatively styled. Controls on the center dash are conveniently backlit for night driving. The heating and air conditioning controls were a little confusing, however. Likewise, the stereo seemed designed more for style than function, though it worked well. We thought the wipers were a little loud. And the triangularly shaped outside mirrors are small, limiting rearward vision more than we liked.

Otherwise, it's a convenient interior. Lots of nooks and crannies are available for storage, including a center console with a roomy bin, four cupholders, a storage tray and a clip pad. Two 12-volt outlets provide power for whatever needs powering.

Malibu Maxx offers slightly more total passenger space than the sedan, at 106 cubic feet. But more than that, Maxx offers increased versatility. Its rear seat is split 60/40 not only in the back, but in the cushion; and each unit slides fore and aft as much as seven inches to adjust between passenger and cargo room. Rear-seat passengers sit farther back in the Maxx and enjoy nearly identical room as the front-seat occupants, and as much as the rear-seat riders in a full-size domestic sedan. Maxx's rear seatbacks also recline for improved comfort. In short, the back seats of the Maxx are a comfortable place for adults.

Standard in the Maxx is a fixed skylight over the rear seating area, so rear-seat passengers can see clouds by day and stars by night. Or they can close their individual sunshades.

Back in the cargo bay, Maxx provides 22.8 cubic feet of space, vs. 15.4 for the trunk of the sedan. Fold down Maxx's back seats and the available space expands to 41 cubic feet. There's a 12-volt power outlet way in the back in addition to the two up front that it shares with the sedan. A four-position shelf in back can be configured for two-tier loading or as a table for roadside picnics. And of course the one-piece liftgate with remote power release allows you to load objects like appliances that would never squeeze through the sedan's conventional trunk opening.

The biggest problem with the Malibu's interior, whether sedan or Maxx, is its inconsistency. Some interior parts are made from very high quality materials, such as the soft rubber door handles, which reminded us of Volkswagen, the benchmark for interiors. Yet, other parts, such as the plastic surrounding the audio and climate controls, appear hard and cheap. The ceiling area above the visors was lumpy, and the edges of the ceiling fabric where it was supposed to tuck into the trim was ragged; the handle for the lumbar support felt flimsy, and the seat fabric puckered. Our test cars were pre-production models and some of the finer points may be worked out in production. Still, we didn't feel the interior materials and workmanship, in general, measured up to the craftsmanship of a Honda or Toyota.

The Malibu is designed well for safety. Dual-stage frontal airbags and three-point safety belts are provided for all occupants, of course, with safety belt pretensioners for front-seat passengers that cinch the belts tighter in a crash. The universal child-seat attachment is located in all rear seating positions. Anti-lock brakes and traction control are optional on the base model and standard on the LS and LT. Power adjustable pedals are standard on the up-level models. For 2005, Chevrolet has added seat-mounted side-impact airbags for front-seat passengers in addition to side-curtain airbags for the front and rear seats; this setup is standard on LT and optional ($690) on other models.

A neat option is the remote starter, useful for starting the car from inside the house when it's ver

Driving Impressions

A bumpy winding road quickly showed the Chevrolet Malibu handles well. Chevrolet engineers deliberately tuned the Malibu's ride and handling to fall smack dab in between Accord firmness and Camry softness. We think it was exactly the right decision. The rock solid body structure provided us with a very quiet and comfortable ride, yet allowed spirited driving. The chassis is well controlled.

The electronically controlled steering is sharp and responsive. It provides the driver with more assistance at low speeds for parking maneuvers, with less power assistance at highway speeds for better steering feel.

Both of the available engines deliver plenty of power, as well as good fuel economy within their segments. GM's 2.2-liter dual overhead cam four-cylinder Ecotec serves as the base engine. It delivers 144 horsepower and 24/34 mpg city/highway.

GM's newly developed 3.5-liter V6 delivers 200 horsepower and a still-decent 23/32 mpg in the sedan and 22/30 in the Maxx. We were impressed with the extra kick the V6 gave us in highway passing maneuvers.

Base models come with rear drum brakes. LS and LT models come with four-wheel disc brakes with ABS and Dynamic Rear Proportioning, which dynamically adjusts brake pressure between the front and rear brakes, improving stability and shortening braking distances. ABS allows the driver to maintain steering control under hard braking.


The Chevrolet Malibu has a rock-solid driving personality, a nice ride, a quiet, comfortable cabin, and lots of safety features. The Malibu Maxx is a compelling alternative with its liftgate, adjustable rear seating, and the versatility of a small SUV, all in a package no larger than a mid-size sedan.

New Car Test Drive correspondent Michelle Krebs is based in Detroit, with Mitch McCullough reporting from Los Angeles.

Model Line Overview
Base Price (MSRP)
Model lineup:
Chevrolet Malibu ($18,995); sedan LS ($21,060); LT ($23,855): Maxx ($20,760); Maxx LS ($21,260); Maxx LT ($24,405)
144-hp 2.2-liter dohc 16-valve inline-4; 200-hp 3.5-liter ohv 12-valve V6
4-speed automatic
Safety equipment (Standard):
dual-stage frontal airbags; LATCH universal child seats anchors; seatbelt pretensioners
Safety equipment (Optional):
seat-mounted side-impact and side curtain airbags; ABS; traction control
Basic warranty:
3 years/36,000 miles
Assembled in:
Kansas City, Kansas
Specifications As Tested
Model tested (MSRP):
Chevrolet Malibu LT ($23,855)
Standard equipment:
automatic climate control; leather seats; heated front seats; 6-way power driver's seat; lumbar adjustment for the driver's seat; seat cushion storage pockets for outboard seating positions; leather-wrapped steering wheel with steering wheel-mounted audio and cruise controls; leather-wrapped shift knob; front and rear reading lights; remote keyless entry; remote vehicle starter; two illuminated vanity mirrors in front; fog lamps; power and heated outside rearview mirrors; body-color rocker moldings; rear spoiler; 16-inch tires and wheels; cruise control; front-reading lights; map pockets in the backs of the fronts seats; power adjustable pedals; six-speaker stereo with RDS; cargo net; illuminated driver-side vanity mirror; vanity passenger-side mirror; body-color moldings; power windows, door locks and outside mirrors; tilt/telescoping steering column; seat-mounted side-impact and side curtain airbags
Options as tested:
1SB package ($905) includes power sunroof, auto-dimming rearview mirror, Homelink, XM Satellite Radio; AM/FM/6CD ($300); OnStar ($695) includes 1-year Safe & Sound subscription
Destination charge:
Gas Guzzler Tax:
Price as tested (MSRP)
front-wheel drive
3.5-liter ohv 12-valve V6
Horsepower (hp @ rpm):
200 @ 5400
Torque (lb.-ft. @ rpm):
220 @ 3200
4-speed automatic
EPA fuel economy, city/hwy:
23/32 mpg.
106.3 in.
188.3/69.9/57.5 in.
Track, f/r:
60.0/59.3 in.
Turning circle:
36.0 ft.
Seating capacity:
Head/hip/leg room, f:
39.6/53.2/41.9 in.
Head/hip/leg room, m:
Head/hip/leg room, r:
37.6/52.4/38.5 in.
Cargo volume:
15.4 cu. ft.
Towing capacity:
Suspension F:
independent, MacPherson strut, coil springs, anti-roll bar
Suspension R:
independent, 4-link, coil springs, anti-roll bar
Ground clearance:
6.1 in.
Curb weight:
3476 lbs.
Brakes, f/r:
vented discs/discs w ABS, Dynamic Rear Proportioning (EBD) in.
Fuel capacity:
16.3 gal.

Printable Version

2005 Chevrolet Malibu Sedan

Safety Ratings help

What do the Safety Ratings mean?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) performs independent crash testing of new vehicles and then assigns them a score based on their performance. The overall crash test rating is based on how a vehicle performs in the following tests:

Driver Crash Grade:

Measures the chance of a serious injury to a crash test dummy that is placed in a driver's seat and driven into a fixed barrier at 35 MPH. A five-star rating means there is 10 percent or less chance of injury.

Passenger Crash Grade:

Similar to the driver crash grade, only now the focus is on the passenger.

Rollover Resistance:

Simulates an emergency lane change to measure the likelihood of a vehicle rolling over. A five-star rating means there is 10 percent or less risk of rollover.

Side Impact Crash Test - Front:

Focuses on the front side of a vehicle. It simulates crashes that can occur in intersections by striking a 3,015-pound weight against the side of a vehicle at 38.5 MPH. A five-star rating means there is 5 percent or less chance of injury.

Side Impact Crash Test - Rear:

Similar to the front side impact test only now the focus is on the rear passenger.

Driver Crash Grade

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Passenger Crash Grade

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Rollover Resistance

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Side Impact Crash Test - Front

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Side Impact Crash Test - Rear

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Safety Features & Equipment

Braking & Traction

4-Wheel ABS Std
Traction/Stability Control Std

Passenger Restraint

Driver Air Bag Std
Passenger Air Bag Std
Side Air Bag Std
Side Head Air Bag Std
Rear Head side Air Bag Std

Road Visibility

Daytime Running Lights Std
Fog Lamps Std
Intermittent Wipers Std
Variable Inter. Wipers Std


Anti-theft System Std
Telematics Opt
Printable Version

2005 Chevrolet Malibu Sedan

Original Warranty  help
Original Warranty
An original warranty is the warranty associated with a vehicle when it is brand new. In addition to the original warranty, select items, like tires, are typically covered by respective manufacturers. Also, an act of Federal law sometimes provides protection for certain components, like emissions equipment.
The original warranty is often broken down into multiple sections, including:
Basic Warranty:
Typically covers everything except for parts that wear out through normal use of the vehicle. Examples of non-covered items are brake pads, wiper blades and filters.
Drivetrain Warranty:
This warranty covers items the basic warranty does not protect. Wear and tear items such as hoses will not be covered, but key items like the engine, transmission, drive axles and driveshaft often will be.
Roadside Assistance:
The level of service differs greatly with this warranty, but many manufacturers offer a toll-free number that helps provide assistance in case you run out of gas, get a flat tire or lock your keys in the car.
Corrosion Warranty:
This warranty focuses on protecting you from holes caused by rust or corrosion in your vehicle's sheet metal.
Please check the owner's manual, visit a local dealership or look at the manufacturer's website to learn more about the specifics of the warranties that apply to a vehicle.

Basic 3 Years/36,000 Miles
Drivetrain 3 Years/36,000 Miles
Corrosion 6 Years/100,000 Miles
Roadside Assistance 3 Years/36,000 Miles

Chevrolet Certified Pre-Owned Warranty  help
Certified Pre-Owned Warranty
To be eligible for Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) status, vehicles generally must be recent models with relatively low mileage. CPO vehicles must also pass a detailed inspection, outlined by the manufacturer, which is measured by the number of inspected points.
Warranty coverage can vary from one manufacturer to the next. While most certified pre-owned programs transfer and extend the existing new car warranty terms, others offer a warranty that simply represents an additional year and mileage value. Always check with the manufacturer for the specific warranties they offer.
Common features and benefits of Certified Pre-Owned warranties include:
Age/Mileage Eligibility
To even be considered for certification, a car must be a recent model year and have limited mileage. The exact requirements are established by individual manufacturers.
Lease Term Certified
Some manufacturers offer certified pre-owned cars for lease. The length of the lease is often shorter than a new car lease, but it will cost you less.
Point Inspection
These inspections entail a comprehensive vehicle test to ensure that all parts are in excellent working order. The point inspection list is simply a numbered list of exactly what parts of the car are examined. While many inspections range from a 70- to 150-point checklist, most are very similar and are performed using strict guidelines. Ask your local dealer about specific details.
Return/Exchange Program
Some manufacturers offer a very limited return or exchange period. Find out if you will get the sales tax and licensing/registration fees back should you return or exchange the car.
Roadside Assistance
Most certified pre-owned programs offer free roadside service in case your car breaks down while still under warranty.
Special Financing
Reduced-rate loans are available through many certified pre-owned programs. Manufacturer-backed inspections and warranties help eliminate the risks involved with buying pre-owned, so buyers who qualify can take advantage of the great offers.
Transferable Warranty
When a new car warranty transfers with the certification of the car and remains eligible for the next owner, it is known as a transferable warranty. Once the original transferable warranty expires, an extended warranty takes effect.
Warranty Deductible
This is the amount for which you are responsible when repair work is performed under the warranty. Some manufacturers require a deductible while others don't, so always ask.

2-year/24,000-Mile¹ CPO Scheduled Maintenance Plan.

12-Month/12,000-Mile² Bumper-to-Bumper Limited Warranty.

5-year/100,000-Mile³ Powertrain Limited Warranty for model years up to 2014.

¹Covers only scheduled oil changes with filter, tire rotations and 27 point inspections, according to your vehicle's recommended maintenance schedule for up to 2 years or 24,000 miles, whichever comes first. Does not include air filters. Maximum of 4 service events. See participating dealer for other restrictions and complete details.

²Whichever comes first from date of purchase. See participating dealer for limited warranty details.

³Whichever comes first from original in-service date. See participating dealers for limited warranty details.
Age/Mileage Eligibility 2009-2014 model year / Under 75,000 miles
Lease Term Certified No
Point Inspection 172-Point Vehicle Inspection and Reconditioning
Download checklist
Return/Exchange Program 3-Day 150-Mile Satisfaction Guarantee
Roadside Assistance Yes
Transferrable Warranty Yes
Warranty Deductible $0

Learn more about certified pre-owned vehicles

Printable Version

2005 Chevrolet Malibu Sedan

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