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2006 Chevrolet Malibu Sedan

4dr Sdn SS

Starting at | Starting at 19 MPG City - 26 MPG Highway

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  • $22,865 original MSRP
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2006 Chevrolet Malibu Sedan

Printable Version

2006 Chevrolet Malibu Sedan

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2006 Chevrolet Malibu

Source: MSN Autos

Chevrolet moves closer to matching top Japanese sedan rivals with its 2006 Malibu, which comes in additional trim levels—including higher-performance SS versions.

The new Malibu also has mildly revised styling, inside and out, although it's far from being a head-turner.

The regular front-wheel-drive Malibu is a 4-door sedan with the conventional styling seemingly favored by most midsize sedan buyers, judging by sales of such cars.

Most Versatile Version
But the most versatile Malibu is the Maxx 4-door hatchback, which is a functional blend of sedan, station wagon and hatchback, although its rear end resembles the stern end of Winston Churchill's bulldog.

The majority of Americans continue to shy away from autos described as "hatchbacks" because old Japanese hatchbacks gave that body style a "cheap" image. Chevy thus calls the Maxx a "five-door extended sedan"—when most anyone can plainly see it's a hatchback.

Why not just call the Maxx a "crossover?" That's the type of vehicle that's becoming increasingly popular as more folks move away from truck-like SUVs to versatile, more fuel-thrifty car-based crossovers.

Chevrolet just says regular and Maxx versions of the Malibu "are adaptable to different individuals and lifestyles."

Odd Rear Styling
The standard Malibu sedan's regular trunk allows conventional styling—front to back. The Maxx has a 6-inch-longer wheelbase (distance between axles) than the standard Malibu, but is a half-inch shorter in overall length.

That shows what can be done when a trunk need not be hung behind the rear wheels. However, Chevy should have avoided a Maxx rear end that resembles part of an English bulldog.

Higher Performance
Both regular and Maxx versions of the Malibu are offered in new higher-performance SS (Super Sport) form, with a 3.9-liter 240-horsepower V6 featuring variable valve timing. It moved my test Maxx SS with authority under all conditions.

The SS also has a sport suspension, big 18-inch alloy wheels with wide 50-series tires and unique interior and exterior appointments, including a rear spoiler that doesn't have a boy-racer look.

Weak Entry Engine
The entry Malibu engine is a 144-horsepower 4-cylinder that is weak during passing maneuvers above 65 mph. But there's also a potent 201-horsepower V6 for midrange versions.

All engines are hooked to a responsive 4-speed automatic transmission, with the one in SS versions having manual shift capability. However rival Toyota and Honda models have a more efficient 5-speed automatic.

Good Fuel Economy
Estimated fuel economy is 24 mpg city, 32 highway for the 4-cylinder, 22-24 city and 30-32 highway for the 201-horsepower V6 and 18-19 city and 26 highway for the SS versions. All engines only need 87-octane gasoline.

The rigidly built Malibu rides on General Motors' Epsilon platform, also used for the Saab 9-3 chassis. It helps allow good handling and provides a solid feel.

Steering Needs Improvement
The variable hydraulic power steering of my test Maxx SS was rather stiff and rubbery, although it was quicker than on other Malibus, which have electric power steering that sometimes feels too light, sometimes too heavy.

Malibu SS versions have sharper handling than non-SS versions and a supple ride, despite a firmer all-independent suspension and tires larger than those on regular versions. Stops are straight and controlled, thanks partly to an easily modulated brake pedal.

Gauges can be quickly read, and clearly marked controls are easy to reach on all Malibus. The ignition switch is on the dashboard so one need not grope for it on the steering column, especially in the dark. But a driver can't easily reach his front console cupholder with the shift lever in the "drive" position because that lever gets in the way. Inside door handles should be larger to allow easier exits.

Interior materials aren't comparable to those of top Japanese rivals, although they're attractive. A deep, covered storage bin easily swallows objects such as cell phones.

Revised Styling
The 2006 Malibu gets a new front-end look with a different grille design and body color side moldings for a more upscale appearance.

The base Malibu has been discontinued, but there is a new uplevel LTZ model with additional premium features.

The quiet Malibu interior, which comfortably seats four tall adults, has updated trim and a new 4-spoke steering wheel. There's also new low-beam daytime running lights.

The Maxx hatchback provides a cargo area that accepts 22.8 cubic feet of household miscellany, or 7.4 cubic feet more than the regular Malibu sedan, which has a decent-size trunk. With rear seatbacks folded forward, the Maxx can swallow 41 cubic feet of cargo. No wonder more pragmatic—and less spoiled—European motorists favor hatchbacks.

Sliding Rear Seat
The Maxx rear seat reclines and slides fore and aft nearly 7 inches to provide more rear occupant room or additional cargo space. Rear seatbacks can be folded forward for a more spacious cargo area. The regular Malibu sedan also has split/folding rear seatbacks, and both body styles have a fold-flat front passenger seatback for extra-long objects.

To help keep hands clean from dirty outside metal, the light Maxx liftgate has two hand-hold indents lined with a sandpaper-like material that provides exceptional grip, even in wet weather. That's a nice touch that often will be appreciated every time the liftgate is yanked shut.

Rear Skylight
A Maxx exclusive is a fixed rear glass skylight over the rear seat to provide an open atmosphere, with a split/retractable shade to control the amount of light through the skylight.

The Maxx also has a removable heavy-duty parcel shelf/tailgate table that can be used at four positions for two-tier loading. It has hooks on which to hang items such as grocery bags.

Options include a rear-seat audio system and DVD entertainment system with wireless headphones that can be stored in the center fold-down rear armrest, which has dual cupholders. The center of the back seat is too hard for occupant comfort, anyway.

Other extras include a power sunroof, XM satellite radio and OnStar assistance.

Malibu prices begin at $17,365 for the base LS trim level and end at $24,065 for the Maxx SS, with various prices for midrange LT and LTZ regular and Maxx versions.

Even the entry LS is well-equipped, with such features as air conditioning, cruise control, AM/FM/CD player and power windows, mirrors and door locks with remote keyless entry.

A remote engine start system that lets you get a head start on the interior heating and cooling systems from a range of up to 200 feet is standard on all models except the LS, which is equipped for dealer activation of the system.

The LS and LT come with the 4-cylinder engine, while the LTZ/LTZ Maxx versions have the 201-horsepower V6, which is optional for the LT.

Anti-lock disc brakes and traction control are optional on the LS and LT, but standard on other Malibus. Wheel sizes are 15-inch on the LS, 16-inch on the LT, 17-inch on the LTZ, with the SS getting 18-inchers.

Safety Items
Front torso side airbags and side-curtain airbags are standard on LTZ and SS versions, optional on others.

All Malibus have a tilt-telescopic steering wheel and power driver's seat height adjuster. The LTZ and LTZ Maxx, along with SS trim levels, have standard power adjustable pedals and heated front seats, which are extra for the LT and LT Maxx. The LTZ has leather upholstery, while the SS has a cloth-leather combination.

The standard Malibu is fine, but the Maxx version is handier—and its unusual rear styling may even grow on owners.

Printable Version

2006 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 Body Side Air Bag Std
Rear Head side Air Bag Std
Child Safety Locks Std

Road Visibility

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

Security

Anti-theft System Std
Telematics Opt
Printable Version

2006 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

2006 Chevrolet Malibu Sedan

Data on this page may have come in part, or entirely, from one or more of the following providers.

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