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Old 01-22-2013, 07:28 PM   #1
Press_Corpse
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Default Looking to buy

Hey folks,
I just signed up to get a better idea of what I should be looking for. I am looking for a gen 7 malibu with a v6, however everything I find is in LTZ trim with leather. I would like to avoid a leather interior if I could considering I live in the suburbs of Chicago. (currently 8 at the moment).

I am dead set on a v6. Coming from a v8 in my current 1994 Chevy Caprice, I want something similar in ride comfort but better in the gas mileage department. I generally get in the low 20s if I stick to highway driving. My current job has me driving around throughout the day and I get reimbursed for mileage. I have, however, averaged well overall once I factor in fill-ups.

What I ask from you kind folks is possibly a breakdown what options each level has when choosing a v6. I do love the dark blue color but searching autotrader and nearby dealers, that color only pops up in Inline 4 engines. Other colors I am fond of are the champagne/tan, the red and dark grey.

Thank you in advance!
Chris
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Old 01-22-2013, 07:45 PM   #2
cp-the-nerd
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Default Re: Looking to buy

Your only other choice is a 2LT V6, like what I have. The seats have leatherette bolsters with faux-suede inserts. I love them.

The 2LT V6 package includes remote start, heated seats, probably bluetooth and a USB port, garage door controls, and 18 inch alloy wheels. The Bose stereo was optional. Only the LTZ has foglights, if those are important to you.

Make sure the car has good maintenance records and the owner has been getting oil changes with Dexos 1 certified oil (i.e. fully synthetic like Mobil 1). A poorly maintained 3.6L V6 can stretch its timing chains which is a bitch of a repair.
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Old 01-22-2013, 07:49 PM   #3
cp-the-nerd
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Default Re: Looking to buy

Also, I forgot to mention the V6 recommends at least 89 octane gas to provide best performance and fuel economy. In combination with synthetic oil, real world mileage comes to around 18 city/28 hwy mpg in my experience with 47,000 miles on my odo.
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Old 01-22-2013, 08:55 PM   #4
Silenze
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Default Re: Looking to buy

you need the 3LT trim to get a V6 on the 2012, all other years was 2LT
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Old 01-23-2013, 02:04 AM   #5
SeaRay245se
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Default Re: Looking to buy

I live up near Cleveland Ohio right now 7 with a wind chill of 15 below and love the leather but and only but if it has the seat warmers in it and remote start.Its nice to get in a warm car with a toasty seat when its this cold out.My CTS has leather with no seat warmers needless to say it doesnt get driven much in the winter when its this cold out.
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Old 01-23-2013, 04:19 AM   #6
DrivenDaily
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Default Re: Looking to buy

@searay: Just so you're aware, your Gen8 'Bu warms the seats when started by remote. Gen7 models don't. (Except mine, but that's because I know how to tell it to do so. )

@OP: I had an '09 2LT 3.6 V6 with "UltraLux" seats. As described above they have fake suede inserts and vinyl extensions. Mine were heated but only after I got in the car and turned the key on, then reached down and turn the heat on.

My '11 LTZ 3.6 V6 has leather seats (at least the inserts anyhow - not sure about the extensions). Seats are heated as well as the exterior mirrors (2LT didn't). Remote start does not heat the seats in stock configuration. I've modified mine by abandoning the ill-placed switches on the side of the seat and added rocker switches to the overhead console. Included in that mod is the ability to flip a switch so the seats warm during RVS.

I had 20,058 miles on my '09 when I traded it. I believe it had a little more power and economy than this one. I use the manual method to calculate my mpg's and regularly got over 30 on trips, with 18/20 in town in winter/summer.

My '11 has just over 33K on it now and at the same speeds and roads that I drove the '09 on I now get 27-29. Last November I drove 60 mph from home to Wash DC. I was able to get 503.5 miles on one tank and calculated my mpg at 36.4! Not usual because I normally drive speed limit plus 2-5 mph, but I was determined to see just how much I could squeeze out of it. On the return trip I drove "normal" speeds and got around 27-28 mpg.

When I had my '09 I was concerned because it was all black, inside and out, and I thought it might be unbearable in the summer. It wasn't, much to my surprise. I tinted both cars which might help. My '11 also doesn't seem to burn in summer or freeze too bad in winter, but now that I have warmed seats on RVS it really helps. The '11 is red with cocoa/cashmere interior (brown/tan to most folks ) and it looks really nice.

As far as engine maintenance goes, I agree with the above: use Dexos (synthetic blend) or full-synthetic oil, and don't let it go lots and lots of miles even if the OLM sez you can. Cheap insurance to get an oil change compared to the cost of a deductible on an extended warranty, the rental, etc. etc.

6-speed trannies through 2010 have paddle shifters on the steering wheel, for 2011 and 2012 they removed and added a single button to the shifter. I like the feel of the wheel better on long trips but like the paddles for manual shifting. Can't have my cake and eat it to, darn. If I had my drothers I'd like to see column-mounted paddles that don't interfere with the wheel and stay in on location relative to my hands instead of moving as the wheel turns. The shifts are slow and plodding, not like you would imagine for a manual shifter. It has to do with the programming, not the trans itself. The Camaro is a lot snappier, but I guess it should be.
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'11 LTZ, born Aug 2010, Fairfax, KS

V6/A6, Red Jewel Tintcoat / Cocoa-Cashmere, Sunroof
Mods: WeatherTech mats, CHMSL Pulser

How-to: LEDs in mirrors :: How-to: 1-Wipe Wash
How-to: Remote express windows up/down


Traded: '09 2LT Black Granite Metallic V6 / A6 at 20,058 miles
Lost: '11 LTZ RJT V6 / A6 in flood at 44K miles
Muffler mod on '09
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Old 01-23-2013, 04:31 AM   #7
DrivenDaily
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Default Re: Looking to buy

I forgot: radio in '09 had Aux input, no USB. Radio in '11 has Aux and USB. Not sure what '10 offers.
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'11 LTZ, born Aug 2010, Fairfax, KS

V6/A6, Red Jewel Tintcoat / Cocoa-Cashmere, Sunroof
Mods: WeatherTech mats, CHMSL Pulser

How-to: LEDs in mirrors :: How-to: 1-Wipe Wash
How-to: Remote express windows up/down


Traded: '09 2LT Black Granite Metallic V6 / A6 at 20,058 miles
Lost: '11 LTZ RJT V6 / A6 in flood at 44K miles
Muffler mod on '09
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Old 01-23-2013, 01:23 PM   #8
Press_Corpse
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Default Re: Looking to buy

Sounds like I need to find some cars in a decent price range and just test drive them. Seems like I can find them with 30-40k miles in the $10-20k range. I think that I could just get used to the leather seats if I find a car with a good enough price. The paddle shifter option really never came to mind. The aux in is really all I would use to attach my phone, or I could use the bluetooth.

Question - What does the lower portion of the center console have? An extra aux port for a cig lighter/car charger. Change bowl? I can't seem to find anyone showing pictures online. Any major mechanical issues I should expect to replace or look to see if it has been replaced? Major recalls on certain model years? Really any issues that could deter me from looking at one malibu to another.
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Old 01-23-2013, 03:08 PM   #9
SeaRay245se
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Default Re: Looking to buy

@DrivenDaily:Thanks for the heads up on the seats.
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2013 Ram 1500 Laramie
Crew Cab W/Leather Int.
4X4 True Blue Pearl Coat
2013 Chevy Malibu 2LT
Crystal Red Tint
Leather and Pioneer
2013 Chevy Malibu 3LT
Atlantis Blue Met.
2.0 Turbo and Pioneer
2007 Harley Ultra Classic
1986 Ford Mustang
460/c6 caged and tied
1986 24' Searay 245se
1968 14' Duoboat
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Old 01-23-2013, 03:35 PM   #10
DrivenDaily
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Cool Re: Looking to buy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Press_Corpse View Post
Sounds like I need to find some cars in a decent price range and just test drive them. Seems like I can find them with 30-40k miles in the $10-20k range. I think that I could just get used to the leather seats if I find a car with a good enough price. The paddle shifter option really never came to mind. The aux in is really all I would use to attach my phone, or I could use the bluetooth.

Question - What does the lower portion of the center console have? An extra aux port for a cig lighter/car charger. Change bowl? I can't seem to find anyone showing pictures online. Any major mechanical issues I should expect to replace or look to see if it has been replaced? Major recalls on certain model years? Really any issues that could deter me from looking at one malibu to another.
Bluetooth in the car can be used only for phone calls. It doesn't stream audio.

Center stack, below climate control, has a little door (push to open/shut) with a little cubby and 12V power tap. Center console behind shifter is a removable insert with 2 drink holders: 1 is larger than the other. It also has small (very small) recesses for change or whatever. Not much room for much. When a drink with straw is inside and you pull shifter into M (Manual) the straw tends to interfere with my arm. It is covered by a rubberized tambour sliding door.

Under the armrest are 2 compartments. Use the left button and just the top opens to reveal a shallow area. Use the right button and the rest of it down to the floor hump is available.

Check the Gen7 (2008-2012) section for the sticky thread on noises and vibrations. It's an interesting read. I'm on my 2nd Gen7. The '09 never had the issue. My '11 only sometimes exhibits the issue. Others have had terrible trouble to the point of trading it in. (Caution: you might be test driving one!)

Early 4-cylinder models ('08-'09) had EPS (electronic power steering) issues. (The V6 has hydraulic - thankfully!) Check the forum for any details you may need. Some of the issues revolved around the intermediate shaft clunking. The old one was unpainted; its replacement is painted black and seems to solve the problem.
__________________

'11 LTZ, born Aug 2010, Fairfax, KS

V6/A6, Red Jewel Tintcoat / Cocoa-Cashmere, Sunroof
Mods: WeatherTech mats, CHMSL Pulser

How-to: LEDs in mirrors :: How-to: 1-Wipe Wash
How-to: Remote express windows up/down


Traded: '09 2LT Black Granite Metallic V6 / A6 at 20,058 miles
Lost: '11 LTZ RJT V6 / A6 in flood at 44K miles
Muffler mod on '09
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