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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi -
First post, I'm trying to answer a few questions that the Chevy website isn't clear on. The trim level I'm inquiring about is the LS.

1. They mention a programmable driver info display --- what does that amount to? Does it display distance until empty?

2. How exactly does the bluetooth feature work? It's my understanding it's standard on all '09's? Correct? I have a razor with bluetooth, will it allow me to make hands-free calls?

3. Do all '09's come with remote start?

4. For those of you who spend hours and hours on the interstate - is the car comfortable? Does it fatigue you? Are the arm rest positions comfortable? (I drive 40k+ miles a year.)

5. I currently have an external Sirius Sat radio. In my '07 Ford I connect it to the back of the stereo via an aftermarket adapter which allows a direct, clear connection (versus FM modulation). Basically the adapter allows me to fool the factory unit and allows me to use the oem "sat" button to interface. Has anyone done anything similar with the 08-09 Malibu?

6. I have the option to add the 6-way power seat with power lumbar for $175. Is it worth it over the standard seat?

7. Black or Imperial Blue? :D

I really appreciate the help. I spend way too much time in the car and comfort and driveability is very important.

Thanks for your time,
MoJ
 

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1) Driver Information Center. In the gauge cluster, with readouts for your odomoter and temperature, and then screens for Instant MPG, Average MPG, Miles to Empty, Front & Rear Tire Pressures, 2 Trip Meters, the Oil Life % monitor, and then the "option" screens to set how and when the doors lock/unlock, horn chirp or not when doing the former, lights on/off when, and a few other features.

2) The Bluetooth is part of a new Onstar system. You hit the button on the steering wheel, say Bluetooth, pair your phone (or already have done it), and then speak the number or what you want it to do. This is NOT standard on all, and right now only comes on 2LT's and LTZ's and is an/will be an option on 1LT's. No LS offering.

3) Remote start is standard on 2LT's and LTZ's, a factory option on 1LT's, and not available on the LS from the factory--but it is set up for it, just needs the new remotes as an accessory from the dealer and the car programmed to use them. The system is there in all, but you need the accessory bits/programming if it didn't come from the factory.

4) Extremely solid car with a terrific blend of a quiet and plush ride with crisp and tight handling, all teamed with very supportive and comfortable long ride seats, a soft center console armrest, and firm, comfortable door panel rests. My mother went from a Suburban to a Malibu, and she loves it on the highway most of all...just soothing.

5) Possible, basically using a rear Aux. jack. I believe there is one, as they offer an accessory Ipod cable that attaches to the back of the unit, which likely uses the same kind of plug. Not fully sure, however.

6) The power seat is worth it, yet. Without, you get straight up and down power height adjustment, but can't tilt, etc. the seat like you can with the power. I'm used to the manual setup after an older rental and my current G6, but really prefer the more adjustable power seat in our Malibu.

7) Black Granite, no question. Just not a "blue" person.

Sounds like you're looking into a fleet LS V6 model ordered via a company? Or just a regular LS?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Sounds like you're looking into a fleet LS V6 model ordered via a company? Or just a regular LS?
Thanks for all the great answers.

You're right, it is a fleet vehicle but it's my understanding it will still be the 4cyl/4spd. It seems like all of the Malibu fleet cars I've read about are v6 so maybe I'll get lucky. You would think at the very least they would spring for the 4cyl/ 6-spd. It looks to me like it's the best value, for another $1k or so over the LS you get 10% better highway mpg. At 40k highway miles a year it would pay for itself in less than 18 mos (@ $4/ga).

I've been reading about this car since early 08 and was hoping they'd make it one of the choices for this year. I'm forced to choose between a Ford Escape, Ford Fusion, and Malibu LS. I haven't drove the Malibu but on paper it looks like there's no comparison to the other two.
 

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Oh yes, GREAT choice if you go for the Malibu.

Fleet LS's come standard with the 2.4L/4-speed, but have the option of the fleet-only 3.5L/4-speed, it just depends on what's selected. LS's are very light on what can be had extra, aside from side moldings & mats. No 2.4L/6-speed available, unless you step up to the next 1LT trim.

It's a fantastic road car, and given the few "fleet" company car owners of them we already have here not to mention all the regular owners, the Malibu is a terrific choice you won't regret. But to be sure, just make sure you hit a dealer and drive one on your own, to see, on top of any of the other choices...you never know. I think you'll very much enjoy a Malibu, for sure, even a "lowly" (not really, as anyone here with one will tell you) LS.
 

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Regarding attaching your Sirius radio to the back of the audio system, before you go to that trouble you may want to wait a bit. Sirius and XM have merged and the XM Radio that comes standard with the Malibu will soon begin offering Sirius channels. The music channels will likely be merged and the talk and premium channels will be available on both services. So, you won't even need a different radio to get largely the same content.

My guess is that these changes will be made prior to the 2008 holiday shopping season.

Of course, all this depends on how you set up your Sirius subscription, but it seems it will be more convenient to use the radio that's built into the car and uses the factory controls, display, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'm hoping that's the case but I haven't heard if the technology will merge next month or next year.

I did find this http://www.tss-radio.com/sirius-connect-sirgm1-p-228.html

For $100 you can convert your GM XM radio to sirius. Basically you remove the XM tuner and antenna and replace. Everything is still controlled via the stock head unit with no wires, external tuner, etc. Only problem is I haven't seen the 08-09 Malibu listed as compatible. Perhaps they're not making one in light of the upcomming merger.

 

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A word of caution about distance to empty. If it works the same way as in 05 Malibu it can be misleading at first. I found that it displays the distance to completely dry tank...I presumed that it'd account for some dry reserve, but was proved wrong returning from a skiing trip and no gas stations nearby. I made it ok, but traveling with low fuel light was unnerving.
 

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I own an 08 LS, and drive on the interstate quite a bit. Here's my review:

The range indicator is 100% accurate, but only under a few variables. It, first, is using your Average MPG Consumption to figure. If you start to get pushy, it will drop (as with any vehicle, you consume more fuel as you get more aggressive). Second, it shows you how much range you have from that exact second, until your tank is running in fumes. I would not let it get near 80 miles left, if I was anyone, as it can be harmful for the engine.

It is a nice feature, especially when traveling on the interstate.

Now, to the interstate. I do a massive amount of driving on the interstate, nearly 10,000 a year (not including 4-5k in the city), and I have had my fair share of vehicles (Ford Ranger (90 year), Ford Mustang (65 and 89 years), Toyota ECHO (2000), and a Scion xB (05)), and I must say that the Malibu is by far my favorite of the group.

It has a smooth, kind of boat-like ride when it comes to interstate travel and maneuvering. Rest assured, I drive an 08 LS 4cyl, and it performs nearly as well as the 89 Mustang did (the later Toyotas had the smaller 1.5L, which is very weak on the interstate - the 89 had a 4.2L 6 cyl) when it comes to performance and get-up-and-go. I live in Tennessee, where you are weaving between mountains and drop from a 70mph zone to a 65, and sometimes even a 55, in an instant. The up hills are smooth and require very little pull from the engine (to get from 55 to 70 on a 4% grade comfortably takes about 3,500rpms, which is not much for a 4cyl on such a heavy car).

I am reluctant to say (for fear of that some might try this), but its on-ramp acceleration is so good that after I had accelerated to traffic's speed, merged, shifted into the left lane and went to set my cruise control to 80, I was going 98mph! All the while I thought I was around the 80 mark. It is a very surprising vehicle.

Its brakes are also very well equipped, able to slow you down very quick at high speeds with little stutter or jerking from the body(which you probably know as well as me that when your car dives at high speeds it makes control a little nerve-racking).

Comfort within the vehicle is so well fit, I might have to get the design of the seat from the Malibu and have it applied to my next vehicle (If it is not a next-Gen Bu!). My longest trip in it was from Tennessee to Florida, and I did not get uncomfortable at all. My back tends to pain me sometimes, but the back of the seat is well contoured and the bottom will not leave your bum feeling sore or raw like this computer chair I am sitting in :rolleyes:

I need to have my right hand on the gear selector at all times, a habit I suppose, and the position of the gear selector with the center arm rest is so perfect and well elevated that my whole arm can rest, while comfortably grasping the selector. My left hand is able to steer the wheel effortlessly, while my left arm can rest on the door, which is rigid and hard plastic, but is oddly comfortable. There's so much leg room (at least for myself, 5' 6") a football team could practice under my legs. All controls and everything are also positioned to where your eyes do not have to go searching, and with the large knobs for the basics (Climate control, radio) you will get to the point to where you will not have to look down and memorize their locations.

Wow, that turned into a ramble.
 

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I'm hoping that's the case but I haven't heard if the technology will merge next month or next year.

I did find this http://www.tss-radio.com/sirius-connect-sirgm1-p-228.html

For $100 you can convert your GM XM radio to sirius. Basically you remove the XM tuner and antenna and replace. Everything is still controlled via the stock head unit with no wires, external tuner, etc. Only problem is I haven't seen the 08-09 Malibu listed as compatible. Perhaps they're not making one in light of the upcomming merger.
Before you spend ANY money, I'd wait if I were you. Let's just say that I have it on "good authority" that the changes I referenced in my prior post will begin very soon. The businesses have already merged and are operating as a single company, so it's just common sense to assume that many changes can't be very far away.

In fact, Sirius/XM has already announced the availability of Howard Stern (I don't care for him much) and the NFL via special packages on XM radios. They've also announced a similar deal for Sirius subscribers as it relates to exclusive XM programming. The merging of the music channels can't be far behind.

In any event, it seems to me that giving it a few weeks to see how the merger shakes down can't hurt anything.
 

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I'm hoping that's the case but I haven't heard if the technology will merge next month or next year.

I did find this http://www.tss-radio.com/sirius-connect-sirgm1-p-228.html

For $100 you can convert your GM XM radio to sirius. Basically you remove the XM tuner and antenna and replace. Everything is still controlled via the stock head unit with no wires, external tuner, etc. Only problem is I haven't seen the 08-09 Malibu listed as compatible. Perhaps they're not making one in light of the upcomming merger.
NO, will not work. The SIR-GM1 is only compatible with "older" GM head units with XM, such as those from 2003-on listed like the last gen trucks, a few Cadillacs, etc., etc. with last gen units.

For all of the new GM vehicles using the latest gen of head units, what is needed is the talked about but still never seen to exist SIR-GM2. It's been talked about and talked about for well over a year and I think even two, but just never come about. No idea why, other than design issues or delays, but the module compatible with new vehicles like a current Malibu still doesn't exist.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Before you spend ANY money, I'd wait if I were you. Let's just say that I have it on "good authority" that the changes I referenced in my prior post will begin very soon. The businesses have already merged and are operating as a single company, so it's just common sense to assume that many changes can't be very far away.

In fact, Sirius/XM has already announced the availability of Howard Stern (I don't care for him much) and the NFL via special packages on XM radios. They've also announced a similar deal for Sirius subscribers as it relates to exclusive XM programming. The merging of the music channels can't be far behind.

In any event, it seems to me that giving it a few weeks to see how the merger shakes down can't hurt anything.
That's good news. I have the time to wait --- I ordered the car Monday and was told it would be 6 weeks before it's at the dealer. I can always use my Sirius Sportster via the AUX input on the front of the head unit. I'm just hoping for a cleaner look without the external tuner and wires.
 
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