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Discussion Starter #1
We are considering a Chevy Malibu. Actually it is one of many vehicles on our list that we want to look at. This is the list we have so far:

08 or 09 Malibu
08 or 09 Impala
08 Toyota Avalaon
07-09 VW Passat Wagon
05-06 Audi A6
05 Tahoe/Yukon

This vehicle is going to be replacing my Wife's 1999 Audi A4. She loves that car but after the birth of our second child it is just too small. So in reverse order:

I have a 2003 Avalanche that I like a lot. However in the Spring/Summer/Fall I pretty much ride my Honda ST1100 all the time. So over the summer she began to like driving my Avalanche. Now that we have snow I have since taken it back as the motorcylce season is over. This is how the Tahoe/Yukon made the list. She would like the 3rd row on occasion. The problem is that the other day she drive my truck in the snow and didn't like it. We bought the Audi A4 after she rolled her Dodge Dakota 1.5 times after hitting black ice. So she is hesitant about another truck in the winter. Because of that I think the Tahoe/Yukon is most likely off the list.

She would like the Audi A6 but they are very expensive too work on and while I have done a lot of work on the A4 they are pretty difficult to work on as they require so many special tools. She loves the AWD in the Audi line

The same will likely be true about the Passat but we are considering it. It is also available with the same AWD system as the Audi. After all VW and Audi are the same company

I kind of like the Toyota Avalon. My Mom has had one for years and loves it. She has never had any issues. Also in looking at a used 08 we are going to be in the price range of a used Impala or a new Malibu but it is going to have more features, HID lights, heated and cooled seats, a real navigation system, and a little larger car are all the main points. The only big drawback to this car is the fact that the rear seats do not fold down to gain access to the trunk. Now that isn't that big of a deal as I still will have the truck and we can swap vehicles if needed. Besides she really can't fold the seats anyhow with the child seats in the rear anyhow. But it is a drawback that is worth mentioning.

Now on to the GM options. I have some cash on my GM card to take off the cost of a new car and I can get the GM Supplier Discount. However I think that is about the same discount as the current Red Tag Event that is going on this month.

The Impala is going to get a little worse mileage than the Malibu however the engine is a flex fuel engine. Now I don't know that we will use E85 but if for no other reason I like the idea of a flex fuel engine for the simple fact that in the next couple years some time Minnesota is pushignto switch from a 10% ethanol blend in gas to a 20%. The problem with Ethanol is that it is corrosive and if an engine isn't certified to use it there can be problems. If the vehicle was Flex Fuel certified then this will be a non issue. The Impala has the fold flat seats and I think is a little bigger in the cabin as well as the trunk. We will have to check this out though.

The Malibu is available in a price range where we will likely buy a new 09 rather than a left over 08 or used 08. Although I found a really nice certified 08 LTZ that I might consider. I have read a lot about all the awards that the Malibu has won. I also have chatted with a few people that own the new Malibu (08 or 09) and they love them. The one deciding factor for us will be how well the car seats fit in this car. I am 6'4" which means that the seat is going to have to go all the way back in order for me to get in. Is there going to be enough room for the kids still? I like the newer interior of the Malibu over the Impala.

Currently when we do road trips we take my Avalanche. However if the gas prices shoot back up the $4 range we would likely take the new car over the Avalanche if it had enough room for everyone and our stuff. So space is a key issue here. My wife is getting frustrated as I keep mentioning cars and she doesn't want to pick one. It is her car so I am going to make her choose. I will help her narrow down the list of vehicles. Other vehicles that people have mentioned to me is the Pontiac G8, I have never looked at one, and Chrysler 300, I personally know a couple people that have had major issues with this car so I don't know that I want to go with one of them. The issues were bad enough that Chrysler bought the cars back from the owners.
 

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Definitely look at a G8, they're great cars, and a great value for the performance.

There should be enough room for you in the Malibu. Look at it this way: If a person your height can fit into the cramped interior of a 2010 Camaro and still have legroom in the backseat, you'll be fine.

Only other car I can comment on is the Avalon. I'm not a big fan of toyota, but they hit the nail on the head with the Avalon, great car inside and out. However, my friend's Avalon had some problems with the engine, something about leaking hoses that were recalled. So be careful if you go that route.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Definitely look at a G8, they're great cars, and a great value for the performance.

There should be enough room for you in the Malibu. Look at it this way: If a person your height can fit into the cramped interior of a 2010 Camaro and still have legroom in the backseat, you'll be fine.

Only other car I can comment on is the Avalon. I'm not a big fan of toyota, but they hit the nail on the head with the Avalon, great car inside and out. However, my friend's Avalon had some problems with the engine, something about leaking hoses that were recalled. So be careful if you go that route.
Thanks for the reply.

One thing I left out is that our daughter is 3 years old and our son is 4 months. The interior and trunk space is going to be a big decision factor with what we end up with. I kind of like the idea of the Passat or A6 wagon. It would give her a lot more room for the strollers and shopping.... Oh wait maybe that would be a bad thing..... :rolleyes:

One thing that I do like about the Chevy product is that they will have a 5 year 100K mile warranty on the drivetrain. That and whlie all the gadgets are nice the more things on a car and there are just more things to fail.
 

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The trunk in the new Malibu is not the biggest. It's ok, but it is shallow which may limit you. Great car overall in my opinion, but I think it'd be fair to say that this generation went sportier route with sleeker lines and stiffer sispension (which work nicely in my opinion, not your traditional taxi cab ride, though stiil comfy). But as a result the interiour/trunk space is not the best in class.

Alalon would do better in that department, but I would be careful choosing that car, I too heard about some problems (can't remember what thougth). A Camry may be another decent choice.

BTW, how about Ford Taurus or Flex? Both look promising, but both are very new, I have no idea of quality/reliability at all.
 

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Thanks for the reply.

One thing I left out is that our daughter is 3 years old and our son is 4 months. The interior and trunk space is going to be a big decision factor with what we end up with. I kind of like the idea of the Passat or A6 wagon. It would give her a lot more room for the strollers and shopping.... Oh wait maybe that would be a bad thing..... :rolleyes:

One thing that I do like about the Chevy product is that they will have a 5 year 100K mile warranty on the drivetrain. That and whlie all the gadgets are nice the more things on a car and there are just more things to fail.
The interior room on the Malibu is better than the Impala. I am 6-1 so I need to be able to get in the driver's seat comfortably and then get a car seat behind me. (we have a 2yr old and a 4month old) At the dealership, I had the two cars sitting beside each other. I sat in both front seats, adjusted to my liking and then put the car seat in the back. The Malibu clearly had more back seat room. Like others have said, the truck is smaller.

With the economy going down and SUV sales in the toilet, maybe you could get that Tahoe for a few grand less than the new car. It will take years of high gas prices to make up a few thousand dollars price difference.
 

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We just got my new tv home in the malibu without any problem.. The trunk opening is a bit small but plenty of room in the trunk and you can always let the seats down to allow more room :) I love my malibu
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The interior room on the Malibu is better than the Impala. I am 6-1 so I need to be able to get in the driver's seat comfortably and then get a car seat behind me. (we have a 2yr old and a 4month old) At the dealership, I had the two cars sitting beside each other. I sat in both front seats, adjusted to my liking and then put the car seat in the back. The Malibu clearly had more back seat room. Like others have said, the truck is smaller.

With the economy going down and SUV sales in the toilet, maybe you could get that Tahoe for a few grand less than the new car. It will take years of high gas prices to make up a few thousand dollars price difference.
Thanks for the response. We plan on doing this very thing. Go to a dealer and set the seats where we want them and put in the car seats. Also try and put the strollers in to see how that works.

You are right about SUVs being pretty cheap. The plus with them (2003-2006) is that I know the platform very well. As I mentioned I have an 03 Avalanche and I am a member of a few of the major forums out on the web for that vehicle. I have done a ton of mods to my Avalanche to improve on the base product. One of the neat things is that GM Engineers lurk on our forum and have incorperated some of the mods to the new generation of the Avalanche. For instance I have had a closed circuit backup camera and power door lock in the tailgate of my truck for many years now. That has become an option in 2007. Bottom line is that I am very comfortable with that platform and they are very reliable. The only concern that I have is that if gas shoots back up to $4/gal or higher again I don't want two cas guzzlers. For us right now it isn't bad because when gas is typically high in the summer I rarely drive my truck. I am on my Motorcycle all Spring/Summer/Fall. As the winter turns I drive the truck more. The issue that my wife has is that she isn't as comfortable in the tall SUVs. So that may be the deal killer. We had actually looked at a few Yukons and were getting close to buying one when we got the first snow fall and my wife took my truck out in the snow. One reason we were looking at the 2005-2006 is that you can get them with Stabilitrack. That option was not available on my 2003. To make my 2003 worse it is a Z71. All Z71 trucks have the Eaton G80 locker for a rear axle. While this is ideal for off road the truck can get tricky if I lock up the rear end on snow and ice. I don't have an issue with it but it scares my wife. The Eaton will lock up if one wheel spins 250-300 RPM faster than the other. The Stabilitrac will kick in and cut power if one wheel spins more than 100RPM more than the other. So the combination means that the Stabilitrac is basically an on/off switch for the Eaton Locker if it is equipped on the vehicle. While all Z71 package trucks have the Eaton it is an option on all the others and is identified by the G80 RPO code in the glove box.

Of the lot of vehicles I think the Malibu gets the best mileage. I was looking on the internet at the Pontiac G8. While it does look pretty nice the one thing that I think is the deal killer is the fact that it is rear wheel drive. If we lived down south or if this was a summer only vehicle it wouldn't be an issue. However for her I think we want to stick with a FWD or AWD vehicle. There is a 2008 G8 GT with the 6.0 V8 :eek: at a dealer not too far from our place. I want to go take that beast out on a test drive. I was talking about it to my father and I mentioned that it has a bigger engine that he has in his Corvette. :rolleyes:
 

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Well I'm not going to comment on the other vehicles because I don't have much experience with them and don't want to give an inaccurate opinion... but I would definitely take the Malibu over the Impala... they're pretty much the same size.. the Impala is being redesigned in a year or two.. you don't want to buy a new car and have it outdated so quickly, do you? The Malibu has better power (assuming you get the V6). Yeah, you might lose the physical navigation system in the avalon, but you have security of OnStar should you decide to keep the subscription.. you'll have at least a year of complimentary navigation plus the safety.. if she's in an accident the proper authorities will be dispatched automatically to her location. I'm not going to say this because I own a Malibu but.... out of your list I really would consider one!
 

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If you were looking at GM brands, but wanted more features then the Malibu prehaps the Cadillac CTS (08 or newer) would be an option. I also think that the G8 would be a good vehicle, but it is rear wheel drive...I dont know what your wife would think about that. I say the CTS becayse your price range is so wide. A Audi A6 or Tahoe is alot more than a Malibu or a Impala. Oh, by the way...if money is not an option, I would get an A6... :cool:
 

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A Audi A6 or Tahoe is alot more than a Malibu or a Impala. Oh, by the way...if money is not an option, I would get an A6... :cool:
Not USED they aren't. 3-4 year old ones, as he originally listed, are well into the $20k's range, and some of those ideas are slightly into the $30k's.
 

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Yeah you twat!! He did mention a price range he's sticking to..

But hey if money is no issue, I would just get a Bentley Flying Spur
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Well I'm not going to comment on the other vehicles because I don't have much experience with them and don't want to give an inaccurate opinion... but I would definitely take the Malibu over the Impala... they're pretty much the same size.. the Impala is being redesigned in a year or two.. you don't want to buy a new car and have it outdated so quickly, do you? The Malibu has better power (assuming you get the V6). Yeah, you might lose the physical navigation system in the avalon, but you have security of OnStar should you decide to keep the subscription.. you'll have at least a year of complimentary navigation plus the safety.. if she's in an accident the proper authorities will be dispatched automatically to her location. I'm not going to say this because I own a Malibu but.... out of your list I really would consider one!
Realistically Nav isn't that big of a deal. I have a Garmin StreetPilot that I have on my motorcycle that we can take with in the truck or car if needed. Honestly I don't see us continuing the ON* subscription one the 1st year is up. Same goes for XM beyond the intro period. I totally agree with your comment about the Impala getting redesigned. That is one of my concerns as I do keep resale in mind. I would say that of the new vehicles the Malibu is the best option as far as cost and features. If we go used then I don't know. It may be the A6.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
If you were looking at GM brands, but wanted more features then the Malibu prehaps the Cadillac CTS (08 or newer) would be an option. I also think that the G8 would be a good vehicle, but it is rear wheel drive...I dont know what your wife would think about that. I say the CTS becayse your price range is so wide. A Audi A6 or Tahoe is alot more than a Malibu or a Impala. Oh, by the way...if money is not an option, I would get an A6... :cool:
As I mentioned the A6 would have to be a 2005 or 2006 to fall in budget. The Tahoe the same. Both vehicles are running about $19K-25K. If we looked at Malibu or Impala they would be 2008 or 2009. The Chevys have a better warranty with the 5 year 100K warranty. We wouldn't get that on the Tahoe but I don't care as they are easy to work on. The Audi is a pain to work on because of the special equipment but I would like to go that route. My wife would also prefer it because of the features that it includes. The 2005 was the year of the redesign and they tend to hold their value fairly well on top of the fact that they are great in the snow. To tell you the truth the A4 will run circles around my Avalanche in the snow up until I start pushing it with the front bumper. We are in the Twin Cities in Minnesota so it is rare that we are pushings now with it.

EDIT: Oh and about the G8. I found a 2008 G8 GT at the local dealer. It has a little over 4K miles and they want $23,800. When I saw the 6.0l V8 and the 6 speed Vette tranny in it I fell in love. However, I don't think it would work here in the winter all that well. If we lived down south I think that vehicle may be leading the pack but up here with the weather to consider we can't go that route. In fact they are calling for 6" of snow by morning. So what was that about Global Warming???
 

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Not USED they aren't. 3-4 year old ones, as he originally listed, are well into the $20k's range, and some of those ideas are slightly into the $30k's.
Yep you are right. While we could get into the 30's I would rather avoid that. For instance a new Impala LTZ would be creaping into the 30s even with the red tag event so we would likely look for a lightly used 08 to get it down into the mid 20s that is the high end of the target price. I just don't want to get out of hand with the monthly payments.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Yeah you twat!! He did mention a price range he's sticking to..

But hey if money is no issue, I would just get a Bentley Flying Spur
If money was no object it would probably be an Audi S6 with the 5.2l V10 engine from the Lamorghini and for her an A8 with the 6.0l W12. Oh then maybe throw in a R8 just for fun.
 
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