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Is the Gen 9 a reliable car? And when I ask this keep in mind I am coming from a 1st Gen Cruze which isn't really a reliable car. I am trying to decide if I want to keep putting money into the Cruze, or go for a G9 Malibu or a couple year old Camry.

Any help is greatly appreciated.
 

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2016 Malibu 1LT 1.5T/6-speed 6T40
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Reliability depends on many factors. Design, assembly, fluctuating part suppliers, maintenance, environment... etc. Only the manufacturers themselves have the raw data of warranty repairs of a specific part or partial data of what dealer repairs are done outside warranty. Some cars have catastrophic problems or nagging problems, some/most have no problems at all.

These forums tend to skew negative since much of it revolves around owners seeking advice or troubleshooting. Gen9 has some problems that creep up now and then but so do most cars. There are basically two choices in gen9 1.5T or 2.0T. One won't be particularly more reliable than the other based on forum data here. One has barely adequate power, the other comfortably adequate with a modest fuel economy penalty. The 2.0T cars tend to have more safety tech.

If choosing between a used gen9 Malibu and used Camry, I'd personally look closer at the Camry if it is the 2.5 / 8-speed combo latest gen.
 

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I've had mine for about 2.5 years, and put 40k miles on it. I have not had any reliability issues with the car at all. I do oil changed religiously with Amsoil. I have had a couple cosmetic things come up. The black trim between the door windows is delaminating, and I just noticed my 3rd brake light somehow cracked in half so i'll replace those when I have time.
 

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So far, so good - no issues with my 2019 LT owned since new - now about 16,000 miles on it. Like any new car (by any manufacturer), keeping up on boards such as this is essential to really learning about your ownership experience. For example, I have learned that the cam-driven brake booster vacuum pump on the 1.5L requires clean oil to operate smoothly and have a long life. So I plan on replacing it as a maintenance item before it fails - only thing I need to do now is keep following this board to best figure out when to do that. I also learned about the dangers of car washing to the clear coat, as well as how GM figured out and fixed the infamous leaky third brake light (wrong screws used originally - not a problem for my 19, but earlier model years). The Malibu is just a dream to drive. I really don't care what others say about continuously variable transmissions; I think that thing is pretty awesome as it is as smooth as anything I've ever driven.
 

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2016 Malibu 1LT 1.5T/6-speed 6T40
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So far, so good - no issues with my 2019 LT owned since new - now about 16,000 miles on it. Like any new car (by any manufacturer), keeping up on boards such as this is essential to really learning about your ownership experience. For example, I have learned that the cam-driven brake booster vacuum pump on the 1.5L requires clean oil to operate smoothly and have a long life. So I plan on replacing it as a maintenance item before it fails - only thing I need to do now is keep following this board to best figure out when to do that. I also learned about the dangers of car washing to the clear coat, as well as how GM figured out and fixed the infamous leaky third brake light (wrong screws used originally - not a problem for my 19, but earlier model years). The Malibu is just a dream to drive. I really don't care what others say about continuously variable transmissions; I think that thing is pretty awesome as it is as smooth as anything I've ever driven.
I just did the vacuum pump on my 2016 1.5T at 108,000. When you get it apart you can see how it might jam up if bad oil or really long intervals are used. The little oil flow ports from aren't very large so could sludge up. Mine was in pretty good condition and replacement was probably unnecessary but the part is inexpensive and process isn't hard. It took me about an hour and a half most of which was removing the battery and cleanup. Plus I decided to clean the throttle body while the charge pipe was disconnected. Considering the damage the vacuum pump can do if it breaks, $75 and 90 minutes are a good deal.
 

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2017 Malibu Premier
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You should specify which trim level you are looking at. The Premier vs the other trim levels have completely different drive trains. I had a Premier, it was the nicest driving car I've ever owned. I ended up selling it at 41k miles because I was concerned about reliability. That and I had the clunk from the rear that many people have trouble with.
 

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Is the Gen 9 a reliable car? And when I ask this keep in mind I am coming from a 1st Gen Cruze which isn't really a reliable car. I am trying to decide if I want to keep putting money into the Cruze, or go for a G9 Malibu or a couple year old Camry.

Any help is greatly appreciated.
The Malibu with the 2.0L and a new factory warranty. While I rarely recommend a new GM model, the Malibu, now 5 years out, has most of its issues fixed.

Camry is a great choice as well, though I would take new over used any day. It all comes out to the cost.

If you want to save $$, buy a 2016 Malibu Premier and put a $1000 in it to fix the rear end clunk and other minor issues.
 

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I just dropped $1,100~ today on new front shocks. She handles "like new" again at 101,000K miles. Rear shocks I had replaced last year along with driver side CV axle. Rear knuckle clunk. I never hear it during winter time (which is coming soon) so I let it be.
 
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