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Discussion Starter #1
I really liked the looks of the exterior and interior of the Malibu, but I was really impressed by the fit and finish of the interior when I took an LTZ for a test drive this evening.

The car is much more plush than I expected and the lumbar support of the seats is great. The materials and especially the steering wheel felt much more expensive than I expected.

I'm currently driving a loaded v6 '06 Hyundai Sonata which has been a great car, but it's a significant step down from that Malibu.

My wife loved the power outlet in the back of the center console because she can plug in her laptop when we're taking a trip without having to buy an AC adapter. I love the remote start and the adjustable heated seats. I also loved the back-lit door handles.

The engine was powerful and really smooth. The car didn't have any rattles like the Sonata. I really like the paddle shifters in manual mode that actually work like they're supposed to.

I will own a Malibu by the end of the week. I have 5 dealers getting together their best price on their cars and I'll see where we're at. Now I just have to decide whether I want to pay a little more for the color combo I really want or if it's worth it to pay a little less for the combo I'm not as crazy for.

I guess this rambling message serves as a, Hello! and I'd love to hear any feedback you can offer on what you think I should pay for a Malibu with ~ 30k miles, some certified and some not.

Thanks for reading and you all have great cars!
 

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Welcome to the site!

As soon as I read "paddle shifters" I realized you were talking about a used car. If it impressed you used then that's an even better statement than all polished up and new.

What year is it? Apparently it's a V6. If you cruise around the forum you'll find different discussions about mileage. The 4 gets better but the 6 does quite well, too. My '09 got about 27 highway when new and around 32 after getting a few miles on 'er. I hope the '11 goes as well. (I intend to keep this one!)

Think hard about the color combo you want or the money you'll save. My '09 was a great car, so much so that I got an '11. But when I bought it I was sorely in need of a car and the color was the only one they could find. This time I got the color I really wanted and ended up with a few features that I'm learning to appreciate more. It's only $50 a month more than the last one and I'm good with that.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the reply and advice. I actually found another one that's an '08 and is GM Certified with a 12/12 warranty on it that is the exact color combo I'm looking for. I'm going to look at it and will buy it as long as nothing is catastrophically wrong with it.

Black exterior and grey/cashmere interior, v6, LTZ, etc. I can't drive a 4-cylinder, I'm afraid. My previous vehicles were all v8 powered sports cars. Now I'm married and it's time to grow up, but I still want a little umph!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I put down $200 so John Thornton Chevrolet will hold the '08 Malibu for me until I can go finish the deal on Saturday!

I can't wait. It's an '08 LTZ with high mileage. 55k. However, it is GM certified with a 12/12 warranty for $15.1k. Completely loaded in the exact color combo I wanted and it looks mint in the pictures. It may not be a great deal, but it was good enough to get me to pull the trigger.
 

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I'm glad you're getting a V6. It has hydraulic power steering instead of the I4's electronic PS. EPS has had problems. Other than that and the extra power of the 6 they're both good candidates.

Does the '08 have the 4-speed auto or the 6-speed?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
It's the 6-speed auto.

I'm really excited to pick the thing up tomorrow. The wife and I are going to make a day of it in Atlanta tomorrow and I can't wait to drive it home, install the black vinyl overlays on the bowties, install the little Autozone 3M chrome strip to the lower grille, and get some 20% 3M tint on the sides and back.

I may also buy a color-matched black Sharkfin antenna and get rid of that ugly antenna that's on the car now.
 

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You sound excited, but don't let the excitement put the blinders on. You havn't even seen the car in person, and you are picking it up tomorrow?
As many issues that the malibu has, I would test drive the hell out of that thing before even considering buying it.

But thats me knowing what i know now.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
You sound excited, but don't let the excitement put the blinders on. You havn't even seen the car in person, and you are picking it up tomorrow?
As many issues that the malibu has, I would test drive the hell out of that thing before even considering buying it.

But thats me knowing what i know now.
Well, it is certified and has a 12 month and 12k mile bumper to bumper warranty plus the remainder of the powertrain warranty which gives me piece of mind.
 

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I hope it turns out to be a wonderful car.

But a warranty or guarantee doesn't MEAN it's good, it just puts on paper that they promise to do something if it's not. You may think it means one thing and legally it may mean another. As a general rule, exceptions aside, sales people will tell you anything to get you to buy. If you don't get a promise in writing and signed before you buy, then it's not a promise (to them, anyhow!), and you're not likely going to be able to collect.

Like pimpin says, drive it. Take it on an extended drive. Feel how it accelerates, slows, stops (even test the ABS in a panic stop, like in a parking lot), turns, goes over potholes and/or speed bumps. Put 4 or 5 people in it. Listen to the blower, the radio, the tires. Put all the windows up and down fully, one at a time, several times. Open the trunk and check the spare or inflation kit (depends on option). See how far away each remote fob works, and that it does. Lift the hood and check all fluids. Ask them to put it on a lift and look underneath. Open every door and check the weatherseals and gaskets for unusual wear marks. Turn on and check every light, including the license and trunk. Look for scratches and dents.

In short, it's a used car. Look it over carefully and as emotionally detached as you can. Buy it once you've convinced your Evil Twin that it's not going to cause any issues.

Once you buy it (I'm sure it'll pass all these inspections!) then you'll have a much better base of knowledge about it to be really pleased with it. I loved my first one and would have kept it had it been a different color. I have a few minor issues to correct with this one but it's turning out to be the keeper I hoped it would.

Post up some pics and how your buying experience goes, too, please!
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Welp, I did purchase it and I'm in love.

I found out AFTER I signed the paper work that it was the sales manager's wife's car so it had perfect maintenance and was washed regularly at the dealership. This this is in beautiful condition aside from a few small scratches that I can buff out.

I'm going to place a hefty order with Adam's polishes so I can take care of this car properly.
There isn't much to see other than a factory stock Malibu. So far, I did the lower grill chrome trim piece that I bought at Autozone and I removed the dealer lettering and the little GM squares from the doors.

I decided to go ahead and order the Adam's products instead of tinting the windows so that will have to wait a little while. I will also color match the bowties asap and paint the brake calipers and rotor hubs black. I can't decide on flat black vs gloss for the calipers.

Here are two crappy pictures my wife took when I picked it up:

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc4/hs1376.snc4/164829_10100176605348310_4919094_59491759_2992862_n.jpg

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash1/hs752.ash1/164364_10100176623496940_4919094_59492147_4606393_n.jpg
 

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Very nice! My '09 was black. Early this past June I used got some input from other members and did my first clay bar, then scratch remover, swirl remover, and finally wax. It was such an improvement that a guy at work approached me and asked me what I had done! I'll be doing it to this one this year, too.

That's the same interior I have! It's nice to see it wears well. I should be able to expect mine to look as good.

I've seen others on here post about Adam's products.

For the calipers I'd suggest the caliper paint, and glossy if there's a choice.

Those actually aren't bad pics, if the salesman would just move over and let us see the car! Thanks for sharing, and congratulations. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
If there's one thing I don't want to look like, it's a used car salesman! Doh!

I have to give you kudos on your write-ups. I don't dare attempt some of the mods you have done to your car.

My next mod is to paint the bowties. I can't find any paint code in the glove compartment so I'll call the dealer tomorrow so I know I'm ordering the right paint. I'm picky about my mods and I want the bowties to match the paint, metal flakes and all.

I have some left over engine block paint that I used on my '99 Trans Am's calipers and it worked well. I may end up doing the calipers in silver and the rotor/hub area in black. I think silver might stand out just a little without looking gaudy.

I have a bit of a hook-up on entertainment/audio equipment as a good friend is the parts manager at a Jaguar dealership and says they do some aftermarket entertainment systems for their customers. He can order pretty much anything at cost for me so I definitely plan on a nice double din nav/dvd unit and speaker/amp combo sometime in the future.

I need to see if anyone has a vehicle in motion unit for the Malibu to make sure I can watch a DVD while the car is moving. Any ideas on that?
 

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Congrats on the new car, it looks really good. Looks like they took care of it really well, I guess if the sales manager's wife isn't happy the sales manager isn't so they kept it clean:).
 

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If there's one thing I don't want to look like, it's a used car salesman! Doh!

I have to give you kudos on your write-ups. I don't dare attempt some of the mods you have done to your car.

My next mod is to paint the bowties. I can't find any paint code in the glove compartment so I'll call the dealer tomorrow so I know I'm ordering the right paint. I'm picky about my mods and I want the bowties to match the paint, metal flakes and all.

I have some left over engine block paint that I used on my '99 Trans Am's calipers and it worked well. I may end up doing the calipers in silver and the rotor/hub area in black. I think silver might stand out just a little without looking gaudy.

I have a bit of a hook-up on entertainment/audio equipment as a good friend is the parts manager at a Jaguar dealership and says they do some aftermarket entertainment systems for their customers. He can order pretty much anything at cost for me so I definitely plan on a nice double din nav/dvd unit and speaker/amp combo sometime in the future.

I need to see if anyone has a vehicle in motion unit for the Malibu to make sure I can watch a DVD while the car is moving. Any ideas on that?
I was looking for the paint code as well. At Auto Zone the book says it'll be on the spare tire cover. Look for a code with "WA" and/or two codes, one with "L" for lower and one with "U" for upper. I haven't looked yet because I have a little too much back there right now to disturb it.

My car is called Red Jewel Tintcoat by GM but in the book all it listed was Torch Red and Bright Red.

Thanks for the good words, too!

Oh, and for the PTM bowties, check out some of the threads on here about that. Some have painted theirs and some have used vinyl.

That was you in the pic? Sorry, but when I took a picture of my first new car I had the camera and the salesman did the mugging so I assumed it was your salesman.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Yeah, I actually ordered some black gloss vinyl just so I can get something on the bowties until I can paint them properly. The gold color looks totally out of place.

I was in the picture because my wife snapped the picture with her phone. I'll get her fancy camera out and take some pictures as soon as I get the chance.
 

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Very nice! That is one of the colors that I was considering before I bought mine. I also like the coco cashmere a lot better than the brick combo that are in some black Malibu’s. “Just my personal likes” My sister actually loves the brick combo color with the black exterior color. As long as you like, that is all that counts. Congratulations!
 

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Congrats on the new car, it looks really good. Looks like they took care of it really well, I guess if the sales manager's wife isn't happy the sales manager isn't so they kept it clean:).
Yeah, she worked at the dealership as well so I guess she just dropped it off to have it detailed from time to time. It looks like a brand new car inside and out.

I couldn't be happier.
 
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