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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone.

For about the last 8 months, you all have listened to me butt-trumpeting about the 2004 Chevy Malibu MAXX, and how cool I think it is. I've now gotten to drive it, play with it, crawl all over it, and stand beside it, and here is my account.

Ours is an LS, in Sport Red Metallic. Overall, I think the Sport Red Metallic is a pretty dumb looking color, not nearly as attractive as the former Malibu's Redfire Metallic, or the new brick-ish Medium Red Metallic on the 2004 TrailBlazer. For some reason, the Sport Red Metallic looks good on the 2004 Malibu, but on the MAXX, IMHO, it's dumb.

What instantly strikes me about the MAXX is how compact it is from the outside. I knew that, despite its longer wheelbase, the MAXX is shorter than the 2004 Malibu, but the dimensions are just remarkable. Another weird thing is that all the guys on our staff like the looks, all the girls don't. Calling it "Euro," and it is very "Euro" at that, tends to neutralize any negative reactions. The shape is striking, if not as anonymously tidy as the Malibu sedan, which I also think looks quite good.

In the front seats, it's the same car. True, the interior is pre-Lutz, and its sights were set much lower than what Luts wants now, but it gets no complaints from me. Everything is good, everything works, and it's comfortable. If I were one to complain about interiors, I wouldn't be driving an F-body. My favorite gizmos in the front seat remain XM Radio, and the slick little "manual mode" rocker switch on the shift lever. Since most people could care less about manumatics, and few that have them actually use them, this is a more elegant, and equally functional solution versus the "slap-shift" manu-matics.

The back seat is where things get interesting. Our LS only gets the rear audio source, but that ain't bad. The Multi-Flex seating is great. Most people will like the standard position, with its vast legroom, but the scooch-and-recline has its advantages. Some people on our staff have complained about the look of the checkered cloth. I could care less about the look, since, unfortunately, my butt has not yet grown eyes that can see through clothing. The cloth is quite comfortable, and it feels very durable, to the point of feeling like soft denim.

The skylight is cool, and the little shades don't give me much problem. I'm just glad it's there, kind of like Mechwarrior. People might complain about the 3-position shelf back there, since the fit seems pretty tight, and moving it around leaves scuff marks (easily cleaned, but annoying). There are also milk jug thingies back there, and a 12V outlet. Chevy could have really scored on the functionality-o-meter if they'd have made it a three-prong. A car roomy enough for George Foreman deserves an outlet for his namesake Fat Grilling Machine.

The torquey V-6 makes its power where it's needed, down low, and the manu-matic mode lets you step on it when you feel like it. The feel of the electric power steering isn't road-oriented, it's weight oriented, but they translate fairly well. It doesn't feel quite as agile as the Malibu LT sedan, but the longer wheelbase gives the tradeoff of a smoother ride. It's good enough that I can enjoy a drive in it, but it won't make me laugh like an idiot, unless I'm listening to XM Extreme Comedy or thinking up jokes to myself.

Our LS is swank, and at a sticker of $23,100 with a power driver's seat and side-curtain airbags, it makes for a highly functional, almost sporty family package. The LT, though, is where we start getting into my nearly-trademarked nomen of "Uber-Swank." I think it's too cool to have an affordable vehicle with eye-catching styling, decent performance and handling, adjustable rear seats, skylight, DVD, and room for a picnic. Simply put, the Malibu MAXX LT is a drive-in movie any time and any where you want, and it should get strong consideration as the love machine of choice for those who can see beyond the xB and Element.

I know the LT will drive the same, but I really prefer the feel of the Ultra-Lux seats, and the DVD will be the hot ticket for a lot of people. I can't wait until we get our first LT in, and I hope somebody cool buys it for the reasons that I like it. Heck, if somebody dorky buys it for the reasons I like it, good for them!

Ghrankenstein
:krider:
 

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I absolutely LOVE the Maxx...at first i didn't really cared about it, but now it sounds really awesome!!!
 

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Originally posted by Ghrankenstein@Feb 6 2004, 12:33 AM
My favorite gizmos in the front seat remain XM Radio, and the slick little "manual mode" rocker switch on the shift lever.

Ghrankenstein
:krider:
I thought the rocker switch was only for low gears, 1 and 2. Does it still operate in "drive" mode?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I thought the rocker switch was only for low gears, 1 and 2. Does it still operate in "drive" mode?
It operates in "L," but with gears 1-3. And it works well.

Ghrank
 

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there's a simple solution to your "three prong" plug problem...that third plug is simply a grounding line so you'd just need to cut a bit away from the interior, install the new plug, and run a line to the chassis...total time required would be about 30 minutes after getting all your equipment together...
 

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Originally posted by bakerna@Feb 6 2004, 10:32 AM
there's a simple solution to your "three prong" plug problem...that third plug is simply a grounding line so you'd just need to cut a bit away from the interior, install the new plug, and run a line to the chassis...total time required would be about 30 minutes after getting all your equipment together...
I think he was talking about the fact it just had a regular cigarette lighter type outlet in it, and not the 3 prong household type that the Pontiac vibe has.
 

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Originally posted by Ghrankenstein@Feb 6 2004, 06:40 AM
I thought the rocker switch was only for low gears, 1 and 2. Does it still operate in "drive" mode?
It operates in "L," but with gears 1-3. And it works well.

Ghrank
Thanks Ghrankster.
1-3 will do nicely for taking the family to the local dragstrip. One more reason to buy one. :lol:
 

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QUOTE (bakerna @ Feb 6 2004, 10:32 AM)
there's a simple solution to your "three prong" plug problem...that third plug is simply a grounding line so you'd just need to cut a bit away from the interior, install the new plug, and run a line to the chassis...total time required would be about 30 minutes after getting all your equipment together... 


I think he was talking about the fact it just had a regular cigarette lighter type outlet in it, and not the 3 prong household type that the Pontiac vibe has.
my bad, but you could do that if you wanted it after installing a current converter *shrug*
 

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That's bad news that the women don't like it . . . it's supposed to be a family-mobile.

But still, having seen it at the Chicago show this week, I'm very impressed. NOt only is it great looking, the back seat is totally comfortable and the flexibility of the whole package is superlative.

If you ask me, they're gonna sell a lot of 'em. But then, I'm a guy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
That's bad news that the women don't like it . . . it's supposed to be a family-mobile.
Aye.

Guys have been all over this car, myself included. Women seem to be turned off by its resemblance to a wagon combined with its functional, yet decidedly NOT upscale, interior.

Guys feel like the MAXX is, in fact, pimp daddy, and yet functional for the family. Women feel like the guy is sticking them in a station wagon when they really want an SUV, so that they can potray a lifestyle beyond that of "mom." Guys dig the price, while women would rather have a Volkswagen interior. It's a very polarizing vehicle.

The saving grace is that women -really- like the Malibu LT sedan, which has enough value to offset the price, and the more traditional "euro-sedan" styling that satisfies their image-consciousness.

The clincher will be the DVD and rear-seat accomodations, when kids, or dating singles are involved.

At any rate, the mad scientists in our service department are planning on "doing" a pimp-daddy love machine MAXX when we get an LT in the right color and equipment. So far they've done a great job on our custom trucks (pic forthcoming), so I doubt that they'll deliver anything less than Ron Jeremy On Wheels.

Ghrankenstein
 

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I guess I'm in the minority on this one. I don't like the look of it.

To me, it looks like they ran out of sheet metal and just capped off the rear-end.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
We haven't had the Maxx long. At the moment, the initial appeal is as an SUV alternative, though that will disappear once the Equinox comes out (shuddup Ming).

The look of the Maxx is still far more kinky and euro than the American SUV, to the point where it's almost going to be a bimodal vehicle much like the S-10. The S-10, as far as retail customers went, was equal parts Old Man (base truck) and Young Punk (ZR2). The MAXX, so far, especially the LS, has been very appealing to grandparents, who don't really "get" (because they're "old" and not "with it") the maximum features of the LT, but appreciate the back-seat room and the safety. Freak, they -love- the LS. At the same time, the younger buyers are still flocking to the LT... if they could just build enough of them...

Ghrankenstein
 

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i would buy the malibu maxx over the sedan. Much more functionability. The front end styling is quirky but liveable.
 
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