Rent, Lease, Sell or Keep 2000 Chevy Malibu
Do you like vanilla? Sure! We all do! Well come here and observe the most vanilla of offerings during the Clinton era. This Chevy Malibu was GM’s answer to the automotive androgyny that was the Toyota Corolla. A car that could only be driven excitedly if you placed a catapult just so. Most enthusiasts hated the Corolla, but recommended it anyhow for those seeking a reliable appliance. As for the Malibu?
Rent: It was a ‘value’ proposition. The Malibu would offer you more equipment than a Corolla at a ‘good deal’ price. GM made this into a science back then. Offer more options than the competition at a certain price range. Subsidize the lackluster demand by inserting it into every rental fleet from Florida to Alaska. Finally and most importantly market the thing like crazy.
Lease: $159 / month lease deals. $199 / month finance arrangements back when the dollar meant something. Did we mention the features? GM was already trying to parts bin their ABS and traction control systems when the Malibu came out. But there was two choice ingredients that made Malibus irresistible to consumers searching for the deal of the day.
1990’s era ‘Power Packages’ were the 1990’s version of today’s Satellite Nav Systems. Put em’ in and folks will pay the premium du jour over a base model. GM threw this ‘loaded feature’ into most Malibu’s along with the (insert annoying car commercial voice here) ‘3.1 Liter V6 engine’.
A V6 Engine may not mean squat today. But back then it was a big deal and GM’s parts bin was happy to offer it in everything but a Metro or a Cavalier. The Malibu may still drive like a refrigerator. But the sound of ‘having’ a V6, even if it had the aural quality of a faulty compressor, meant you could always boast to your friends about how you have a powerful engine shared by only 12 other GM models.
Sell: Of course the unfortunate side of having an accountant inspired car is that you were nickeled and dimed to death. Intake manifold gaskets. Dexron related cooling issues. Axle and drivetrain issues. Steering problems. Cheap plastics. No, it was not all that much worse than a lot of under-engineered vehicles of the time. But the Malibu was no Corolla.
Keep: If a car could keep going with the occasional mild to moderate issue would you keep it? Of course! But it would have to inspire you. The type of car that you could grab the keys and look forward to driving as the morning commute beckoned.
That car is most definitely not a Malibu. It also probably isn’t a 1990’s Cutlass, Century, Grand Am, Grand Prix, Beretta, Corsica, Ciera, Lumina, Skylark or Achieva. The Malibu is probably a good commuter for the mechanically inclined who have ample spare GM parts and relatively short commutes.
So for those junkyard barons with 5 mile commutes and enough of those V6 engines to make Roger Smith blush, I recommend to you my own 2000 Chevy Malibu w/ 124k. Priced at $2500 it’s a steal. Honest!
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