2011 Chevrolet Malibu Research & Reviews

Overview & Reviews

Average Score

3.86/5 Average
44 Total Reviews
This Year's Model Updates:

The 2011 Chevy Malibu receives only a few minor changes that include new wheel designs and a standard six-speed automatic transmission on all models.

Pros:
  • Strong V6, economical inline-4
  • Fine ride and handling balance
  • Quiet cabin: high scores in crash tests.
Cons:
  • Rear seat is less than spacious
  • Inconsistent quality of cabin materials
  • Lacks some competitive features.

User Reviews:

Showing 1 through 10 of 44.00
  • A Chevy Family now! - 2011 Chevrolet Malibu
    By -

    I can't say enough good things about this car! It runs super quiet, has great pick up and passing power, rides smooth, gets great gas mileage (27/mpg combined for me with 50/50 city/highway), looks sharp and has awesome audio system. I'm thinking of buying another one right one for one of my teenagers. It's been a while since we've owned a domestic car but the 2011 Malibu has changed our minds - we're a Chevy fall now!!

  • Loyalty Rewarded - 2011 Chevrolet Malibu
    By -

    I have bought GM products starting with a 1967 Camaro through even a Chevy Vega and continuing to the present up to and including the aforementioned 2011 Malibu. My guess is that I have purchased over the years about 20 GM products, so this comment does not come from a closet Ford or Dodge owner. At 120,000 miles the transmission just quit. Everyone I know who owns something other than a GM product have in excess of that with no problem. I try to be loyal to not only the brand but the dealership. Basically, I was told by the dealer here in Idaho that your car is worth nothing and a transmission will cost you $3,500. So the car is at the dealership and I have had to borrow cars to get around. Your alternatives are few short of putting a for sale sign on the car and parking it at the dealership. There was no effort to try to ameliorate the frustration by either the company or the dealership. I will put in the transmission, but I will not return to Chevrolet or the dealership. The lesson to be learned from this to always get the cheapest price as there is no advantage to being loyal to a brand or a dealer.

  • Initially good, eventually very bad - must read! - 2011 Chevrolet Malibu
    By -

    I had my Malibu 2LT w/ a V6 engine for 9 months. I had it in the shop FIVE times in that period. Once for a piston replacement, once for replacing spark plugs/cylinder coils, once for replacing wiring to cylinders, once for replacing water hose... the list of problems with this car are incredible! On one hand, the V6 has a nice smooth get-up-and-go feel to it. The engine sounds great but never forces the car to lose its composure on the road. The look of the Malibu is sharp - nothing over the top, but enough smooth but pronounced edges to make you have a quick glance. I couldn't believe this was a Chevy at first. But then I spent a lot of time in the car and realized that the seats aren't comfortable (they squeeze and push my arms forward a bit), lumbar support sucks (optional lumbar control is mostly for show and ends up being very bad for your back according to my friend who's a practicing chiropractic). The door materials are cheap and plastic-y, there's a lot of stuff you can tell will break easily. The glove box had numerous scratches from a small handful of passengers getting in/out of the vehicle. Chevy basically did a nice job updating the Malibu but failed to give it real quality interior. The 4-cyl engine MAY be decent - fewer moving parts = fewer things to go wrong. But I ended up with TWO V-6 engines because Jiffy Lube left my oil filter off and my engine seized a couple days later. They paid for the replacement engine, but funny-enough the second V6 has a couple of the same issues within weeks of it being installed! Fortunately they repairs were covered, but I lost two weeks of work over 2 months because of my car problems. Do not buy the V6 engine, as having 2 bad engines (one of which was "re-certified") means this is not a good car to buy to last you several years. Look toward 2013 and newer where the Malibu is getting much better initial quality scores and offers much better interior options.

  • Almost an excellent vehicle - 2011 Chevrolet Malibu
    By -

    I bought my 2011 Malibu LT2 back at the beginning of 2015 and have been using it for nearly 8 months. I opted for a V6 because it was such an excellent price that I figured "why not?". That engine has some pull to it (roughly 250hp) and sounds pretty smooth. The only problem is the advertised fuel efficiency numbers aren't quite right. In the city of Seattle, I get around 15-17mpg and on the freeway, if I am on cruise control between 60-65, I get sneak up to 29-31mpg (with a level road surface). Any incline will drop the hwy mileage to around 24-25mpg. Stop and starts with the V6 are what really murder your fuel efficiency here. The seats are almost fine, but my back will hurt after long drives because the seats force your shoulders in a bit and my upper back is forced back - almost like a mild squeeze. Smaller bodies probably won't notice this as much (I'm 6'2 and have a wider build that the average person), but it's an annoyance. The quality of the Malibu LT2 is inconsistent. I have some kind of leather/suede-fabric hybrid that makes cleaning a bit tougher than it should be. The dashboard and door panels are composed of a cheap plastic material that scratches easily. The instrumentation and radio/temp controls are fine. Nothing fancy but nothing to complain about. The 6-speaker system is adequate for most people. You can get reasonable volumes without distortion in the audio but the system is built to cap everything off in that department before you hit those higher volumes that would degrade your listening experience. I've heard a 2013 Malibu's 2LT/LTZ stereo which uses a Bose system (I think) and it's a step up (though still doesn't quite compete with some higher-grade car stereos out there). As for reliability: I've had my car in a couple times this year - once for a piston replacement (fortunately under warranty, but just barely) and the other for simple coil and spark plug replacements, which are actually easy to replace, I just hadn't learned how to do it yet (a YouTube video can literally save you $500 in parts and labor for replacing one or multiple coils that sit atop your engine). All in all the Malibu for this year is decent. It has a solid look to it and offers decent options, depending on what trim you end up with. The LT2 or LTZ vehicles are the best available so if you do buy one, try and look for those trims. But from what I've been hearing about the newer Malibus - you're better off buying used 2014 and beyond because the 4cyl is closer to the Nissan Altima fuel efficiency ratings and the quality of the cabin materials has drastically improved. The 2016 Malibu is the first really desirable Chevy sedan I've laid eyes on and makes me think the company could give Ford a run for their money in the next few years.

  • A good car - worth the value - 2011 Chevrolet Malibu
    By -

    All around good car. I do about 80% highway driving and get an avg 31 mpg. People have to realize that this car is not a powerhouse if you drive it like a high school-er you will be disappointed in your gas mileage. Treating your car nice goes a long way- tires-brakes-suspension-etc. Anyways, there's something about this car that makes me miss driving it when I'm in another vehicle. Especially my wife's dodge dart turbo..... Man that thing is a piece of crap.

  • From bad to worse - 2011 Chevrolet Malibu
    By -

    I had 3 Malibu's 2006, totaled by a drunk driver. 2006, totaled by a bus. Car accelerated into traffic. I reversed as my choice was a gasoline tanker and a bus. 2011 : This car from day one has been a lemon. It is getting worse. I have 18 k on the car. I get 21 miles on open highway and 17 in city. I have been told by GM to put 20 more thousand miles to loosen it up. Door on drivers side leaks and has "been" fixed only to leak worse. At 40 mph there is a dinging in the right rear. At 60 mhp under load the steering column shakes and rattles the whole car. If you let off the gas it quits. Dealer told me this is "normal". Transmission fluid is dark brow..."normal" too. JUNK

  • So far so good! - 2011 Chevrolet Malibu
    By -

    Purchased a few months ago. Already put on 4,000 miles. It's a very comfortable car Me being 6'6" I fit quite well. Although anyone who sits behind me had better be quite short! Monique as she is rightfully named is a snappy accelerator, corners fantastically, and I love the clad wheels. Trunk is huge. I had taken a trip to Frankfot KY. and I averaged 37.7mpg!! with a full trunk At times the remote start is finicky, but no complaints. She was a lease car before I bought her. The driver seat is kind of like crumpled near the door, which is causing a tear. Which is very disappointing. Considering my 02 Impala had over 230,000 on it and no rips or tears.

  • TRACTION SYSTEM failed and poor gas millage - 2011 Chevrolet Malibu
    By -

    poor gas millage on a 4 cylinder 19-23mpg mostly hwy miles. traction control system failed causing accident. this is an unsafe car. car under warranty 34000 miles.GM response less than helpful. GM equipment for black box testing was in for repair at time of accident and unavailable for 2 weeks, no loaner car and car under warranty. so a $28000 car sits at body-shop and I walk. GM said there was no code for the gas millage problem and could not fix, but they had a code for the traction problem CO133 and reset it and sent me to an accident.This is an lemon or is it GM's new way of building cars. Body is repaired but i am afraid of this car.

  • Longtime GM customer very disappointed. - 2011 Chevrolet Malibu
    By -

    I have owned 3 prior new GM vehicles. This one has been trouble from day 1. First it had rail dust, orange rust spots all over the car in which it took the dealer three times to fix. Then the wheels vibrated, which they never could fix. After spending at least 12 different trips to the dealer, I now have two bent rims. This car gets driven MAYBE twice a week by my wife. I will be trading this car in, and I am very disappointed with this car. Very cramped on the inside, trunk is very short, plastic trim comes off all the time. Exterior badging fell off. Horrible wheels. Horrible (20mpg) gas mileage. I will never buy a GM car again.

  • Brakes and rotors - 2011 Chevrolet Malibu
    By -

    Have less than 29,000 miles on the car, the front ROTORS have been resurfaced once and replaced twice ! Front BRAKES replaced once. The back ROTORS have been replaced once, and BRAKES replaced once. I have filed a complaint with GM. The mileage is not close to where they advertised ! In addition the transmission doesn't act right. I have been told there is no problem with it ! I would love to hear from others that have had brake and rotor issues, or anyone that has been successful at GM buying the while back ? ! Please....

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