I bought this car used, it had 18000 miles on it. The 2.2 4cyl engine provides ample power for my use. I ride alone 95% of the time, and the power is more than acceptable. I suspect that if I were to be hauling a family around, it would be working on the hills, and a larger engine would be the better pick. My gas mileage has been 25-26 around town, and 35 on a trip from NY to KY. Not a lot of mountain climbing. It handles well enough, meaning it is not a race car. Under normal conditions it does fine. I have not, and probably will not push it extremes. I am comfortable in the car, and have ample room for my hips, and shoulders. I can even wear a hat. I am 6'1" and go 300 pounds, I have short legs, and sit tall so this is saying something. Trunk room is plentiful, but not huge. Room in the back is pretty good for two average adults, or three small to medium children. The Malibu Classic comes with most of the accessories you would want. Power windows, locks, air conditioning, stereo, cd player. My seats are manual, but as I am the only driver 99.9999% of the time, I never move them.
Is this a luxury car?--NO
But if you want a decent car, comfort, good mileage, and most of the creature comforts at a reasonable price, this is a decent choice. I see them advertised in the paper with 18-25000 miles on them for 9-12000 bucks. Hard to beat that. (as of today 9-20-05)
This is the new 2.2 ecotech engine. More powerful than the old 2.2, though I had two Cavaliers with that engine, and no complaints.
Before this Malibu, I had a Ford taurus, which I liked also. I was going to get another, but I can't see where you are getting $5000 more car for the price. (comparing like cars, used)
Waiting to see how it likes snow.