• (4.1) 19 reviews
  • MSRP: $1,243–$7,007
  • Body Style: Sedan
  • Combined MPG: 27-29
  • Engine: 145-hp, 2.2-liter I-4 (regular gas)
  • Drivetrain: Front-wheel Drive
  • Transmission: 4-speed automatic w/OD
2004 Chevrolet Malibu

Our Take on the Latest Model 2004 Chevrolet Malibu

What We Don't Like

  • Pending further review

Notable Features

  • FWD layout
  • Four-cylinder or V-6
  • Electric power steering
  • Fully independent suspension
  • Available remote starter

2004 Chevrolet Malibu Reviews

Vehicle Overview
Chevrolet has redesigned its midsize, front-wheel-drive Malibu sedan for 2004 and moved it to GM’s Epsilon global platform, which promises a high degree of structural stiffness. According to Chevrolet, this helps the new sedan exhibit a European flair in ride and handling qualities. In addition to the four-door Malibu, an extended-length five-door Malibu Maxx hatchback will be available in the 2004 model year.

The previous Malibu was unabashedly conservative in style. It was powered by a 170-horsepower, 3.1-liter V-6 engine and a four-speed-automatic transmission. The Malibu debuted in 1997 and took the name of a well-known model from the automaker’s past. Despite its undramatic nature, Chevrolet’s mainstay bread-and-butter Malibu sedan accounted for substantial sales each year.

Buyers of the 2004 Malibu get a choice of four-cylinder or V-6 power. Three trim levels are available: base, LS and LT. All Malibus have variable-assist electric power steering and a fully independent suspension. Chevrolet offers a factory-installed remote starter that allows the driver to start the engine from up to 200 feet away; it’s said to be the first such feature in this vehicle segment. Production of the 2004 Malibu is scheduled to begin in the third quarter of 2003.

The Malibu is the first Chevrolet model to display the company’s next-generation family look. The automaker calls it expressive styling, which blends corporate heritage with European influence and starts with a chrome front bar and gold bowtie emblem. Other badging has been eliminated for a cleaner appearance.

Compared to its predecessor, the 2004 version has a slightly wider stance. Mounted on a 106.3-inch wheelbase, the Malibu is 188.3 inches long overall. Those dimensions are slightly smaller than the previous model and comparable to the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry, two of the Malibu’s foremost competitors. Its height and width have increased just a bit. Base and LS models ride 15-inch tires, and the LT gets 16-inchers. The LS model sports aluminum wheels.

Five occupants fit inside the Malibu, which has a fold-flat front passenger seat and a fold-down 60/40-split rear seat. Heated leather seats with Ultra Lux inserts are optional. The trunk holds 15.4 cubic feet of cargo.

A “personalized fit package” allows drivers of all sizes to tailor the position of the seat, steering wheel and pedals for their own comfort. The group includes a power driver’s seat height adjuster, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel, and adjustable brake and accelerator pedals. These pedals are standard in the LS and LT and optional in the base model. The headliners in the LS and LT sedans contain reading lights for front and rear passengers.

Four levels of radio equipment, including an XM Satellite Radio system, are available. A driver information center that is integrated into the radio display permits the personalization of electrical features and provides more than 15 warning messages. GM’s OnStar communication system is optional.

Under the Hood
Two engines are available in Malibu models. A 145-hp, 2.2-liter four-cylinder goes into the base model. A 3.5-liter V-6 that develops 200 hp and 220 pounds-feet of torque is optional in the base sedan and standard in the LS and LT models. Both engines drive a four-speed-automatic transmission.

Antilock brakes are standard on the LS and LT and optional on the base model. Side curtain-type airbags that protect front and rear occupants are optional.

Consumer Reviews


Average based on 19 reviews

Write a Review

Not bad car but not strong transmission

by Ying from Texas on October 15, 2017

Overall this car it’s not bad. However, it’s the type of car that new car is good, old car are bad. Once it get to 100000 miles it’s not reliable anymore. Mile transmission was broke:(

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3 Trims Available

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Wondering which configuration is right for you?
Our 2004 Chevrolet Malibu trim comparison will help you decide.

Chevrolet Malibu Articles

2004 Chevrolet Malibu Safety Ratings

Crash-Test Reports


There are currently 14 recalls for this car.

Safety defects and recalls are relatively common. Stay informed and know what to do ahead of time.

Safety defects and recalls explained

Service & Repair

Estimated Service & Repair cost: $4,800 per year.

Save on maintenance costs and do your own repairs.

Warranty Coverage

What you should get in your warranty can be confusing. Make sure you are informed.

Learn More About Warranties

Warranties Explained


Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.


Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

Roadside Assistance

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

Free Scheduled Maintenance

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

Other Years