• (4.4) 41 reviews
  • MSRP: $1,228–$7,876
  • Body Style: Sedan
  • Combined MPG: 22-28
  • Engine: 144-hp, 2.2-liter I-4 (regular gas)
  • Drivetrain: Front-wheel Drive
  • Transmission: 4-speed automatic w/OD
2006 Chevrolet Malibu

Our Take on the Latest Model 2006 Chevrolet Malibu

What We Don't Like

  • Mild-mannered handling
  • Lack of standout qualities
  • Old-fashioned overall feel

Notable Features

  • FWD layout
  • Four-cylinder or V-6
  • Electric power steering
  • New SS model for 2006
  • Available remote starter

2006 Chevrolet Malibu Reviews

Vehicle Overview
Chevrolet redesigned the Malibu sedan for 2004 and moved it to General Motors' Epsilon global platform, which promised a high degree of structural stiffness. Developers sought to give the new sedan a European flair in ride and handling qualities. In addition to the four-door Malibu, an extended-length Malibu Maxx hatchback is offered; that model is listed separately in the cars.com Research section.

Malibu buyers get a choice of four-cylinder or 3.5-liter V-6 power. Joining the group for 2006 is an SS series that features unique exterior and interior appointments, a sport-tuned suspension, 18-inch wheels and a 240-horsepower, 3.9-liter V-6. An uplevel LTZ model also is offered in 2006, and a new front appearance package is available.

Thorax side-impact airbags and side curtain-type airbags are standard in the top-level LTZ, and both safety features are available in all other Malibu trims.

All Malibus but the SS have variable-assist electric power steering and a fully independent suspension; the SS features hydraulic power steering. Chevrolet offers a factory-installed remote starter that allows the driver to start the engine from up to 200 feet away.


Exterior
This Malibu was the first Chevrolet model to display the company's next-generation family look. The automaker calls this "expressive styling," which blends corporate heritage with European influence. The car features a chrome front bar and a gold bow tie emblem. Other badging was eliminated for a cleaner appearance. Body-colored mirrors, rocker panels and side moldings are mounted on the LT sedan. The LTZ sedan sports a rear spoiler.

Compared with its predecessor, the current version has a slightly wider stance. Mounted on a 106.3-inch wheelbase, the Malibu is 188.3 inches long overall. Those dimensions are comparable to the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry's, two of the Malibu's foremost competitors. LS models ride 15-inch tires, the LT gets 16-inchers, and the new LTZ rides on 17-inch rubber. LTZ and SS models feature aluminum wheels.


Interior
Five occupants fit inside the Malibu, which has a flat-folding front passenger seat and a 60/40-split, folding rear seat. The trunk holds 15.4 cubic feet of cargo. A new four-spoke steering wheel is installed.

Adjustable brake and accelerator pedals are standard in the LTZ and optional in the LT sedan. UltraLux and leather-appointed seating, heated front seats, a six-way power driver's seat and automatic climate control are installed in the LTZ sedan.

Entertainment options include XM Satellite Radio. A driver information center integrated into the radio display permits the personalization of electrical features and can provide more than 15 warning messages. GM's OnStar communication system is optional.


Under the Hood
A 144-hp, 2.2-liter four-cylinder goes into LS and LT models. A 3.5-liter V-6 that develops 201 hp and 221 pounds-feet of torque is standard in the LTZ. Both engines drive a four-speed-automatic transmission. A new 3.9-liter V-6 that makes 240 hp goes into the SS sedan.

Safety
Antilock brakes with traction control are standard on V-6-equipped models. Side curtain-type airbags, which protect front and rear occupants, and seat-mounted side-impact airbags are standard in the LTZ and SS and available in other models.

Driving Impressions
The Malibu is devoid of unpleasant behavior, but don't expect surprises or excitement in this car. Performance is more than adequate with the V-6, and the automatic transmission functions neatly. Space is ample and the seats are sufficiently comfortable.

Consumer Reviews

4.4

Average based on 41 reviews

Write a Review

2nd Maxx I've owned!

by Lobbsterlady from Michigan on September 29, 2017

This car is so reliable and can haul so many things! It's peppy and always looks good, rain or shine. I replaced the headlights last fall and it makes the car look almost new. I use it for driving ... Read Full Review

Read All Consumer Reviews

6 Trims Available

Photo of undefined
Wondering which configuration is right for you?
Our 2006 Chevrolet Malibu trim comparison will help you decide.
 

Chevrolet Malibu Articles

2006 Chevrolet Malibu Safety Ratings

Crash-Test Reports

IIHS Ratings

Based on Chevrolet Malibu LS w/1LS

Head Restraints and Seats
A
Moderate overlap front
G
Side
P

IIHS Ratings

Based on Chevrolet Malibu LS w/1LS

G Good
A Acceptable
M Marginal
P Poor

Head Restraints and Seats

Dynamic Rating
A
Overall Rear
A
Seat Head/Restraint Geometry
G

Moderate overlap front

Chest
G
Head/Neck
A
Left Leg/Foot
G
Overall Front
G
Restraints
G
Right Leg/Foot
A
Structure/safety cage
G

Side

Driver Head Protection
P
Driver Head and Neck
P
Driver Pelvis/Leg
M
Driver Torso
P
Overall Side
P
Rear Passenger Head Protection
M
Rear Passenger Head and Neck
A
Rear Passenger Pelvis/Leg
G
Rear Passenger Torso
G
Structure/safety cage
A
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is a nonprofit research and communications organization funded by auto insurers. IIHS rates vehicles good, acceptable, marginal or poor based on performance in high-speed front and side crash tests. IIHS also evaluates seat/head restraints for protection against neck injuries in rear impacts.

NHTSA Ratings

Based on Chevrolet Malibu LS w/1LS

Overall Rollover Rating

NHTSA Ratings

Based on Chevrolet Malibu LS w/1LS

Overall Rollover Rating
Driver's
Passenger's
Side Barrier Rating Driver
Side Barrier Rating Passenger Rear Seat
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation. NHTSA provides vehicle safety information such as front- and side-crash ratings and rollover ratings. Vehicles are rated using a star rating system from 1-5 stars, with 5 being the highest.

Recalls

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: $4,400 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

Bumper-to-Bumper

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.

Powertrain

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