2006 Chevrolet Malibu

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$1,398–$7,814 Inventory Prices
Key Specs
Our Take
Overview
Photos
Reviews
Safety & Recalls
Warranty & CPO
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Key Specs

of the 2006 Chevrolet Malibu. Base trim shown.

  • Body Type:
  • Combined MPG:
    22-28 Combined MPG
  • Engine:
    144-hp, 2.2-liter I-4 (regular gas)
  • Drivetrain:
    Front-wheel Drive
  • Transmission:
    4-speed automatic w/OD
  • View more specs

Our Take

From the Cars.com Vehicle Test Team

The Good

  • Fuel economy
  • Interior space
  • Standard ABS on V-6 models
  • Ride comfort
  • Adjustable pedals available

The Bad

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

Notable Features of the 2006 Chevrolet Malibu

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

2006 Chevrolet Malibu Overview

By Cars.com Editors
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 c...
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.


Latest 2006 Malibu Stories

What Drivers Are Saying

Exterior Styling
(4.2)
Performance
(4.4)
Interior Design
(3.9)
Comfort
(4.2)
Reliability
(4.6)
Value For The Money
(4.5)

Latest Reviews

(4.0)

Got me where I needed to be

by Chunter from Charlotte, NC on May 30, 2018

This was my second car I owned and had it for about 4 years. It definitely got me from point A to point B and was very well loved but due to the amount of years it had on it, it did come with its ... Read full review

(5.0)

One of the most reliable's car's out here

by WILL from DETROIT on April 13, 2018

Very dependable very comfortable easy on gas plenty of Power . Amazing sound system another one of the good features is the rear moon roof and the hatchback Read full review

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2006 Chevrolet Malibu currently has 9 recalls

IIHS Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

Based on 2006 Chevrolet Malibu LS w/1LS

IIHS rates vehicles good, acceptable, marginal, or poor.

Head Restraints and Seats

Dynamic Rating
acceptable
Overall Rear
acceptable
Seat Head/Restraint Geometry
good

Moderate overlap front

Chest
good
Head/Neck
acceptable
Left Leg/Foot
good
Overall Front
good
Restraints
good
Right Leg/Foot
acceptable
Structure/safety cage
good

Side

Driver Head Protection
poor
Driver Head and Neck
poor
Driver Pelvis/Leg
marginal
Driver Torso
poor
Overall Side
poor
Rear Passenger Head Protection
marginal
Rear Passenger Head and Neck
acceptable
Rear Passenger Pelvis/Leg
good
Rear Passenger Torso
good
Structure/safety cage
acceptable
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is a nonprofit research and communications organization funded by auto insurers.

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The Malibu received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

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.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

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.

What is included in 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).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

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.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker