We’ve bantered for months now on which of our 3 cars we should sell, and we finally made a decision. We have a 2006 Honda Ridgeline RTS, a 2005 Chevy Malibu and a 1997 Pontiac Grand Am. Can you guess which one we posted for sale?
No, not the Ridgeline.
Guess again, not the Pontiac.
Oh, that leaves just the Malibu. Yep, we posted Malibu Marcus (we name our cars (and plants)) for sale last night. Why? And why won’t I post the link for you? First, here’s why we wanted to sell it, and then you’ll see why I’m not offering it for sale here:
- No side-impact airbags or anti-lock brakes. We got the base model (but got power adjustable pedals and remote starter) because we wanted something inexpensive but not tiny. We were wrong not to get the extra safety features. I saw the crash test on the Malibu on Consumer Reports (see the crash test for your vehicle). Warning: A video with sound plays when you load the site.
- Poor steering and handling. Chevy didn’t tune their “electronic-assisted steering” enough, and that means we don’t have enough confidence while driving the car at highway speeds or in poor weather. If you read a review on this model, you’ll see the words “understeer” and “numb steering” quite a bit.
- It has cheap suspension. Go over any bump or pothole and you’ll hear the suspension. A Honda Civic’s suspension doesn’t make noise like that. And neither does the old Pontiac.
- It’s made of cheap plastic. The dash, armrest, sunshades, and most everything else in the interior are just cheap and breakable. We haven’t had any problems yet, but it’s just not a quality-made vehicle.
- It has a weak engine for its size. This makes for a negative, but also a positive.
Ok, so what are the positives of the car?
- Great gas mileage for the size. The engine is weak, but Stacie averages 28mpg in heavy traffic (at high heat). It was better before ethanol was introduced into the fuel though. We normally get 36mpg during pure highway driving, and even got as high as 40mpg average on a 100 mile stint (going 5 over the speed limit and before ethanol).
- Lots of room. The back seat is not lacking for legroom, and the trunk is very spacious. One thing that helps this is the boxy outline of the car.
- Gas mileage computer. I get instant feedback on my driving, and even compete with myself for better gas mileage.
- Remote starter. This is a great feature in the winter.
- Sharp black color. We were hesitant to get a black car, but the black Malibu is just a sharp-looking car when it’s all cleaned-up.
- It’s paid off. If we wanted to sell the truck, we would have to work through the credit union to get the title transferred. If we wanted to sell the Grand Am, we’d have to work with Stacie’s dad since they’re both on the title. Yeah, the “no loan” thing could be a reason to keep the car, but see the negatives above. At least I know what to do with the Maryland Security Interest Filing.
So, what’s next? Well, once we sell the car, we’ll see. We might just keep 2 cars, or we might sell the Pontiac as well. I’ve been riding the metro daily for work, and it looks like I’ll be on this project for another year. Therefore, we don’t even need 2 cars really. There’s rarely a time that both Stacie and I are driving at the same time anymore. However, selling the Pontiac won’t bring in much cash, and the car costs us so little each year to maintain, and we like having a truck. Especially a 5-seater with a trunk. But we could easily just buy a sedan or wagon, and rent a truck when we need it.
Hopefully we’ll get the asking price, but I intentionally priced high as I expect some negotiating. However, for the mileage and the year, I’m still WELL below the other Malibus for sale in the area. The one problem we’ll run into is that the Malibu is a major rental car. I don’t know what the market will be for this car.
I’ll let you know when it sells. Let’s hope that it’s soon!