Chevrolet general manager Brent Dewar calls the Malibu Maxx a "five-door extended sedan" because it rides on a six-inch-longer wheelbase than the Malibu sedan. Inside, the Maxx has sliding and reclining rear seats, a clever four-position cargo shelf, and the rear seats and front passenger seat fold flat to enable you to do the Home Depot run. Out back, the Maxx has the legroom of a Buick, so even if it isn't the most exciting drive on the planet, it will offer new levels of comfort in the $20,000 car market. The Maxx is the second U.S. product based on the Epsilon platform (after the 2004 Malibu) and is powered by GM's venerable 200-horsepower 3.5-liter OHV V-6 mated to a four-speed automatic. The Maxx goes on sale late this year as an '04 model, with a base price in the high teens. Chevrolet expects it to take 40 percent of Malibu sales, which is betting a lot on a hatchback/wagon revival.
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