I have 2006 Malibu with the 2.2 ecotec engine and 230,000 miles on the odometer. It's been a little better than average in my opinion. Original starter, alternator, A/C compressor, timing chains, transmission, wheel bearings, rear drums, ignition components, ball joints, all rear suspension joints/arms, steering rack/motor, inner tie rods, radiator, and a/c condenser coil.
Replaced; outer tie rods, front strut assemblies, front sway bar links and bushings, rotors/pads, water pump [pain to change], many lock/window switches have been cleaned or replaced, universal slip joint from steering column to rack, exhaust flex joint, fuel sender in tank, trunk lid springs, rear coil springs, remote key fob needed a new key pad, cam chain tensioner, rear shocks, rear sway bar bushings, transmission cooler lines, thermostat, serpentine belt, plugs one time, battery twice,
Maintenance, oil change n filter every 7,500 miles, cleaned MAF sensor and throttle body, trunk key lock keeps seizing requiring lube, oil filter cap replaced, I spray it for rust, transmission fluid changed twice,
Cons: not a good looking car, noisy under load, light grey interior show the slightest dirt, can't take much weight in the trunk, it's an economy car, I replaced the fronts struts with cheap Chinese units so it rides like excrement, front seats uncomfortable after 3-4 hours.
Pros: large interior, large rear seat, good fuel economy, rear seats and front passenger seat fold down allowing 8ft plus pass through [2X4's]. Generally a very easy car to drive, everything is in the right spot, I can see why it was a rental car,
Inspecting a car, look for leaks, water pump, oil, trans fluid, listen for suspension knocks, rust along the rockers and rear wheel wells, twist the steering wheel aggressively testing the electric steering, you don't want any unusual tugging of the wheel. Test all power locks/switches and window motors/switches. Listen for timing chain noise. Some years had bad chains that usually with few miles.
Recalls: electric steering sensor, trans shift cable, fuel level sensor, BCM connectors and brake position switch.