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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Spring begins precisely at 1:48 a.m. Thursday.

We've shuddered at the lion's roar announcing March's arrival, and now we can almost taste the minted rack of lamb served up upon its departure. Out of all the months of the year, March leaves the worst first impression. But if you give it a few weeks -- and try the green suds halfway through -- things will be looking up before you know it.

The 2009 Pontiac Vibe is the March of new cars. (Without the hangover on the 18th.)

My first impression of the overhauled Vibe was, "OK, another front-wheel compact wagon with a beltline higher than a gaggle of retired men in chest high Sansabelt slacks."

The windows look too small and there's the a useless porthole overlooking the storage area.

The Vibe's 16-inch tires are gobbled up by giant Pac Man-mouthed wheel wells -- swallowing three-quarters of each tire. Big slabs of metal give the car a chunky, oversized appearance. The exterior panels are stamped in "husky" size. And "husky" is rarely complimentary.

The Vibe is too big for a hatchback but too small for a wagon. So, what is it?

A pretty good car. The Vibe may feel a little blustery at the beginning, kind of like March, but after a few days, you start to like it. By the end of the week in my test vehicle, I was chirping approval like a returning Kirtland's warbler. The Vibe is comfortable, quick and provides plenty of utility with some special storage features and a roomy interior.
Continued at link http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080319/OPINION03/803190314/1127/SPORTS0102
 

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We don't drive much, but we will need more space soon (we want kids) and the Vibe might just fit ours needs. We will probably go for the base 1.8 L- 5 speeds manual, it got really good fuel economy.
 

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I've always liked the Vibe better than the Matrix and I continue to do so. I like the GT 5-speed model.
 

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Before my wife's last car purchase she test drove a Vibe 2wd automatic. The car was slow enough to feel dangerous and became very expensive quickly with a silly amount of options that should have been standard equipment. It may say Pontiac, but they drive like a classic Toyota Carolla, which is what they are.

I am no longer a HP freak and hold nothing against someone who would buy this product, but I can not figure out why Pontiac is selling this thing. It doesn't belong with this brand at all. Two years ago I would have said give it Saturn, but I'm not even sure it belongs there anymore.
 

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This is a nice commuter car and very versatile. I wouldn't want to take a major road trip in it, but it works very well and is reliable as hell!

I think the Matrix is a little better this year just due to the fact of the stereo upgrade and Bluetooth capability. When the Vibe gets Bluetooth, and/or the Matrix gets the built in cargo organizer, it's awash.

Who will wheel & deal better? Probably the Pontiac dealer every time! :yup:
Besides, the warranty is better over at GM!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Before my wife's last car purchase she test drove a Vibe 2wd automatic. The car was slow enough to feel dangerous and became very expensive quickly with a silly amount of options that should have been standard equipment. It may say Pontiac, but they drive like a classic Toyota Carolla, which is what they are.
Dangerous, really? I drive a last generation Matrix, and never once have I felt it to be dangerous, and keep in mind that I live where the average speed of travel on the freeway is 80mph. I never have trouble keeping up with traffic, and have the ability to easily pass others while they are doing 85+, and I'm doing at least 60 by the end of most on-ramps without pushing the car too hard.

killerrd2 said:
Who will wheel & deal better? Probably the Pontiac dealer every time!
Besides, the warranty is better over at GM!!
No doubt the Pontiac is a better deal, a fully loaded GT's MSRP is ~$3000 cheaper then a fully Loaded Matrix(w/o nav), and the pricing stays similar like that pretty much through the entire line.
 

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Pontiac is really messing up this segment and they should be good at it! The Vibe should not be built by Toyota, it should be called something like the G2 or G4 and it should set its sights on the GTI/Mazda 3 as competitors. Toyotas are boring, so GM really needs to build this car themselves. They make the Astra, why can't they build the Vibe? I can't believe Pontiac killed great names like Grand Am, Grand Prix, Bonneville and yet kept Vibe??? What were they thinking? The GTI is hot, that should definitely be the benchmark for the Vibe, not the Matrix. It should be for the younger generation that want sport over space. The older generations can go get an HHR.
 

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Dangerous, really? I drive a last generation Matrix, and never once have I felt it to be dangerous, and keep in mind that I live where the average speed of travel on the freeway is 80mph. I never have trouble keeping up with traffic, and have the ability to easily pass others while they are doing 85+, and I'm doing at least 60 by the end of most on-ramps without pushing the car too hard.



No doubt the Pontiac is a better deal, a fully loaded GT's MSRP is ~$3000 cheaper then a fully Loaded Matrix(w/o nav), and the pricing stays similar like that pretty much through the entire line.
It may not be dangerous if you've never driven anything more powerful, but if you're used to driving wimpy cars, then yes, it can be dangerous. My wife has an '05 Vibe and everytime i drive it i curse the damn thing everytime i turn out in front of traffic or merge on the highway that would have otherwise been no problem in my car.

Also, a 9+ second 0-60 time is Hummer H1 territory, so yes, I would say that is quite slow for a vehicle that weighs about one third of it.

On another note, the above poster who said the Vibe/Matrix is basically a Corolla is 100% correct. These cars are perfect for people that only want a car that will run decently well (even though ours has trouble cranking over starting at 25K miles), get "good" mileage (we typically get 25-26 city and never over 31 on the highway which is slightly lower than what is claimed), have some room to store stuff, but don't need to be comfortable (the seats are stiff and back seats are near vertical), like the way their car looks, or have fun driving. It is the epitomy of a car that was designed to be a tool for moving people from point a to b, nothing else. But for the price, what other choice does someone have looking for a vehicle w/ the Vibe/Matrix's storage capability and mileage?
 

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Pontiac is really messing up this segment and they should be good at it! The Vibe should not be built by Toyota, it should be called something like the G2 or G4 and it should set its sights on the GTI/Mazda 3 as competitors.
Hopefully that isn't too far off. Read this Edmunds.com snippet below:

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Choose Your Battles
The 2009 Pontiac Vibe is a cooperative, competent partner with useful enhancements, and is more likely than ever to appeal to those who value practicality over excitement. Although it is unlikely to win over folks smitten by Mazda 3-like driving dynamics, think of the Vibe as a superior alternative to a Dodge Caliber.

Yet there may be more choices for enthusiasts shopping in the hot-hatch segment at the Pontiac store.

We asked whether Pontiac would launch a Vibe volley to do battle with the Mazdaspeed 3 and Caliber SRT4, and Pontiac's vehicle line director could not suppress a sly smile.

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Link to the article:


http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/do/Drives/FirstDrives/articleId=124630


:yup: Here's hoping it's sooner rather than later!!!

Cheers!
 

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Dangerous, really? I drive a last generation Matrix, and never once have I felt it to be dangerous, and keep in mind that I live where the average speed of travel on the freeway is 80mph. I never have trouble keeping up with traffic, and have the ability to easily pass others while they are doing 85+, and I'm doing at least 60 by the end of most on-ramps without pushing the car too hard..
No, Not Really... I said it feels almost dangerous. I didn't mean the car didn't have the ability to do 80+ or pass anything, but on the east coast you frequently pull out (from stores i.e. the Pontiac dealership) directly onto the freeway without the luxury of an on-ramp and that first 0-60 isn't quick. I don't know if your driving the old Matrix XRS sport model with a manual, but for last generation vibe with an automatic 0-60 was an 11 second affair. Factor in that sometimes you need to do this uphill, I didn't want to put my wife and kid in it. I'm not trying to diss your ride, but I went to the dealership with the hopes of buying the car so I felt it had some good points (utility, gas mileage, and reliablity) and was a bit disappointed.

But that is not really my point. As a Toyota, the car fits in with their lineup. As a Pontiac it doesn't fit in with their (supposed) image.
 

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Sad thing is, that may well be the perfect car for someone who would like the economy of a small car but needs just a bit of versatility, yet with that God awful nose, I will never get close enough to find out.

Pontiac is hit and miss with new models IMO.

THe G8 car and sport truck are both awesome looking, the Solstice is an amzing looking and driving vehicle....

Then they show off the Solstice hardtop, and it's an ugly piece of crap, then they throw the horrible Wave (Canadian Aveo clone) front clip on the very nice Vibe and turn it into an ugly piece of crap as well.

The big difference over 5 years ago is that when you get past the looks they are very nice cars...verses 2003 when they were ugly AND crap.
 

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Before my wife's last car purchase she test drove a Vibe 2wd automatic. The car was slow enough to feel dangerous and became very expensive quickly with a silly amount of options that should have been standard equipment. It may say Pontiac, but they drive like a classic Toyota Carolla, which is what they are.

I am no longer a HP freak and hold nothing against someone who would buy this product, but I can not figure out why Pontiac is selling this thing. It doesn't belong with this brand at all. Two years ago I would have said give it Saturn, but I'm not even sure it belongs there anymore.
I wont argue, I havn't driven one, but most small cars are slow, you saying this thing is slower than average for the segment?

I honestly can't argue the point, I'm suprised, but then again, I havn't driven anything smaller than an Impala in a while.

However, I agree, Pontiac is suposed to be turning around into a sprty segment, so if you're going to sell this ugly monstrosity, it should only come as a GXP...but I also understand that being a Toyota designed product, the turbo 4 might not fit...I dunno.

But certainly, this thing can't be slower than the G5 or the Wave...(are either of those sold in the US?)


Oh yea, am I the only one who noticed that the tin header cover looks like the things sick people pee in in the hospital? lol
 

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My mother in law wanted a Corolla/Civic, but always hauls a bunch of crap with her everywhere from garage sales, home projects, etc. The Vibe fit her perfectly. She bought hers in 03, has never given her a days trouble, and this is the first car she has ever owned that she has an emotional attachment to. She *LOVES* her Vibe. It is perfect except that it rides -really- rough. It is not a GT either, and is the FWD vertion. She paid $14,200 brand new with the alum wheels, AC, etc. For the money, it can not be beat.....
 

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I wont argue, I havn't driven one, but most small cars are slow, you saying this thing is slower than average for the segment?

I honestly can't argue the point, I'm suprised, but then again, I havn't driven anything smaller than an Impala in a while.

However, I agree, Pontiac is suposed to be turning around into a sprty segment, so if you're going to sell this ugly monstrosity, it should only come as a GXP...but I also understand that being a Toyota designed product, the turbo 4 might not fit...I dunno.

But certainly, this thing can't be slower than the G5 or the Wave...(are either of those sold in the US?)

Oh yea, am I the only one who noticed that the tin header cover looks like the things sick people pee in in the hospital? lol

The Wave in the states is the Aveo, the G5 is the same on either side of the lakes. My guess is the wave/aveo is slower then the G5, and the base fwd Vibe is probably close or between these two.

There are some small cars that are a lot of fun to drive such as the Mazda 3 and 3 wagon, Ford Focus, Honda Fit, Saturn Astra and the Cooper Mini. Granted they are not all the same price point and size.

I haven't driven the new Vibe so it could be better. On the plus side, the Vibes are very functional, offer nice gas mileage and are strong reliability. I can understand why some folks would be very happy with them. Just not sure the are a great fit for Pontiac... although in fairness, the same can be said for the Wave/Aveo.
 

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I've always liked the vibe, but I think it should have been a reskinned HHR this time. I been why reskin a toyota when you can reskin one of your own? Maybe i'm baised because I own an HHR and love it. :)
 

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Before my wife's last car purchase she test drove a Vibe 2wd automatic. The car was slow enough to feel dangerous .....
You _do_ realize this is available with a 2.4, right? If you think the 1.8 is "dangerous" that is an option.

No one else mentioned it, but AFAIK this car still has the fold down front passenger seat, and the Matrix doesn't. Matrix _used_ to.

I have a 2003 Matrix, do road trip quite a bit, do haul bicycles. If I were replacing now, I'd go for the Vibe. Not wild about the look of either, but I like the Vibe slightly better, and I do use the folding seat.

There just aren't many 30+ hwy mileage cars available in N Am that have this kind of hauling capacity. This is _way_ roomier than a Mazda3, which seems to be everyone's benchmark for some reason.
 

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It may not be dangerous if you've never driven anything more powerful, but if you're used to driving wimpy cars, then yes, it can be dangerous. My wife has an '05 Vibe and everytime i drive it i curse the damn thing everytime i turn out in front of traffic or merge on the highway that would have otherwise been no problem in my car.

Also, a 9+ second 0-60 time is Hummer H1 territory, so yes, I would say that is quite slow for a vehicle that weighs about one third of it.
No offense intended, but I don't think it should be that hard to merge on the highway with a car of this power/weight. My car is likely more "wimpy" than a new-ish vibe (125 hp, 137 lb-ft, 4 spd slushbox, 2900+ lb with me in it, 0-60 in 10 sec --> 200,000 miles ago) and I rarely have a situation when I rev near peak rpms and not have enough power to get around another car. In fact, I rarely have to give it heavy throttle input at all.

I would guess its mainly just expectations from driving something more powerful.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
No one else mentioned it, but AFAIK this car still has the fold down front passenger seat, and the Matrix doesn't. Matrix _used_ to.
The Matrix still has it, but the Vibe does get a Cargo organizer in the back, which the Matrix does not.
 
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