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2009 Pontiac Vibe

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2009 Pontiac Vibe Review

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For the 2009 model year, the Pontiac Vibe is all-new and continues to share its layout and components with Toyota's Matrix and Corolla, but has its own, quite distinctive sheetmetal. Combining SUV-like utility with compact car-like agility and acceleration, the Vibe fits almost every need, from cargo hauling to people moving. It's competitive with the MAZDA3 five-door, Dodge Caliber and Chevy HHR, as it offers the same type of versatility with a comparable, affordable price tag.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you're looking for roominess on a budget, you'll like that the Pontiac Vibe has more interior room, cargo volume and a lower price tag than both the MAZDA3 and Chevy HHR.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Although sportier than before, the Vibe still isn't as athletic as the MAZDA3, and it lacks some clever features like the Chill Box or the tailgate speakers of the Dodge Caliber.

What's New for 2009

The 2009 Pontiac Vibe has more to offer, with the addition of an available all-wheel-drive version, a more powerful engine and an updated look. The GT and AWD (all-wheel drive) models have a 2.4-liter engine and the base model has a 1.8-liter engine that offers more performance than last year's version.

Driving the Vibe
Driving Impressions

Despite its taller stance and wagon-like shape, the 2009 Pontiac Vibe drives and handles like a compact sedan. During the foul-weather conditions in which we drove it, the...

... Vibe gripped the curvy, wet roads and took the turns well. Cabin noise was at a minimum, as the turbulent sounds of wind and rain were nearly undetectable. The 1.8-liter engine was peppy and powerful enough for the hills of our test drive route, but the 2.4-liter engine made the car even more fun and pleasurable. The low-end torque of the larger engine made the Vibe feel more eager on the inclines and, needless to say, made it easier to accelerate up to highway speeds.

2.4-liter Engine
A nice upgrade from the more-economical 1.8-liter engine, the 2.4-liter version provides more power and off-the-line torque.

115-Volt Outlet
Mounted on the center console, the 115-volt outlet is a handy, standard feature that allows you to plug in household appliances without needing a 12-volt adapter.

2009 Pontiac Vibe Details
2009 Pontiac Vibe photo Interior

The controls and gauges were redesigned and are easier to use, and the knit fabric found in the base and AWD trims is of good quality. The GT offers a more plush interior, complete with cloth and leather seats and leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob. A generous amount of cargo space is available, as the rear seats and front passenger seat fold flat to accommodate longer items. Standard features include a tilt and telescoping steering column and a 115-volt power outlet.

Exterior

The 2009 Pontiac Vibe has new sheetmetal, with bolder wheel arches and larger wheels that make it look sportier than the last generation. All of the trim levels have unique features; the AWD has a standard roof rack and the GT has larger fog lamps, lower intake ducts, a roof spoiler and a polished exhaust tip. The base and AWD trim levels have 16-inch steel wheels with full wheel covers (17-inch chrome or machine-finish wheels are optional), while the GT has 18-inch aluminum wheels.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

A base 2009 Pontiac Vibe has a 1.8-liter engine and a five-speed manual transmission, four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, 16-inch wheels and tires, six-way adjustable driver's seat, four-speaker sound system with AM/FM radio with CD, XM satellite and an auxiliary input jack. Safety features include OnStar, Stabilitrak with traction control, a tire-pressure monitoring system and front, side-impact and head-curtain side airbags. The GT trim adds 18-inch aluminum wheels, premium sound and a leather-trimmed interior.

Optional Equipment

Options include a 2.4-liter engine, four-speed or five-speed automatic transmission, 320-watt premium Monsoon sound system, power glass sunroof, rear cargo organizer, 17-inch chrome or machine-finish wheels and a roof rack.

Under the Hood

The revised 1.8-liter engine provides much better performance than before, but the 2.4-liter is what makes the Vibe really shine. The higher power and torque ratings make this car more fun to drive and versatile for hauling people and cargo, and the available all-wheel drive version is a good option for those living in areas with harsh weather conditions.

1.8-liter in-line 4
132 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
128 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 26/32 (manual), 25/31 (automatic)

2.4-liter in-line 4
158 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
162 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/26 (AWD), 21/28 (manual), 21/29 (automatic)

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2009 Pontiac Vibe Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.1
Out of 10

Based on 114 Ratings for the 2009 - 2010 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.3/10
    Quality
    9.1/10
  • Reliability
    9.6/10
    Performance
    9.1/10
  • Comfort
    8.8/10
    Styling
    9.0/10

Will never sell this

By on Thursday, March 24, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 46,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
Not Rated
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Rugged, reliable, easy to drive, hatchback"

Cons: "None"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I have had this car for almost 6 years now. It was one year old when I bought it. Extremely reliable, only have had to replace tires, brakes and the battery. It had good reviews when I bought it and they were right. I actually had a guy ask me at a gas station if I wanted to sell it because his father had one and it lasted forever. It has a Toyota drivetrain - cousin to the Matrix - so that it may be why it is so reliable. Looks great too. Sort of a timeless design. New cars look very much the same."

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

outstanding reliability and amazing cargo room

By on Sunday, September 13, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 45,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "economy, reliability and cargo capacity"

Cons: "I'm 6 ft 1 in…..need a bit more leg room"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I bought my Vibe used and about 18 months old with 16000 miles on it. I wanted a vehicle that had excellent reliability, good cargo space and good mileage. The Vibe fits the bill nicely. Mine has the 2.4L engine and I average 20-22 mph in city driving, and easily 33+ on the highway. Front passenger seat folds along with split rear seat-backs, to accommodate long objects. I have had no service issues other than a recall about airbag wiring in the steering column. Ride can be a bit bouncy due to short wheel-base but better than many similar cars. Quiet and comfortable highway ride, but I'd like a little more leg room for the driving position. Seat support and comfort are very good. If you want a car with excellent reliability and one capable of hauling a lot of "stuff" this is a very good choice. The Vibe runs slightly less price-wise than its Toyota twin, the Matrix. Buick/GMC dealers provide Pontiac service now (2010 was the last model year), but since the drivetrain and much more are Toyota designed and built, I take my Vibe to my local Toyota dealer…we also have a Camry."

4 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Excellent Vehicle

By on Wednesday, June 17, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 105,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Great value and cost of ownership is excellent."

Cons: "It lacks a roomy interior for a family of four."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I bought this car brand new and couldn't be happier with the overall performance and cost of ownership for my 2009 Pontiac Vibe. It gets good gas mileage, rides smooth, and the 2.4 liter cylinder engine performs well in all driving conditions. I have literally put gas and oil in this vehicle, along with following the recommended maintenance schedule, and this vehicle has needed no "fixes" other than standard maintenance."

3 people out of 10 found this review helpful

Handles well, extremely reliable

By on Sunday, June 07, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 120,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "fun to drive"

Cons: "blind spots"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"One of the most reliable cars I have ever owned, would take it anywhere. In four years of ownership only replaced the battery. Not the most comfortable cars on a long trip but ok. It does have definite blind spots because of the small side rear windows...Overall a good car with decent gas mileage...."

4 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Makes me feel like a race car driver!

By on Tuesday, April 28, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 56,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Easy to park, amazing power for size"

Cons: "Low prof tires wear fast, radio knobs died in 3 yr"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Previously, I leased a 2003 Vibe and loved it, but had wanted a GT, which was not available in that year. By the time I was ready to get a new car, the GT was offered. It is so much fun! The GT gives it extra power, it handles really well, and the back hatch with the fold down seats is really convenient. It's a lot of room for a small car. I have had zero mechanical problems. All I have done is routine maintenance for 6 years."

3 people out of 9 found this review helpful

great mechanics on this car,very reliable

By on Sunday, March 15, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 56,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "great car, fun to drive, reliable, good cargo room"

Cons: "rattles, 25 - 28 mpg., radio knobs"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Although the car runs great and handles fine, it does bother me that there are rattles in non-accessable areas. Other than that, it is fun to drive and gets about 25 to 28 mpg. I do drive a little faster than some, but am easy on take offs. I also live on a bumpier than some dirt road, but I've only had the car for 5 months and do drive under 20 mph on them. It also has a problem with the radio knobs breaking and they must do it a lot, according to others. I can still get mine to work if I keep trying, but will soon have to replace the system. Bummer. I also have steel wheels on this one which are rusting. Going to get them painted this spring. My 2003 Vibe didn't even have any rust on it! This is my second Vibe so I must like them enough to buy another! ps - it doesn't rattle on pavement."

5 people out of 7 found this review helpful

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