The Pontiac Vibe shares 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.
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.
Pros: "Easy fun to drive, looks cool even for a "wagon"."
Cons: "Clearance is not as high as I'd like for snow."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I bought this car used, a little over 1 year old, and have had it for a year and a half so far. Great car. I love the way it looks and the way it drives. The traction control is a nice feature, especially during Wisconsin winters. This is a very "wash & wear" car. Not high-maintenance, not difficult, just get in and drive. The easy-to-fold-down seats and rubber-treaded trunk mean I can go from taking a bunch of friends around town to loading up the back of my car with bags of garden soil and fertilizer all in the same afternoon. We used to take my boyfriend's Honda CRV every time we had to go on a long road trip, but the Vibe rides so comfortably and gets such good gas mileage, we take it now on trips instead.
The ONLY thing I would change about the Vibe is the clearance. I've gotten stuck in snow at the end of my driveway a couple times this winter. If the snow is piled up more than 12 inches in spots, the body of the car gets stuck. So, really, not that bad. I just can't ram this car over a hill of snow like I can with some SUVs."
"I have had the car 9 months and have 18k miles on it already, no problems at all. Car seems really well built. Nice looking, styling is fine. I have a major lead foot and average 21-22 mpg which is an acceptable average for me considering the way I drive. My 2 complaints are the road noise. At 75-85 the tires and wind noise are pronounced. My last car was a 2006 Cadillac CTS which isnt really comporable but was much quieter. Secondly, its not that comfortable on long drives. I do a lot of 3-6 hour trips for work and find myself getting worn out. If it had a few more inches leg room and more comfy seat Id be happier but this is the sport version so its my fault for making this purchase. Overall, pretty nice car. My wife has the 1.8 and she averages about 26-27 mpg combined which is fine with me."
"Bought this car when I had an 11 year old with the thought that it would be a great first car for him. Well, five years later, I was right. I have enjoyed driving this car and found it handy to haul bikes, snowboards, teenagers. . . I have not had any real mechanical issue with the car, although the low profile tires need frequent check of air pressure. The car's pickup (I am in an urban area) is great, especially considering the gas mileage. I am ready to hand it over to my son with the hopes that he too will enjoy it for the next five years!"