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2009 Pontiac Vibe

Overview
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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 109 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
    8.9/10
    Styling
    9.1/10

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."

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."

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

It's been a great car

By on Sunday, November 16, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 6,100

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: "Very reliable"

Cons: "None"

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

"I have enjoyed my Vibe for over 6 years. It's been very reliable, & has had few problems other than regular maintenance. I did have to replace the AC due to a hole so it was not cooling as it should. It has served me well, & I couldn't ask for more. It's too bad they quit making them for they are fun to drive, & the folding seats make it optimal for hauling cargo. I would recommend one if you can find one in good shape."

6 people out of 11 found this review helpful

Great Vehicle

By on Wednesday, July 16, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 98,000

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: "Smooth ride, versatile, LOTS of cargo room"

Cons: "CD player sticks, Several recalls but no issues"

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

"This has been the best car I have ever owned. I love the way it drives, smooth ride, smooth turning. This was a college car for me. Love the way the back seats fold down - I was able to cram A LOT of my belongings in this vehicle as I moved to new dorms or moved back home. This vehicle does pretty great in the snow, also. Love the Stabilitrak and front wheel drive. Never was in a collision, but I feel safe in this vehicle. There have been some unsettling issues, as this is a Toyota-made car, twin to the Toyota Matrix. There have been a few recalls (floor mat sticking under gas pedal, window motors, etc) but I never experienced any issues regarding these recalls. Other small issues: CD player gets CDs stuck on hot days. Sometimes I have to push the eject button several times before the CD will work its way out. Also had some minor issues with the factory tires going flat several times due to dirt getting between the tires and rims, but since I have replaced the tires, I haven't had any problems. Overall, just a FABULOUS vehicle - I am very sad Pontiac went under. The reason I have to trade it in is because my husband and I are expecting our second child and this vehicle just doesn't have the room that we want/need for a family with two infants that need bulky car seats, diaper bags, strollers, etc."

8 people out of 13 found this review helpful

Love my GT, nice pick up, fuel efficient

By on Friday, May 09, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 32,000

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
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

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

"Great vehicle, was suppose to trade it in on my new Equinox n 2010, but couldn't. Glad I didn't, better vehicle for the money than the Equinox!!!"

7 people out of 9 found this review helpful

Solid Reliable Car for Value

By on Sunday, April 13, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 125,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "reliable, fuel efficient"

Cons: "not real comfortable for taller drivers"

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

"I bought my base model (1.8l 4cyl fwd)with 5sp manual trans new & it now has around 125,000 miles on it. All I've had to do it so far is: change oil, air filter, tires & brake pads & rear rotors. I have had a little trouble with the rear brake calipers but that's it. Fuel economy is always right around 30-32 mpg. I do more city than hwy driving. On trips I've gotten up to 36 mpg. I'm 6'1" & this is not the most comfortable car, but it is what it is and that's a great, reliable, economical. My dad used to have an 03 vibe & my sister has an 07 and neither had any significant problems with theirs. Based on my experiences, I doubt you'll get a lemon if you buy one."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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