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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.
Favorite Features

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 102 Ratings for the 2009 - 2010 models.

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

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."

After 100,000 miles, I still love this car!!!

By on Wednesday, March 05, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 100,000

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
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Fun to drive, great value, verstatile, reliable"

Cons: "Blind spots, not many options available"

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

"I wish it had been available with more options (thus, the lower rating on comfort and convenience), and it does have a bigger blind spot than many BUT - it's the best snow car i've ever had, driving through the record amounts of snow and ice this year was no problem, It's always started easily and reliably, has really nice steering/control, and I can fit ANYTHING in it, I just love it! I'm getting a new car, and really, i just want to keep this one too, but my husband says we don't have room for 3 cars :( They don't make Vibes anymore, or i would have just gotten another one of these."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

It's a cutie!

By on Thursday, February 06, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 40,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Sporty, fun, cute. . ."

Cons: "Tire pressure checks are a drag."

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

"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!"

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

I love my Vibe

By on Thursday, February 06, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 28,000

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
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "It is red and very cool."

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

"The only thing I am disappointed in is that I wish I would have gotten the automatic. If I have to travel far, I get tired of shifting. Otherwise it is a great car."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

This has been a GREAT car!

By on Saturday, December 14, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 65,000

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
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "great value for the money"

Cons: "Sun visors don't extend; no electronic compass"

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

"My Vibe is 5 yrs old and I haven't had any problems with it. I own the GT model, which has the larger 4 cyl engine. Good acceleration, but still good gas mileage. I like the fact that it has hatch & 4 doors, even though I rarely use rear seats (which can fold down). Not the smoothest or quietest ride, but better than many cars this size. This is not a luxury vehicle, but is very versatile and nimble."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Practical and reliable.

By on Sunday, September 29, 2013

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

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
6/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "Good on the basics--value and handling."

Cons: "Noisy."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7

"I'm trading in my VIBE after 4 years in spite of its good points--value, reliability, zippy handling for the money. Drive train has been flawless, though the throttle is touchy. Exterior and interior appointments--not so much. The little round hubcaps fell off after a few thousand miles. No problems with spontaneous acceleration, which Toyota (which furnished the drive train) blamed on floor mats. Main complaint: excessive road noise and wind rush makes listening to classical music a frustration--a plus for you Led Zepplin fans, I guess. GM has adequate service back-up for the discontinued Pontiac line, at least in my limited experience."

2 people 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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