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Pontiac Vibe. Now there's a sweet ride!!


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Well while my LGT was in the body shop I had the distinct and unforgettable pleasure of driving a Pontiac Vibe.:(


Wow! It was almost as uncomfotable and dissappointing to drive as an old girlfriend's family 1984 Buick Skylark (aka Chevy Cavalier).:lol:


What is really funny is that despite a whole 20 years of progress, the car drove, sounded, and felt just like the cavalier/skylark.


Who would have thought that GM would have been nostalgic over the '80s to recapture that lackluster experience for a new generation of driving public.:iam:

And let us not forget that Pontiac means excitement!:icon_surp


Unless of course your excitement includes reading the RDS radio display with sunglasses on. I realize that polarized lenses were out of fashion for a decade or so, but now they are all the rage. In the Vibe, you get the added benefit of not seeing the radio display at all.:icon_tong


Of course, that's ok since the sound from the speakers is about par with that of a 1970s AM with a FM converter hooked up (yeah, I'm old).


Best Subaru selling technique yet.



Take away your Subie, and give you a lame GM for a few days.


My LGT never felt soooooo goooooood!:icon_bigg

Vir Est Fatum Ut Perficio Concepta Suus Progenies. - Man is destined to fulfill the capacity of his lineage (i.e. Darwinism):rolleyes:

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never driven a vibe, thank God. I did test-drive an 04 GTO back when they came out, however, and that did not suck .. probably because those pontiacs are really holdens. I can only imagine that the newer 400-horse ones are pretty much the same.



Keep in mind that I did not purchase the GTO. hahaha

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I drove an LS1 GTO too and I liked it a lot too. The GTO definately isn't my kind of car, but it's a good deal if you want a big V8 with a stick shift. It had all the downsides I expected, but aside from the buried in the car feeling & poor visibility I just didn't mind them as much as I thought I would.


I've driven some truly horrible cars though - rentals all of them. Here's the bulk of a post I wrote about them on another car forum a while back:




You see, I'm used to renting from Rent-A-Wreck (when traveling for work). Yes, that's actually a real business, and they're aptly named at that. Even with a corporate account none of the major rental companies will rent to under 21. That just leaves Rent-A-Wreck, and even then half of them won't either (they're franchises so they each have their own rules). Here's two of the more memorable of the rentals I've had...


  • late 90's Daewoo
    This one was just scary. You do NOT take one of these on the highway except in emergencies. You can get up to slower highway speeds, it just takes patience. Lots of patience. That's not scary though, just really annoying.
    What is scary is trying to slow back down once you do get up to those speeds. Keep your distance with this one, because unless you're following another Daewoo you're gonna rear end the guy in front of you if he slams on his breaks. That is if the Daewoo doesn't just fall apart first. It'll be doing its best to do so at any speed above 20mph.
    I don't think I even need to talk about trying to avoid a collision using acceleration or quick turns.
    It had no power windows, locks, etc of course. Nothing unexpected there. But, not content to just be missing standard features on modern cars, its dome/map light was broken and the front defroster didn't blow too. Thankfully I noticed the dome light being out when I picked it up. The Rent-A-Wreck guy's response was "Want a flashlight?" The front defroster not blowing I didn't find out till I had to melt the ice off of the windshield at around 2am. Whoops, make that scrape it off with my hand, cause there ain't no melting it with the Daewoo.
  • Chevrolet Corisca
    Remember these? Chevy stopped making them after 1996, and that wasn't a moment too soon. My rental was an ugly shade of flat gray with a really tacky and even uglier maroon cloth interior. Maroon panels too. Which were cracked. Maroon everything in fact. This one was a little more controllable on the highway than the Daewoo - that is, it could actually be controlled, after a fashion. It tried to shake itself apart just as much though. Wait, did I say just as much? Maybe more actually - cold or hot it shook and vibrated worse than probably anything else I've ever driven.
    Still, all that is standard fare with a Rent-A-Wreck. But Rent-A-Wrecks are never standard fare. This one had its individuality too, of course. The two things that stood out were the parking brake and the spare.
    First, the parking brake. It didn't work. Actually, technically it worked in that you could pull it up and it would engage the brake. You simply had to hold it up yourself. I tried pulling it up really hard once to see if that might help. It slammed back down so hard the plastic handle came flying off and smacked into the dash. I actually got it to stay up once after fiddling with some cables in it. That was a mistake - it wouldn't go back down. Scratch off another minute sitting in the parking lot fiddling with it just to disengage it.
    Needless to say parking on hills was out of the question. I didn't even bother taking it up to San Francisco. (I lived back east then and was visiting the bay area.)
    Then there was the spare. The biggest problem with it was just that I had to use it. Not even from beating on the car (you don't beat on Rent-A-Wrecks because they _will_ break and you do _not_ get 24/7 roadside assistance). One of the tires just decided to go flat while I was driving down a normal street. I couldn't even get ahold of Rent-A-Wreck to yell at them. The spare did work though, it was just very, very small. Comically so. I think I rode trikes as a little kid with wheels bigger than this spare.


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um.... sorry, but i would disagree that all pontiac vibes are lame. obviously, since you had a rental you did manage to drive the very lame AT base vibe. my husband has a 5 MT base vibe that is quite spirited and fun, while prior to my LGT now, i had the 6 MT vibe GT.. yes, they are Toyotas thus my handle of TRDvibe.


i will say that to compare the vibe to an LGT, is like comparing a miata to a ferrari. sure, the miata may be fun to drive, but in no means is it of ferrari caliber or quality (no offense to the miata fans out there). you're talking about a base AT vibe that starts at about $16K vs a $28K vehicle. different class so not very fair to compare. I'm reminded of this every time i drive the hubby's vibe, but still enjoy the fun of the 5spd. a friend of mine had dropped in a turbo in his a few years back and i bet with it being so light weight, he'd have been able to at the very least keep up with me (stock) if not probably beat me in a race. (of course i do have a 5EAT so he has the advantage with a 5MT). surprisingly enough, the 03 GT's had quite a lot of oomph to them unlike the newer models. i used to keep up with the WRX's from a rolling start which usually surprised the hell out of them. in fact, when i did trade my vibe in for the LGT, the techs liked to take it out and race it because it was a fun zippy car, very different from the WRX's or LGT's.


so to say that ALL vibes are the same, is like saying all subarus are the same. the vibe comes in 3 different engines:

AWD: 123 hp AWD 4AT (lame)

Base: 130 hp FWD 4AT (lame), 130 hp FWD 5MT (fun)

GT: (the 03 model i had) 180 hp FWD 6MT (very fun)


I'm sure if you had the same engine as my VGT, you'd have enjoyed the short time of driving the car, at least a little bit. However, when I had my LGT in the shop for 3 weeks I drove an 06 Grand Prix. it was OK, but I couldn't wait to get my LGT back! Nothing like having your own car, no matter how big or small the engine may be. (except maybe if i had rented that Ferrari...) :D

Wiggle wiggle wiggle wiggle wiggle yeah!!!
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Base auto Vibes are boring to drive - I drove one very briefly, but long enough to figure that out. I'm skeptical that even the GTs are very exciting to drive if only because of the Vibe's super-high driving position and lack of torque (including with the GT engine). A good manual transmission would help a lot though.


But if you think a Vibe, any Vibe, is and feels like junk then you've never driven a true piece of junk. The Vibe is far, far from a bad car in an absolute sense.


A Vibe will get you and a bunch of folks, preferably kids, from A to B while still being fairly small, easy to park, and affordable. It's not a driver's car, at least not in base form, but blame Pontiac/Toyota marketing for making you expect it to be.

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I wonder why GM has been so stealthy with the dealer-installed super charger option for the base Vibe? You really have to hunt on the website but I couldn't even find it the last time I looked. Anyway, the Vibe is a very sensible, well made ecomomy car - basically a Corolla.
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I have to diasgree with you. I actually test drove the vibe before purchasing my legacy. Frankly, I would have gone with the vibe had I not driven past the subaru dealer and remembered taht the legacy got a 250hp turbo 4 that year.


Is it sporty? Not really, but it made good use of what it had, and like most toyotas it had it's AT transmission geared for usefulness rather than asperations it wasn't going to be able to live up to. It handled competently, and wasn't undertired or underbraked. As for the stereo, the base model wasn't much worse than the LGT's without the sub. The moon and tunes package witht he built in sub and higher end radio was actually pretty nice. The only things about it that were really glaring were the engine nosie form inside, the design of the gauge pods for the dash are prone to rattling, and no adjustable lumbar support. That last is just an obnoxious omission that is uforgivable in this day and age.


For a practical, gas-sipping, people mover, it's a very good example of the breed. Just because that isn't what makes you happy doesn't mean it's a bad car.


It's SIGNIFICANTLY nicer than the last gen cavalier. Of small cheap cars in it's price range, about the only ones with equal or suprior build quality IMO were the sentra and the civic. Neither of which are nearly as practical. The closest match at the time for practicality was the ford focus. Now there's a car that makes a mid-90s cavalier seem refined.

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Anyone ever notice that the Vibe/Matrix looks like a squished up Legacy Wagon (or is it that the Leggy looks like a stretched out streamline Vibe/Matrix)?






Vir Est Fatum Ut Perficio Concepta Suus Progenies. - Man is destined to fulfill the capacity of his lineage (i.e. Darwinism):rolleyes:

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