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Toyota Matrix vs. Pontiac Vibe - Compare Notes

revkarevka Posts: 1,750
edited August 17 in Pontiac
to discuss the Toyota Matrix and Pontiac Vibe.


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  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    For your convenience, you'll find direct links to other related discussions, features, and tools on the left side of this page. Happy Motoring!

    Revka
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  • Not sure if anyone is reading this yet, but. . .

    Pontiac offers a cargo area organizer called the "Gear Box" (hahaha) on the Vibe. In the upright position it looks deep enough for grocery bags, file folders, etc. From the brochure it looks like it's made of hard plastic and folds down to just a couple of inches above floor level, and Pontiac says that when it's folded down you can load stuff on top as if it were the floor itself. Does anyone know if Toyota offers something similar?
  • rpgropperpgroppe Posts: 24
    There's nothing currently listed in the Toyota brochure whcih matches the "Gear Box", though that doesn't mean that something won't be added later in the year.

    The Matrix does offer cargo nets, not quite the same thing.
  • In the toyota matrix accessory brocure there is listed a "Cargo-Logic Cargo Tote by Nifty Products". No picture is shown. I assume though that it serves the same purpose as the Vibe box. Although I have a feeling that this could be a soft side. Still you should be able to just go to a Pontiac dealer's service area and order the box as a part, then put it in your Matrix. I would bet that anything it hooks to will be the same in the Matrix.

    One more thing, I just found the website for "nifty products" Not much there. No Cargo-logic tote listed just some floor mats.
  • I drove the Matrix XRS and the Vibe GT on different days.

    The Matrix came with 17 inch wheels and the Vibe with 16 inch. The 16 inch wheels do not corner as well.

    The Vibe had the DVD Navigation system which I found to be very helpful.

    In the San Francisco Bay area the GT is easier to find than the XRS.

    Which would you buy?
  • southpaw1southpaw1 Posts: 34
    Personally I find the Vibe's gray body cladding ugly. I think the Vibe looks like a small suv and the Matrix looks more like a sport wagon. Not all with agree with me but as I said, my opinion.

    I have had fantastic luck with Toyotas in the past and would pay more for the Toyota quality but in this case you're actually paying less for the Matrix than the Vibe.

    You may have to wait to get the car you want but it'll be worth it so try and base your decision on factors other than availability at this moment in time. More cars are on the lots every day.
  • erisynneerisynne Posts: 2
    Hi. I think I know what you're talking about. The Matrix does indeed have an under-floor compartment, though I don't think it's big enough for grocery bags. The pictures I've seen of it show a few tools and a big flashlight, and the compartment closes to be flush flat with the rest of the flooring in the cargo area. I think the pictures I saw were on the Toyota web site so you should check it out.

    And as for Vibe vs Matrix... considering they are basically identical except for looks, I was thinking I might save money getting the Vibe instead. But no. The base price of the Vibe vs XR is $600 more ($16,900) and the power package to bring it up to the feature set of the XR is an additional $1000! And the Toyota warranties are better (3 yr/36k basic, 5 yr/60k drivetrain vs Pontiac's 3yr/36k basic, 3yr/36k drivetrain).

    Not to mention, in my opinion, the Vibe is butt-ugly and the Matrix quite attractive. But if the Vibe were a better deal, I'd suck it up and bear the vehicle's looks. But it's not :(
  • Are Toyota XRS or Vibe GT Engines actually made by Yamaha or by Toyata?
  • edchenedchen Posts: 31
    The gearbox is an accessory that is shown in the brochure with an Edmunds MSRP of $95. If anyone has seen the Vibe accessories brochure it may have more information. The Pontiac dealer told me if I wanted one to go see the Toyota dealer. :)

    erisynne: The under-floor compartment is where the spare tire and jack are stowed. Not much room in there for anything else.
  • tomkisttomkist Posts: 6
    I have a Vibe accessories catalog and it claims that everything may not be stocked at your local dealer, but can be ordered by the dealer. And the Matrix and Vibe add-ons are the same, except for the logos.

    It looks like the gearbox (trunk organizer) is not compatible with the cargo mat. MSRP in the Vibe catalog is $120 US.
  • dlh3dlh3 Posts: 18
    The gear box is made of hard plastic. It comes with 2 D-rings that can be screwed into 2 corners of the base. Two Velcro straps are included so that one can lash it to the D-rings on the sides of the cargo area or you could lash it to the tie downs that fit in the floor tracks. Self-adhesive rubber pads are also included. The cargo area mat cannot be used if you want to lash to the floor. It also comes with self-adhesive velco patches that could be used to keep it from sliding around on the cargo area mat.

    The dimensions of the gear box are:
    Collapsed: 41" x 18" x 2-1/4" high
    Expanded: 41" x 18" x 9" high
    Interior storage area: 35-1/4" x 12-3/4" x 8-1/4" high

    It also includes 2 removable dividers which can be used to split the interior storage area into thirds.
  • dlh3dlh3 Posts: 18
    The description for the Vibe Active Package in the accessories catalog or on the GM Goodwrench web site does not provide a detailed list of what is included. I have found out that the contents are: rear bumper protector, front and rear all-season vinyl floor mats, driver and front passenger water-resistant seat covers, and the multi-purpose trunk organizer (gear box).

    The water-resistant seat covers for the rear seats are NOT included. You will have to order them separately if you want them.
  • dlh3dlh3 Posts: 18
    The Vibe power package has a MSRP of $1000, but then you get a $400 discount so the net cost is $600.

    There is a $700 discount when you buy both the power package and the Moon and Tunes package.
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    Go with whatever you like best. The cars are the same mechanically. Some people dislike the looks of the Matrix and some dislike the Vibe. I think they are both fine though I prefer the rugged looks of the Vibe.
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    This means you will be able to access this discussion from either one of these message boards. Hope this is helpful.


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  • joelisjoelis Posts: 315
    Is the 200 watt stereo in the Moon & Tunes package on the Vibe the same stereo that is a $100 option on the Matrix?
  • mpgmanmpgman Posts: 723
    I like the looks of the Vibe. The cladding will save a lot of elbow grease getting rid of road grit and the charcoal bumpers won't scuff and lose paint like those on the Matrix when someone parks by sound. The Matrix looks like they ran out of window glass as you move from front to back. Matrix should have higher resale though. However, after seeing a couple stickered at $22,000+, I'd get a CR-V or a Passat for that money.
  • lancerfixerlancerfixer Posts: 1,308
    I drove, on separate days, the 180hp Matrix w/ 6 speed and the base engined- Vibe with a five speed. A few notes:

    I thought the interiors were laid out extremely well, and they used every last square inch of space efficiently. Both cars (don't fool yourselves; that's definitely a Corolla underneath there;) also handled pretty well. A few fatal flaws, though;

    1. Neither engine is a good match for the vehicle. The base engine, even with a stick, couldn't get out of its own way. The 180hp unit, while definitely not lacking in peak power, unfortunately required alot of attention to keep in the powerband. Clutch engagement wasn't smooth, and I felt way more shifting than necessary had to occur. Great fun for, say, a Celica (go figure) or an RSX, but lousy for what will most likely be a family hauler.

    2. The hard plastic load floor-- dumb. Period.

    3. Visibility out the back of the Vibe sucks. It's not great in the Toyota, either.

    All in all, they're OK cars, but definitely not for me-- I think money's better spent on, say, a Jetta wagon.
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,444
    I have finally seen both vehicles in person- have not driven either as they are both automatic.

    Looks wise I would do the following. I would use the Vibe body (don't like the crimp in the Matrix) with the Matrix front end (front of the Vibe is too Aztek like). I would loose the cladding altogether, and get rid of the worthless roof rack (way too short for my canoe). I think the result would actually be pretty nice.

    I am also not too crazy about the gauges being in tunnels, and orange does not have enough contrast - so I would probably change that too.
  • beaterbeater Posts: 16
    As somebody who would like to buy either vehicle, I'm curious to know if dealers are
    discounting below MSRP? If so, is there a rule-of-thumb like 5%,10%,etc? I'd appreciate
    hearing from those who may have already purchased. Having a trade-in as I do, makes it
    hard to know just what kind of deal I'm being offered unless I can take something off list price
    and go to the used-car guides to get an idea of what mine is worth.
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    Have you had a chance to check out Edmunds' TMV (True Market Value) New Vehicle Pricing Calculator? This will give you the average cost in your region. Others here may have more to add.... Good luck, and please keep us posted on your purchase.

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  • beaterbeater Posts: 16
    Followed your suggestion: checked TMV (same as msrp for my area). Also checked kelly for
    trade-in value. Local dealer was about 250 above "average trade in" for my car so I bought a Vibe today. Still trying to decipher the instructions on the high tech radio but so far so good.
    Thanks for your timely response.

    Beater
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    And congrats on your new Vibe! Also, here's a direct link to our ongoing Pontiac Vibe discussion where you can compare notes with other owners and enthusiasts. We look forward to hearing more about your ownership experience.... Happy motoring!

    Revka
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  • beaterbeater Posts: 16
    I've had the Vibe for a little over a week and have driven about 650 miles. So far, so good. I bought it as primarily an in-town vehicle. I have a Mercury Marquis which we use for long trips. That said, I'm not really as concerned about acceleration or long-haul riding comfort as much as economy, reliability, and utility. I'm getting about 28 miles/gal in city driving and averaged 34 miles/gal on a short trip we took in it. That's in line with expectations based on epa estimates for the Vibe. It's utility is plain to see for stowage. There's plenty of room for us and the kind of gear we haul. Reliability is the biggest unanswered question. I'm hoping that the partnership with Toyota will help in that department. The real answer will only come after the warranty expires in 36,000 miles or 3 years. My previous vehicle was a '95 Taurus wagon. That should explain why reliability is a worrisome issue. I have had some trouble finding accessories for the Vibe. We have 3 Pontiac dealers in this area and their inventory is pretty limited. I was looking for the visor-mounted cd holder, the cargo area mat, and front and rear splash guards. I was only able to locate the cd holder. All promised to have supplies in stock in the near future. The same problem when I went to locate a trailer hitch. I want a hitch to mount a bike carrier. None of the usual outlets have any hitches to fit Vibe/Matrix; even U-Haul. All promised to have them in stock soon. Other than that, I'm satisfied with the vehicle.
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    I was offered $400 off a Vibe and MSRP on the Matrix when we shopped. It depends on the area and car availability though.
  • mic5000mic5000 Posts: 18
    I went to toyota and had a heck of a time. Toyota is just not nice, and does not listen to me. I also knew more than the salesman. Also, when greated, the salesmen (more than one toyota from Calif. to Texas) assumed the man new more.

    this weekend I will check out pontiac's vibe. Since the vehicles are essentially the same, Pontiac maybe the winner. Just thinking about buying from toyota makes me cringe.
  • yamahar6yamahar6 Posts: 23
    I have heard bad things about the shifter (6 spd.) of the Matrix/Vibe from the auto. press and was wondering if it was true. (I thot. that the Maxima's shifter was crap also, as the press said it was, - until I drove it an liked it).

    The reason I am asking is b/c I am planning to test drive it just for fun, and if the shifter is *&^t, i couldn't be bothered.

    Also, any recommendations on which dealer to visit, Toyota or GM?

    I was thinking GM, because perhaps they might be happy to have a young customer come in the door, and since there is less people traffic, they might be less reluctant to let me take a drive.
    Thanks, Aroon
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    I was treated well at both dealers. Pontiac dealer was a little more aggressive, but not to a point where they were pushy. Go for the car you like best and the dealer you feel best about.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,691
    They give you the longer warranty, and generally better service IMO, but this probably varies from dealer to dealer.

    While the design is identical for both, the Vibe is built in the U.S., while the Toyota is built in Ontario, Canada. A lot of the parts they are using are from different suppliers consequently, and the Ontario factory is Toyota-owned and run, while the U.S. factory is all GM. In my experience in the past, that has led to a large gap in build quality and reliability down the line. Maybe I have had very good luck, but I have never had a Toyota break down or have parts fall off or stop working. That DID happen with a Pontiac I owned - I would never own Pontiac again. I have known too many people who have had crappy Pontiacs in the last decade or two, who always had problems with their cars.

    By the way, as far as driveline design, I believe the XRS driveline is lifted directly out of the celica GTS, and I am pretty sure that means the engine is designed and built by Yamaha.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    Your comments are far from accurate. The warranties on the 2 cars are the same, and the GM / Toyota plant used to make Corolla and Prism and is a very high quality plant. By your user name I'm guessing you are biased against anything domestic.
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