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Mazda5 vs. Pontiac Vibe

jack_1000jack_1000 Member Posts: 3
edited April 2014 in Mazda

I've had Pontiac Vibe for 7 years and I've been very satisfied with this model. However, recently got interested in the Mazda 5 and I wonder how it compares with the Vibe? I like the Vibe because it has ample cargo space, is relatively small, very economical on gas and quite inexpensive. I often go camping/canoeing and carry one passenger (rarely 2) and a lot of camping gear. Since we visit parks, I often have to drive on dirt and rough roads. I would not need the extra two seats in the back most of the time, but it would be a good idea to have them, just in case I want to take more than 4 passengers. I'd appreciate any comments from those who know both the Mazda 5 and the Vibe.




  • coolmazda5coolmazda5 Member Posts: 525
    My answer is biased because I own 2 Mazda5s, but in summary: Mazda5 = more space, sliding doors and better handling (a blast to drive)

    I rented an 09 few months ago (2009 2.4L 5AT Pontiac Vibe FWD 1SB) so here is the summary (I'm not sure if I posted it here before, but here we go):

    The first gen Vibe rear was much sexier, the 09 facelift looks terrible. The MZ5 rear is not really sexy either but much better than the Vibe one. the 09 front looks OK, a little bit bloated though

    2.4L 5AT engine (158hp), loved it, that thing runs well even with AT. Its manumatic is fun to drive, very good torque and quick acceleration (empty car, of course)

    The plasticky interior finish looks so-so. I like the Mazda5's finish better

    Liked the luminescent gauges, I do believe those don't change from the 1st gen

    Car profile/shape may be similar to a MZ5, but definitely the cargo space is no comparison at all. Whoever wrote articles comparing it to a Mazda5 is just living on a different planet

    Handling: Mazda 1 - Pontiac Vibe 0

    Fuel economy: great, the car feels very light for the engine too, which is good I guess. Don't forget the Mazda5 is a bigger car though...

    If you still like the Vibe better (2009), check the 2009 Toyota Matrix as well, the style looks better IMO (as compared to the 2008 and earlier models, which was the opposite)
  • jack_1000jack_1000 Member Posts: 3

    I really appreciate your reply.

    I own the very first generation of the Vibe (2003), had to wait for it for 4 months and it was a big hit back then in 2002. I spent about 30 minutes inside the newest model of Vibe—and I had a feeling its interior finish has changed for the worse in comparison with my model. It was OK, but I expected more... besides, many of the features that were standard on my Vibe (A/C, 110 V plug, roof rack, just to mention a few) now cost extra $$. By the way, even though I said “Vibe”, I would also consider the Matrix—most likely more than the Vibe: if anything happens to GM, then anything can happen to my new car warranty too, no matter what politicians are telling us.

    I don’t really car much if a car looks ‘sexy’. There are other things I’m interested in—reliability, handling, gas usage, cargo & passenger space, safety, price, etc.

    Personally, I’m biased against American cars, but I consider the Vibe to be a Japanese car anyway. The only reason I bought it was because I had a GM Visa with $3,800... and it was the last year I could use it—or lose it. One more thing—the other alternative was the Malibu... ‘nuff said!

    The cargo space and passenger space is very important to me, that’s why I got interested in the Mazda5. From what I’ve read, the third row seats are for kids only, so I don’t think I’d ever use them—and I need the cargo space.

    So, the Mazda5 is certainly a car I should seriously think about!


  • mew30mew30 Member Posts: 1
    I own a new Mazda5 (purchased in January 09); my family had rented a Vibe while on vacation last year. I can't offer a detailed comparison of features, but my wife, kids, and I all much prefer the Mazda5. The Mazda5 just seems much more substantial, more comfortable, and better designed than the Vibe. (One of the teenagers we carpool said she loves the Mazda's seats, with their individual armrests and "captain's chair"-like feel.) While the Vibe had plenty of storage room, after a week in the Vibe, my kids and I were complaining about the Vibe's uncomfortable seats. The Mazda also has sportier handling, taking curves nicely, while the Vibe seemed to have more of an SUV-like feel. The extra seating in the Mazda5 is a big help for carpooling. Hope that helps.
  • jack_1000jack_1000 Member Posts: 3

    Thanks for your reply. I believe that the Mazda5 is a great car, but since I often drive on dirt and unpaved roads, it's a little too low for me. That's why I've already done some research into other cars and most likely I'll focus on the Toyota RAV4 which, so far, meets all my needs and more. Of course, it costs more, but when I was comparing the all-wheel Vibe (or Matrix) and the base 4x4 RAV4, there price is not that different.
  • dona83dona83 Member Posts: 67
    You don't need 8 inch clearance for gravel or dirt roads, just watch for potholes. I drove my 5 pretty hard on a gravel road and it stood up quite well.
This discussion has been closed.