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Toyota Matrix vs. Pontiac Vibe - Compare Notes



  • yamahar6yamahar6 Posts: 23
    Does anyone know if the clutch on the six speed matrix/vibe is the same as on the Celica GT-S?

    I know that the 6 spd. and the engine is the same, but I have heard (from edmunds' long term of the GT-S) taht the clutch is "difficult."

    Personally, when I test drove the Vibe GT, I stalled it - twice, something I usually never do, both times it was at a stopped position - oh well, perhaps I was just not concentrating.
  • pjr99pjr99 Posts: 2
    Just took delivery of my Vibe GT.....It was an ordeal to get it with the Moons and Tunes package. So far, so gooooood. In ref to the above post, I find the clutch very smooth.

    Any thoughts on Eibach springs to lower the car 1.5" or should I be looking elsewhere??

    Seems like


    has a set to drop it 2" and will offer a rear sway bar in approx. 2 weeks. I found this info on the Generation Vibe Forum:

    Thanks in advance for any info.

    Phil R
  • beaterbeater Posts: 16
    I ordered a Draw-Tite hitch for my vibe thru Cost with shipping was $98.82. Delivery took about 7 working days. The installation was no problem. There are 6 existing holes with weld nuts in the frame of the Vibe. You align the hitch with its 6 holes with those and install the 6 bolts which come with the hitch. The hitch is about 20 lbs so it helps to have somebody help you hold it until you get the first two bolts installed. Total time was under 15 minutes.

    It should be noted that the instructions indicated that Toyota matrix models, except for the base model, would require removing part of the fascia in order to complete the installation.
    Hope somebody finds this information useful.
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    and congrats on your new Vibe GT! Here's a direct link to our ongoing Pontiac Vibe discussion where you can share notes with other Vibe owners/enthusiasts. We look forward to hearing more about your ownership experience. Happy motoring!

    Hatchbacks & Wagons Boards
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    that the best small car from GM is actually from Toyota! I give GM ten more years in business making cars!!! LOL

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • johnclineiijohnclineii Posts: 2,287
    Laugh away, Nippononly. When you are done, we will tell you that Vibe/Matrix was actually a GM idea, and most of the execution, particularly of the interiors, was also GM.
  • That is absurd.
  • steine13steine13 Posts: 2,707
    How's twenty sound? It took them over twenty years to "improve" market share from just under 60 percent to less than half that... and "if present trends continue", the idea isn't so absurd after all. I'm not saying it'll happen, and don't want it to (major employer in my area, for one thing), but it's not impossible.
    Personally, I think they build decent trucks (and excellent transmissions), but the only GM _car_ I would consider owning is the Vibe, which they don't build, and whose mechanicals they didn't design.
    Your Malibu/Grand Am/Le Sabre/... all look and feel as if they'd been designed by committee -- not just one, but least 3 different committees. The new Caddys look distinctive; let's see how they hold up. But Cadillac isn't going to save GM's bacon; they need to build good, pleasant, modern automobiles. Good luck...
    East Lansing, MI
  • Two years ago I might have agreed.

    Today, I will just post as my rebuttal:

    TWO YEARS. In two years NO current GM car model will have been unchanged. Pretty amazing.

    Time will tell what the effect will be.

  • "... and "if present trends continue", the idea isn't so absurd after all."

    Well, Mathias I don't see myself making a GM vehicle purchase in the near future, ether. Nonetheless, do not underestimate the Chevy brand loyalty that many many Americans consider a "birthright". Chevy trucks, SUV and vans will still sell well in our country for at least a couple of decades, lol! BTW, can I interest you in my co-workers 1997 Chevrolet Suburban, he will give you a good deal....

  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    With a name like "nippononly". you know this guy hates anything not made in Japan.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    I just happen to have a soft spot for japanese products!

    The first car I ever owned new was a Saturn S-series - the import fighter from America! Of course, that was a mistake, but...........

    BTW, I don't really think GM will be out of the car business in ten is just that SO LITTLE of the Vibe is GM and SO MUCH is Toyota...

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    Here's a direct link to Edmunds' road test of the 2003 Pontiac Vibe GT. What do you think?


    Thanks for your comments!



    Hatchbacks & Wagons Boards

  • ztzzztzz Posts: 16
    Edmund's road test of the Vibe GT incorrectly states that:

    "both the Vibe and Matrix are built at the same assembly plant in Fremont, Calif. where Corollas are also made."
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    My Matrix was built in Ontario, wasn't it?

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • Have a young active family. I'm wondering if this car is too small to haul a child in the back seat, as well as a large running stroller or large luggage cases.
    I'm getting tired of stuffing things into a sedan trunk.
  • Not an owner yet but a father of two, so I understand. Split folding rear seat should solve the size of the stroller problem, and plenty of cargo tie downs to secure it and other things. Take the stroller down to the dealers and check the cars out. I know there are some Vibe owners with young children, hope they post next. Good luck.
  • Thanks for the info. Have you compared the Vibe/Matrix with other similar vehicles? Any thoughts on storage, family usability?
  • If the stroller can fit sideways then you shouldn't have a problem. The rear cargo space is a bit vertically challenged since the hatch slopes forward and the rear seat slopes backward. For, example a squarish item like a monitor box would not fit. Large luggage on the other hand should fit fine. If you need to lower one of the rear seats to make more cargo room, most likely the larger side, then you will only have room for one child seat in back.

    Like montanafan says though, go to your dealer and bring the stroller and luggage if they fit in your current car and see for yourself.
  • CapeCodCapeCod Posts: 117
    Has anyone found a good trunk liner for the Vibe ??? The hard surface is too slippery !
    Would prefer a light weight fabric...
    washable, rattle proof, etc....
    Am thinking of making by own !
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    sells a cargo mat for the Matrix for about $50 retail. It is washable, lightweight, rattle proof, and groceries will not slide around when it is installed. When you want the hard surface instead, you simply roll it up and stash it...

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • I am seriously considering the purchase of an AWD Matrix, but I live in north eastern CA, in the Sierra Nevadas (ever heard of the Donner Party??) and snowfall is considerable. I have alot of faith in the Matrix in most lousy-weather scenarios, but has anyone had to plow through deep snow in the thing? (12" or more). There will undoubtly be days when the town plow won't make it to my street before I do, and I'll be climbing up 5 miles (some @ 10% grade) in deep snow. I will be putting the best studded snow tires on my car and am a very experienced winter driver, but I'm concerned about the clearance of the Matrix. Anyone have real snow experience last winter (or this one, for that matter...) with their Matrix? Also, does the AWD do its job??
  • There probably won't be too many people who have had alot of experience in the snow in a Matrix as of yet as they came out about April of this year. However, from experience I have had driving AWD versions of the celica, camry, and corolla back when they did have them, a BIG determining factor for getting through the snow is clearance. Especially where the snow gets pretty deep. (I live in Buffalo, NY) The older camry's and corolla's had a pretty decent amount of clearance, and handled pretty well in the snow up to about 6" - 8" even when the typically shoddy plowing here in Buffalo wasn't keeping up with the snowfall. The AWD celicas back then didn't do quite as well.

    The good thing about the base or XR AWD Matrix is that it does not have all of the ground effects of the XRS model, so should do a bit better. Plus it has narrower, all season tires. From my experience, narrower treads tend to handle snow better as well. I would hazard to guess that it will do quite well especially if you get a snow-specific tire on it. There are many times when we're clearing the lot after a big snowfall overnight when our Landcruisers, 4-Runners and most of the other vehicles we have are stuck until we plow/shovel them out, but the RAV-4's just plow right through. The only time we've had most of them really stuck was last year when we had the 7 feet of snowfall in 48 hours. *LOL* and I don't think we can blame the vehicles for that. Hope this helps
  • zukhovzukhov Posts: 34
    A foot of snow or more. Ah...I haven't driven it in snow, but it sounds like you are in need of something different. Remember this vehicle is not permamnent 4 wheel drive. It kicks in when it detects a wheel slipping from start up. I'm sure it will be a trooper with the studded tires and all, but I'm not sure it will meet your demanding requirements.
  • Which is it? When we bought a 4WD Matrix the dealer said it was full-time 4WD rather than an AWD system like the Subaru system or the old Toyota All-Trac. The sales booklet say "full-time 4WD" -- which would be like the system in German cars.

    Ground clearance for the Matrix is listed at 5.9 inches. When my wife and I saw that figure, after we agreed to buy one, we were concerned that we would scrape on the bump at the end of our driveway. Our '94 Corolla has scraped when fully loaded, and our '87 Nova (aka CA-built Corolla) scraped regularly. But we haven't had a problem with the Matrix. Does anyone know what it is that only 5.9 inches from the ground?
  • The Matrix/Vibe is not 4WD. Generally 4wd operate one set of wheels (most common-rear) until the 4wd is activated manually, or recently automaticlly. Generally, 4wd feature a low range which is good for beaches or off road. Many AWD, such as the Subaur, feature full time four wheel power, split 50/50. Some systems allow for more power to the end with the best traction when needed. The Matrix/Vibe system is front wheel drive until slip is noticed at which point power is split 50/50 to the rear. When back under control, power returns to just the front.. So it is not 4WD, not a Subaru style AWD.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    the Toyota system is 90/10 front to rear in normal conditions, like Subaru automatics. The Subaru manuals use a different system that is 50/50 all the time. Both systems, and Toyota's too, wait until wheel slip is detected before transferring power between wheels, which makes them different from "real" 4WD, which is simply driving all four wheels the same all the time unless it has a Torsen center differential, like the new 4Runner does, in which case it can skew that power back and forth as needed, while maintaining 40/60 front to rear under normal conditions.

    The AWD Toyotas (currently RAV4, Matrix, Highlander) and the automatic Subarus use computer sensors to detect when wheels are slipping and then use an electronic clutch to divert more power to the wheels with grip. As such, they are reactive rather than proactive, and is certainly not full-time 4WD, in the sense it is used by the Germans for their cars.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • So if the rear wheels are always receiving at least 10% of the drive power, the book technically is correct when it says Matrix has full time 4WD? I think this might be a better system, but it's amazing that a salesman would say it's the same system used by Audi and VW.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    but the AWD of this type is too slow to react to things such as, say, icy patches on the road. By the time the system reacts, you have passed the icy spot.

    OTOH it will certainly be enough to scramble up an icy driveway at your favorite ski resort!

    It is TOTALLY not the same as Audi's Quattro system with the Torsen center. That is a mechanical gear apportioning torque front to back, and operates fronts and rears near a 50/50 ratio depending on conditions.

    The advantage to the Toyota system is gas mileage, at the expense of a little 4WD traction.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

This discussion has been closed.