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Toyota Matrix vs. Pontiac Vibe - Compare Notes



  • CapeCod: Pontiac sells a rear cargo mat made out of rubber that covers the entire cargo area behind the front seats. It should help prevent stuff from sliding around. I've ordered one to keep my dogs from sliding around the back. Don't know if they have one for just the trunk area.

  • I need help in deciding to buy ether a vibe or Matrix? I would prefer the Matrix 4WD even though it will cost $2,000 more to purchase. The problum is that I can order the Vibe with the Nav System and no alloy wheels,on the Matrix according to the dealers I must take the Alloy wheels and the Nav system is not offered on the XR $4WD in this area.I Need advice.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    Toyota options up its cars so that if you want one specific option, you have to buy a truckload of stuff you don't want.

    I know you can get base Matrix (wheel covers) with AWD, because I have seen some around. That may just be in my area of course.

    My advice would be to approach the biggest dealer in your area, and ask if they will either order you the car you want (long wait, not 100% guaranteed) or get you one from a dealer in another area where different option combos are available.

    But then, why not just get the Vibe? What is it about the Matrix that you prefer, and is it something you could live without?

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

  • The reason I would prefer Matrix over Vibe is because of the better resale and Matrix comes with Leather Wrappped Streeing wheel. Do You think the Nav system is the price?
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    and I would prefer to save my money and use a map, but if you like that sort of thing, it seems to be comparably priced to other nav systems in other cars...

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

  • LuzerLuzer Posts: 119
    I wanted a cheap afford able car for commuting.

    I am a Toyota Fan, means Corolla was the choice.

    I like the Matrix for the usability of fold down etc - but this was too steep at an extra $2000+

    Things that changed my mind -

    1) $2000 from GM.

    2) $1050 off the MSRP (about $350 over Edmunds invoice of $18602, but about $50 over the dealer invoice at the place, which included advertising cost and some other BS which total about $300)

    3) $700 discount on options pkg, listed on sticker.

    MSRP was $20005.

    I will pay $18550.

    Base Vibe with:

    Auto Tranny

    Moons and Tunes

    Power pkg

    6 CD changer

    Aluminum wheels

    Side Air Bags

    They're adding in wheel locks and cargo net gratis.

    Working backwards:

    $20550 - $2000 cash rebate= $18550.

    Starting from $20550 -

    - $299 doc fee (here's their profit!!)

    - $159 tags, reg etc (I get back balance)

    $20092 - 6% tax = $18954.71

    Use $18954 for reference as to my price paid before Tax, Title Doc etc.

    Tax in my state is calculated on the $2000 cash as well.

    A previous deal was $900 under MSRP of $19100.

    (no al wheels and CD changer) But that car had 150 miles. We checked after the price was set.

    Note also GM increase prices recently. Base is up $25, option pkgs up $25 each; Al wheels $40 increase. Edmunds reflects new pricing. Older priced cars are still around - not sure when increase happened.

    If you've read this far, try this site -

    Test drive for yourself.

    Car and Driver comparo rated this 5th out of 6, not too good, in April(?), 2002 issue.

    Seats were an issue to them.

    My thoughts - a little under power, but so what.

    Good overall for the next 15 years.

  • LuzerLuzer Posts: 119
    If comparing with Toyota Matrix -
    Use $18954 for reference as to my price paid before Tax, Title Doc etc

    But don't forget GM's $2000 back.
  • The Matrix is for my wife who states that she has no sense of direction and a man would he would rather use a map and save the money!In addition the Toyota's extented warrenty has MSRP of $900.00 for the 7/75/0"0" deduct Platinim Plan vs GM's Major Guard Plan same coverage MSRP $2513.00. So Comparing The Matrix vs Vibe, Vibe is more expensive to own when comparing the true cost of ownership of both vehicles.
  • Have been told GMPP Major Guard 72/75 $0 when bought new for Vibe is $1,690 FWD and $1,790 AWD for a MSRP.
  • LuzerLuzer Posts: 119
    Was at the dealer yesterday to do the paperwork.
    Finance guy offered the usually "$2500" extended to 75K miles at a GM special price of $995.

    Check AAA plan for extended warranties - should be about $700.

    Friend just bought a Sienna van- extended warranty was asking $995, but came down to $850.

    Everything is negotiable....
  • mfprmfpr Posts: 41
    I have a Vibe with the "Moon & Tunes" option. The head unit does not have a cassette player, only a single CD player. When cross-shopping for a Matrix, I saw that a head unit with a combination cassette/single CD player was available. I use both cassettes & CD's and was hoping someone would know if the Matrix head unit could be ordered and installed in my Vibe? I understand that both units are made by Delco. I looked at Delco's website and there was no information on radios there. Any suggestions? I did go to Circuit City to look at aftermarket units, but the they showed me one with only a cassette in the head unit. I would have to get a CD changer along with it. Also the CC unit did not have red lit displays. I would like to keep the OEM look, so that's the other reason I am interested in the Matrix radio.

    Temporarily, I plugged in a portable cassette player into the 110V outlet, but I am getting a lot of tape hiss. Plugged into an outlet at home, the hiss disappears. Is there a problem using a cassette player with the plug, or do you think the a problem is with the outlet in my car?

  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    one would be compatible - they just use the Delco radios anyway. There is no under-the-skin difference between these two cars...

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

  • rog96rog96 Posts: 21
    Posted this question on all the boards, are these nasty english/french yellow labels removable? They won't peel off without using some kind off remover I'm sure, just want the right remover ... any suggestions appreciated!
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    From what I know, they're pretty difficult to remove; the final result might end up worse than just leaving them on. I remember a while back, someone in another discussion suggested having the visors re-upholstered. ;-)

    You may also want to check out this Badge/emblem removal discussion. Good luck. ;-)


    Hatchbacks & Wagons Host

  • I'm in the process of deciding between the Vibe and the Matrix. One of the things that concerns me is ground clearance. I looked at the Vibe base model and a Matrix XR with the sport packages. The Matrix concerned me because it looked like it would scrape pulling into my driveway. Does anyone have a Matrix XR w/o the Sport and Sport Plus packages installed? How high is your ground clearance? The dealership did not have a Matrix w/o these packages installed (or so they said).
    Edumunds lists the Vibe has having 8.1 inches and the Matrix (any model) as 5.9 inches.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    never seen an XR w/o the skirts. You can get the base which doesn't have them. Surely Vibe and Matrix do not have different ground clearances?

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

  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    Hi Folks- You'll now find a direct link to our Vibe and Matrix Maintenance & Repair discussion in the Helpful Links on the left side of the page. If you're experiencing a problem with your Matrix/Vibe, or have insights to offer those with problems..., please join us there. Thanks for your participation!


    Hatchbacks & Wagons Host
  • pro02pro02 Posts: 19
    Greetings -- Here's a question for you Vibe/Matrix owners. When I replace my Ranger in a year or two, I'll need something that will tow my small sailboat -- combined boat and trailer weight <500#. What's the manual say about towing? Thanks for your help.
  • Vibe-I know the Vibe is 1,500lbs. Would assume the Matrix is simular. Know that there are hitches available that bolt right on ( ). A Matrix owner would have to confirm same.
  • pro02pro02 Posts: 19
    Thanks for the towing capacity, montanafan.
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    Please be aware that unauthorized surveys from other organizations/websites are not allowed at Town Hall. Sorry, this is just one of our rules.

    To those concerned - You may want to try speaking to someone in our Public Relations department. Good luck.

    Hatchbacks & Wagons Host
  • Regarding Jasmint's question on the Matrix clearance with the skirts, I called the Toyota 800 number to confirm what the dealer told me, the XR can be ordered without the skirts. Wait time is 8 to 12 weeks. I'm still debating with myself - Matrix or Vibe. Unfortunately for me, the Vibe cannot be ordered without the roof rack that I'd never use and find unattractive.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    I have never yet seen an XR without the skirts...people on edmunds were saying that one could not custom order any Toyota. That is cool you found a way.

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

  • Actually, you MAY be able to order a Toyota, it is just VERY, VERY difficult. Many dealers just won't even attempt it because of the difficulty. Also with the Matrix being built in North America, it is a bit easier. 8 to 12 weeks is optomistic from my experience, but not impossible.

  • The only problem is you can not choose what option you want. You have to buy one with the option you want plus other options you don't want.
  • 56795679 Posts: 88
    Perhaps this has already been discussed.
    Last week while away skiing north of Ottawa I awoke to discover my Vibe wouldn't start! Not even a click. Now it was cold overnight (-30C or so) but give me a break. A new car, a new battery, and not even a groan? Fortunately the owner of the B&B where I was staying had booster cables saving me valuable time waiting for Roadside Assistance to come from God knows where.
    I'm wondering if the California- built Vibe has the same battery as the Ontario- built Matrix.
    Anybody know?
    Thanks for your input.
  • At least for Toyota's, in northern areas of the country, they equip the cars with what's termed "all weather package". This normally includes a heavy-duty battery, starter, and fluids rated for the colder climes. I don't know about the Vibe, though.

  • My Vibe is away for the winter, so I have no first hand experience. But when I was charging the battery I checked the cold cranking amps, and it seemed low, its 310 CCA. The battery that I just bought for my '87 Nova (also a Corolla) winter car, which is also the same group size, had substantially more, 550 CCA. So the Vibe battery may indeed be small. But if you didn't get even a click, maybe something was left on.

    When the Nova goes to the junk yard in a year or two, I'll probably put the Nova battery into the Vibe during the winter.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    even freeze where I am, but right now it is about 35 Fahrenheit or so in the morning, and the Matrix cranks noticeably slow. Just one more example of putting cheap crappy parts in cars. In this case that is the GM battery it came with.

    I am just waiting for it to give me the first excuse to dump it and go and get a much better battery for it.

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

  • Nippononly, common mistake, GM dosen't make batteries. Delphi Corp ( makes batteries to spec for many manufactures. In fact they are a NUMMI ( ) and Toyota ( award winners.

    If you are looking for a reason to replace your battery, how about "I woke up this morning". Don't wait for a reason, just do it.
This discussion has been closed.