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Toyota Matrix vs. Pontiac Vibe - Compare Notes



  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    Probably bcos the roof rack on the Vibe is simply a design feature not for actual transportation of goods or materials !
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726

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

  • I would agree with oac except that the Vibe roof rack is indeed functional if you get beyond the antenna issue. But why does the Vibe have a roof rack to begin with? Reasons I have read are (a) it was primarily for reasons of styling, and (b) to clearly distinguish it from the Matrix. If the designers had included the roof rack mainly because they expected people to do a lot of hauling with the Vibe, you would think the antenna would be in the glass. Or maybe a flexible wire mounted on the fender, but I have a hard time imagining the Vibe or Matrix with that kind of antenna.
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    You didn't say "eh" bcos I am Canadian, did you ?


  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    Bingo !!
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    no, I just didn't get the nature of your response! I thought maybe you were being facetious, but I see from your and herzog's responses that in fact you were not. GM should have moved that antenna, but seems like they cheaped out. Because after all, who buys a car with a roof rack expecting not be able to put anything on it??

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

  • steine13steine13 Posts: 2,708
    I'm late to the party here, but I'd like to point out that
    (i) you can indeed unscrew the antenna, and then put it on when the canoe is in place... just don't forget, or you'll break it when you take the boat off... ask me how I know.

    (ii) You can buy cross bars from Thule or Yakima (I've got the latter) and put a canoe on the car, but the spread is marginal... Yakima only recommends putting a couple bikes and a basket up there.

    (iii) You can attach one crossbar to the factory rack and get Q towers and clips for the front... I've done this, and it's very secure for carrying one boat. Use a piece of inner tube to protect the finish from the clip though.. ask me how I know THAT...
    Unfortunately, the load limit with this setup is a lousy 75 lbs., which is ridiculous. I'd love to be able to carry two 60-lb canoes, but no such luck. The Matrix, oddly enough, is allowed to carry 125 lbs with a Yakima carrier. Go figure.

    (who wants his rain gutters back)
  • WHOA! $2800 off the price for having a GM credit card??
    I wonder if I get one and try that with a certified 2004 AWD Vibe....

    How does that discount work?
  • shane,

    I have a GM card that works this way - I earn a 5% rebate on all purchases, up to $500 per year, that can build up for a maximum of seven years. For instance, mine is now $3000 after 6 years and 11 months. They still offer rebate cards, but I do not know if the new ones work this way. One of their cards let you build up more per year, but "caps" the total rebate based on the model (which kinda stinks).

    I am at the end of the "build-up" period so I plan to get something soon - either a colorado or a vibe I guess. Just glad there is one decent choice from GM - this vibe seems good.

    Hope that helps.
  • Hello. I recently purchased an 05 XRS and wanted to share my experiences. Both cars seem like very good vehicles, and I was happy to say good by to the baby SUV in favor of the Matrix.

    I seriously considered the Vibe GT. The Matrix I purchased and the Vibe I eyed and drove were both silver, six-speed, 7-speaker sound. The only real difference between the cars is the front end styling. The Vibe GT I was considering was tagged at a "no haggle" $19,900 and the Matrix at a "lets talk" $20,800. I wount up paying $20,200 for the Matrix. The Matrix and Vibe both had the moonroof installed. Add window tint, security system upgrade, and auto-dimming mirror (the Vibe came with the mirror and On-Star package) and the Matrix came out @ $20,700. Thousands of dollars less than the car I gave up and always a blast to drive.

    From the first drives the two cars felt different to me. The Matrix seems more eager to rev and the JBL sound system in the Matrix sounds better to me than the Monsoon sound system in the Pontiac did. The Matrix's engine makes a much better visual presentation than the Vibe (although they spec as being mechanically identical I beleive). Both cars behave as though they are basic, practical transportation. Keep the tach low and they sip gasoline and putter around nicely. The fun begins merging onto a highway or beside a smirking challenger at the light. Get the revs up above 6,000 and keep them there and the car will at the very least hold its own against most everything out there. So even if you are over-ambitious the car at least won't totally embarras you.

    If one were considering a small SUV or small-medium sized pickup I would highly reccommend spending some time with one of these cars. This car will haul while you haul! If you truly enjoy driving then you'll love this car - I reccommend the GT or XRS because having a car with a split-personality is truly a blast! While the 6 speed is no Getrag it has a nice feel to it and allows you to really drive the car.

    I've not stuck a roof-rack on mine. I wouldn't do that to my baby :blush:
  • herzogtum71herzogtum71 Posts: 470
    was a real difference, making the Vibe styling more attractive in my opinion. We bought the Matrix anyway, thinking we could add a factory roof rack from Pontiac. But then we discovered the hatch is not shaped exactly the same and that the roof rack wouldn't fit.
  • mikey00mikey00 Posts: 462
    We also felt the roof rack added to the appearence, not to mention we may even use it some day. Also the above comparision failed to take into consideration the GM incentives you can apply on top of the "no haggle" pricing. After I negotated my best deal I was able to take off another $3000 in GM credit card points. The Vibe won in looks and price in our opinion.
  • steine13steine13 Posts: 2,708
    That Vibe rack is pretty useless... it'd be ok for a bicycle or two. I use it at the base for one "real" Yakima cross bar, and use Q towers in front.

    But it's not very good. Max load is 75 lbs, when the Focus wagon hauls 200 lbs using two cross bars on the factory rack.

    So I'm not sure the rack is a big attraction, but yes, I have hauled one canoe with it successfully. A small Kayak might work OK using just the factory rack + two cross bars on it, but the spread between the bars is very short. I've done it.

    I solved my problem by getting a 2000 Villager. That'll haul anything. Two large canoes, 70 mph, 21 mpg. Who-hoo!
    Anybody need a good used 04 Vibe w/ 15k, cheap? :-)

    04 Vibe base 5sp
  • mikey00mikey00 Posts: 462
    Again, the main purpose of the rack was for appearance. But it is nice to know I can use it for up to 75 lbs. if I ever need it. If I need to go over 75 lbs. there are solutions from Yakima, Thule, etc.
  • herzogtum71herzogtum71 Posts: 470
    Yes, I'll admit that I hardly ever have used roof racks. A Christmas tree here, a sheet of drywall there. That's about the extent of it, and nothing approaching 75 pounds. Now we also have a Highlander with a roof rack, so we're set in that regard. And I'll admit we have been very happy with the Matrix in the 3 years we've had it. Ours is the 4WD with AT, so it lacks the pep others are interested in. But it has been a very good car for a 16-year-old to learn on.
  • vibetrekvibetrek Posts: 4
    Have you tried using your roof rack since your 2004 message?

    The designer, and all those who aproved the design, must never have used it. It is quite a impractical spot for an antenna.

  • vibetrekvibetrek Posts: 4
    Trying to get used to new car. There seems to be quite abit of window noise. Does anyone else think the car is loud with the windows up?
  • vibetrekvibetrek Posts: 4
    Have new Vibe, standard. It seems more than abit bouncey / rough. I have had other 5 doors cars. Has anyone changed the OEM shocks/struts and successfully improved the ride / decrease the bounce shimmy?

  • vibetrekvibetrek Posts: 4
    I place plastic tubs in the cargo / trunk area. Sterilite makes grey containers the size of the cargo area. I have 3 medium tubs and a flat crate, 2 by 2, in the rear. Nothing moves. The containers come in a few sizes, including a large one that would fill most of the area. I wanted to use my cargo cover. The medium size ones are short enough for me to do that. However, if you use the lid on the larger ones, you may not want to use the cargo cover.
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    yes the Vibe has noisy airflow though the window gaskets. I actually had my driver side gaskets replaced the first month. It helped a bit.
    The Vibe also has a less than satisfying ride. The AWD version has independent rear suspension, which makes a BIG difference in the ride. I test drove both and got the AWD.
  • Thanks for the info. I am considering the same hitch. We want to mount our bike rack. :)
  • We need to carry a 17' Winona canoe on our Vibe. Any suggestions on roof racks?? Thanks
  • mikey00mikey00 Posts: 462
    Finally, someone else has noticed the noisy window problem. I have been on other popular Vibe/Matrix sites and no one other than myself is complaining about the noise. I noticed it on the ride home after picking up my new Vibe. It took a couple of weeks to determine exactly where the wind noise was coming from. At 40 mph and above I can here a distinct wind noise. It is both on passenger and driver side, but more so on passenger side. At 40 mph when I hear the noise I can lean over and press on the top of the passenger door panel where it meets the bottom of the window glass and the noise dissappears. I demonstrated this to the dealer tech and his first comment was that the Vibe is a noisy little car. After some more complaining he ordered and replaced the window gaskets on both doors but it didn't help. I compare the Vibe door panel/ gasket setup to my other cars and it looks like the Vibe just has a bad design.
  • boatsboats Posts: 19
    I picked up a few feet of something called "anti-fatigue matting" at Lowe's - slightly squishy rubber matting to go on top of linoleum - the light gray matches the plastic material of the back nicely... threw a door mat on top of it and the dog has a great grip surface now (matting is sold back where the indoor/outdoor carpet is and is on a roll with the carpet runner materials)... its 3' wide and is sold by the foot (maybe $3/ft)... also, it looks like it will trim easily with scissors (haven't tried it yet). No more flyin' doggies!
  • boatsboats Posts: 19
    Just picked up my Vibe last night... all very nice so far! I was reading the owner's manual and I'm trying to find the 2nd accessory outlet... I have the one on the dash (where a cigarette lighter would go if it had one) and I have the 2 prong household oulet on the dash... isn't there supposed to be another 12V accessory outlet in the center console? I'm talking about the armrest/cupholder/storage compartment thing between the seats?? Thanks.
  • capitanocapitano Posts: 509
    On my trix it is in the bottom of the large center compartment under the armest.
  • I recently purchased and 05 Vibe base model, I didn't notice any wind noise when I test drove it. I had vents installed on the windows but only because they keep rain from coming in the car. Car seems pretty quiet to me. Certainly as quiet as my wife's 05 Civic.
    With respect to the accessory outlet it is in the centre armrest at the front. Personally I think they should have put the second outlet in the hatch. So far I am pretty please with the car. Great gas mileage reasonable pick-up tremendous versatility. I am big fan of hatch backs :)
  • steine13steine13 Posts: 2,708
    "We need to carry a 17' Winona canoe on our Vibe. Any suggestions on roof racks?? "

    Sorry for the late reply.
    This doesn't look too hot, but it works and is relatively cheap:
    It's a 17'9" Sawyer Cruiser on a Yakima Railrider (or whatever) rack. Notice cleverly positioned electrical tape to keep the paint from rubbing off. You're better off with a two-tone Vibe.

    I've bought and used Q towers for the front, which makes the whole rig a little more balanced, but the load limit remains at a paltry 75 lbs... barely enough for rack+canoe. A Focus wagon has a limit of 220 lbs and sturdy rails the length of the car. It's a Euro design; they take their racks seriously as they don't have pickup trucks...

    Good luck,
  • I just got my 05 last Friday and never noticed the wind noise. I am disapointed that the roof rack system doesn't come with cross rails, and that my second accessory outlet in the center arm rest is nothing but a hole with a rubber cap on it. Should this be this way? Did Pontiac stop putting the second accessory outlet in the 05's?
  • My bad, You are correct. Mine is nothing but a plastic cover as well. Our 05's are missing the third outlet and the two piece storage cover on the console box and the cross rails, Pontiac cost cutting. You can buy the accessory outlet and the connections to hook it up for about 100 dollars or so if you really need it, search the genvibe website. You can also replace the console cover with one from the 2003 or 2004. Enjoy your ride :)
This discussion has been closed.