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Toyota Matrix vs. Pontiac Vibe - Compare Notes



  • nsbnsb Posts: 3
    Are the Matrix and Vibe built by the same people? Same Vehicle?
    Thanks, nsb
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    same vehicle, different hatcheries. Vibe: Freemont California at the Corolla plant;
    Matrix: Toronto Canada area.
  • The vehicles actually are triplets instead of twins. There also is the Voltz that is built in Fremont for export to Japan. Differences in the finishing. Hence the differences in complaints in this forum, e.g., paintjobs, starting problem.
  • nortsr1nortsr1 Posts: 1,060
    Ah yes, the difference in "paint jobs". It seems the Vibe got left behind.
  • steine13steine13 Posts: 2,714
    I posted this yesterday but the pics were too big the post was removed. Let's try again...

    Maybe I'll make a separate page and send it to Yakima for comment, but I'll start here.

    At first blush, this looks good and held up well in 40mph (!) side winds today... it was the nastiest bit of driving I've done since an ice storm in '01...

    So it's a lot of boat for a little car. So what?

    So this:
    and this:

    The wind load slid the windward Q tower 1/4" along the bar, which loosened the rack on the lee side of the car... you can see how the black "clip" in pic 3 isn't gripping any more. The whole shebang slid an inch or so backwards, taking the paint down to the metal.

    Yes it was over the load limit for the Vibe (75 lbs), but not for the Matrix (125 lbs) and it wasn't the weight that did it, it was the force of the wind.

    These Yakima Q towers are junk, they don't bite the cross bars hard enough. I'm glad I made it home OK.

    Comments anyone? Is Thule any better?

  • steine13steine13 Posts: 2,714
    Hello, Mathias. Thank You for your inquiry about Yakima Products, Inc!

    We have since changed the design of the q-towers. Drop us a line with your address and phone number. I will get some new towers out to you.
    Other then tightening the tower more it sounds like you have done everything correct in fitting the rack.

    I'm impressed.
    Seems to be a stand-up company after all.

    I'll let y'all know how the new ones work out.

  • I am looking for a roof rack for my 2005 Matrix. Can I get the list of products or a place to purchase around Leominster?
  • pontiac2pontiac2 Posts: 2
    Has anyone had any problems with cold weather starts? Only in -20C and colder, my '04 Vibe will start but none of the electronics work. No heater, dash, or any controls. Also unable to shift into gear. After running several minutes I can re-start the car and everything works. It doesn't happen any other time, only extreme cold conditions.

  • Same car,just a matter of syle preference and what kind of deal you get. I bought a 2005 Vibe last August. I prefer it's looks. I have 16000 miles in 7 months. Get 34 mpg. I drive one 1400 mile round trip /month for my job. 700 miles each way. It is very comfortable. I never feel cramped . Nice stereo. I love the moonroof. The 110v outlet is handy. Cruise control is great. No problems.Wonderful car.
    By the way , I park my Vibe in the company lot. I try to park next to another employees Matrix. Side by side the Vibe is much nicer looking.
  • ronald711ronald711 Posts: 44
    My concern owning previous GM products, is I had problems with altenators and stuff like that failing eary in the vehicles life. I am wondering how much of the vehicle is toyota parts vs gm contributed parts? Who made the transmission, etc? Or is it safe to say Toyota really has a complete hold on this car and its made with pretty much all their parts except for maybe the onstar and vehicle stability, etc... Just trying to get a grasp as the incentives being offered makes this a great buy over the Matrix with over $2000 customer incentives (Conquest incentive $1000, trading vehicle non GM $500 and $500 cash incentive, and thats on top of my work related GM Supplier Discount, he advised I would be under $15,000 on a base. So Im very interested in going this route, but very scared form my past GM experiences in vehicle reliability. any comments?
  • herzogtum71herzogtum71 Posts: 470
    When the Matrix was first introduced, people in this forum commented that the interior design was GM and that the engine and other mechanical components were Toyota. The Matrix is built in Ontario, while the Vibe is built in Fremont, California. A year or two ago there were complaints about the paint on Vibes, and I would suggest going back through previous posts to see what other issues there might be with the finishing details on Vibes that you don't have on the Matrix. There also have been issues with how Toyota responded differently than GM did to problems. One issue I experienced first-hand was with the headlight sensor in the dashboard, which on vehicles sold for a few months in 2002 was overly sensitive and resulted in frequent switching from running lights to headlights and back again. Toyota issued a service bulletin that took care of the problem (though I did have to argue with the service technicians at my dealership who claimed it wouldn't solve the problem), but to my knowledge GM never did the same thing for Vibe owners. I do know people, though, who have had good luck with Vibes and who have been very happy with the car.
  • jstant01jstant01 Posts: 65
    I have a 2005 Vibe. I understand your concern completely. I bought the Vibe for two reasons - GM had employee pricing for everyone at the time, and the car was mostly Toyota. I also wanted to support an "American" company, if possible. I had my sights on a Corolla or Civic until I saw the Vibe.

    Anyhow, to answer your question - from all the reading I have done in several Forums, it is my understanding that the Vibe is entirely a Toyota mechanically. That means, the engine, the suspension, the controls, and all the other parts you mentioned. GM's role was limited to the styling of the vehicle. In other words, it was "engineered" by GM but built with all Toyota parts.

    I did hear a rumor that I was never able to corroborate that perhaps the Engine Control system (i.e. "computer") was GM's as well. However, I don't think that would make sense, since it would be controlling a Toyota engine.

    The Vibe has rated "better than average" for all of its production years thus far with Consumer Reports. I believe that puts it at the top of the pack as far as "GM" models go.

    Mine has been trouble-free, except for a periodic "weird" starting problem. Sometimes it doesn't like to fire up right away on a warm re-start. If you read through the maintainence and repair forums, you'll see others have had the same issue. However, it's never left me stranded, and does always start up eventually.

    For the deal coming your way, I would take it in a heartbeat. The Vibe is an excellent product. I haven't heard or read anything about early failure on any of it's parts or components.
  • roy15roy15 Posts: 16
    Ronald 711, my owners manual says auto tranny made in Japan
    I'm not sure about the rest but i think at least suspension & tires are made in U.S. Too much uneven wear on rear tires too soon. I would have bought a Matrix rather than my 04 Vibe, but I didn't want to be bottoming out with the low rider rockerpanels.
  • ronald711ronald711 Posts: 44
    Thanks for your input, you know the starting problem you are referring to? I just wanted to go on record, I did an overnight in a Corolla before I looked at the Vobe, and I had 2 instances where the Corolla didn't start on the first or 2nd try, I was concerned, but then it did it on another corolla (different model), and I just think its something goofy, it eventually starts if you just crank it longer, it seems completely normal for a toyota to do this.. It sounds like if this is the problem people are having, then Im not too concerned. I am very very close to purchasing the Vibe. My thought as much as I would like 39 mpg out of a Yaris, the vibe is 10X more what I want only a little over $1000 more, and I can get this paid off in 3 years, and the Yaris will still be around then and be a nice 2nd vehicle. to offset my high mileage.
  • ronald711ronald711 Posts: 44
    I had an 06 vibe for an hour from the dealership tonight I took the 4 bolts and lifted up the center console. there is a connector for powering the outlet already mounted with power, just have to buy the accessory, Im assuming if you cant get it through Pontiac, you would be able to get it via Toyota as the Matrix has this feature, and I bet it possibly may be the same mounting... Ron
  • nanc3nanc3 Posts: 8
    Ron, I've had my Vibe two weeks and several times I had to turn the key two or three (or four!) times to start the car. I'm not concerned; I think it is just different than my old car, which doesn't need me to hold the key in the Start position. Or maybe it's because it is in a different location and therefore has a different hand motion. My son said, "Mom, you just need to hold the key until it starts. How hard is that?"
  • jackpot2jackpot2 Posts: 1
    I have a 2004 xrs Matrix with 17in wheels also I have 2004
    Pont. Vibe standard model with 16in steel wheels. question is can I swap wheeles between the two? :confuse:
  • capitanocapitano Posts: 509
    Check Tirerack to do the circumference calculations based on your tire/wheel combos. You can switch them, but unless they are close in size your mileage and speedo will be off.

    It would be the same thing as putting aftermarket wheels on either car.
  • pdrakepdrake Posts: 10
    I have an article from MANUFACTURING ENGINERING magazine from last September. The Vibe and Toyota Tundra are made in the same factory in California. The plant manager is quoted as saying " like all other NUMMI plants that I have been involved with NOTHING except for shareholding is GM everything is TOYOTA made and engineered". If anyone is interested in this article I will see if you can read the entire article (through backlog perhaps). GM has NOTHING to do with the VIBE except for shares....
  • mikey00mikey00 Posts: 462
    First thing that comes to mind is the radio. If you check your radio you will see that the NUMMI plant in California is installing GM radios in the Vibes. I suspect some other electronics as well. Also note that Matrix has engine imobilizer and Vibe does not. Another thing to note is the Vibes painted at the NUMMI plant in California have serious paint quality issues in 03, 04, 05 and I am assuming it still exists for 06. The Matrix is painted in Canada and does not have the same paint quality issues.
  • templertempler Posts: 7
    If the Matrix and the Vibe are twins, will the roof rack on the Vibe fit on the Matrix. It was the same way on the Isuzu Rodeo and the Honda Passport. To top it off on the Yakima roof rack system runs about $350.00.
  • templertempler Posts: 7
    If the Matrix and the Vibe are twins, will the roof rack on the Vibe fit on the Matrix. It was the same way on the Isuzu Rodeo and the Honda Passport. To top it off on the Yakima roof rack system runs about $350.00
  • Answer in a word: No.

    The top of the Vibe hatch is shaped a bit differently than the Matrix hatch to allow for the hatch opening without interference from the roof rack.

    I checked into this with our 2003 Matrix because I wanted a roof rack but agreed with my wife that the Matrix was the better choice for us than the Vibe. Check the design for your model year Matrix, but I suspect the situation is the same as for the 2003s.
  • igo2xsigo2xs Posts: 1
    :confuse: Call me picky, crazy, what have you! I would like to know if it would be possible to replace the center console in my 2005 Vibe with one from a 2005 Matrix (ie A/C Control, Rear Defroster button, Clock)? Judging from the photos of the two, they seem pretty well matched. If I went to a Toyota dealership, would they do it? It would a great mod and certainly make my Vibe unique! Thanks for your thoughts and suggestions.
  • 350sb350sb Posts: 1
    I'm just starting the Vibe Matrix thing and wondered if someone could direct me to some kind of a comparison of equipment VS price. Thanks
  • The Vibe and Toyota Tundra are made in the same factory in California.


    The Tundra is built in Indiana and soon to be Texas. I'm sure you meant the Tacoma, right?
  • Hi,
    I am down to the wire on these two cars and was slightly surprised to see the crash test ratings are different. Does anyone know why? Per Edmunds, the passenger safety on the VIBE is Good VS. Excellent on the Matrix. Does this mean GM did something cheaper with the body?
  • This reminds me of the Geo Prizm and Corolla. Same car, but one was listed by some reviewers as compact and the other as mid-size.

    I have heard about GM being cheap with the paint. Not a safety item, but you probably will want to check to see if the Vibe paint issues have been resolved.
  • Hi Roy,

    I'm researching possibilites of a class action on the uneven tire wear issue on the Matrix. We bought an '06 and notice the wear at 200 mi. I can't believe there isn't any recall information - our service center mechanic out here said this is normal for this car - what did you do about your tire wear?
  • steine13steine13 Posts: 2,714
    class action on the uneven tire wear issue

    I'm guessing this is not a joke...

    Uneven tire wear comes from worn suspension parts or poor alignment. Cars are often not well aligned when they roll off the assembly line.

    You need a mechanic, not a lawyer.

    FWIW, my '04 Vibe ran its lousy OEM tires down in 27k miles. And it did so very evenly.

    It had a couple other niggling things wrong with it that the dealer fixed. Life with cars is like that.

    A law suit over tire wear....??? Nuts.

This discussion has been closed.