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Pontiac Vibe or Toyota Matrix?

rjw16rjw16 Posts: 5
edited March 2014 in Pontiac
I'm probably going to buy either a vibe or a matrix in the next little while but i can't decide which one. They seem awfully similar to me. What are the differences between the vibe and matrix?


  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    rjw: check out the Matrix and Vibe owner Enthusiasts Compare Notes pages. It will answer all your questions. But in short, either way, it is all Corolla, the greatest car in man's history. You cannot go wrong. PS: Buy the Vibe
  • 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)

  • stillageekstillageek Posts: 114
    I chose the Matrix. First car in the history of my family not to carry a Big 3 nameplate. I bought it over the Vibe because the Pontiac dealers knew little about the car and didn't seem to care if I bought it or not. Also, minor to some, but it will have a higher resale. Just check out same year Geo/Chevy Prizms and Toyota Corollas, same car with a different badge with major resale values. Also, maybe more than minor, I trust a Toyota tech to fix a Toyota engine. Sure GM trains them, but who knows it better than the people that work on them day in and day out? Be leary of the big rebates, even with the rebates there isn't much difference between equally equipped Matrix and Vibe's.
  • 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)

  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    Vibe: greater ground clearance (due to the stupid skirts they put on the Matrix), lower body cladding to protect from rocks, tar, and suicide squirrels, and a roof rack. Oh, did I mention the body style looks more like a car than a the Matrix which looks like a woman's shoe. Resale value...come a Kia or Hyundai (they cost nothing and have a great warranty) if your concerned about stop-loss value from the sale of a car; ugh!
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    all the cladding and in particular the roof rack makes the Vibe look much more like an SUV than the Matrix. I believe this was intentional on Pontiac's part.

    The Matrix looks much sleeker, and the rear body skirts hide the rather large muffler when looking at the car from the rear.

    However, maxx mentioned something that is worth repeating - the front air dam on all but the base Matrix will scrape curbs and stuff when you pull into a parking spot or go up a steep driveway - something to keep in mind if that sort of thing is one of your pet peeves.

    And of course, in the Toyota tradition, all those skirts and air dams make up an "option package" which is anything but optional. They make you pay extra for it, and don't make any XR/XRS without it, at least that I have seen.

    You will get better product support from Toyota, since mechanically the car is a Toyota. Witness the Toyota TSB for the twilight sensor in the early models, which was so twitchy the lights would flick on and off every five minutes. Toyota came up with a better one within a couple of months and made it available for free on Matrix, Pontiac did nothing about it for Vibe.

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

  • gasman1gasman1 Posts: 321
    I'll admit that I like the Matrix' looks and it's resale potential compared to the Vibe. However, the Vibe is very nice and the rebates swayed me. I bought an '03 base, Neptune Blue (mono), automatic, Moon/Tunes, Power, Wheels. I've added splash guards and have a K&N filter ordered.

    Sticker was $19,975.
    Rebates: $2,000 advertised, plus $750 military, plus $2,513 GM Card, plus 3.44% financing. I also got $1,400 more for my trade than expected. One of the easiest and best deals that I've ever received.

    I'm very happy with the deal. The Vibe is a joy to own and to drive. I put 950 miles on it in the first week and will place about 600 business miles on it this week.

    My other vehicles are an '02 Toyota Highlander and an 02 Toyota Tundra SR5 4WD. The Vibe is Toyota quality.
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    The Vibe does indeed seem like true Toyota quality. I told a friend that if my Ford 626 craps out before the Malibu Maxx debuts in January, I would go out and buy a $1500 clunker Neon or Escort just to tie me over until January. If I decide I don't like the Maxx, I'll head right over to the Pontiac dealer and buy another Vibe. The Maxx is looking awfully sweet however.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    looks really great, but the other angles on the car look to me like they took a Matrix and "GM-icized it".

    If I could have two Matrix, the other one would be an XRS for fun on weekends!

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

  • scottdudescottdude Posts: 177
    Still considering buying a Vibe and had a question about the cruise control. I don't remember seeing it on the one I test drove, but the car had every other feature so I assume the CC was on one of the steering wheel stalks. If so, how does this work? Do you current owners like it? I'm used to having the CC control on the steering wheel itself, which is super convenient.
  • stillageekstillageek Posts: 114
    Yep cruise is on a stalk at about 4 o'clock on the Vibe/Matrix. I like it, better than the GM standard on the stalk with wipers, turn and every thing else.
  • rbarritrbarrit Posts: 14
    The Toyota cruise is way better than the GM. The Pontiac cruise I find is sometimes hard to engage when resuming, tiny slider is fumble prone. The four action Toyota, Up (resume, accelerate), down (set,coast), and back (cancel) and end button (on/off) is very easy and confusion free.

    I have both types of vehicle.
  • scottdudescottdude Posts: 177
    Is the Toyota cruise control found in the Vibe, since Toyota makes the internal parts? Or did Pontiac put in the GM cruise control?
  • montanafanmontanafan Posts: 945
    It is the Toyota Cruise Control, that is why it drove so many or the first Vibe purchasers nuts. The Toyota system losses its memory below a certain speed, where a GM system will retain the speed in memory until shut off. Was very confusing on the boards last year.
  • matthew525matthew525 Posts: 52
    Differences are cosmetic, some practical operating differences, resale, insurance cost and annual maintenance expenses are also issues. Vibe is less expensive, Matrix is better head turner. Bottom line - what do you want out of this vehicle? Yet, if you're looking for a good deal on a good car, shouldn't you be looking at a low mileage 2-3 year old set of wheels within this price range?
This discussion has been closed.