Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

New Vibe Owners - Give Us Your Report



  • suydamsuydam Posts: 3,108
    You are looking at a '06, not an '05, first of all. How many miles? I don't think you'll be able to get one for 13k unless it has a ton of miles. Price it at Edmunds used car site and you'll see what is more likely as a price to shoot for. It certainly won't be 20k -- you could get a new one for less than that.
    '14 Buick Encore Convenience
    '17 Chevy Volt Premiere
  • bzribeebzribee Posts: 27
    I've only had my Vibe one week. Positives: fun to drive; 40 mpg on 400 mile trip !!!!; controls are fine; dealership is great and I feel they're willing to take care of all issues; cousin detailed outside and the color has this great, deep glow--head turning--I love it. I feel I got a reasonable price; like the dark interior, love the fold flat seats including the passenger seat. Lots of space. Easy to park. Not as bad visibility as I first thought.

    Negatives: seat uncomfortable in hour 2+ of driving; 2 spots on radio get burning hot after 1 hour of nighttime driving; alignment seems to be really off (pulls to left) (they told me to wait for 1500 miles as "it's set really tight"); basic radio has poor sound quality; hard to use a/c vents (very little variety in driection/flow); hate that I can't get power locks; cargo cover doesn't come and is CHEAP and almost useless; ridiculous roofrack without crossbars. Last two items I am looking for solutions--maybe other drviers will give away their crossbars or cargo cover (comes with Matrix) to use til I come up with something better. Also would like hatch to stay in locked position after opening.
  • joe881joe881 Posts: 1
    I purchased a new vibe in 03,it was my first new car. I have had ZERO problems. The best gas mileage I got was 39.6 mpg.
    Color is black with the rear spoiler and ground effects package.
    My advice would be to follow the service recommendations to avoid future problems.
    My car has over 50,000 miles on it now. :D
  • I have owned a 2003 vibe with automatic trans since Dec 2002. We haul a 5 member family around,camping,road trips,shopping,2 carseats plus 3 children worth of jackets and lunches etc. We use this car for everything. Have had very minor problems like door handles breaking off from sitting out in the hot sun. Zero problems with ac or trans like i have read in some of the other articles. There is one thing that people are talking about that i have noticed, and that is, it does take a long time for the ac to cool the car down, but to me this is a minor problem, just change cabin filter regulary. Great car will keep forever.
  • Take it in now for alignment. I have a 2005 with 23k. It also had issues with pulling and then the tire noise started. At 5k I rotated thinking that would help, it hurt instead. At 22k you could not hear the radio the tires were so etched. I would say about half worn out. Turns out the rear alignment was off and it was the rear tires wearing. GM will not cover anything now, but if I had insisted at 5k they would have. It will cost over 300 to put shims in the rear to align.
  • I purchased a certified used 2006 vibe awd. I love the car as far as features and design. However, I am very concerned about the handling of the awd in patchy ice conditions. The rear end keeps fishtailing as if the car is an and rear wheel drive with slicks on. This is really disconcerting when everyone else is passing with ease while I am white-knuckling it barely doing 45 MPH. My old nissan sentra handled slick roads with ease. Any suggestions out there?

  • suydamsuydam Posts: 3,108
    Check the tires on your vehicle. They may be worn or just tires that have lousy traction.
    '14 Buick Encore Convenience
    '17 Chevy Volt Premiere
  • Just had Cooper CS4's installed. Highly rated as a good all-season radial. Handles as poorly as before. It keeps acting as if the rear drive is trying to catch up with the front. It is possible that when the awd engages it is just too aggresive?

    I am concluding a snowy drive across Oregon, Utah and is puzzling that it handles so lousy with brand new all season radials.
  • Just bought a brand new '08 Vibe and with 457 miles on the clock it went in to have the A/C compressor replaced since the original unit locked up. :(

    I really like my Vibe and hope this is not a precursor of things to come.
  • plowboy1plowboy1 Posts: 3
    I've owned 16 new cars in 20 years so I feel capable of providing a fair view. My Vibe came with the power package (windows, locks, Cruise) lower body color, and a manual tranny.

    The Best: Great engine and mileage .. getting 32.5 typical 70% highway / 30% city.
    Comfortable and nimble to drive. Plenty of space for a smaller car. A great value @ 16,500.00 + tax. 100K warranty is a bonus that instills the concept of quality.

    The Worst: Goodyear Eagle RS A tires are simply and totally uncontrollable on ice. I've had five very close calls and don't appreciate Pontiac trying to save 25.00 while risking my _ _ _ . Do NOT buy this vehicle with these tires. Go to Tire Rack and check their poor performance reviews. These are nearly suicidal tires on ice and snow.

    Had the car to the dealership as when it's 0-10F out the car takes 15-20 minutes to get fully warm. They find nothing wrong. It seems that Pontiac uses a cool 182F thermostat as tolerances are close on this fine engine. This is my assumption at least. I don't know if I would have bought this car (or would again) if I lived in a cold climate. It is certainly warm and capable at 25F+ but it is neither at 0-10F.

    Poor cup and storage use. I am always messing with trying to find something or store something. Needs storage redesign.

    I'm in the paint business and the paint is too thin and too brittle. Have a plethora of stone chips and missing paint on the nose metal after only two months. Further, dry spray on the lower plastic that would be described as severe orange peel. GM wouldn't accept this quality from a supplier (which I am) but has no hesitation to pump out poor quality to their customers.

    Automatic door locks do not activate horn. You must look for a light flash and there is no programming that allows horn to sound. Odd and unnecessary...

    Front plastic wheel wells are NOISY. More sound deadening is clearly needed and another area where GM took shortcuts with this car.

    All in all.... great mileage and value and I am sure, dependable. Do NOT buy this car if you live in a cold climate IMHO. Lack of heating takes away from the other fine attributes and as mentioned, the tires are deadly.
  • 71again71again Posts: 1
    Living in Ontario, 15-20 minutes to warm up is normal for any vehicle. I must agree with plowboy1 about the tires, though. They suck. I figured brand new all seasons would get me safely through the first winter with my new Vibe so I didn't budget for a set of winter tires. I soon realized that was a mistake. The worst of the winter is almost over now, so I'm budgeting for a November tire change.
    Picked up my 2008 Stealth Gray vibe last October. Still only has 2000km on it. It's my 21st new vehicle in 52 years. Maybe family life limited my choice of vehicles to practical cars. Now that I can pick what suits me, I think I chose right. Makes me want to drive like a born-again driver. Forget all those pre-conceived ideas about elderly drivers: I'll take on Schumi. (In a Vibe, of course.)
  • renatelrenatel Posts: 9
    I just bought a 2008 Vibe on 4/16/08.It has 16" aluminum wheels,auto tranny, and I got it with 23 miles on it.After taxes and my trade-in and rebates it was $8390.

    It is my first new car and I love it! Except for where some one backed into it while it was parked(which will cost me 355 to repair in August).

    I think it will hold up better than the new 2009 model bbecause the 2008 is a proven design as there are no real changes between 2005-2008.I think this car will last a good 200,000 miles for me.I drive very light and it is 1 month old and I have put 650 miles on it.
  • caliberchiccaliberchic Posts: 402
    Congrats on the purchase! :)
  • kasjunkasjun Posts: 4
    we bought our new vibe in april of 08. so far the two things that are the most disappointing is the mpg and the chrome clad wheels. the wheels were a 650 dollar option and they started to chip and peel almost immediately. i turned in a claim to pontiac at 1500 miles hoping to swap them for some alum. rims or else go back to the standard rims. but pontiac would do nothing and were quite callous with their remarks.
    as far as the mileage goes it isn't far from the window sticker but the salesman seems to think it should get 30 mpg. it might if you could go downhill and with the wind on every trip but the govt. estimate of 20 city and 26 hwy is pretty close.
    as far as other things that pontiac needs to work on. here is my list.
    1. five-speeds auto trans. for awd
    2. better radio packages. not everyone wants to pay 13/mo. for xm.
    3. make that worthless luggage rack an option on awd
    4. have an option for other colors than black for interior.
    5. have the option of some descent leather seats with heaters.
    6. doesn't pontiac know that gps exists. no option for that.
    7. if you want to charge 650 dollars for chrome rims-make sure they are chrome not just plastic wrappings that chip and peel.
    if it sounds like i'm a little disappointed with my vibe-well i guess i am. but if pontiac would have just gone to a little work with my wish list i would be quite happy with the vibe. it has a lot of good features to it too. we had some custom leather seats installed on ours and it really makes it much nicer on the interior. and come next winter i am sure we will enjoy the heated seats. but don't you think the mfg should offer these as options instead of the owner hunting down someone to put them in. isn't that what they are in business for -supplying what the customer wants-not what they will settle for.
  • mark1647mark1647 Posts: 1
    I got my 2009 AWD Vibe in May. Love the car but agree with most of your wish list. Where did you get the Leather seats made and if you don't mind, how much did it cost? I didn't go for the tire upgrade because I heard the ride was rougher but the tires are more expensive. I have the upgraded radio and its very nice.
  • kasjunkasjun Posts: 4
    i took our vibe to omaha, nebraska to have the seats put in. they are installers for katzkin leather. cost was $1400 for the leather and heated seats. if you live any where near there the place that put them in was "Galvin glass "and they did an excellent job. very professional looking and they even do leather inserts in the door. i was reluctant to spend that much but it really improves the interior. we went with the stone color-which is a medium gray -and it matches real well with the other colors in the vibe. hope this helps. if interested i would google katzkin leathers and find an installer in your area if possible.
  • tstormtstorm Posts: 10
    My Vibe was one of the first Vibe's built in 2003. I've got 110,000 miles on it and it runs like the day I bought it. New battery and a couple sets of tires and not even a tune up. The drivers side window did shatter but was replaced free of charge (before the re-call and after warranty expired) Other than the window the only problem I've had is just about every light on the car has burned out... turn signals, head lights, all three brake lights even the dome light. All in all it's the best car I've owned with the fewest problems and the best running engine I've ever had. The heat works great in the winter and the A/C is super cold in the summer. Fold the seats flat and get all kinds of stuff in back or load a family of four and take off for a short trip. I like our Safari for the long hauls though. Oh yeah one problem I forgot the rear wiper motor is frozen and dosen't work, gotta get that taken care of before winter. Still not bad for 6 years and 110,000 miles!
  • macneilmacneil Posts: 3
    I have been looking for a new car to replace my 1995 Honda Accord 2.2 LX.
    It has almost 200K on it. New battery 3X. New Struts 180K. New Timing Belt 136K
    New Ignitor (recall) but didn't need it until 140K. I only change the synthetic oil 3 times a year. Airfilter and PVC last year. Never changed any other fluids, though I have to now top up the brake fluid every 2 months. New Plugs and Wires only once.
    She (Shirley) prefers to drive at 140km an hour on the Highway and pass everything in sight, Well when I can. My car goes like stink. It's only 130horse but drives better than the 2008 Mazda 3 sport I tested. Her windows have trouble at -30C
    There is rust on the wheel wells and gas cap area and truck lid. Not much but getting worse. Never tuned up and I drive it like it's a 4x4, country roads, back roads, off roads, she's been there done that. I drive the hell out of her and she looks forward to it. But it's time to buy new and after reading these posts, I'm scared. I would drive Shirley into the deepest jungle and know I'd drive out.
    But with all the talk about lights out, oil leaks, bad tires, etc. I'm scared.
    My engine is high and dry and the lights, all the lights work. I don't know how to change a fuse. The radio is awsome too.
    I like the room in the Vibe but if it cuts out I'll be so mad I'll be scary.
    I liked the 2008 Mazda 3 but you have to hold the gas down and count to 3 to get it into high gear. My Honda just goes when you tell her to and she's 13 years old. Mmm.
    The Vibe felt ify with bad torque steer around corners, and that was FWD I'm ify about the AWD being too irrational and taking me off the road in the winter rather than keeping me on it. The Honda's don't have the cargo room I'm looking for unless it's the Element, yuck.. and suicide doors? mm
    I'm stuck on 3 cars now. Mazda 3sport, Vibe, and the closer to Honda, Subaru Legacy for it's cheap insurance rates and comfort and room.
    I know cars will have trouble, but some of the things I've read about cars only 3 and 4 years old is absolutely apaulling and frightening for new shoppers who like to drive their cars into the ground. To bad Honda didn't make the Vibe and the Honda FIT is OK but no power just reliability. That sucks.
    Confused but still needing a car.
    My favorite drive was the Subaru Imprezza, but can't find a 2008 anywhere. Maybe I'll buy a 2009. A new Accord is too expensive but maybe not in the long run. mmm
    I still want the cargo space. Honda doesn't supply that which is just not fare.
    I don't know, maybe I'm reading too much, maybe I'm too informed, maybe I'm too loyal to Shirley. Maybe I'm just going to take my bike.
  • Best of luck in your vehicle search. I would suggest that you visit while you are in this search. We have posted fast and straightforward seat comfort reviews for vehicles we have had in our lab.

    We are a group of professional biomechanical engineers with expertise in seat design and analysis. Our reviews correlate very well to small, medium, and large drivers' opinions during real life ride-n-drive studies.

    Basically, you may learn in two minutes what would normally require several visits to dealers. The reviews are FREE while the site is up the next couple of weeks. If you have any feedback I would GREATLY appreciate it.

  • I'm really concerned after reading some posts with regards to the 09 Pontaic Vibe AWD. I barely got 240 miles to a tank and was absolutely shocked to see that I'm averaging about the same consumption as my old Chev Equinox. I know I'm still in the break-in period so I'm not sure how much this is going to improve. I'm by far not an aggressive driver. I'm very conscientious about starting slowly from a stand still while waiting at traffic lights. In fact, about half of my drivng was on the highway at about a 56-57 mph average. If this continues, then I will definitely be dumping this little pig in about a year or so. Anybody else experiencing poor mileage with the 09 Pontiac Vibe AWD? By the way, I live in Canada so you really don't have much of a choice but to go with an AWD system if you want to make it through winter in one piece.
  • Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,095
    A reporter from a national newspaper would like to speak to consumers who recently purchased a new small or mid-sized car and either got great financing or cash back/incentives offered to them . If this is you, please respond to with your daytime phone number by Wednesday, October 8, 2008.

    Edmunds Manager UGC Click on my screen name to send a personal message. Need help navigating? Check out Getting Started in Edmunds Forums.
    Need help picking out a make/model, finding inventory, or advice on pricing? Talk to an Edmunds Car Shopping Advisor

  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    sorry for your troubles vibeguy37. I now own two vibes. My '03 is an AWD, and I would NOT get another AWD. While it is true what you say about AWD and Canadian living, people in the lower 48 truely don't need it. I went with the base "Corolla-Vibe" due to the dramatic improvement in gas mileage over the "Camry-Vibe". The power in the modified 1.8 is very good. I agree with you that getting 20mpg in a Vibe is disgraceful. I encourage everyone to rethink getting the 2.4 liter engine. It is too bad the GT didn't have that option (nor the AWD for that matter.) We have 105,000 miles on the '03 Vibe. The build quality was crap, as was the paint. But despite all the now ugly imperfections, plus the fact that it burns oil like crazy, the car continues to run. Underneath there somewhere is a Corolla that refuses to quit. My '09 is a fabulous car. Build quality is 10 times better than the previous version and comes with a lot of safety features, all while being cheaper in price. I only wish my base model had some additional creature comforts such as the radio controls on the wheel, sunglasses holder, and one more inch of legroom for the driver.
  • I have 2,000 miles on my new 2009 AWD Vibe and I'm getting the EPA estimates of 20 and 26. I also own a 2006 FWD Vibe and get great mileage on it. I was hoping my conservative driving habits might yield somewhat better mpg on the '09AWD but I guess I was forewarned. My son has a 2003 AWD Vibe and still loves it. I drove it the other day and quickly noticed how much more "free wheeling" the older AWD model was. I don't know why there is this difference but my '09 has a lot more drag on it. It even will slow down on a level surface or a slight downgrade with my foot off of the accelerator! Is this the experience of others? I'd be interested in knowing.
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    yep, you are feels like a brake assist function, although I'm sure it is not. Sorry about your low mpg on the AWD. I knew that going in which is why I went (again) with the Corolla Vibe instead of the Camry Vibe. I have been getting 29 mpg in 90% city driving with my 09 automatic. Nice huh? I have been reading on about many '03 owners having tranny problems. I have 107,000 miles on mine, and have not had any major problems yet (a lot of minor problems to include mysteriously disappearing oil). As for the '09 Corolla Vibe, I had to replace the battery already. I got a higher cold cranking amp (550) Delco battery to replace the small Japanese 350 cca batteries they put in these Vibes. Other than that, the only design flaw I have found in the '09 is that the passenger side seat belt anchor rattles against the center console. You need to take a piece of female velcro and place it on the back side to act as a cushion when there isn't an occupant in the seat. I'm amazed how much more refined this latest version is over our 03. If the old one goes, I know what I'm buying next, that's for sure.
  • We purchased a red AWD in December. Excellent car!! Drives well in the bad western PA ice and snow.

    GM needs to add a remote start option to the Vibe.
  • From what I can gather this seems to only be happening to my Vibe as neither the dealership service dept nor pontiac engineers can diagnose the problem.

    When coming to a full stop, I can feel the car downshift and when the car finally comes to a full stop the tranny then drops into first and physically jerks the car. This is a 2.4 Auto BTW. No one can figure out the problem and have been told to basically drive the car till the engineers can figure out a fix.

    I already have a call in to Pontiac and they have taken a report.

    Just wondering if anyone else out there has experienced this. Dealer swears it's not the transmission but it sure feels like it to me.

    Otherwise its a great car.
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    Unless they are lying, I think everyone is experiencing the same thing. I have the '09 1.8 liter Corolla engine. I'm unsure whether the tranny is any different for the "Camry-Vibe" as it is the "Corolla-Vibe." You won't get any good answers out of your Pontiac dealer since they have been clueless about this car since the first Corolla-Vibe was built in 2002 (2003 model year). Either way, it is almost like a brake assist function, but is definitely the tranny downshifting. You should also feel it when you are giong around 50mph down a hill and tap your brakes. The tranny likes to downshift to help slow the car down. Good luck getting an answer from GM. I think they'd rather go out of business than help their loyal owners. I wish them well in that regard, which is why I own two Vibes (which means I own two Corollas). I can always get service and parts from Toyota should GM's "fantastic" business model finally drag them out of business where they belong.
  • Thanks so much for the reply. So, you have the same problem? Have you taken the car in to the service dept. for the problem?

    They basically just threw their hands up and left me hanging.

    Is this normal on the vibes and corolla/camrys? I have a 2004 sienna and it does not down shift like this.

    any further info would be appreciated.

  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    No, I have not taken it in because I have heard the same story reported over and over on It is a bit annoying to tap on your brakes while going downhill at 40 mph+ and have the tranny automatically assume you want some brake assist while it throws it into 3rd gear. As for my "service department", I'd rather trust my car to a chop shop in the slums of Calcutta before I'd every take my car to the dealer for service.
  • snackbarsnackbar Posts: 1
    Hello Vibeguy.

    What RPM is the engine running at around 60 mph (or 100kmh) ?

    Shocking as it may seem, I took an AWD out for a test run, and the engine was running about 4000 RPM at 60 mph (100K) in the shift position the dealer told us to use. We figured out the shifter has to be in the location to the right of D3 to let the tranny shift to 4th. Revs then dropped to 2400 or so.

    Sales says this often happens , silly as it may sound. Makes a big difference to your mileage.
This discussion has been closed.