Last post on Jul 28, 2009 at 8:34 AM
You are in the Pontiac Vibe
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Pontiac Vibe, Toyota, Future Vehicle, Hatchback
#26 of 158 Re: 2009 Pontaic Vibe - I drove it!
Feb 19, 2008 (7:13 am)
Well, I guess I was wrong about my guess on dealer inventory. My dealer did have a 2009 Vibe available, and I test drove it last night. It was a fully loaded GT model. Here are my first impressions (note - I didn't get to drive it for long as there were 2 other people waiting to drive it also).
1. The 2.4 liter motor is much quieter and smoother than my 2005's 1.8 liter. It was more peppy, but still not "race car" by any means. The car had the 5-speed automatic, which shifted smoothly. My 2005 is a manual, so I can't compare the difference in the 5-speed auto from the current 4-speed.
2. As many on several blogs and posts I have seen have mentioned, the gauge cluster seems kind of weird. It's quite similar in terms of color and appearance to the current cluster, but of course there is that "odd" rectangular thing housing the fuel and temp gauges now. Personally, I think they should have just left it as three circles, but that's just my opinion.
3. I was not impressed with the radio controls. The radio (premium on this car) had great sound, but the radio itself reminded me of the late model Chrysler's that were all silver buttons with illumination forming the "words" rather than paint or white on black. Not my thing.
4. The front seat was very roomy and the seats were more comfortable than the current Vibe. This car had black leather with "GT" stiched in the seatback. It was very soft and very premium in appearance.
5. The back seat was NOT as roomy or comfortable as the current Vibe. The roof was much lower, and sloped down in the rear. As you face the front, the roof visibly dips behind the center light toward the back seat. I wasn't uncomfortable, but I definitely felt more cramped than I do in my current Vibe. The back seat also seemed lower and I didn't feel like I was sitting up as high as I do in my Vibe.
6. The cargo area was a little bit smaller, but not noticeably so. There are no "lock-down" tracks like there are in the current Vibe. Where those are, there are rubber "grip strips" instead. Also, the rear window no longer opens on it's own. The hatch opening is not as wide either.
7. The GT model has very cool ground effects, but they make the car run very low to the ground. For someone in a snowy state like me, that could be an issue. The back end of the car actually seems to sit higher than the current Vibe.
8. In terms of driving impressions - like I said, I didn't get a chance to actually drive it for very long, and didn't have time to take it out on the freeway. It seemed quieter, and the ride seemed rather firm, which may be because it was the GT model.
Let me know if you have any questions about anything in particular that I missed or overlooked. The dealer said they had the car for about a week, but weren't selling it because it's the only one they have currently. He said 7 more were supposed to arrive next week, including some all-wheel drive models.
If you live in Michigan, it's at Sawyer's Pontiac on Michigan Avenue in Lansing. He said as far as he knew, it was the only 2009 Vibe that had been delivered to Michigan so far. Of course, he may have just wanted me to think that!
Overall, a very nice car, and a very nice upgrade. I might consider it later down the road, but I'll keep my 2005 until it's at least paid for!
#27 of 158 Re: 2009 Pontaic Vibe - I drove it! [jstant1]
Feb 19, 2008 (11:40 am)
Nice job on the review, and thx for posting the feedback! At least you got a chance to test drive it. Still waiting for a dealer in my area to receive one, though I could possibly have a look come Saturday if I'm willing to drive closer to Chicago where there is one for sure (confirmed it this morning with a salesman). By the way, going by your information, I did the Google thing and found another dealer (also in Michigan) that not only has an '09 Vibe, but has pictures of the actual car. I'm posting a link should anyone want to see it. I know 'Wagon' is a dirty word in the U. S. (can't understand why--I love 'em), but I sure like the looks of the Wagon in the link and can't wait to see one up close. Wanted a minivan for increased practicality/flexibility, but the Vibe now has my interest completely. (The Matrix twin is fugly, IMO.) Anyways, here's the link:
Say, what was the price on the test vehicle?
#28 of 158 Re: 2009 Pontaic Vibe - I drove it! [onthefarm]
Feb 19, 2008 (11:51 am)
The sticker was $21,645. I believe it was fully loaded, except for a navigation system, if that's available. Seems to me I read the new Vibe would have that option.
#29 of 158 Re: 2009 Pontaic Vibe - I drove it! [onthefarm]
Feb 19, 2008 (6:15 pm)
Thanks for the pictures. Looks like it'll make a nice mate to my 05.
#30 of 158 Incentives
Feb 19, 2008 (7:57 pm)
I know this may be the wrong forum, but it is the only one that seems to generate interest. In light of the 09's coming out, some car lots are potentially going to have 3 model years (07s 08s 09s) on the lot. What do think GM will have to do to rectify the situation?
#31 of 158 Re: Incentives [pks222]
Feb 20, 2008 (8:18 am)
The dealer where I test drove the '09 told me that GM is currently running a $3000 rebate on the '08's. He didn't say anything about '07's, but this particular dealer moves cars pretty quickly, so it wouldn't surprise me if they didn't have any '07's on the lot.
GM has reduced the starting price on the '09's, so even with the $3000 rebate, the '09's may potentially still be less than an '08, depending of course on model choice and options. That could cause quite a problem also.
I wonder if they are still making 2008's, or if the production run has ended completely? NUMMI is a big plant, but I'm assuming since it's the only place that Vibes are made that once the transition is made, they can't manufacture both. That would mean quite a limited number of 2008's, depending on when they went on sale in 2007.
Model years can be so confusing. They should just do away with them completely and sell the cars. Keep track of the selling date to know how "old" a car is, instead of going by model years that are really pretty useless in determining a car's age. I had a 2000 Ford Contour that I bought in August of 2001 - brand new. Helped a lot on the resale value because the miles seemed "low" for a 2000 model, even though it didn't start acquiring miles until late in 2001.
#32 of 158 VIBE Pamphlets
Feb 20, 2008 (8:26 pm)
Got one yesterday finally. So glad 09's have over drivers' window grab handle. And, tap shifting for the 5 speed automatics, nice to use engine breaking for quick or downhill stopping. Wish base model had independent rear suspension and the 5 speed auto. options. The GT sound system must be amazing, hatchback just right for subwoofer's home. Hope the metallic paint holds up in sub-tropics, tired of my white vibe needing washing.
#33 of 158 Re: VIBE Pamphlets [rog96]
Feb 21, 2008 (8:08 am)
I agree about the independent suspension - I wish they would make it standard across the Vibe line-up.
I thought the base was available with the 5-speed auto IF you upgrade to the 2.4 liter motor. Of course, how many will be made that way? They may limit the number to try and push buyers toward the GT.
My perfect choice would be base, 2.4, 5-speed auto, with all the safety features standard and standard independent rear suspension. I think I can get that in the new Vibe, except for the suspension. How about the anti-lock brakes? I've seen in one spot that it's standard across the line, and in another that it's optional across the line. Anyone know?
#34 of 158 Re: 2009 Pontaic Vibe - I drove it! [jstant1]
Feb 21, 2008 (9:51 am)
Read another review yesterday on the second gen. Vibe. Aaron Gold of About.com's guide to cars said, in regards to Navi:
'Between the Vibe and the Matrix, I'd take the Vibe for its longer warranty and better looks. The Matrix offers an optional GPS navigation system that the Vibe doesn't get, but that wouldn't be enough to sway me.'
I don't know if this arrangement is likely to change for Pontiac's benefit. I'd be most content without the navigation system. What I'm really hoping is that the base model will at least offer the option of steering wheel controls that operate my iPod--a feature sorely lacking on my '05 Corolla. I'd also like the larger engine and the roof rack, which I've always liked on the previous model.
STILL waiting for GM to update the Pontiac website to reflect the 'build and price' feature for the new Vibe as well. What's taking these guys so long? Am I too impatient?
#35 of 158 Your right about 5 speed
Feb 21, 2008 (11:45 am)
Glad you pointed that out, according to Vibe pamphlet. 2.4 base with auto tranny is in fact 5 speed! And sun and sound (previously moon and tunes) pkg includes steering wheel mounted AUDIO controls which would at least control volume of an iPod connected to aux. port . So if you go the base route, you lose out on rear wishbone, and must settle for a sunroof if you want the nice sound system (unlike the GT where you don't have to get a sunroof, seeing the monsoon system is standard) I wanted to get base with steel wheels and then get real nice alloys online. Not crazy bout stock alloys, but they are better than my 03s' at least. And I'd rather have a 55 tire, not 45, given the bad roads here. 18" wheels make tire replacement very costly also, 16" or maybe 17" is plenty...