Pontiac Vibe Review & Ratings

The Pontiac Vibe was sold by the Pontiac Company from the year 2002 through the year 2010. It is a compact hatchback that was developed jointly by Toyota and General Motors. The Vibe was the successor to the Geo Prizm production that took place in Fremont, California.

From the year 2002 through the year 2004, a variant of the Vibe called the Toyota Voltz was manufactured and exported to Japan. The vehicle was not popular in Japan and was discontinued after just 2 model years.

Vibe production ended in the year 2010 when the Pontiac brand was discontinued and the NUMMI plant in California was closed under the bankruptcy reorganization of the General Motors brand. The twin of the Vibe, the Toyota Matrix is still produced for the Canadian market and is manufactured in Cambridge, Ontario.


The first generation of the Vibe was available from 2003 through the year 2006. It was available in a base trim, a mid-trim, and a sporty GT that had more power.

The powertrains that were available for the car are built by Toyota and are a 1.8 liter straight 4 sixteen valve engine that produces 126 horsepower for the base model, 118 horsepower for the mid-trim model, and 164 horsepower for the sporty GT model. At one point in time the Vibe was the most fuel efficient car sold by General Motors in North America. This was not the case after the EPA in the United States issued new testing procedures in the year 2008.

While the Vibe shares a similar design as the Matrix, the 2 brands use several components that are different and brand specific for their cooling and heating systems. The components include the compressor for the air conditioner and its related hoses, the heater core, the heater hoses, as well as the serpentine belt.

Most Recent Version

The second generation of the Vibe was only produced from 2009 through 2010. The second generation was the twin of the Toyota Matrix. This means that the Vibe offered reliable Toyota genes that will likely provide many years of dependable service. The Vibe did have a unique styling for the exterior to differentiate it from the Matrix. It also had its own options and trim levels.

The Vibe was sold with a base trim, an all-wheel drive trim, and a GT trim. The base models were only available with front wheel drive while the mid-level trim offered all-wheel drive. The GT trim was a sportier model and offered front wheel drive combined with a more powerful 2.4 L engine as well as an independent rear suspension.

Each model came with a 5 speed manual transmission as standard except for the all-wheel drive which was only equipped with the four speed automatic transmission. There was the option of a 5 speed automatic for the GT and the 4 speed automatic could be added to the base model. The base model Vibe could also have the 2.4 liter engine added for an additional cost.

On the inside the Vibe offered intuitive and simple controls and gauges and the build quality was quite good with most of the interior pieces being sourced by Toyota.


What made the small wagon desirable during its time was the smart packaging as the Vibe combined a roomy interior with clean styling and exceptional utility all under an affordably priced roof. Another of the welcome features was the peppy powertrain. Another thing that added to the appeal of this vehicle was the fact that it had a solid reputation for being reliable and it had a fuel economy that was above average.

Pontiac Vibe Gallery

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