2003 Pontiac Vibe from North America


A good purchase


The moon roof cover is partially "off track" and difficult to open by hand.

General Comments:

Apart from some minor ergonomic flaws, this car has been quite satisfactory. It's sporty looking, provides a smooth ride, is good on gas and has decent acceleration. I like it. What I don't like is the small steering wheel. It doesn't allow me to easily view the instrument panel or comfortably rest my arm on the door panel while driving. Placement of the shift lever and cup holders could have been more convenient too.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st August, 2003

2003 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8 from North America


It's a sports car, an economy car, a station wagon, a dessert topping and a floor wax!


Driver door switch panel loose.

Idles at 1800 rpm on startup -- I think this could be normal though. I'll check it out at first dealer service.

General Comments:

Initial build quality: superb fit and finish; above-average paint (though not as nice as Suzuki's Aerio); no squeaks or rattles; interior materials good-quality, but very lightweight; one loose switch panel, but that's your J. D Power 1.3259 Problems Per Car.

Performance: Non-GT Vibe gets a bad rap for its mini-engine. While you are never under the illusion that there's a 3-litre V6 under the hood, the car goes As Fast As You Need To Go. By the way I drove the GT and there's no difference in torque in normal diving situations. Above 6000 rpm it's a different story.

Noisy on hard acceleration? Yes, but Toyota (oh, sorry, NUMMI) has dialed in a sweet little exhaust note, probably digitally sampled from a Triumph TR-6. I'd be more concerned about the vicious torque steer, which will rip the wheel out of your hands if you're not prepared.

On the Highway: ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ. So serene and comfortable you will become comatose. On the motorway, the smoothest vehicle I have ever driven. Luckily, those clever Japanese (oops, brilliant folks at Geriatric Motors) have installed a rock-hard suspension so you will feel (and hear) every expansion strip and chuckhole on the tarmac. It's the only thing that will keep you awake. Oh what the hell -- just go buy one.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 22nd June, 2003

24th Oct 2006, 01:40

I'm the original reviewer. Here's an update at 46,000km:

- Some minor paint peeling on the body-colour bumpers. Not a big deal.

- Dashboard rattles: don't bother ripping the car apart... the rattles will go away.

- OEM RSA tires are toast... switched to Kumho Ecsta. Somewhat quieter.

- Aluminum rims show some minor corrosion around the valves.

- Overall impression: a really well thought-out and well-built vehicle which will, given the reasonable amount of maintenance asked for in the book, probably run forever.

14th Sep 2011, 01:34

Original reviewer here again.

8 years on, just turned 89,000km. Looks like new, drives like new.

Zero rattles, inside or out. Third set of rubber, went back to Goodyear RS-A.

Sunglass bin still requires duct tape.

Rust bubble under glass rear hatch... free dealer fix if I ever get around to it.

Just completed an admittedly feather-footed long-distance trip to check fuel economy... 6.6 litres per 100km. Who needs a hybrid?

Looking for a cemetery that will let me be buried in my Vibe.

How's that for a testimonial?

2003 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8L from North America


Super smart and modern!


Nothing. It was used as a demo by the dealer, so I know it has been kept up.

General Comments:

Great car! Stylish, super comfortable, plenty of room... a lot bigger than it looks from the outside. Stereo isn't great, but can always be swapped out to get a tweaked sound! There aren't very many VIBES on the road yet... and I hope there never are... I like having a unique car!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd June, 2003