2004 Pontiac Vibe 1.8 from North America


Great, reliable, small wagon/car for the money


Window channel in the front doors replaced under warranty.

A/C damper switch replaced for $200.

General Comments:

This car extremely reliable.

Gas mileage, 26 to 30 mpg depending on driving conditions.

I service the car regularly, but I also drive the car very hard when on the road.

Not the most comfortable, but works.

Pontiac dealers do not know anything about their own car. I take it to a Toyota dealer. That's sad.

Would buy again, but would get the 2.4 engine.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th October, 2010

29th Oct 2010, 14:26

"Pontiac dealers do not know anything about their own car. I take it to a Toyota dealer. That's sad."

They don't know anything about it because it IS a Toyota. This is why it is so reliable and the mileage is so good on it. You can still buy a new one, even though Pontiac is dead... Just go for the Toyota Matrix, and then you'll have a competent home dealer too as a bonus.

30th Oct 2010, 09:39

Um, Toyota has built a 2.4 liter engine since 2001. It was used in the Matrix XRS and Vibe GT since 2009.

The same engine was used in the Camry from 2002-2009, and the Highlander from 2001-2007, and the Rav4, from 2004-2009.

30th Oct 2010, 09:48

To above comment:

Sorry, but the 2.4L engine is made by Toyota, not GM. The Pontiac Vibe is made entirely by Toyota (with the exception of the Pontiac badge). It's just a rebadged Toyota Matrix.

30th Oct 2010, 18:12

We test drove three Vibes in 2007 before buying something else. One was the GT 6-speed manual, and even it was slower than our I-4 Ford Fusion. It is a cute and useful vehicle, but based on its rather anemic performance and the fact that it is made by Toyota (not a good sign, especially with all the recalls), we opted to stick with something built by a domestic car maker.

31st Oct 2010, 12:37

"Um, GM also made a 2.4 called the Quad 4."

Yeah, it was a 2.3 Litre!

1st Nov 2010, 21:51

Where is the Quad 4 now? My original review was to compliment the Pontiac Vibe and tell of my experience with the Pontiac dealer. It kills me that the American car manufacture cannot get things right the first time. I know we are better than that. When the greed factor sets in, the consumer loses. Capitalism will not work without character!!! Perhaps the recent economic "recession" has opened the eyes of the American car manufacturer.

20th Feb 2011, 19:30

Mr. Ford Fusion... Most of the Fusion is from MAZDA. Ditto on most other "Ford" cars.

The Vibes were made in California, with all the other Toyotas GM re-badged and sold (Nova, Prizm).

Just a courteous FYI...

2004 Pontiac Vibe GT 1.8 from North America


A fine compromise between utility and performance


The clutch went out at 100,000 miles -- otherwise, I have had not a single mechanical problem with this car.

General Comments:

I bought my fully-optioned Vibe GT new, with aftermarket 17-inch wheels installed by the dealer. Out the door for an even $20,000. Very good deal. I installed an Alpine stereo with XM satellite radio and an iPod connection, but kept the very excellent speakers that came with the Moon & Tunes package.

The car has served me well, racking up lots of miles, most on cross-country drives. Upright driving position, very comfortable for me and three passengers.

The engine is fun, though short on torque. So you do a lot of shifting, and the cabin has a buzzy atmosphere. Fine for me, though some people find it tiring. The car is pretty quick for its class, and with the aftermarket wheels handles very nicely.

Big complaint though: when the road is wet, it's nearly impossible to get adequate grip when starting from a stop.

I love the real plug for a power cord and the automatic lights. The interior is identical to my brother's Matrix. The hard plastic in the cargo area is great for clean-up, but lets stuff roll all over the place if you don't have nets.

The air conditioner has been a weak point from the first day I owned the car. On 100-degree days, it just barely keeps things cool. It could be there's a malfunction of some kind; I've never had it checked. The quality of the paint is also less than stellar... chips and scuffs easily.

Premium fuel is recommended, and I've always used it. But the mileage is pretty decent. On highway trips, even driving at 75 or 80 mph, I often get close to (or exceed) 30 mph.

Overall, for the money I paid, I've been very pleased with the car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th February, 2010

29th Apr 2012, 19:00

Thought I'd update my review from 2010.

My Vibe GT now has 158,000 miles. I replaced the radiator and water pump at around 140,000 miles. Otherwise, aside from scheduled maintenance, brakes and new tires, it hasn't needed anything else. A fantastically reliable car that is fantastically inexpensive to run.

4th Apr 2013, 14:03

Another update. I finally traded in the Vibe GT last year. Got to a bit over 175,000 miles and it was still in great shape. Going through all seven years of maintenance records, it was lots of oil changes, a few tire changes, and occasional larger bills at completely acceptable intervals.

Overall, a great ownership experience, and friends/family still miss 'the orange car'.