Unchanged from the previous year, the sporty looking 2008 Pontiac Vibe is an inexpensive and practical small vehicle that falls between the categories of a compact cross over vehicle, a larger wagon and a smaller version of a mini van. Though the class of vehicle may sound somewhat convoluted, its features and functionality are quite sensible. The Vibe is based upon a reliable Toyota Matrix powertrain, delivers excellent fuel economy and features plenty of interior room for five passengers, a versatile cargo area with easy accessibility-and it is fun to drive too.
There is only one trim level from which to choose and it comes equipped with 16 inch wheels, tire pressure monitoring system, air-conditioning, a CD player and tilt steering. The Preferred Options Package provides power windows and doors, cruise control and keyless entry. The Sun and Sound Package includes a sunroof and an upgraded audio system. Those who purchase both option packages are eligible for OnStar too. Other options include 17-inch alloy wheels, leather seating and a satellite radio system. The Sport Option Package adds eye appealing monochromatic paint and an in dash six-disc CD changer. Leather upholstery and a sattelite radio are also available as add on options.
Ideal for commuters in need of some passenger and cargo space or as a family vehicle, this 5 passenger vehicle also includes a few important safety features such as driver and front passenger airbags and seatbelt pretensioners that automatically secure seatbelts in the best position to keep passengers as protected as possible should a collision occur. Optional safety equipment includes side curtain airbags, front seat side airbags, stability control and antilock brakes, all of which typically are included as standard equipment on the Vibe's top competitors.
The Vibe is powered by a 1.8 liter, 4 cylinder engine that produces 126 horsepower and is paired with a 5-speed manual or optional 4-speed automatic transmission. Although not impressively fast, acceleration is adequate and gas mileage is excellent with averages rated at 26 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway.
All in all, the 2008 Pontiac Vibe looks good, feels better and offers a less physically obtrusive alternative to larger SUV's and cross over vehicles, yet still provides similar utility. The standard warranty is 3 years/36,000 miles for the entire vehicle and 5 years/100,000 miles for specified major powertrain components.