The 2009 Pontiac Vibe is a 4-door compact wagon that has received its first comprehensive upgrade since its introduction in 2003. There are three trim levels, the base, AWD, and GT, and two engines to choose from, a 1.8L at 132hp and a 2.4L 4-cylinder, delivering 158hp. The Vibe has undergone some sheet metal redesign and interior upgrades and improvements to its handling and cornering management. It now has a more muscular and clean appearance. Similarities to its Toyota counterpart, the Matrix are mostly mechanical.
You can buy a Vibe with a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission. Depending on your choice of engine and transmission, your Vibe will give you 20-26mpg city and 26-31mpg highway. The base Vibe offers a substantial line of standard features including cloth upholstered seats, 60/40 split rear seat, and a 6-speaker stereo with CD.
The ride and handling characteristics of each Vibe vary depending on the trim. For the base model, the Vibe employs a full length rear axle, rendering the expected solid cornering and minimal lean. On the more expensive AWD and GT models, passengers and driver are rewarded with the benefits of fully independent rear suspension. Interior materials are good quality and fit, with a nicely organized driver area.
The 2009 Pontiac Vibe comes with the full complement of front, side, and curtain airbags, LATCH anchors and tethers, and OnStar service. It has a unique array of storage compartment netting, dividers, and an integrated load floor system. The new Vibe has dropped some of its less flattering cladding and is now a nice looking hatchback which should help keep this Pontiac in the hunt for another year.