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Pontiac Vibe Overview And How To Pay The Lowest Price
The Vibe was likely the best compact ever to wear the Pontiac nameplate. With sporty styling, a roomy interior, quality construction, good fuel economy and an affordable price, the Vibe had an awful lot going for it.
Unfortunately, with the end of Pontiac, so went the Vibe following the 2009 model year. That said, there are still some lower mileage models to be found out there with careful and patient shopping.
If you're not aware of it, the Vibe was produced at a joint GM-Toyota plant in California and is basically an American version of the Toyota Matrix (produced at the same plant). The bottom line is that this economical wagon has reliable genes.
The Vibe's first-generation was produced for the 2003 - 2008 model years and was offered in two trims: base and GT. The base Vibe was powered by a 126 horsepower 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine and can be found in both front-wheel or all-wheel drive (AWD) forms. The AWD model was horsepower-rated at 118 due to a different exhaust routing.
AWD models were equipped with a four-speed automatic transmission, while front-wheel drive models have either a five-speed manual or the four-speed automatic. Gas mileage for both models is excellent, coming in at 30 mpg city and 36 mpg on the highway.
Powering the front-wheel drive Vibe GT was a Yamaha-designed 1.8-liter four-cylinder that pumped out 164 horsepower and was offered only with a six-speed manual transmission.
Standard features you'll find on these Vibes include air conditioning, 16 inch wheels, a CD player and tilt steering. Many used Vibe models can be found with the optional Preferred Package that added power windows, power locks, power mirrors, keyless entry and cruise control.
There are a number of other optional packages that can also be found in the Vibes from this generation. The Sun Package added a sunroof while the Sound Package added an upgraded audio system. The Premium Package included leather upholstery and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and gear knob. The Sport Package added 16 inch alloy wheels, a monochromatic paint scheme and an in-dash 6-disc CD changer, while other options found on some used Vibe models also include XM satellite radio and 17 inch alloy wheels.
There weren't very many significant changes for the Vibe during this production run other than the GT and AWD models being discontinued after 2007. Of note for Vibe shoppers was a DVD-based navigation system that was an available option only for the 2003 - 2005 model years. In addition, front seat-mounted side airbags were optional throughout this period, but full-length side curtain airbags weren't offered until the 2005 model year.
The last Vibe generation was produced only in 2009 and consisted of a base, AWD and GT models. The base Vibe is front-wheel-drive only and its 1.8 liter four-cylinder engine now produces 132 horsepower. AWD and GT models have an independent rear suspension and an upgraded 2.4 liter four-cylinder engine that boosts output to 158 horsepower. This new Vibe also comes standard with stability control, antilock disc brakes (ABS), OnStar and a full array of airbags.
Other standard features for the base Vibe now include 16 inch wheels, a 4-speaker audio system, a CD player, an auxiliary audio jack, satellite radio and a tilt/telescoping steering wheel. Many of these Vibes can be found with the 1SB package which added a more powerful engine, a fold-flat front passenger seat and a rear cargo organizer.
In addition to all-wheel drive, the AWD model adds a sport suspension with an independent rear setup, air conditioning and a luggage rack. The front-drive only GT adds full power accessories, 18 inch alloy wheels, an upgraded 320-watt sound system with MP3 playback, keyless entry, cruise control, a rear spoiler, leather/cloth sport seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls and a leather-wrapped shift knob.
Optional packages remain similar and still include the Preferred Package, Sun Package and Sound Package. Used 2009 Pontiac Vibe models can also be found with stand-alone options for the lower trims that include the rear cargo organizer, an anti-theft system and air-conditioning.
How To Get The Best Price
There are actually several different ways to buy a used Vibe at the lowest price, and even at wholesale, although this has gotten much more challenging with fewer and fewer models available. You can click on the links to each of the following methods to get the specific instructions.
In addition, you can also try the Public Car Auctions in your own geographic area. While there can be a lot of junk vehicles at these auctions, there are often absolute gems sprinkled in as well. This article reviews what to expect at open-to-the-public car auctions and how to locate them in your own area.