2003 Pontiac Vibe consumer reviews

$16,485–$19,785 MSRP range
side view of 2003 Vibe Pontiac
100% of drivers recommend this car
Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 4.5
  • Interior design 4.5
  • Performance 4.4
  • Value for the money 5.0
  • Exterior styling 4.5
  • Reliability 4.9
Explore the 2003 Pontiac Vibe

Great Car!

I bought a 2003 Vibe in the beginning of March this year (2011) and so far this car has been great. I did put freon on the low side so I believe their is a leak somewhere. Other than that I have had no problems yet and I drive about 13-14000 miles a year. I average 33 mpg and I drove to Gulf Shores and got 42 mpg. I highly recommend this car!


By far, the best car I have ever owned

I LOVELOVELOVE this car. I purchased my Vibe three and a half years ago, it had high mileage ( 108k mostly highway miles) and I've put about 60k more on it since I've had it. From the beginning I drove it to the East coast and we actually slept in the back (with the seats folded down) when we got too tired to drive anymore! It handles long road trips and short city stuff equally well. I have repeatedly gotten 38mpg in this car. The lowest mpg I've had is 25mpg. I have hauled a full size dryer and washer in the back of this car, I've put full sized bikes; a 53" flat panel TV; an entire set of wrought iron patio furniture; and a stacked washer/dryer set in the back of this car. People are always surprised when my car is able to haul as much as it can. I love the rear hatch window that opens independently of the rear hatch door, and the 60/40 split seats, with the front passenger seat that folds down are awesome. I also really like the hard plastic in the cargo area, it makes cleaning (after hauling) much easier. I have even stuck my son back there after muddy soccer practices (lol). As far as performance goes, it is fairly responsive. It's not the most powerful car I've driven, but it's able to handle speed pretty easily, I don't feel like it's struggling to reach 80+mph. Handling in this car is nice. It's so easy to park in ridiculously tight spaces, which is great for parallel parking in the city. I like that the drivers seat is able to raise up a bit, but sometimes the steering wheel feels like a stretch to reach. The display for the radio was half faded and hard to read, so I had it replaced with an aftermarket stereo. Overall, I have had very little that has needed to be done, other then routine maintenance on this car. Unfortunately I got hit by a drunk driver (in a Hummer) so I'm now in the market for another Vibe! Everyone walked away from the accident, so I guess I have even another praise for the Vibe is that it's pretty darn tough.


love my Vibe!

I bought my Vibe because i took a job 50 miles from my home and needed economical transportation. Got it used, and have put over 50,000 miles on it with almost zero repair costs. Regularly get 32 miles per gallon, and if i'm being good (say a steady 60 to 65 miles per hour) I've gotten 36 mpg. I will buy another Vibe when the time comes, but according to some of the reviews I've read here, that might be awhile--great news!! I had never owned a Pontiac before (rarely ever owned an American brand). Now I am really sad that Pontiac is gone. Maybe if I'd learned this lesson sooner, Vibes would still be rolling off the assembly line.


Most reliable car I've owned

Bought it new, put 120K on it so far. With the exception of a window rattle (which was covered in a recall), the only things I've ever done are routine maintenance. The interior has held up fantastic for a 7 year old vehicle... the only noticeable wear is the driver's floormat. Best car I've ever owned, and I've owned quite a few!


2003 Pontiac Vibe

Wanted an economical car. Just passing 209,000 miles and this car has come through with flying colors. Inexpensive to buy, inexpensive to own. Reliable. Ahhhhh, just what I wanted. (Yes, I know it has a toyota motor.)


Best car I have ever owned

I currently have a Mercedes E320 and Prius. I have owned expensive cars. I consider the Vibe an excellent car for a guy who is 6" 1' and 300 lbs. I fit perfectly in the front seat and wished that more cars were as comfortable for the driver. It has been very reliable and economic to mantain. The inside dimensions should be the templet for other car manufacturers


Best Car I ever owned!

I have had 2 Accura Integras, a Honda Civic, and a Acura TL but none of them have been as good a car as this 2003 Vibe has been. I was saddened they shrunk the Vibe down for the original 2003 launch design. Then GM hit me again with the announcement that they are no longer continueing the Pontiac brand. Pontiac and Saturn were the only two stylish brands GM had and had they given them a little more attention. Instead of putting all their money into the gas gizzling SUV's and trucks of GMC and Chevrolet, GM should have paid more attention to the only thing they had that could compete with the Asian imports. I do feel the reason this Vibe has been such a good reliable car is because it was engineered by Toyota but had the brand continued, it could have had other joint ventures and had a chance to learn how to make all their cars and trucks look less like clunky oversized vehicles with cheap plastic interiors and more like stylish market leaders, like they were in 70's. Too bad. If you have not already done so, go get the recall on the windows fixed. Since I did it is like I have brand new window motors. If you have one of these cars you know, it is just awesome. N


Incredibly Versatile Wagon!

Way back in 2003 I had a disagreement with a salesman at my local Toyota dealer while trying to finalize a deal on a new Matrix, so I walked out in a huff and went to the Pontiac dealer the very next morning... I am so very thankful that I did this! I have put over 78K miles on this car so far and am on my 3rd set of tires. The first set (Continentals) cupped at under 25k miles which made me very nervous, but I replaced them with some Goodyear touring tires (got 45K out of them) then 6 months ago I splurged on some Bridgestone Potenza G019 Grid's and I am in love with my sporty little car all over again! The steering is responsive, the styling is pure Pontiac and yet underneath it all is a Toyota drivetrain that is shared with the Corolla, one of the most reliable vehicles on the road for the past 20+ years! I have used this car for everything - hauling mulch and topsoil (in bags of course!) moving a 50" flat-panel TV, an entire set of wicker patio furniture... as well as many long road trips and it has handled everything that I've thrown at (into?) it so far. Visibility to the front and sides is excellent although there's 2 major blind spots (rear corners) that took some getting used to. I love that the back hatch glass opens independently of the hatch door - something that was sadly not included on the latest incarnation of the Vibe. I would be hard-pressed to find another vehicle on today's market that I would enjoy as much as this one!


Versatile, Reliable and Economical

I have had this car since it was new and it now has about 40,000 miles on it. No repairs except for a side window bolt that had to be tightened. The original Continental tires cupped badly after only 20,000 miles. Michlien replacements have been fine. Gas mileage has averaged about 30 mpg in mixed driving. It could use a little more power, but the engine is always eager to go. My main complaint is noise. Engine noise and road noise. I wish they had put more sound insulation into it. Also, the steering wheel needs more adjustment for a comfortable driving position. I'm about six-two and it is a long reach. Overall, I am very pleased with it except for the noise.


Practicality Meets Versatility

I've had my 2003 Vibe for just over a year, and it's impressed me with how much cargo it can hold, how comfortable it is, how much I can see from the raised sitting position, and basically how much value I get for the money. I have the moons and toons package, meaning powerful sound system and sunroof, which makes driving in the city pleasurable. The gas mileage is also strong, and although pickup isn't what it would be in a car with more horsepower, it does fine for my sometimes aggressive driving. One of the best things about it is how easy it is to park in tight spaces. My last car was a Honda Prelude, and the Vibe is much easier to maneuver into position. The doors open wide, the hatch is useful, and it's all around a comfortable car that just feels right and makes sense for daily living.