This is my second Vibe, first was a 2003. The car is truly a jack of all trades. While not particularly great at any one thing, I can't think of another car that can do all the things the Vibe can (ex...
This is my second Vibe, first was a 2003. The car is truly a jack of all trades. While not particularly great at any one thing, I can't think of another car that can do all the things the Vibe can (except for the Toyota Matrix of course, but it loses a few points in the exterior styling department). This car is my cargo van, pickup truck, recreational vehicle, commuter car, reliable transportation, and tow vehicle, all rolled into one. One day, I need to make a service call for my business, I load up two ladders on the roof, fold the back seats and front passenger seat flat, fill it up with tools, tie them down with the built-in heavy duty tie downs, and go! The next day, gotta make a sales call out of town, put the seats back up, take the ladders down, and now I have a respectable looking car that I can drive 60 miles without burning too much fuel. Later that night, maybe dinner out with the wife. Next day, throw the mountain bikes in the back and head for the hills. Day after that, hitch up my 16' fiberglass boat and go fishing. And then maybe some kayaking later on, kayak on the roof. Gotta pick up a new washing machine on the way home, big screen TV, no problem! Can you think of another car that can do all of this SO WELL, and still look good doing it??
Reliability is phenomenal, parts are cheap and readily available from Toyota if the local Pontiac dealer doesn't exist anymore!
Don't get me wrong, the car is not perfect. The 1.8L version is SLOW (I have the 2.4 this time around, much better for darting in and out of traffic). Fuel tank is tiny (especially on the AWD model), so lots of gas station stops, but the fillups are cheap. Fun to drive, but it's definitely not a sports car. Comfortable, but definitely not a luxury car. Fuel economy is better than a truck or van, but not up to par to similar sized 4 cylinder cars. But hey, for this kind of money, again I can't think of a vehicle that can replace so many others and still look good doing it. And it even has a 110v household AC outlet in the dash!
I prefer the Vibe over the Matrix simply due to the styling. The Vibe looks like an adult could drive it, while the Matrix looks like it was designed for either a 16 year old wannabe street racer (09 and newer), or a 95 year old widow (08 and older). Interior and everything else about the car is virtually identical, so to each his own.
Either way, if you need a truck, van, and a small fuel efficient family car at the same time, but can only afford one car, there aren't many choices on the market. This is one to strongly consider. Drive the 1.8 AND the 2.4 before buying, and stay away from AWD unless you REALLY need it (like you live in Alaska or up state NY or something), as the reduced size fuel tank, reduced fuel economy, and increased repair and maintenance costs aren't worth it for 1 or 2 snow days a year.
(And unfortunately cars.com didn't have an option for "ALL OF THE ABOVE" under "Primary use of this car", I just picked one at random. The real answer is all of the above, which is really the best reason to buy a Vibe)