By Cars.com EditorsMay 13, 2009
About the video
Cars.com's Mike Hanley takes a look at the 2009 Pontiac Vibe. It competes with the Toyota Matrix and Dodge Caliber.
(upbeat music) Hi, I'm Mike Henley with cars.com and I'm here with the 2009 Pontiac Vibe. It's Pontiac's mid-size hatchback. And for 2009, it gains more aggressive, exterior styling, a new interior, and a newly available 2.4
liter four cylinder engine. And today I want to show you a little more of what it has to offer. The Vibe is closely related to the Toyota Matrix, but in front it's defined by a Pontiac style twin kidney grill that you can see here. And the design of the car is more upright than before as well. Additional changes include smooth body side styling and restyled rear tail lights. The engine you see here is the 2.4 liter four cylinder that's newly optional for 2009. It makes 158 horsepower. And it's the only engine offered if you choose an all wheel drive Vibe, which is available, and is the model you see here. The all wheel drive Vibes don't have the greatest gas mileage. This model gets 2026 MPG city highway, but if you want better fuel economy, there's the smaller 1.8 liter engine for you. On the inside of the Vibe, you can see the influence the previous model has had on the new interior with the center stack, but on the whole, the look is more integrated and refined than before, which is nice. And you can tell that Pontiac spent attention to detail with the upper portion of the dash and the center console here. The materials are nice and the design comes together pretty well on the whole. Where it seems the Pontiac didn't quite spend as much money on materials is down lower in the dashboard where the material quality seems to drop a little bit. That's probably okay because they spent most of the attention where you're going to be looking most of the time, which is forward and up high on the dashboard. The Vibe's cargo area's finished in a hard plastic surface that should be easy to clean, and it also includes some rubber strips on it that are designed to hold luggage in place. But if you're carrying smaller items like plastic grocery bags, those are still prone to slide around. If you opt for the 2.4 liter four cylinder engine, the Vibe comes with a cargo management system. It's built into the cargo floor and includes dividers to keep cargo in certain places in the space. If you have more stuff than the rear cargo area allows, the Vibe includes a split folding back seat that folds flat with the cargo area floor, and also has the hard plastic and rubber strips that the cargo area does for easy cleanup. If you like the idea of a hatchback, but aren't convinced that one of the small models like the Honda Fit is right for you, you might want to check out the Vibe. It's a little larger than that model, but still gets good gas mileage with the base engine and offers good maneuverability. <v Announcer>For additional information on this car or any other, go to cars.com at our blog Kicking Tires.