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2005 Pontiac Vibe Pros and Cons at TrueDelta: Owner Pros and Cons by ViberDriber

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Reviewed: 2005 Pontiac Vibe

4dr Hatch 126-horsepower 1.8L I4 4-speed automatic FWD

Why the 2005 Pontiac Vibe?

Cargo capacity

Outstanding cargo capacity and extremely flexible. Hidden compartments under rear panel and in rear fenders. Holds much more than you'd expect and the front seat back folds down and has a solid covering so it doesn't get damaged. Handy tie-diown hooks. Roof rails are short so will only handle smaller capacity carriers and no more than 75#.

Fuel economy

Even with a its clunky old 4 speed o/d automatic I consistently get 31-33 mpg on freeways and 27 in town.

Controls and instruments

Well designed dash with critical info in front of you and well-hooded. Real knobs and no touchscreen garbage. Best and easiest to use cruise control of any car with a lever instead of dumb buttons on a steering wheel that you have to look at. Steering column adjust up and down minimally and does not adjust in-out.

Reliability & durability

Absolutely the best, most reliable, and most durable car I've ever had. Only thing that has ever broken is a/c recirculation flap--twice now. Simply don't use it. The plastics are not high grade, but still look good after 11 years and clean up easily.

Front seat support & comfort

Leather seats have been durable and relatively comfortable although no lumbar control, which would have welcomed. Despite some reviews saying driving position is odd, it fits me just fine and I like being able to simply get it--I don't have to climb up as in a SUV and I don't have to get down, as in a sedan. Rear seat room is amazing for such a small car.

Why Not the 2005 Pontiac Vibe?

Powertrain performance

Car could use another 25 hp. It's just too little power to climb hills, even without a load in the car. With a load, climbing hills is constant downshift and high rpm. Otherwise, sufficient for most everyday driving.

Ride smoothness

Although the Vibe handles bigger dips well, it is a harsh ride on rougher surfaces. Everything is transmitted and you can feel every single crack in the road.

Quietness

I made my car bearable by adding sound deadening where I could and adding weatherstrip to the doors to cut down on highway wind noise. But it is noisy. Despite reasonable care in it build quality (for the price), the noise and roughness make it feel crude.

Handling

Handling is lackluster (though very stable) with good amount of understeer but the steering feel is actually very good so you feel very much in control, unlike some of the new cars with electric steering.

Conclusion

Excellent all-purpose, economical vehicle aside from the harsh, noisy ride. Because they are no longer made, great choice as first car for teen or college student.

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