2009 Pontiac Vibe

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22 CITY / 29 HWY
Overall Quality
Overall Performance and Design
Predicted Reliability


What Changed for 2009:
  • Second-generation model
  • Four-door hatchback body style
  • Four-model lineup, including return of sporty GT
  • Seating for 5
  • New styling inside and out
  • Front- or all-wheel drive (FWD or AWD)
  • Choice of two 4-cylinder engines
  • New 5-speed automatic with tap-shift controls (base or GT)
  • Standard 6 air bags, stability & traction control, tire-pressure monitor, ABS
  • Available in first quarter 2008
Pontiac released the Vibe in mid 2002 as a 2003 model. Offered only as a compact 4-door hatchback, the first-generation Vibe shared its basic design with the Toyota Matrix. It was originally offered with a choice of 130- or 180-hp 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engines and FWD or AWD. AWD and the high-horsepower engine were dropped for the 2007 model year.

Just as Toyota redesigned the Matrix and released it in early 2008 as a 2009 model, Pontiac is doing the same with the Vibe. Compared to the previous model, the 2009 Vibe is one inch shorter and one inch lower, and it has a slightly wider track (the distance between the center of the wheels on the same axle). Pontiac says this makes the second-generation Vibe handle better than its predecessor. A 1.8-liter engine returns, and it is joined for 2009 by a new high-output 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine. Available AWD also returns. The 2009 Vibe is still offered as a hatchback, but Pontiac calls it a crossover utility vehicle. The rear seats fold down to create a rear cargo area with 49.4 cubic feet of space.

Model Lineup
The 2009 Pontiac Vibe is offered in four models: the base Vibe 1.8L, Vibe 2.4L, Vibe AWD model and the sporty Vibe GT. Standard features on the base model include cloth upholstery; 4-speaker AM/FM/CD stereo with XM satellite radio and auxiliary input jack; power windows, doors and mirrors; tilt/telescoping steering wheel; 6-way adjustable driver's seat; 115-volt power outlet; GM's OnStar telematics; 60/40 split second-row seat; pop-up rear cargo organizer; and P205/55R16 tires on steel wheels with hubcaps. Optional for the base model are a 320-watt, 7-speaker Monsoon audio system; a fold-flat front passenger seat; a sunroof; fog lights; and P215/45R17 tires on aluminum wheels.

The AWD model adds a roof rack, fold-flat front passenger seat, AWD, and available 17-inch machine-faced aluminum or chrome-cladded aluminum wheels. Standard features on the GT include the 320-watt, 7-speaker Monsoon audio system; leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob; leather upholstery; and P215/45R18 all-season performance tires on 18-inch aluminum wheels. The GT can also be distinguished by its larger fog lamps, larger lower front fascia air intake, rocker panel moldings, roof spoiler and bright exhaust tip.

Power for the 2009 Pontiac Vibe comes from a choice of two Toyota-sourced, 16-valve 4-cylinder engines. The base model gets a new aluminum dual-overhead cam 1.8-liter engine with dual variable valve timing with intelligence (VVT-i). It makes 132 hp at 6000 rpm and 128 lb.-ft. of torque at 4400 rpm. It's mated to a standard 5-speed manual transmission or an optional 4-speed automatic transmission.

Optional for the base model and standard for the others is the aluminum DOHC 2.4-liter VVT-i ) 4-cylinder engine that is also used in the Toyota Camry. In the Vibe, it makes 158 hp at 6000 rpm and 162 lb.-ft. of torque at 4000 rpm. Base and GT models with the 2.4-liter engine come standard with a 5-speed manual transmission or an optional 5-speed automatic transmission. The latter has Pontiac's Driver Shift Control, which allows the driver to choose gears via a manual shiftgate. A 4-speed automatic is the only transmission offered with the AWD model. Fuel economy numbers range from 26 mpg city/32 mpg highway for the 1.8-liter engine with the manual transmission (26 mpg city/31 mpg highway for the automatic transmission), to 21 mpg city/28 mpg highway for the 2.4-liter engine with a manual transmission (21 mpg city/29 mpg highway for the automatic transmission), to 20 mpg city/26 mpg highway for the AWD model. Pontiac says the GT model is capable of an 8.4-second 0-to-60 mph run.

The Vibe shares its unibody architecture with the Toyota Matrix, and is derived from the Toyota Corolla. It has an independent front suspension with MacPherson struts and coil springs. The base model comes with what Pontiac calls a semi-independent torsion beam rear suspension with a trailing link, coil springs and a stabilizer bar. GT and AWD models have a multi-link independent double wishbone rear suspension.

The Vibe's new AWD system uses an electronically controlled viscous coupeing. In normal conditions, most of the power is routed through the front wheels, but it can send as much as 60 percent of the power to the rear.

Standard safety features on the 2009 Pontiac Vibe include six air bags (dual-stage front air bags with passenger-seat occupant sensor, head-protecting curtain side air bags, torso-protecting front side air bags); active head restraints; daytime running lamps; tire-pressure monitor; 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes (ABS); traction control, and electronic stability control.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the 2009 Pontiac Vibe receives 5 stars (the agency's highest rating) in frontal crash testing for both driver and front passenger, as well as a 5-star side-impact score for front occupants and 4-star side-impact score for rear-seat occupants. The Vibe receives 4 stars for rollover resistance in FWD or AWD. As of this writing, the Vibe has not yet been crash tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

Every 2009 Pontiac Vibe features XM radio standard for three months. The standard audio system on all but GT is an AM/FM stereo with CD player, seek-and-scan, digital clock, Radio Data System, Theftlock, programmable equalizer and auxiliary input jack for iPod/MP3 player, and 4 speakers. The standard GT audio system (optional on other models) adds MP3 playback. Also standard on GT is a Monsoon 7-speaker system with 120 watts, amplifier and subwoofer.

OnStar services (accident assistance, automatic notification of air bag deployment, emergency services, remote door unlock, roadside assistance, stolen vehicle location assistance and vehicle diagnostics) are also standard for one year on all 2009 Pontiac Vibe models.

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  • Name w/1SA (4dr HB FWD) Transmission Automatic w/Driver Shift Control MSRP 16100.00 Engine 1.8L/110 City/Hwy MPG 26/31
  • Name GT (4dr HB FWD) Transmission Automatic w/Driver Shift Control MSRP 20875.00 Engine 2.4L/144 City/Hwy MPG 21/29
  • Name 4dr HB AWD Transmission Automatic w/OD MSRP 20475.00 Engine 2.4L/144 City/Hwy MPG 20/26
  • Name w/1SB (4dr HB FWD) Transmission Automatic w/Driver Shift Control MSRP 16495.00 Engine 2.4L/144 City/Hwy MPG 21/29
  • Seats, Front bucket with Cloth includes vertical adjustable outboard head restraints
  • Heater, outside air with fan (Does not include air conditioning)
  • Antenna, roof-mounted
  • Seats, rear 60/40 split-bench, flat-folding with 3 vertical adjust head restraints
  • Seat adjuster, driver manual height
  • Head restraints, front seats, active and 3-position rear
  • Console, floor with storage, cup holders and armrest
  • Floor mats, color-keyed carpeted front and rear
  • Steering wheel, 3-spoke
  • Steering column, rake, adjustable and telescoping
  • Instrumentation, analog, includes speedometer, tachometer, trip odometer, engine temperature, fuel gauge, outside temperature display, chrome accented and warning system for front passenger safety belts, ignition key, headlamps on and door ajar
  • Windows, manual
  • Door locks, front manual
  • Vents, rear heat
  • Defogger, rear-window electric with front and side window outlets for the driver and front passenger
  • Power outlet, 3-prong, household-style on instrument panel, 115-volt, 100-watt, 1-amp
  • Mirror, inside rearview, manual day/night with OnStar buttons
  • Lighting, interior with cargo area light
  • Lighting, interior illuminated entry with delay
  • Storage, floor, dual-stage cargo box, floor storage with adjustable partitions, center instrument panel storage and fold-down coin holder, 4 rear cargo tie-downs, front door map pockets with beverage holders, rear beverage holders, oversized glove box with an integrated shelf and rear cargo storage box
  • Visors, driver and front passenger vanity mirrors includes drivers side pamphlet holder
  • Assist handles, 2 driver and front passenger and 2 rear outboard with coat hooks
  • Tire Pressure Monitoring System
  • Seats, Front Sport bucket with Leather-accented seating includes GT embroidery and vertical adjustable outboard head restraints
  • Air conditioning, single-zone manual with air filtration system
  • Seat, front passenger flat-folding seatback with rear table surface and vertical adjust head restraint
  • Steering wheel, leather-wrapped with audio controls
  • Windows, power
  • Door locks, power (manual transmission)
  • Door locks, power (automatic transmission)
  • Cruise control
  • Remote Keyless Entry
  • Vents, rear HVAC
  • Shift knob, leather-wrapped
  • Rear cargo storage system
  • Wheels, 16" (40.6 cm) steel with bolt-on wheel covers
  • Tires, P205/55R16 all-season, blackwall
  • Headlamps, halogen composite with automatic exterior lamp control and flash-to-pass feature
  • Mirrors, outside power-adjustable, body-color
  • Glass, Solar-Ray light-tinted
  • Wipers, front and rear intermittent with pulse washers and non-variable delay
  • Liftgate, rear with glass
  • Wheels, 18" (45.7 cm) bright machine-faced aluminum with painted inserts
  • Tires, P215/45R18 all-season, blackwall
  • Spoiler, rear
  • Fog lamps, front halogen
  • Wipers, front and rear intermittent, variable with washer
  • Luggage rack, roof-mounted with center rails
  • Engine, 1.8L Variable Valve Timing intelligence 4-cylinder (132 HP [98.4 kW] @ 6000 rpm, 128 lb.-ft. [178.2 N-m] @ 4400 rpm)
  • Transmission, 5-speed manual
  • Front wheel drive
  • Suspension, front independent, rear torsion beam with front and rear stabilizer bar
  • Suspension, Ride and Handling
  • Steering, power, rack-and-pinion
  • Brakes, 4-wheel antilock, 4-wheel disc
  • Exhaust, stainless-steel
  • Engine, 2.4L Variable Valve Timing intelligence 4-cylinder (158 HP [117.8 kW] @ 6000 rpm, 162 lb.-ft. [218.7 N-m] @ 4000 rpm)
  • Suspension, front independent, rear double wishbone with front and rear stabilizer bar
  • Suspension, Sport
  • Exhaust outlet, stainless-steel with chrome-plated Sport tip
  • Transmission, 4-speed automatic, electronically controlled with overdrive
  • All wheel drive
    • StabiliTrak, vehicle stability enhancement system
    • Daytime Running Lamps
    • Air bags, dual-stage frontal and side-impact, driver and front passenger and head-curtain and seat-mounted side-impact, front and rear outboard seating positions with Passenger Sensing System (Head curtain side air bags are designed to help reduce the risk of head and neck injuries to front and rear seat occupants on the near side of certain side-impact collisions. Always use safety belts and the correct child restraints for your childs age and size. Even in vehicles equipped with air bags and the Passenger Sensing System, children are safer when properly secured in a rear seat. Never place a rear-facing infant restraint in the front seat of any vehicle equipped with an active frontal air bag. See the vehicles Owners Manual and child safety seat instructions
    • OnStar, 1-year of Safe and Sound plan. (Includes Automatic Crash Notification, Automatic Notification of Air Bag Deployment, Stolen Vehicle Location Assistance, a link to all Emergency Services, Roadside Assistance, Remote Door Unlock (if equipped), Hands-Free Calling and Remote Horn & Lights (OnStar services require vehicle electrical system (including battery), wireless service and GPS satellite signals to be available and operating for features to function properly. OnStar acts as a link to existing emergency service providers. Stolen Vehicle Location Assistance and Remote Door Unlock success varies with conditions. OnStar Vehicle Diagnostics available on most 2004 MY and newer GM vehicles. Diagnostic capability varies by model. Visit onstar.com or call 1
    • Safety belts, 3-point, driver and front passenger, height-adjustable with pretensioners and load limiters
    • Safety belts, 3-point, rear, all seating positions with center position lap belt and head restraints
    • Door locks, rear child security
    • LATCH system (Lower Anchors and Top tethers for CHildren), for child safety seats in the 3 rear seating positions
    • Audio system, AM/FM stereo with CD player seek-and-scan, digital clock, Radio Data System (RDS), TheftLock and programmable equalizer
    • Audio system feature, 4-speaker system
    • XM Radio. XM Radio includes 3 trial months of service. XM turns your world on with commercial-free music channels from Rock to Jazz, Country to Classical, Latin Pop to Hip Hop, and virtually everything in between, all in amazing digital sound. Turn on your favorite Sports with every Major League Baseball game from Opening Day until the World Series, NHL Hockey, the PGA TOUR and college football and basketball. Plus XM brings you the biggest names in news and talk, outrageous comedy, award-winning family programming -- wherever you go from coast to coast. Exclusive live concerts, Oprah and Friends, Radio Disney, and so much more. Find what turns you on. (Available only in the 48 contiguous United States. Required $12.95 monthly subscription sold separately af
    • Audio system, AM/FM stereo with CD player and MP3 playback seek-and-scan, digital clock, Radio Data System (RDS), TheftLock and programmable equalizer
    • Audio system feature, Monsoon 7-speaker system 320-watt with amplifier and subwoofer

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