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Pontiac Vibe AWD Review

2009 Pontiac Vibe AWD MPG-o-Matic Pontiac Vibe AWD Review Summary: The 2009 Pontiac Vibe AWD is one of the most affordable and thrifty AWD cars sold in America. The Vibe shares its underpinnings with the Toyota Matrix. Both the Vibe and Matrix are built in the same Fremont, CA auto plant.

If you’re looking for a small all-wheel-drive vehicle with unique styling, the 2009 Pontiac Vibe AWD just might be playing your tune.


The AWD Vibe’s 2.4-liter Toyota engine produces 158 horsepower (HP) and 162 foot pounds of torque. The inline VVT-I four is exclusively mated to a four-speed automatic transmission. Unfortunately, a manual transmission is not available in the AWD Vibe.

The official mileage estimates for the 2009 Vibe AWD are 20 city / 26 highway miles per gallon (MPG).

We rolled up well over 500 miles on our Liquid Platinum review unit and were able to scoot past the official estimates, with an average of 32.2 MPG on the Interstate highway and 24.2 MPG combined. The Vibe does well when driven with a light foot at highway speeds. Conscientious driving with the cruise control off pays off handsomely.

Vibe AWD Highway MPG Testing
Cruise control on @ 68 MPH – 31.1 MPG
Cruise control off, target speed between 60-72 MPH – 34.0 MPG

(Test period temperatures ranged from the forties through the fifties.)

While the Vibe AWD isn’t a speed demon, it has enough punch to make that highway merge, with a power band that comes to life in the neighborhood of four thousand RPM.

Although it’s one of the most fuel-efficient all-wheel-drive vehicles we’ve tested, the Vibe lacks both an average and an instant fuel economy display. If you’re keen on getting the best gas mileage, you’ll want to turn to the aftermarket for a device like the ScanGaugeII or AutoMeter EcoMeter to provide instant feedback on fuel consumption. By adding one of these gauges, you’ll learn how to most effectively lighten your right foot and get the most out of every gallon.

The Vibe’s interior is comfortable for four adults, but the front seats lack lumbar support and heated surfaces. We’d like to see both available as an option.

The standard audio system includes XM Satellite Radio and a dash-mounted audio input jack. There is no USB support.

There’s a single 12-volt outlet at the base of the dash, along with a handy 115-volt 3-prong household style electrical outlet.

The versatile cargo area with fold flat rear seats is one of the Vibe’s best attributes. With the rear seats down, the Vibe provides 49.4 cubic feet of cargo capacity.

All-in-all, the Pontiac Vibe AWD is a worthy contender in the entry-level all-wheel-drive five door market, with a comfortable interior, plenty of cargo space, and respectable fuel economy.

Parts Content Information:
U.S./Canadian parts content: 61%
Major source of foreign parts content: Japan – 39%

Final Assembly Point:
Fremont, California
U.S.A.

Country of Origin:
Engine – Japan
Transmission – Japan

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2 comments ↓

#1 Bobby on 08.05.09 at 10:41 am

The EcoMeter does not have either the Vibe or the Matrix listed as a compatible vehicle.

#2 helen on 03.13.11 at 6:09 pm

why ws the pontiac vibe 2006 sold to me as a pontic when I was told it is a toyoya>??????

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