The Pontiac Vibe is an entry-level hatchback wagon aimed at youthful buyers but suitable for families and retirees too. Launched in 2003, it is produced at New United Motor Manufacturing Inc. in Fremont, California.
The 2004 Pontiac Vibe is part of the first generation of Pontiac Vibes, which were manufactured from 2003 to 2006. It is available in three versions: an all-wheel-drive mid-trim, a sportier and more powerful GT, and an economical base trim. In 2005, Pontiac restyled the front fascia to look more like the Pontiac Solstice. The 2004 Pontiac Vibe has a front grille that bears a similarity to the discontinued Pontiac Aztek.
Body Styles: hatchback
Engines: 173-hp 1.8-liter four-cylinder, 123-hp 1.8-liter four-cylinder, 130-hp 1.8-liter four-cylinder
Transmissions: six-speed manual with overdrive, five-speed manual with overdrive, four-speed automatic with overdrive
Models: Pontiac Vibe front-wheel drive, Pontiac Vibe all-wheel drive, Pontiac Vibe GT
The 2004 Pontiac Vibe is one of the earliest models of the first generation. Basic features include a luggage roof rack, standard 17-inch tires, and an impressive fuel economy. The Pontiac Vibe GT can get 27 mpg, even when driven hard. One notable upgrade of the 2004 edition is the inclusion of an XM Satellite Radio, a missing feature in the earlier Pontiac Vibe crossovers. Consumers can also opt for the 2004 Pontiac Vibe in the new, bright Fusion Orange.
The 2004 Pontiac Vibe features an appropriate crossover design. At first glance, it is difficult to determine if the vehicle is a car, wagon, or sport-utility vehicle. Basic styling cues suggest a midsize SUV, with the Pontiac GT leaning more towards a sports car in styling. The Pontiac Vibe slightly resembles the Pontiac Aztek, but with smoother lines.
The 2004 Pontiac Vibe has a distinctive roofline with a standard luggage roof rack. The vehicle also features a twin-port grille, recessed fog lamps, and a vented front fascia. The rear lift gate has multilayer taillights.
Standard tires on the Pontiac Vibe are 16-inches in diameter, but the Pontiac Vibe GT and some of the base models may have 17-inch tires. The Pontiac Vibe has a 102.4-inch wheelbase, and measures 171.9 inches long and 62.2 inches tall.
Although a little more compact than a standard sedan, the 2004 Pontiac Vibe is still considered a midsize vehicle because of its spacious, 111-cubic-foot interior. It technically seats five people, although seating three adults in the back might be tight. However, the back seat is large enough for two average-sized people to sit comfortably, which is an appealing feature for families. With a cargo capacity of 52 cubic feet when the seats are down, the Vibe provides a surprising amount of storage – especially when combined with the additional 19 cubic feet available on the roof rack, which comes standard with this vehicle. The 2004 Pontiac Vibe also comes with chrome tie-downs to make it easy to transport bicycles or other equipment.
The interior is ergonomic with easy access to instruments like the radio and air conditioner. The vehicle features chrome-trimmed gauges in the cockpit as well as the traditional red Pontiac display. Standard equipment includes a CD player with the option to add on an in-dash six-CD changer and DVD-based navigation system.
Performance & Handling
The base 130-hp, 1.8-liter, four-cylinder 2004 Pontiac Vibe is available with a five-speed manual transmission or four-speed automatic transmission. The all-wheel drive has a slightly lower horsepower of 123 hp. The Pontiac Vibe GT also has a 1.8-liter engine, but it kicks out a higher horsepower of 173 hp. This model comes with a six-speed manual transmission and boasts a smoother drive when running on premium fuel.
The lively, 130-hp engine included in the base model makes driving the Pontiac Vibe a joy, since it has good pick-up and a smooth ride. The sporty Pontiac Vibe GT is equipped with a 180-hp engine churned out from a variable valve system.
Dual front-impact airbags are standard on all models of the 2004 Pontiac Vibe. All-wheel-drive models come with a standard Anti-lock Brake System (ABS). Side mounted airbags and a security system are optional. The Pontiac Vibe GT has all-disc brakes.
EPA Fuel Economy
Pontiac Vibe: 27/34 mpg city/highway
- Good passenger and cargo room
- Sporty styling
- Good fuel economy
You Won't Like
- Loud engine
- Low resale value
A peppy everyday car with an edge.
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