The 2008 Pontiac Vibe is one of the better vehicles in the Pontiac line-up. It offers consumers a great mix of practicality and styling without breaking the bank. The Vibe made its debut five years ago, and although it is beginning to show some wrinkles, this old wagon still outclasses some of the competition. The Vibe has the benefit of great mechanics. It is built on the Toyota Matrix platform and has a Toyota interior build. Like most Pontiacs, the Vibe suffers a bit from an inadequate interior design, but it still manages to feel comfortable. It also looks smaller than much of the competition. A shorter wheelbase means the Vibe is great for city driving and is easy to park in small spaces.
Body Styles: compact wagon
Engines: 1.8-liter four-cylinder
Transmissions: five-speed manual, four-speed automatic
Models: Pontiac Vibe
No changes are made to the Pontiac Vibe in the 2008 model year.
The Pontiac Vibe is a four-door hatchback wagon. The compact body size is a bit smaller than your typical wagon design, making it much easier to park in the city than other wagon styles. It comes with 16-inch wheels. An available Sun and Sound Package adds a sunroof. Seventeen-inch alloy wheels are offered as an optional feature. A monochromatic color scheme is available as part of the Sport package.
The interior of the Pontiac Vibe is a bit better than some of the other Pontiac models on the market. Chrome surrounded instruments on the center console add a lot of class. The controls are simple and easy to use. The climate and stereo controls are very intuitive.
Even though the Pontiac Vibe is very compact, there is plenty of room for tall and large passengers. The back bench seat has a 60/40-split and folds completely flat. When folded flat, there are 54 cubic feet of space for cargo. The front passenger seat also folds, allowing for more storage space if necessary. The interior bits and pieces are very well built and durable, not something drivers would readily associate with Pontiac; this is due to sourced parts from Toyota.
Standard features include air-conditioning, CD player, and tilt steering. The Preferred package includes power accessories, cruise control, and keyless entry. The Sun and Sound package includes and upgraded audio system. Other optional features include OnStar, leather steering wheel, satellite radio, and an in-dash six-CD changer.
Performance & Handling
The 2008 Pontiac Vibe only has one engine option, a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 126 horsepower. The engine has two transmission options: a five-speed manual and a four-speed automatic. The engine receives better acceleration when mated with the five-speed automatic, as long as drivers push the engine past 4000 rpm. Satisfaction is still fine with the four-speed automatic. The engine is a bit noisy when pushed to its limits.
This isn’t the most entertaining ride on the market, but the Pontiac Vibe will get you from one place to the next comfortably. The body roll is minimal when thrown into a turn and the turns are alright as well. The ride quality is very smooth and kind, making the Vibe a decent choice for those looking for a kiddie wagon or a practical hauling vehicle. Even on the freeway, the Vibe is controlled. Drivers may expect the engine to sound a bit weedy, but it handles itself just fine.
The 2008 Pontiac Vibe has many of the latest safety features, as long as drivers are willing to shell out on optional items. The Vibe offers front seat side airbags, side curtain airbags, stability control, and anti-lock brakes, but all of these items are optional. The NHTSA gave the Pontiac Vibe a perfect five-star rating for front offset impact for driver and four stars for the front passenger. The Vibe received five stars for side impact as long as the vehicle was equipped with the optional side airbags.
EPA Fuel Economy
Pontiac Vibe: 26/33 mpg city/highway
- Roomy back area
- Storage space
- Great fuel economy
- Toyota powertrain and interior
You Won't Like
- Extra safety features all optional
- Ho-hum acceleration quality
Still a great choice as a wagon for the family.
If You Like This Vehicle
- Chevrolet HHR
- Dodge Caliber
- Mazda MAZDA3
- Scion xB