2005 Pontiac Vibe - Any Issues?

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Greetings,
My wife is purchasing a 2005 Pontiac Vibe with the 1.8L VVT-i 4 cylinder motor and automatic transmission. It is the "middle of the road" in trim
levels. The car has 18,000 miles on it (it was built in 2004 as a 2005 model) and she will be the second owner.
My question is are there any known issues with this vehicle, motor or transmission that would make us think twice about this purchase? I have been through this vehicle from tire tread to roof rack and it is in excellent shape. I have also read many reviews of this vehicle dating back to it's introduction in 2003 and a great many folks absolutely rave about it.
Thanks for any sage words of wisdom.
Cheers - Jonathan
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I have nothing more than a Consumers Report evaluation on this car, but it is given rather high marks. It is said to be the twin of the Toyota Matrix, which is again built on the Corolla.
Since it is really a Toyota, I would think it should be pretty fair.
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Not only that, but it is built by the Nummi (http://www.nummi.com /) company, a GM/Toyota partnership that makes the Corolla, Tacoma and Vibe. The Vibe is built in California and the Matrix is built in Ontario by Toyota but share all major components. Like HLS said, the Vibe/Matrix is built on the Corolla platform, sharing all drive train and suspension components.
Steve
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We visited a Pontiac dealership and a Toyota dealership today. The Vibe and the Matrix are certainly very similar, but we noticed a pretty significant price difference, in favor of the Matrix (which really surprised me). The base Vibe we drove was stickered at $19,015.00. It came with a "preferred package" (cruise, keyless entry, power locks/windows and the "premium monotone appearance package" plus the auto trans. It was base otherwise.
The Matrix stickered for 19,700.00, but came with (IMO) way more than $700.00 worth of options over the Vibe, including ABS, sunroof, 6 disc CD, alloy wheels. It may also have had side curtain airbags, but I don't recall for sure.
I realize that there is probably more room to dicker on the Pontiac, so actual sales price might make up the difference.
The other thing was that the Toyota sales person claimed that GM "cheapened" the Vibe by removing various reinforcements/beams in the door and roof, implying that it was less safe than the Matrix. Of course, that was coming from the Toyota person, so take I take that with a grain of salt.
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Here in Waterloo Ontario the same company owns both the Pontiac franchise and the Toyota franchise.
They sell a LOT more Matrix than Vibe.
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I thought Pontiac was Scherer (sp?) and Toyota was Heffner?
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On Sat, 08 Oct 2005 01:09:41 GMT, "Steve Mackie"

You are talking KITCHENER. And Scherrer is only one - Stedelbauer is also Pontiac. In Waterloo,Chev is Schleuter and Pontiac is Forbes - and Forbes bought Waterloo Toyota from Paul Volz at least 3 years ago. I used to be service manager at Waterloo Toyota many years back (right up 'till they moved into the building at Northfield and Colby)
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Oh yes, more or less across from Mazda, and I didn't even know Stedelbaur was in Waterloo.
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That's odd since the Vibe sells at rate twice that of the Matrix. In any event you must compare the total drive home price, NOT the selling price, to determine which is best for your budget. Nobody pays MSRP. Fore example an interest rate of one percent more will add far more than $700 to your total drive home price.
mike hunt
wrote:

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Even though it cost less to build the same basic car in Canada, the Vibe has the advantage of being less expensive to acquire. The vehicles are packaged differently and many buyers tend to compare them only by the MSRP. The Vibe has a lower MSRP, than a Matrix with the SAME equipment, however. Pontiac dealers offer greater discounts, much lower interest rates and are less likely than Toyota dealers to add those high profit dealer installed 'options' On average, if one is financing the vehicle, they can save between two and three thousand dollars in the total drive home price with a Pontiac brand on the hood of their Matrix. That is one reason Pontiac sell more Vibes than Toyota sells Martix' Another advantage to consider is GM pays federal corporate incomes taxes on the profit it earns in the US, Toyota does not pay ANY US corporate income taxes on the profits it earns in the US. ;)
mike hunt

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Actually, I don't think GM will be paying much in the way of income taxes given the money they are losing.
Please substantiate your statement that Toyota pays no income tax in the U.S. on cars sold here. I don't claim it's not true (I easily visualize a situation where there is a reciprocal agreement that Japanese corporations pay Japanese tax on cars sold in the U.S. and U.S. corporations pay U.S. taxes on profits from products sold in Japan. Not sure if that's true, though.)
In any case, all those U.S. workers, managers, salesman, etc. etc. that build , sell, service Toyotas in the U.S. do pay income taxes here.
Anyway, the corporate income tax is a bad idea. Taxes should be paid at the level of the share-holder (on dividends and capitol gains), as they, indeed, are, and not a second time at the corporate level, as they also are in the U.S.

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Indeed all those U.S. workers, managers, salesman, etc. that build, (actually mostly only assemble) sell, service Toyotas in the U.S. pay income taxes here and so do all those higher paid workers for domestistics. Manufactures that actually make cars is the US of mostly US parts, not merely assemble them in the US of mostly imported parts as does Toyota. A search of the IRS site will show Toyota has never paid any US corporate income taxes. Domestics pay millions. GM has been profitable to date, they had a loss in only one quarter. Not only do they pay federal income taxes, shareholders pay taxes on the portion of that same income when it is distributed to them as dividends.
mike hunt
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A fair statement. Each and every worker is paying taxes...

I challenge you to post 2 links: one for toyota motor corporation and one for GM. I believe the US subsidiaries of foreign corps pay corporate income taxes; however, *I* cannot find on the IRS site any way to search by individual companies.
>Domestics pay millions.
Besides, it's not like Toyota, Honda, etc. are getting a free ride. They're paying Japanese taxes on corporate earnings anyway.

As do buyers of Toyota Motor Corporation's American Depositary Shares, symbol TM.
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Just out of curiousity, why?
If a company (of course, I'm assuming you buy into the current idea behind our tax structure - that the government gets their share of profits...)
Anyway, if a company makes a profit, why shouldn't they pay an income tax. Is it just that the company shouldn't pay a tax, OR is it that you believe it should be paid at the capital gains level?? IF so, I would agree IF 100% of all corportate income taxes were distributed as capital gains -- which, of course, they are not. J
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drain plugs are rubber about the size of a silver dollar, or larger.
On Thu, 06 Oct 2005 23:35:12 GMT, "Steve Mackie"

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Perhaps you might want to consider a new 2005 left over, with no mileage? On can only guess why the previous owner no longer wanted that particular vehicle.
mike hunt

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Good point. Sometimes 'program cars' with low mileage like that can save you a ton of money are are good buys.
I think it is imperative nowadays that you check the history of any used car you might consider buying. Katrina and Rita left a bunch of used cars in deep water and some of them are going to filter out to the public.
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I was referring to leftovers, new cars with no mileage. Cars still in stock at the dealerships that earn an extra 5% discount from the manufacture as of the date the new models are introduced. Program cars are used cars as well but were never titled. Those used by the manufactures road reps and the like. Some dealers would like buyer believe that lease returns are program cars, but they too are simply used cars with miles, not left overs.
mike hunt

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Jonathan wrote:

I have a 2005 Vib4, manual 5 speed. Love it. The only thing that I would change is the ride is a little stiff for the washboard roads we have in Connecticut; But it does ride real sweet on the highway !
Bought it about 3 months ago, and I got a better deal that the Toyota dealer down the street from where I bought the Vibe.
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Jonathan,
In May I bought a well optioned used 2005 Vibe with 14K miles on it for $14K. The car was perfect, and had been a rent car in Dallas. My wife and I have been very happy with it. The only problem so far was the radio that ate my wife's Lennon CD. The Pontiac dealer replaced the radio free of charge, but the Lennon CD was gone.
If I were to be a little critical, I have a couple of complaints. As the driver of the Vibe, I want to rest my arms on armrests. The Vibe does not have any. My 99 Dodge Caravan has dual armrests. My brothers PT Cruiser has dual armrests. To me the Vibe has a somewhat awkward driving position which is somewhat fatiguing for long trips. Part of this is the steering wheel position that needs more adjustability like the Mazda 3, and of course the lack of armrests. My arms get pretty tired after a while.
All in all, for a city commuter car, the Vibe is hard to beat. I'll take the PT Cruiser any day on a long trip.
Regards, Jim

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