The Pontiac Vibe had a short production run from 2002 until 2009. Based on the same concept as the Toyota Matrix, the Vibe was discontinued in 2009 along with the Pontiac brand. As it left the market, the Buick Verano, a compact car set to debut for the 2012 model year, is poised to take the Vibe's place. The Vibe, however, was a compact four-door hatchback that looked similar to a small sport utility vehicle.
Beneath the hood of the second-generation Vibe was a base model 1.8-liter I4 engine that produced 132 horsepower, which could be upgraded to a 2.4-liter I4 engine that produced 158 horsepower. For the duration of its production, the Pontiac Vibe was assembled in Fremont, California, and was considered one of the most fuel-efficient cars in North America that was produced by General Motors. The first generation had the highest power rating because of its 1.8-liter 2ZZ-GEI4 engine that produced 164 horsepower.
Because the Pontiac Vibe was only produced for seven years, it spent a limited time on the market and evolved for only two generations. Each year offered two engine sizes and three transmissions. The first generation provided a 6-speed manual, whereas the second generation offered a less powerful engine and dropped the 6-speed option. Regardless, the 2.4-liter engine of the 2009 year was still powerful enough for carrying small but heavy cargo.
The earliest Vibes were more powerful than the second-generation models, and the 2007 year brought a new look to the front end. Further modification of the second generation produced a Vibe in 2009 with a new fascia that consisted of redesigned headlamps and grille. In addition, the interior was increased to a cargo area of 30-inches wide. A computerized traction control was added to the second generation, along with anti-lock brakes. The 2009-2010 models were sleeker than the previous versions due to the lack of a luggage rack on the roof.
NADAGuide.com gave the 2009 Pontiac Vibe first place as the Top Crossover Under $21,000. Hybrid Car Reviews named the Vibe as part of its 104 Most Fuel Efficient Cars for 2009, ranking it 23rd for its 1.8-liter engine with manual transmission and 25th for its automatic version. Edmunds.com rated it in the Top 10 Most Fuel Efficient Cars in 2006, and Kelly Blue Book named the 2009 model in the list of Coolest New Cars Under $18,000.
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