2003 Pontiac VibeEnlarge Photo
Snarky person that I am, I must point out that the blogging software here at FamilyCarGuide.com won't be dropping the Pontiac brand. Long after GM drops that brand, I'll still be here talking about my 2003 Pontiac Vibe GT. My husband managed to snag a demo model from a dealership in Pontiac, Mich. How appropriate. Six years, a move to "the South," and more than 98,000 miles later, I still love my Vibe. It still serves me well as a family vehicle.
The Vibe started out as hubby's car, since he needed something with great gas mileage to make the one-hour-each-way hike to the GM Tech Center in Warren. Since it has a manual transmission, it easily got 35 miles per gallon, even in rush hour traffic. Sure, it didn't have the nice leather interior of his Cadillac Catera, but it was much more fun to drive and liked to visit the pump much less often.
Me, I was driving the Chevy Venture. Don't forget, I fell out of love with the Venture pretty quickly. Although I hadn't been driving a minivan long, I missed driving a vehicle instead of feeling like it was driving me. Or, maybe it's the fact that I'm only five feet tall on a good day. Or, maybe it's that I drove it when we were past the portable crib & honkin'-sized stroller days... I fell in love with the smallness of the Vibe, and utterly impressed with its cargo space. Sure, minivans have big windows, but I never truly felt like I could see all around any minivan I drove. I was simply done with my minivan days.
I simply wanted to drive a vehicle that was agile and capable. One that responds when you stomp on the accelerator. It's simply fun to drive, and that's how I see Pontiac vehicles. Fun. They usually look good, too. Sometimes, like the Fiero, they don't perform, but they still look good. And until the Vibe, I thought "fun" and "functional" couldn't exist in the same vehicle. At least, not when you have kids to cart around with all their stuff. The Vibe was the first vehicle to change that for me.
So, when my Pontiac Vibe finally rolls into its own little grave yard, what vehicle will I consider next? Of course, there's rumor that GM will pursue another joint venture with Toyota, which is how we got the Vibe in the first place. And I'm sure there will be some new, cool stuff coming. But, if I had to choose now, it would be the Mazda 5. Check out the review on TheCarConnection.com, and come back soon for my review. The Mazda 5 holds great promise for families, and is poised to be the perfect foil for families that need to replace a minivan, but are sick of the hulking size.
Want to learn more about the Pontiac Vibe? Check out the review of the 2009 model on AllSmallCars.com.