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SAFETY | 9 out of 10
Five stars, frontal impact and driver side impact; four stars, passenger side impact
StabiliTrak works in harmony with anti-lock brakes
Road & Track
One major selling point with family-oriented vehicles, a category that definitely includes hatchback/wagons such as the 2009 Pontiac Vibe, is their safety record. In this regard, the 2009 Pontiac Vibe has a leg up on nearly all its competitors, as its safety features and crash ratings are well above average.
While the IIHS has not yet had a chance to test the 2009 Pontiac Vibe, the government has conducted its full battery of crash tests and issued a glowing endorsement of this 2009 Pontiac. The NHTSA reports that the Pontiac Vibe earned a perfect five-star rating in both front impact tests, as well as five stars for the driver side-impact test. The only blemish on this 2009 Pontiac's record is in the passenger side-impact category, where it still earned a respectable four out of five stars.
In addition to the crash-test ratings from the NHTSA, the Detroit News rates this 2009 Pontiac's safety features as "excellent," and other reviews read by TheCarConnection.com agree. According to Cars.com, these features include "antilock brakes, side-impact airbags for the front seats, side curtain airbags, an electronic stability system, and active head restraints for the front seats." Road & Track gives two thumbs-up to Pontiac's decision to add "traction control and steering inputs to help keep the driver in control in adverse road conditions like rain or ice" to the 2009 Pontiac Vibe. Furthermore, Kelley Blue Book notes that the standard safety equipment includes OnStar and a "tire-pressure monitoring system."
So far this section may seem like a pretty rousing endorsement of the Pontiac Vibe 2009's safety rating, and while there's a lot to praise on this vehicle, there is also one drawback worth noting. What prevents this 2009 Pontiac from achieving a perfect safety score is its shape, which compromises rearward visibility. In particular, ConsumerGuide reports that visibility is "generally good, but view aft [is] compromised by thick pillars." Unfortunately, Pontiac doesn't offer any sort of parking or rearview assistance system to help mitigate this problem.
Despite the visibility issue, the 2009 Pontiac Vibe is one of the safest vehicles in its class.