• Aug 15, 2007
UPDATE: Image removed at request of owner.

With the Toyota vs. GM smackdown in full swing, the Vibe/Matrix always seemed inconsistent with the two companies regular practice of beating each other's brains out. The shared models have been popular enough to warrant a second generation, which we should see officially unveiled at the 2008 New York International Auto Show. Cheers and Gears has a bunch of great spy shots from GenVibe member EastBaySaint of the 2009 Vibe nearly devoid of camo, follow the link to see them. What is missing is any semblance of cladding, a change that's been propagating through Pontiac for a while now, and is welcome anywhere it goes.

Toyota power is still underhood, likely in the form of the 2ZR-FE or 2AZ-FE inline four cylinders, offering 136 or 157 horsepower, respectively. Toyota's Valvematic may show up, as well, along with the attendant efficiency gains. The slightly modish lines of the original Vibe have evolved nicely, gaining less anonymous swept-back headlamps but avoiding the other styling convention du jour, fender vents. There's now a dip in the beltline, recalling the G6. The interior, too, has had its elements pulled together in an evolution of the original's design. Every inch of the Vibe has been scrutinized and revised to good effect, and the name may also be nipped and tucked to an alphanumeric to keep up with the rest of its stablemates, possibly being dubbed the G4.

[Source: Cheers and Gears]


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  • 25 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      I was really tired this morning but after reading this I almost...zzzzzZZZZZZZZZZZZ.....
      • 7 Years Ago
      Humm.... I thought that Pontiac was killing all fwd by 2010?
      • 7 Years Ago
      I love my 'zero performance' Matrix XR, it drives just fine for me and on a recent trip of about 3k miles we averaged 37 MPG at between 75-80 MPH (love the Matrix 5th gear ratio), including about 1k miles with 500 pounds of cargo in addition to two passengers and a dog. I've never been as satisfied with a car, and I'm excited to see what refinements have been made in the 2009 model.
      • 7 Years Ago
      It'll be very surprising if this is a major revision, because it seems more like an slight evolution with the only noticeable dashboard change being the two-tier layering over the glovebox and sweeping fluid feel that bumps out the shifter housing a couple inches. More noticed is a revision to the tunnel vision gauge cluster, a flush mount radio, revised climate controls (straight from the Toyota parts bin, ala RAV4 and Scion) and the latest Auris steering wheel.

      The exterior is heavily camouflaged to hide critical design elements, but it looks even more untouched, except for the headlamps and larger Pontiac kidney grille. By all accounts, I was expecting the Matrix/Vibe to look like what I thought its intended replacement was supposed to be: the Auris/Blade. But the Auris has small triangular windows immediately behind the side mirrors and its greenhouse is noticeably taller and larger. Color me confused.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Just wait for the Toyota Blade (new Matrix).
      • 7 Years Ago
      since the engine clearly shows Dual VVTI, it is ZR series engine. Most likely 1.8 ZR engine with 136hp (not 2.0).

      Also, it is interesting that you find Pontiac design marks, when both interior and exterior are Toyota designed, including new Auris's steering wheel and shifter.

      :-)
      • 7 Years Ago
      The 1.8L has no feel to it and zero performance. The GM Ecotec 2.2L would be a great fit in this car but sadly GM will probably never use it since it would kill the already dreadful HHR.
        • 7 Years Ago
        No it isn't a "rebadged Toyota". In fact, it was a GM design. Toyota approached GM and not the other way arround. The only thing Toyota brought to the table is the powertrain.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Pontiac couldn't put an Ecotec in the Vibe because it's a Toyota vehicle with a Toyota drivetrain. They can restyle minor cosmetics as much as they like, but in the end it's still a re-badged Toyota.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Dude... this thing is a hatchback Corolla....
      • 7 Years Ago
      Hey Dan Roth!!! Cheers and Gears took these pictures from http://GenVibe.com, where one of GenVibe's members (eastbaysaint) took the pictures. You failed to give credit to where it was due, that's a bad reporting job.
      • 7 Years Ago
      the center console cheezzy look adn feel were the original issue with this car,

      seems they didn't do much there.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Who buys these things?

      nuf` said.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Well, I bought one. I've seen a lot of college kids with them, as well, and they seem to be popular with seniors because they're easy to get in and out of. I see them easily three or four times a day - so it seems that your lack of understanding of the target market is entirely your own.

        They're popular little cars, and for good reason. Roomy for kids, cargo, or whatever you want to haul, space for 5, 33mpg, doesn't look like a SUV but delivers 95% of the advantages for cheaper than a Subaru. That hits a pretty broad sweet spot.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Admittedly I'm a bit biaced since I drive one everyday, but I see them all over the place. I've seen a lot of them in NYC and in PA (Stroudsburg, Wilkes-barre, Scranton for those in the know). Also, going on a road trip to Albuquerque and Santa Fe NM and saw a ton of them along the way.

        I don't know where you live but it's probably in a cave.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Initial speculation had this thing with 2.4L engine, which would be a mistake.

      The big draw of the Matrix/Vibe is decent space with great fuel econ. Hopefully they maintain or even improve that. A 2.4L would completely wreck it.
        • 7 Years Ago
        the big Loser on the vibe/matrix is the 126hp Corolla engine. When you could get it with the 180hp Celica engine (Matrix XR), then it was something to talk about.
        The car needs 140+ at least, 150 to be worthy, with something better as a sport option.
        • 7 Years Ago
        geo:
        Thats your opinion. If you want HP buy a Mazda 3. There is no other car that offers the combination of space/versatility/economy. It is not like this a smart car doing 0-60 in 20 seconds with no interior space.

        It is like an SUV that gets 35mpg. With a totally flat load floor and folding passenger seat, it can carry 8ft loads with the hatch closed and the performance is not that bad. Edmunds tested the Slowest version (Auto, AWD) and it hit 60 in 11 seconds. A five speed with the new 1.8L (136hp) should hit it under 10 seconds, which is fine for a economy minded utility vehicle.

        These things are very popular with high resale value around here. I may get the new version if it stays economical and versatile.
        • 7 Years Ago
        excuse me, the 180hp XRS

        and why you could not get hte AWD with the high end engine, I dont know...
      • 7 Years Ago
      Echoing some previous comments, the only thing that took this car out of contention for me was the lack of safety features. It was hard to find ABS, let alone stabilitrak, and they charged an arm and a leg for the side airbags. If you could find them.

      I hope the engine stays small, too. Vibe/Matrix fuel economy is terrific.
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