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#6

in 2009 Affordable Small Cars

Avg. Price Paid: $8,293 - $10,611
Original MSRP: $16,100 - $20,875
MPG: 21 City / 28 Hwy
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2009 Pontiac Vibe Interior

This interior review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.

The 2009 Pontiac Vibe's interior is a complete overhaul, including more space behind rear seats for cargo. What hasn't changed is the abundance of headroom thanks to the car's tall roofline and the driver-centric instrument panel. Overall, reviewers are pleased with the end result.

  • "The Pontiac Vibe has more interior room, cargo volume and a lower price tag than both the MAZDA3 and Chevy HHR." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Inside, the 2009 Vibe is pleasantly well-executed, with deep-seated sport gauges and metallic finishes giving the cockpit a more upscale look and feel than you might have expected." -- The Car Connection
  • "The Vibe's interior has an effortless simplicity that makes it easy to navigate. The controls are simple and useful, which is a welcome change from the button overload I've experienced in many cars lately." -- Mother Proof
  • "The interior retrains its driver-oriented layout and design, though now updated with easier-to-use controls, better materials and improved fit and finish." -- Edmunds

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Front Seats

Auto experts were more impressed with the visibility from the Vibe's front row than they were with the seating. Some say the headroom is not as accommodating as rear rows; others say there's not enough bolstering for sportier driving. 

  • "The Vibe's upright nature provides five-passengers accommodations a more commanding view of the road." -- Edmunds
  • "Cockpit-inspired cabin design imparts a slightly closed-in feel. Legroom is good, but headroom is cramped on models equipped with a sunroof." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Perhaps you don't feel bumps because the seats are soooo soft -- too soft because the bolsters tend to flatten out in aggressive maneuvers, doing little to hold you in place." -- Chicago Tribune

Rear Seats

The Vibe's rear seating receives favorable reviews. Most writers describe it as comfortable for a variety of ages and sizes. 

  • "The rear seats are vast and roomy." -- Car and Driver
  • "There's ample head- and legroom even for adult-size rear passengers." -- Edmunds
  • "The roof line is so high that little ones probably could stand without hitting their melons against it, yet an adult on a trip of any duration will fidget trying to find a place for their knees." -- Chicago Tribune 

Interior Features

Pontiac's web site is secretive concerning the Vibe's standard features list, and reviewers don't have exuberant praise or scorn for what's offered.

  • "As in Matrix, the interior is dominated by hard-plastic surfaces. ... Gauges are buried in tunnel-like housings, and their red markings can be difficult to read in some light conditions. Climate-control dials move with coarse resistance." -- Consumer Guide
  • "My teenager immediately noticed the car's backseat amenities. Of course there was the requisite auxiliary jack, but it was the 110-volt outlet -- where he could easily plug in his electronics -- that really caught his eye." -- Mother Proof
  • "The IP and the center stack are simple and ergonomically bang on. The large HVAC controls can be operated while you're wearing gloves, and the Toyota-derived wiper and signal stalks move with silky precision." -- Car and Driver
  • "Where the Toyota Matrix can be had with an in-dash navigation system, the Pontiac Vibe just has a little blue OnStar button that connects you with a nice person who can tell you how to get where you are going. ... As we didn't have someone else in the car, the OnStar representative read out the directions and had OnStar record his recitation so we could access it from the car at any time. This kind of navigationi help just doesn't stand up to a GPS system with maps." -- CNET

Cargo

The 2009 Vibe's 20 cubic feet of cargo space with rear seats up stretches to 49.1 cubic feet once rear seats are folded, which are generous dimensions to most of the automotive press.

  • "The front-passenger seatback, as well as the rear seatbacks, fold flat should you want to carry a small ladder or even a kayak." -- Dallas Morning News
  • "With minor cursing, we stowed a bike back there. Plus, the right-front seatback folds flat, creating even more valuable space." -- Car and Driver
  • "One clever addition to the new model is the folding cargo dividers in the floor of the cargo area. They flip up to create neat storage bins, complete with nets and hooks for grocery bags, and fold away flat when not in use. In addition, there is a second in-floor storage bin suitable for wet items." -- Edmunds
  • "The cargo area also has hooks in the sidewalls to hold grocery bags and a handy plastic divider that lifts from the floor to create compartments for milk, groceries or gym bag. Nice touch, but it would be even nicer if removable for easy loading/unloading." -- Chicago Tribune

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