The Vibe's 1.8-liter four-cylinder drones loudly and performs modestly.
GT models use a stronger version of this engine and come only with a six-speed manual.
Handling is fairly nimble and the ride is compliant -- if a little jittery.
Access is very easy, the rear seat is quite roomy, but the driving position is only so-so.
The optional AWD system works well, but hurts acceleration and fuel economy.
Folding the rear seats creates a large, flat load floor.
Overall, this is a sensible alternative to a small SUV.
Stability control became available in 2005, but may be difficult to find.