The Pontiac Vibe offers a lot of room and many SUV virtues, such as a slightly higher driving position, easy access, and optional AWD. You'll find a compliant ride, fairly nimble handling, and effective brakes. Notable shortcomings are a flawed driving position and a noisy engine. Overall, the Vibe is a good practical alternatives to a small SUV.
Alerts
There are 5 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
0 to 60 mph 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit,
Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.

Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
NA
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
NA
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
NA
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
NA
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
NA
Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
Safety Equipment
ABS and side air bags available, standard from 2009. ESC available from 2005, standard from 2009. Head protection air bags available from 2006, standard from 2009.
Road Test

The Pontiac Vibe offers a lot of room and many SUV virtues, such as a slightly higher driving position, easy access, and optional AWD. You'll find a compliant ride, fairly nimble handling, and effective brakes. Notable shortcomings are a flawed driving position and a noisy engine. Overall, the Vibe is a good practical alternatives to a small SUV.

Seating
2 front, 3 rear
Drive Wheels
AWD , Front
Warranty

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
wagon
Transmissions Available
  • 5-speed Manual
  • 4-speed Automatic
  • 6-speed Manual
Engines Available
  • 1.8-liter 4 (126 hp)
  • 1.8-liter 4 (164 hp)
  • 1.8-liter 4 (118 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2005 Pontiac Vibe owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

"Air conditioning did not work and AC compressor needed to be replaced"

Anonymous, WI (2005 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"needed recharge"

Anonymous, NH (2005 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"compressor replaced and flurium added"

Anonymous, ON (2005 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"1st time was covered under extended warranty which owner purchased. After about a yr & a half, compressor failed again. But due to mileage??, was no longer covered under warranty. Since we reside in Rochester, figured for 6 weeks of summer could liv"

Elaine E., NY (2005 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"wore out and started leakngi"

Anonymous, FL (2005 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"The motor quit and had to be replaced"

Anonymous, MO (2005 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"Noisy, doesn't work at all speeds"

Anonymous, OH (2005 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"The fan only works on high, and when it does come on it very noisy"

Dominick C., CT (2005 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"Motor sometimes won't start. Can be restarted by a kick behind the glove compartment"

Anonymous, MD (2005 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"Only worked on high setting. Had motor replaced. $250"

Douglas L., IL (2005 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"The blower motor failed in the car and had to be replaced. This made a noise and meant that the air conditioning would not work properly until it was replaced"

Anonymous, MD (2005 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"Expansion valve failing, buried under dash, costly removal, $1400"

David F., TX (2005 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"Condenser leaked - required replacement"

Anonymous, MA (2005 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
Electrical failure

"Wiring failed. had to replace several interconnects"

Trent H., TX (2005 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

What Owners Say

Catalytic converter

"Worn out"

Anonymous, KY (2005 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"Service engine light stays on"

Anonymous, OH (2005 Pontiac Vibe 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"Gasket between the catalytic converter and the header was leaking"

David R., MB (2005 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
Loose/rattling heat shield

"Heat shield fell down causing minor muffler damage which was repaired. A new heat shield was installed"

Anonymous, OH (2005 Pontiac Vibe 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"While on the highway had the rattling noise. The heat shield was loose because of a corroded bolt. Easily fixed back home"

Keith O., IL (2005 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"Screws holding shield in place rusted thru .Drilled new holes and installed stainless screws"

Anonymous, OH (2005 Pontiac Vibe 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"All original pipes had to be replaced but not the muffler"

Anonymous, RI (2005 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"Rusted out joint fitting"

Anonymous, KY (2005 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"Rusted"

Anonymous, NY (2005 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"The pipe over the rear suspension.Cost $40.00 to repair"

Anonymous, OH (2005 Pontiac Vibe 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"PIPES RUSTED BEFORE MUFFLER"

William W., PA (2005 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"Developed hole near V pipe"

Anonymous, MD (2005 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

What Owners Say

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling)

"Clear Coat peeling from front bumper, fenders, and good"

Anonymous, IA (2005 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"Faded red paint on car required repainting the roof and tailgate. Car is kept outside"

Charles T., CA (2005 Pontiac Vibe GT 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"Paint on roof is cracked and white; despite being parked most of the time in carport. Small areas of the hood also have serious paint deterioriation.... cannot be buffed out or waxed away"

Anonymous, NM (2005 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"Clear coat finish started peeling on the rear lift hatch, then spread to roof, then to the hood, and finally the body clearcoat os starting to peel away"

Anonymous, TX (2005 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"The paint on the roof started fading and chalking first. The hood has now started to fade and chalk as well"

Benjamin P., FL (2005 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"some pittng and paint fadng due to Florida sun exposureii"

Anonymous, FL (2005 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"clear coat peeling,red color fading on rear"

David F., TX (2005 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"The fender linings under the car became ripped. Made of cheap fiber plastic. $400 to repair at a body shop"

George W., NJ (2005 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"The paint on the roof has faded and given way to rust. The entire roof is now covered in rust"

Benjamin P., FL (2005 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"-Rust on the top just above the windshield -Rust under the door handles on the rear doors"

Anonymous, QC (2005 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

Seals and/or weather-stripping

"weather striping is failing, old, needs replaced. No water leaks just air, not a full seal"

Anonymous, IL (2005 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"Seal around moon roof failed"

Russell B., PA (2005 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
Squeaks or rattles

"just in general more squeaks and rattles"

Anonymous, IL (2005 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"Some muffled knocking noises coming from the back wheels -- mechanic assures me it's not an issue -- and also something vibrating/rattling inside the door post between driver door and rear passenger door"

Anonymous, CT (2005 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"Exhaust panel Heat protection b?ne loose. fixes with tie rap"

Anonymous, QC (2005 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"Rattle in dash. Unable to resolve"

Anonymous, SK (2005 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"drivers side door sounds like not sealed, noise from wind loud"

Olivia B., VA (2005 Pontiac Vibe 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
Air or water leaks

"water leaks at front upper side pillar of passenger seat.side"

Frank M., ON (2005 Pontiac Vibe 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"water leaking into cabin when air conditioning used"

Olivia B., VA (2005 Pontiac Vibe 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

Tire pressure monitor

"Tire pressure monitor light doesn't ever go out, despite air pressure. Sensor must be bad"

Anonymous, NJ (2005 Pontiac Vibe 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
Clock

"One of the lights behind the clock is out"

Anonymous, MA (2005 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
Headlights

"problem in general with lights and all electrical systems - various"

Anonymous, PA (2005 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"Had to replace the front right headlight"

Anonymous, HI (2005 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"The headlights need to be replaced with a relatively high frequency"

Anonymous, FL (2005 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
Exterior lights (other than headlights)

"The tail lights sometimes don't come on right away. They sometime take up to an hour to come on after you switch them on. When they don't come on some of the dash lights also don't come on. When the dash lights come on the tail lights also come on"

Dominick C., CT (2005 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"Front roof light doesn't work"

Anonymous, MA (2005 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"the dash lights have been intermittent even after 2 repairs by dealer"

Anonymous, CT (2005 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
Wiper motor or washer

"failed/shorted out from moisture"

Jeffery T., MI (2005 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

What Owners Say

Emission control devices (includes EGR)

"Check engine light came on though the car ran normally. Had the problem fixed ($300+) and the light went off, but I'm not sure exactly what was wrong"

Anonymous, WI (2005 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"Check Engine was on and had diagnostics run by a repair shop. About $800 to repair"

Anonymous, OH (2005 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
Sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor)

"gas emission cannister valve"

Anonymous, PA (2005 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"Every time weather turns cold, I get a CEL P0171 code"

Anonymous, NC (2005 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"Emissions light comes on but the dealer does not know why"

John R., AB (2005 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"Engine light came on, code indicated O2 sensor not working. Both were replaced but engine light stayed on. ECC replaced, but light still stays on. Mileage has been reduced as a result and engine tends to be rough as it idles too slowly (<500 rpm)"

Anonymous, SK (2005 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"It leaked"

Anonymous, MA (2005 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
Fuel pump

"It appears some valves in fuel system are sticking, giving a false CEL P0456 code"

Anonymous, NC (2005 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

"Replaced rotors while completing a complete front brake service for vibration"

Greg C., NS (2005 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"Uneven wear resulting in vibration upon heavy application of brakes"

Roy A., CO (2005 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
Calipers

"one caliper was sticking. also, had to replace the tie rods on one side due to siezure/rust"

Anonymous, NJ (2005 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"grinding noise indicated lining(s) worn down"

Anonymous, MA (2005 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"I had to replace the brake pads, even though they were not completely worn due to vibration form non dealer provided product"

Greg C., NS (2005 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"repacing brake pads"

Anonymous, ON (2005 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"Parking brake was ineffective"

Anonymous, ON (2005 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

CD player

"Cd player started reacting erratically, making noise Cd became locked in the player and would not eject the CD-CD player is now in operable"

Anonymous, MI (2005 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
Display screen difficult to see

"hard to see in direct sunlight"

Anonymous, TX (2005 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
Display screen goes blank

"no USble info displayed, replaced with after market unit"

Anonymous, TX (2005 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"Radio display plus time of day when blank"

John R., AB (2005 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"The radio stopped bringing in stations unless they were very close. Ultimately the problem was diagnosed as a failed antenna cable"

Anonymous, NC (2005 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"Display not working"

Stanley K., MD (2005 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

Clutch replacement

"Required replacement at about 130000 miles"

Stan S., FL (2005 Pontiac Vibe 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"clutch slipping need replacement"

Anonymous, CT (2005 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"Wore out, started slipping, was replaced"

Anonymous, GA (2005 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

What Owners Say

Alternator

"Not sure if the battery or the alternator had the problem first, only that one killed the other driving from TX to Chicago. Had to jump it to start, a few hours later we slowed down on the freeway and all the lights turned off and the car was dead"

Anonymous, CA (2005 Pontiac Vibe 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"In TX weather the cable attached to the battery would build up with acid and lost contact with the battery. We had to saw it off to replace it with a new one. I think TX weather was a factor"

Anonymous, CA (2005 Pontiac Vibe 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
Electronic ignition

"It had an engine control module recall. Took it to the dealer and he replaced the module. 20,000 miles later it was diagnosed as defective. I called the Gm dealer and his statement was that he would replace it for $450.00. I had an independent mechan"

Bill W., GA (2005 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

What Owners Say

Doors or sliding doors

"Window track sometimes get misaligned. Door swings out when opening... driver's door retention spring broke"

Anonymous, NM (2005 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
Glass defects

"crack in windshield started small grew until whole windsheild was ctacked-replaced"

Anonymous, MI (2005 Pontiac Vibe GT 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
Windows

"power window switch failed -replaced"

Anonymous, MI (2005 Pontiac Vibe GT 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

What Owners Say

Transmission computer

"PCM failed. Unit was recalled and fixed for free by dealer"

Derek C., MN (2005 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
Transmission sensor or solenoid

"Pressure control solenoid shorted out and had to be replaced for about $500"

Derek C., MN (2005 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

Steering wheel vibration

"Problem just occurred due to excessive vibration in steering wheel that does not appear to be a tire balance issue. I am having this checked tomorrow"

Anonymous, RI (2005 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
Wheel bearings

"Right front wheel bearing had been noisy for several years. Thought it was a tire problem until the tires were changed and the noise remained"

Anonymous, AL (2005 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

What Owners Say

Cooling fan

"The cooling fan needed to be replaced. Oddly, it was cheaper (and easier) to replace the whole assembly, rather than just the fan motor itself"

Anonymous, FL (2005 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

What Owners Say

Oil leaks

"Seals around the timing belt had to be replaced. $750"

Joseph G., OH (2005 Pontiac Vibe GT 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

What Owners Say

Engine rebuild or replacement

"bought used @ about 70K miles - there was metal chucks and sludge in the oil"

Anonymous, PA (2005 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

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