The Pontiac Vibe's compact dimensions, versatile interior, and good fuel economy make it a handy, nimble, economical runabout. However, a flawed driving position and a boomy engine detract.
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
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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
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2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
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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's compact dimensions, versatile interior, and good fuel economy make it a handy, nimble, economical runabout. However, a flawed driving position and a boomy engine detract.

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 2006 Pontiac Vibe owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Paint/Trim

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

What Owners Say

Loose exterior trim or moldings

"The logo has fallen off, and I had to glue it back on, but the car was previously wrecked"

Anonymous, WA (2006 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"plastic rivets on door trim breaks and leads to trim catching on high curbs"

Jo F., TX (2006 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"Where the air flows over surface of car the paint is chipping off. I think the primer is failing. Taking to dealer"

Barry Z., TX (2006 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"paint missing because of rust above windshield"

Anonymous, MN (2006 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"paint began peeling off around the bumper and front nose piece"

Brady S., AB (2006 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"clear coat is cracking and pealing on drivers side"

Anonymous, WA (2006 Pontiac Vibe 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"Some paint is peeling"

Anonymous, VA (2006 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"Paint on roof fading due to exposure"

Jo F., TX (2006 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
Rust

"Paint is chipping off on hood and rest of car. I think the primer is failing, it just started in last 6 mo's. The hood is rusting where paint chipped off"

Barry Z., TX (2006 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"Starting rust in several areas just above windshield and sun roof"

Anonymous, MN (2006 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

Climate System

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

What Owners Say

A/C compressor

"A/C stopped working suddenly about 9 months ago. Told at dealer that it needed a new compressor, which I then had them install. A/C has worked fine since"

Anonymous, PA (2006 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"The AC has broken twice. It's inconvenient because Virginia is very hot in the summer. Both fixes were relatively simple, but cost a few hundred dollars"

Thomas T., VA (2006 Pontiac Vibe 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"Air compressor failed, which seemed early given the low mileage"

Anonymous, NM (2006 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"AC stopped working, compressor stopped turning"

Benson H., BC (2006 Pontiac Vibe GT 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"blower comes on depending on the location of the airflow... makes a small banging noise, the is annoying... does not make the noise in all airflow positions on the dial"

Anonymous, PA (2006 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
Refrigerant leaks

"had the refrigerant charged, and a few months later, it is like I never recharged it"

Goran L., CA (2006 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
Electrical failure

"the resistor network for the blower control failed"

Mark P., IL (2006 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
Heater system

"Cannot turn off recycle air system"

Everett W., CA (2006 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)

"replaced right front cv shaft & front catalytic converter assembly"

Lisa G., NY (2006 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"Check engine light has been on forever, unit needs a new "charcoal canister" which costs $300. Not sure if this causes any problem to vehicle and have not addressed it"

Steven B., IA (2006 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
Fuel cap

"fuel cap needed to be replaced"

Anonymous, OR (2006 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"Check engine light came on. Dealer told me the sensor was faulty and replaced it"

Anonymous, NY (2006 Pontiac Vibe 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"Check engine light came on and required replacement of several sensors"

Anonymous, PA (2006 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"downstream o2 sensor wiring corroded at sensor under car"

Larry C., NS (2006 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

"The driver's side door check broke, in half, twice. First replacement found at a wrecking yard. It's still broken"

Anonymous, WA (2006 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"Window regulator an motor had to be replaced. Very common problem reported. Understood before I purchased"

Travis G., IL (2006 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"Drivers window sounds like metal is hitting it when it is opening.It sounds like it will break, but it hasn't yet"

Anonymous, MI (2006 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
Heated or cooled seat controls

"There is an actuator motor that controls the fresh air intake that is well known problem. Shops charge 300 to fix. I did it without removing the dash and took apart the actuator and rotated the gear 90 degrees to fix. Common failure"

Travis G., IL (2006 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"passenger seat up and back control was stuck and had to be taken apart and cleaned up"

Anonymous, VA (2006 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

"It skips. But this is the first year it's done that so I can't complain"

Robert G., IN (2006 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
Display screen goes blank

"It bothers me that I have no clock radio dash display and to have it fixed is costly as I was told The dash has to be taken apart to put in new lights display"

Fred D., BC (2006 Pontiac Vibe 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"It's just irritating. The clock went dark. I know I've had it forever, but it's not replaceable at any kind of reasonable cost. There's a YouTube hack because it's a common problem, but I'm too old and too tired to even attempt that. I'll stick a cheapie digital clock on the dash before I'd do that"

Robert G., IN (2006 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"it worked well but then the radio kept scanning and would not stop..there is static on the radio that makes it hard to understand"

Robert D., NY (2006 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
Display screen difficult to see

"Only fix for this is to replace the head unit entirely"

James M., ON (2006 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

"Loses about a quart every 1500 miles"

Patrick M., OK (2006 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"Timing chain housing leaking where it mounts to front of engine"

Anonymous, IL (2006 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
Engine computer

"Replaced .Recall 10282-PCM"

Martin S., ON (2006 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"The dealer says we need a part, but they can't get it in"

Anonymous, MI (2006 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

Calipers

"The caliper in the left front wheel began to stick a couple of weeks ago. I replaced it myself with a rebuilt caliper from AutoZone. This was the first time I had to spend money for anything other than maintenance; at nearly 124K miles!"

Harry P., PA (2006 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"Caliper failed causing uneven and sudden wear of pads requiring new calipers and rotors"

Michael F., CA (2006 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
Parking brake

"Cable rusted causing left rear brake shoes to rub on the drum"

Anonymous, MI (2006 Pontiac Vibe 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
Premature brake wear

"See explanation of other brake issue"

Jerald W., MI (2006 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

Exhaust

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

What Owners Say

Exhaust leaks

"The exhaust system rusted out and was replace from front to back completely"

Anonymous, NY (2006 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"Pipe failure between engine and muffler"

David B., NH (2006 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"Check engine light comes on and have tried to address issue which seems to be related to the upper and downstream O2 sensors. Other than that, car runs fine"

Jo F., TX (2006 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
Catalytic converter

"check engine light came on. repair shop said cat. converter needed replaced. Confirmed by dealer"

Jim R., OH (2006 Pontiac Vibe Base 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

"Backlights in radio fail making it difficult to read the clock and radio during the day"

Steven B., IA (2006 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
Gauges

"lighting on gauges, radio, clock and dash controls comes and goes. getting any of it repaired seems to be beyond the ability of the local service departments"

Anonymous, ON (2006 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
Interior lights

"radio clock dash lights have not worked the last 50000km to costly to fix. the speed odometer quit at 299000km"

Fred D., BC (2006 Pontiac Vibe 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

"I've had a slight water leak by the front passenger seat. It's not a ton of water--just a slight drip, but it's noticeable and needs to be fixed"

Thomas T., VA (2006 Pontiac Vibe 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"Sunroof leak, drainage hose connection was loose and came off causing an interior leak"

Anonymous, IN (2006 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"Front right of dash has been a rattle from day one. Known issue and no one has found a fix apparently"

James M., ON (2006 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

"rubber boot was starting to leak fluid"

Brady S., AB (2006 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"One of the front shock broke. I changed both front shocks"

Jocelin G., QC (2006 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
Wheel bearings

"Left front wheel bering failed prematurely"

Earl F., CT (2006 Pontiac Vibe 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

"We swapped out the alternator as a precaution for a recurring dead battery. Even with new one, problem of dead battery persists, so it's in the shop right now being checked out"

Anonymous, NY (2006 Pontiac Vibe 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
Battery (not hybrid or electric)

"Battery mysteriously keeps going dead. Replaced battery, but same issue. Replaced alternator, same issue. Currently at the shop getting looked at. Other than that, no complaints - love this car!"

Anonymous, NY (2006 Pontiac Vibe 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
Spark plugs or wires failure

"the wrong spark plugs were put in the car causing a check engine light. the wrong heat range caused the check engine light"

Robert D., NY (2006 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.

What Owners Say

Differential

"Oil leak"

Anonymous, SK (2006 Pontiac Vibe Base 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

Cylinder head

"Valve tappets require adjustment which can only be done at a dealer"

Anonymous, AL (2006 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

Engine Cooling

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

Transmission Minor

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

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