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 4 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'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
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
Engines Available
  • 1.8-liter 4 (126 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2008 Pontiac Vibe owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Brakes

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

What Owners Say

Calipers

"Right Caliper seized. Had to be replaced"

Anonymous, ON (2008 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
Rotors

"Cheap rotors are not worth it. Warp easily"

Anonymous, VT (2008 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"The rotors needed replacement. The noise and vibration stopped immediately after we replaced the rotors"

Paul B., ON (2008 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"warped"

Michael F., PA (2008 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"rotors warped & had to be replaced. Still quite a bit of pad left, but replaced them also"

David S., IA (2008 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"Rotors went prematurely. Mechanic said was from poor driving habits"

Alison M., TX (2008 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

"passenger door panel became loose"

Anonymous, CA (2008 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
Rust

"Rear hatch door blow the wiper. Rust Through about a quarter sized hole. Started behind black rubber molding"

Anonymous, ON (2008 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"Spots on roof near windshield"

Anonymous, QC (2008 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling)

"Paint is peeling off of he front edge of the cars engine hood"

L S., WI (2008 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

Keyless entry

"Actuators in both driver side doors failed"

Anonymous, WI (2008 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
Gauges

"Tachometer has to warm up before it will give a correct reading. Bounces between 0 and 80000 RPM. No evidence that the engine is running anything but normal speeds"

Judith R., MI (2008 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
Headlights

"Replaced 2 low beam lamps which I consider average for year and mileage"

W B., SC (2008 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
Interior lights

"Light behind "temperature" control knob of heating/cooling is out. Told I would have to replace entire unit, at great expense to fix"

Judith R., MI (2008 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

Clutch replacement

"Original dealership was very unsure how to replace this transmission....took a long time(2weeks) and was expensive($4000)"

Anonymous, MI (2008 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"Due to high mileage, clutch was worn out and it was time to have it replaced"

Anonymous, NH (2008 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"worn out"

K R., VT (2008 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
Transmission rebuild or replacement

"Loss of power to drive train"

Anonymous, MI (2008 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

Squeaks or rattles

"Under dash rattle,I can not find, and in the rear interior area"

Anonymous, MN (2008 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"Has developed severe squeaks and rattles in interior rear and dashboard; also, has had excessive wind {road} noise since new"

Dale H., NC (2008 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"Fuel tank guard is poorly attached. It seperates and bangs on the exhaust pipe"

Dan O., ON (2008 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
Air or water leaks

"Intake gasket leaked and the check engine light came on. Replaced the gasket and all was fine"

Anonymous, OH (2008 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

Heater system

"Heater worked intermittently, then only at lower settings, then stopped working"

Maciej W., ON (2008 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"Pin hole leaks in the AC unit. Cost 800 to fix"

Kate S., WI (2008 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"Refrigerant low. Could not find source of leak. Refilled. Doing ok"

Anonymous, MN (2008 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
Electrical failure

"It was a control that controlled the damper from defrost to dash and floor outlets"

Gene P., NE (2008 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

Shocks or struts

"Replace struts on four corners. cost $1100"

Anonymous, IA (2008 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"Worn out"

K R., VT (2008 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
Power steering leaks

"slow leak of fluid"

Anonymous, MI (2008 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)

"Evaporative emission control system needs repair. Estimated cost $500.00"

Anonymous, IA (2008 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"Evaporative canister needed to be replaced"

Anonymous, CT (2008 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

Exhaust

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

What Owners Say

Catalytic converter

"had to be replaced because it was part of the pipe that failed"

Anonymous, QC (2008 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
Pipes

"long stretch of pipe needed to be replaced between exhaust manifold and muffler"

Anonymous, QC (2008 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

"Accepts CDs but does not play them"

Charles S., CA (2008 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"no longer plays or ejects the CD"

Anonymous, CA (2008 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

Engine Cooling

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

What Owners Say

Water pump

"Water pump needed replacement"

Anonymous, CT (2008 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

Engine Minor

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

Drive System

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

Transmission Minor

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

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

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.

Engine Major

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

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