2009 Pontiac Vibe Review

The 2009 Pontiac Vibe surpasses many 2009 small cars thanks to its versatile interior and great gas mileage. However, uninspiring performance lowers the Vibe’s appeal.  

Pros & Cons

  • Available all-wheel drive
  • Roomy rear seats
  • Above-average safety score
  • Few standard interior features
  • Uninspiring performance




Critics' Rating: 8.0
Performance: 7.1
Interior: 7.6
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.4
Safety: 9.4
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2009 Pontiac Vibe Overview

If practicality is important, a used 2009 Pontiac Vibe could be perfect for you. It has above-average safety scores. It also has a comfortable five-seat cabin with plenty of leftover room for cargo. All-wheel drive is also available, which is rare in this class.

The Vibe has great fuel economy ratings of 26/32 mpg city/highway, considering it seats five comfortably and can carry a lot of stuff. However, reviewers weren’t enthused with its performance, which they characterized as competent, but bland. Though the base 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine has acceptable power, reviewers preferred the additional power from the 2.4-liter engine.

The Vibe’s list of standard interior features is mediocre. The base model comes with a four-speaker stereo with an auxiliary input jack and satellite radio, but there’s no air conditioning. Upper trims offer air conditioning, cruise control, steering-wheel mounted audio controls, an upgraded stereo and leather seats. The Vibe does come standard with electronic stability control and electronic brake-force distribution, which aren’t standard in many 2009 small cars.

Despite its mundane performance, the 2009 Pontiac Vibe has plenty of cabin space, class-leading safety features and good fuel economy ratings. 

See the full 2009 Pontiac Vibe specs »

Other Cars to Consider

The 2009 Hyundai Elantra isn’t a hatchback, but it’s one of the most spacious small sedans you can get. Reviewers praised its roomy rear seats, and were impressed with its ample trunk space. The Elantra has a nicer interior than the Vibe and was the 2009 U.S. News Best Compact Car for the Money. However, the Vibe edges out the Elantra with better safety scores. 

The highly-ranked 2009 Honda Fit is a compact car with an impressive amount of interior space, including a large, versatile cargo area. The Fit has class-leading safety ratings. When it was new, the 2009 Fit earned our 2009 Best Subcompact Car for the Money award.

Compare the Vibe to the Elantra and Fit »

Best 2009 Compact Cars

  • #1

    2009 Scion xB

    $4,633 - $5,859 AVG. PAID

    You can only compare 3 cars at a time.
  • #2

    2009 Scion tC

    $4,383 - $5,935 AVG. PAID

    You can only compare 3 cars at a time.
  • #5

    2009 Pontiac Vibe

    $5,713 - $6,809 AVG. PAID

    You can only compare 3 cars at a time.
See the full 2009 Compact Cars rankings »

Find the Best Price

Enter your zip code to get local pricing.

Get Dealer Quotes

To get dealer quotes, enter your zip code.

Search Used Listings

To search used listings, enter your zip code.

Change Location

Enter your zip code to see listings near you.

Please enter a valid zipcode

Vibe Shoppers Should Also Consider...

Scion xB 2009 2009 Scion xB

#1 in 2009 Compact Cars

Scion tC 2009 2009 Scion tC

#2 in 2009 Compact Cars

Toyota Prius 2009 2009 Toyota Prius

#2 in 2009 Compact Cars

Hyundai Elantra 2009 2009 Hyundai Elantra

#4 in 2009 Compact Cars

Best Price Program

Interested in a New?

Use the U.S. News Best Price Program to find great deals and get upfront pricing on the.