bought base model 5 spd MT new in 9-04. 30 mpg,city/hwy. as high as 34 mpg hwy. factory tires fine in dry/rain. useless in 1" snow. bought 4 snow tires. MUCH better. goes through several inches of snow. if it gets 12" deep, FORGET IT. (fwd model) only problems, fuel pump at 60,000 and intermittent hard starting when engine is still warm. wait 20 seconds with key still on and try again. may take 2 or 3 attempts. may idle rough for several seconds. i use my gears for braking when possible. still have factory brakes at 119,000. all in all, car is great! runs smooth and no leaks, overheating, ect. handling is great and it fits in small parking spots.
handling and mpg
intermittent starting issue. i have read others with same.
I love love love this car. This is by far the best auto purchase I have ever made. My husband and I both have one and love it. It is very reliable and nice on the pocket book. It is a little small if you have small kids with lots of stuff.
manual transmission lets you drive for mileage: I consistently average above 36mpg. Large amount of interior space that is very flexible to configure with the 60/40 fold down seats. Rock solid reliability (it's a Toyota). No repairs other than routine maintenance at 50K miles.
Wagon packaging, vast interior space with great flexibility. Excellent mileage possible if driven properly.
I purchased the vibe a few months ago. I totally loved the toyota matrix and then I realized the vibe is very similar and much more affordable.
The spacious interior.
I do not like the hesitation when it starts. I took it in to be checked and dealer mechanic could not identity problem. I wish I knew why it does that. It only does it sometimes, not every time I turn it on.
My Vibe is a great little car, my first ever new car. I wanted a car with great gas mileage that would fit a 6' ladder, and was made in America. I like the fact that the Vibe drive-train and engine are made in a joint-venture with Toyota, which gave me more confidence in the car's performance over the long term. I want to drive this car for 200,000 miles, like I did with my 1990 Honda Civic. The Vibe consistently gets good mileage, has been nearly maintenance free for the first 50,000 miles, and still looks great. It seems slow when it's loaded with 4 large passengers and going up a hill at 55 mph, but I can punch the accelerator and it will suck more gas and move right up the hill.
Mileage is good. Seats are comfortable. Dog (Golden Retriever) fits well in the back end. Easy to see all around. Feel pretty safe in it. I sit up higher than subcompact cars. More headroom than subcompact cars.
Dull finish on dashboard material collects dust and doesn't clean up very well with water. Get gas mileage up to 40 mpg, at least as a consumer choice, or overdrive.