2006 Pontiac Vibe Wagon Review | Edmunds.com

2006 Pontiac Vibe Wagon

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Pontiac Vibe Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 1.8 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 164 hp @ 7600 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 22/29 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2006 Pontiac Vibe

  • The 2006 Pontiac Vibe blends performance, practicality and affordability into a tastefully styled, but still fun sport wagon package. Here's one Pontiac that hits its mark.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Comfortable ride, unique features, roomy backseat, versatile cargo area, good gas mileage, available stability control.

  • Cons

    All-wheel-drive version is sluggish, Toyota's version likely to have better resale value.

  • What's New for 2006

    Not much changes for the Pontiac Vibe in 2006. The optional DVD-based navigation system has been discontinued, while leather seating is a new item on the options list.

Full 2006 Pontiac Vibe Review

What's New for 2006

Not much changes for the Pontiac Vibe in 2006. The optional DVD-based navigation system has been discontinued, while leather seating is a new item on the options list.


The Pontiac Vibe blends the handling of a small sedan with the practicality of a five-door hatchback. It's geared toward young buyers who want a stylish, practical vehicle but don't need or want a gas-guzzling SUV. Related to the Toyota Matrix, the Vibe is a jointly developed vehicle that shares most major components with its Japanese cousin.

At just 171 inches long, the Pontiac Vibe is slightly shorter than your typical compact sedan, but its body is taller and wider, which gives it a more spacious and functional interior. The rear seats fold completely flat to open up just over 54 cubic feet of cargo space, while the durable plastic load floor offers adjustable tie-down points via built-in floor tracks. The front-passenger seat also folds flat to function as an impromptu work table for the driver or to aid in loading longer items. Drivers sit higher in the Vibe than in most sedans but not so much as to make entry and exit a chore as in many SUVs.

Red backlit gauges with chrome-trim rings highlight a sharp-looking instrument panel, while the rest of the interior features straightforward climate controls, a well-placed stereo for easy access and even a 115-volt outlet for plugging in electronic devices. The Vibe's sporty looks are backed up by a well-sorted suspension that delivers a comfortable ride around town and responsive handling. Front-wheel drive is the standard layout, but all-wheel drive is available for negotiating the roads during inclement weather. The top-level GT version offers optional 17-inch wheels and tires for the performance-minded buyer in addition to its standard six-speed manual gearbox and peaky 170-hp, four-cylinder engine.

Lesser models make do with a detuned version of the GT's engine -- performance isn't as lively but most buyers will find the power band more user-friendly. Capable competitors like the PT Cruiser, Impreza, and Mazda 3 share many of the Vibe's attributes. The Vibe doesn't quite match any one of those vehicles in its specific areas of expertise, but it does offer a well-rounded package that delivers a little bit of everything without sacrificing practicality or fun. Add in the unique interior features and multiple drivetrain configurations, and the 2006 Pontiac Vibe certainly makes a strong case for itself as an attractive yet practical sport wagon that won't break the bank.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The four-door, five-passenger Pontiac Vibe comes in three levels of trim: base, AWD and GT. Without any options added, all three are pretty frugal in terms of standard features. Every Vibe comes with air conditioning, CD audio, tilt steering and 16-inch wheels (alloys on the GT). Potential buyers should seriously consider getting the Preferred package as it adds power windows, locks and mirrors; cruise control; and keyless entry. There's also a Sun and Sound package with a power sunroof and an upgraded audio system. Order both, and Pontiac will throw in OnStar. For 2006, Pontiac has also made leather seating available as part of a new Premium package. Other Vibe option choices include satellite radio, an exterior-enhancing Sport package and 17-inch alloy wheels.

Powertrains and Performance

The Pontiac Vibe has two different engines available. Base models come with a 1.8-liter, 130-horsepower four-cylinder mated to either a standard five-speed manual or an optional four-speed automatic. All-wheel-drive versions come with the automatic only, and due to different exhaust routing, make just 122 hp. Top-of-the-line GT models get a 170-hp version of the same 1.8-liter four-cylinder and a standard six-speed manual transmission; an automatic is not available on the GT.


Seat-mounted side airbags for front occupants and full-length side curtain airbags are optional across the line. ABS brakes are standard on AWD and GT models, and optional on the base model. GT models also gain standard four-wheel disc brakes. For added security, stability control is offered on base models equipped with the automatic transmission. In governmental crash tests, the Pontiac Vibe earned a perfect five stars in frontal-impact testing, five stars for side impacts involving front occupants and four stars for side impacts involving rear occupants.

Interior Design and Special Features

The Pontiac Vibe features an interior that is both stylish and functional. Chrome-ringed gauges and metallic dash trim spice things up in front, while in back, the 60/40-split bench seat provides roomy accommodations for adult passengers and folds completely flat to create 54.1 cubic feet of usable cargo space. Other useful features include a front-passenger seat that folds flat for carrying extra-long items, a 115-volt AC power outlet for plugging in household devices and a completely flat cargo floor with adjustable tie-down anchors.

Driving Impressions

The Pontiac Vibe offers an elevated driving position that affords a great view of the road, but the ergonomics can be a bit awkward for some. The handling isn't particularly sporty but it is responsive, while the ride quality is smooth and comfortable on a day-to-day basis. Acceleration from the base motor is a bit sluggish, especially with the added weight of the all-wheel-drive system, but the GT is fast for a compact wagon, provided you're willing to take advantage of its higher-strung engine.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

Still going strong

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Pontiac Vibe 4dr Wagon AWD (1.8L 4cyl 4A)

I bought the Pontiac Vibe after reading it was the 2nd least stolen car in the Central Valley of California. We have a bit of a problem with theft here and having seen my neighbors Hondas picked off annually I decided I was going to look for something thieves were not interested in. The Vibe has proved to be a terrific car, and anyone looking to invest in it as a use vehicle I say you won’t regret the choice. The Pontiac Vibe is the sister car to the Toyota Matrix. Take a look inside and you will see the same dashboard in each. There is plenty of headroom and with the speaker sound system I have no complaints

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Still high mileage!

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Pontiac Vibe 4dr Wagon (1.8L 4cyl 5M)

I have owned my Vibe since buying it off the lot in 2006. Over 169,000 miles and it is still averaging 34mpg. Just took a trip and on the first leg of 300 miles at 60 mph I got 44mpg! The next leg of 200 miles at 75mpg 'only' got 35mpg. No equipment problems other than the known PCM issue that was recalled/replaced. Maybe I'm just lucky with Pontiacs. My first car, a brand new Sunbird, is still going at 280,000 miles. I gave it to my nephew 12 years ago, he has beaten the heck out of it but it won't die.

A decent car, no more,

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Pontiac Vibe 4dr Wagon AWD (1.8L 4cyl 4A)

Not the fastest car I have ever had, but not the slowest. Does alright on gas, around 27 mpg by my measurements, but coupled with a very small tank means a lot of stops at the gas station. Interior on the base model is cheap looking, and driving can get uncomfortable after a couple of hours for tall people. All in all, not a bad little go kart, but you can do better.

Vibe 2006 5 speed manual

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Pontiac Vibe 4dr Wagon (1.8L 4cyl 5M)

I bought this car when it had 170 000 km on it, since then (over 2 years ago) I've put on many miles on it (now have 286 000 km). I am very satisfied with the car. I have not put ANY repairs since I've had it other then repainting the top (little bit of rust started). I consistently get between 40 - 44 MPG (Canadian) doing mostly highway (that is about 33 - 36 US MPG). I drive conservative though, I keep it around 100 km/h on highway. I like the exterior of the vibe better then the matrix. The car has good cargo space and when you flip down the seats you get ridiculous amount of room back there, you don't know what your missing until you've had it trust me! Highly recommend!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

My beloved vibe

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Vehicle: 2006 Pontiac Vibe 4dr Wagon AWD (1.8L 4cyl 4A)

I bought my 2006 Vibe new and would still be driving it had it not been totalled on Memorial Day. That car had 110,000 miles on it and I NEVER had any problems with it. It drove beautifully until its last day. It was comfortable and great on gas, held 3 kids and all their stuff, and I smiled every time I approached it. If you get the chance to get one, take it!!!

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

A great car ... through

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Pontiac Vibe 4dr Wagon AWD (1.8L 4cyl 4A)

I bought my Vibe new back in early '07 ... here it is five years later and I still love it. She (yes, it's a girl -- with her own name) just turned the corner and has safely and efficiently taken me over 100,000 miles. Can't rave enough about fuel economy. Last road trip was just a few weeks ago (about 900 miles r/t) ... she did me proud with 30-35 mpg!! Really?? YES! I noticed a past reviewer commented on very poor handling in Midwest winter snows. I'd like to chime in on that and say mine was quite the Opposite. She handled herself very respectably in a South Dakota winter -- with FOUR blizzards back-to-back.

Talk About The 2006 Vibe

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Gas Mileage


  • 22
  • cty
  • 29
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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