Used 2003 Pontiac Vibe Wagon

2003 Pontiac Vibe
List price range
2003 Pontiac Vibe

Pros

  • Crisp handling, unique features, utilitarian design.

Cons

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

Used 2003 Pontiac Vibe Wagon for Sale

Pontiac Vibe 2003 Fwd 4dr Wagon (1.8L 4cyl 5M)
240,753 miles
Used 2003
Pontiac Vibe
Base
(5)
Jones Buick GMC
94.4 mi away
ListNot Listed
View Details

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Edmunds' Expert Review

Here's one Pontiac that looks to have hit its mark. The Vibe blends performance, practicality and affordability into a tastefully styled, but still fun, sport wagon package.

vehicle overview

The Vibe is an all-new sport wagon from Pontiac that blends the handling of a small sedan with the practicality of a five-door hatchback. At just 171 inches long, the Vibe is slightly shorter than a Honda Civic sedan, but with a taller and wider body, it promises plenty of room inside.

Three models are offered: base, GT and AWD. Starting at $16,900, the base model comes standard with air conditioning, dual front airbags, AM/FM CD stereo, tilt steering and tinted windows. A 1.8-liter four-cylinder rated at 130 horsepower sends power to the front wheels through either a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission. Sixteen-inch steel wheels are standard, with 17-inch aluminum sport wheels optional.

All-wheel-drive (AWD) models feature the same equipment as the base model, except for the optional five-speed manual transmission. Power is routed through the automatic transmission to the front wheels under normal conditions, but when slippage is detected, the rear wheels engage until traction is regained. AWD models also get a fully independent rear suspension for even better control on rough roads. Unfortunately, the added weight of the all-wheel-drive system combined with the automatic transmission makes the AWD version a bit sluggish. Unless you absolutely need the extra traction for bad weather, we would recommend sticking with the base version, or our favorite, the Vibe GT.

The GT serves up maximum fun with a 180-horsepower version of the same Toyota-sourced 1.8-liter four-cylinder found in the base and AWD models. A six-speed manual transmission comes standard along with four-wheel disc brakes, 16-inch aluminum wheels and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. With only 2,800 pounds to lug around, the Vibe GT moves out quickly, but the peaky engine does require plenty of revs before it makes serious power.

All Vibe models feature interiors that are 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 folds completely flat to create 57.2 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 adjustable tie down anchors in the cargo area.

If those features aren't enough, numerous options are available. Add the "Moon and Tunes" package to get a power glass sunroof and 200-watt six-speaker premium audio system, or check the "Power Value" package to add electric windows, locks, and mirrors along with cruise control and keyless entry. Other premium options include a DVD-based satellite navigation system, seat-mounted side airbags and an in-dash six-disc CD changer.

Built alongside its sister car, the Toyota Matrix, in a jointly run manufacturing facility in Fremont, Calif., the Vibe promises top-notch build quality in addition to sporty performance and practicality. Competition in the sport wagon segment is growing quickly, but the Vibe's combination of unique features, a proven drivetrain and tasteful styling makes it a valuable addition to the Pontiac lineup.

2003 Highlights

The Vibe is an all-new model in Pontiac's lineup designed to combine the best attributes of an SUV, a station wagon and a small van. Thankfully, the result is rather attractive and hip, not to mention utilitarian.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2003 Pontiac Vibe.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

2003 Pontiac Vibe GT
gclaiborne,02/29/2012
I bought this car about 3 years ago with 111,000 miles on it. Now has 160,000 and it's definitely been the best and most fun car I've ever driven. I average 30 mpg and love the 1.8 Liter Toyota high performance engine with the 6 speed manual.
13 years and going strong
A. Smith,08/19/2016
We purchased the Vibe in 2003. Since then, we have spent money only on normal maintenance. It has been extremely reliable...probably the best value of any car we have owned.
14 Years, 196K Miles, Cross Country, Going Strong!
Leo S,10/30/2016
My brand new post-college car was bought in Virginia in late 2002 though it is a 2003 model. I drove it cross country twice--once with a U-Haul headed west bound during which I had to go over the Rockies! The only major item I fixed was the catalytic converter at about 150K miles. Got the routine maintenance done almost on time, but mostly late half the time. New tires at around 100K miles. The annoyances: 3 plastic handles broke in the Texas heat/cold cycle in 2015/2016, but I was able to replace them on my own with new handles I ordered online at $15 each. The ride on the Texas highways are noisy -- really depends on the type of road you're on. I upgraded the entertainment system to a bluetooth capable system. It was awesome in California, zippy enough to handle LA traffic. It survived driving through winter storms in Virginia, and doing a little light off-roading in Virginia and California. I have over 30mpg on long trips. The worst was about 13mpg hauling the u-haul trailer up the Rockies to Denver.
Swiss Army Car
Pravin Shah,12/14/2016
Big enough for my sons to sit in the back. Great cargo room. Handles excellent, fast, good visibility. I take it winter camping 3ith it's 9 inch ground clearance. Can put a tent on the back and easily sleep in it. Got it at 25,000, it now has 263,000. Replaced water pump clutch and starter. That's it. Engine starts on first key turn even at -10f. Runs like a top...best engine I ever had in a car. I'll NEVER find one this fast, this economical and this utilitarian, even to the roof rack. Just a fantastic car. (Update June 2018) 276,000 mi. Runs so strong it's uncanny. I haved used valvoline full synthetic for 225,000 mi, and it runs like it did 15 years ago. This winter it sat outside in -5f for three weeks, started on first turn in 5 seconds. Love this vehicle. Tent on it's hatch, 9 inch ground clearance... it's camping season.
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Features & Specs

MPG
25 city / 33 hwy
Seats 5
5-speed manual
Gas
130 hp @ 6000 rpm
MPG
22 city / 29 hwy
Seats 5
4-speed automatic
Gas
123 hp @ 6000 rpm
MPG
22 city / 28 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed manual
Gas
180 hp @ 7600 rpm
See all Used 2003 Pontiac Vibe Wagon features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated

More about the 2003 Pontiac Vibe
Used 2003 Pontiac Vibe Wagon Overview

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Find a used Pontiac Vibe for sale - 12 great deals out of 21 listings starting at $23,368.

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Find a used certified pre-owned Pontiac for sale - 4 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $11,863.

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Should I lease or buy a 2003 Pontiac Vibe?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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