I have had this car for 5 years now. Bought it used with 40,000 miles on it, and it now as 204,000 and still drives like it always has! I used it to commute to and from college (approx. 1-1.5hr highway) for 2 years, took it from PA to FL once, and PA to NC probably 30 times. I'm a big traveler, and this car is great in all situations. First let me start by saying the AWD is unbeatable. I've driven trucks and SUV's that handle worse in the snow than this little beast. I used to live up in a mountainous area, where we always got at least 6 more inches of snow than the surrounding areas, and it does just fine going up and down steep hills in the snow, and yes, even ice. I am an avid snowboarder, so not only does it have ample room in the back with the wagon-like set up and the seats folding down for all of me and my friends' gear, but any time a snowstorm is coming in we PREFER to take my vehicle out just because its capability and reliability in a snowstorm situation. I've driven this on Interstate 80 through a PA snowstorm up in the Poconos with 10inches of snow (at least) on the highway and never had any trouble or loss of traction (keep in mind, some good all-season tires are worth their weight in $ too!). As far as non-inclement weather trips go, I average about 33mpg on highway trips, with a record of 39mpg over 500miles. Not bad for this car! City is like they rate it for, right around 26-28mpg. On our trip to Florida for spring break one year, my friends and I used the handy little 115v two-prong outlet in the front to run an Xbox to keep us busy and entertained on our trip down! It has neat little features like that. I have also moved a series of 5 times, and filled that car up to the brim. The seats fold down in the back (and the passenger), and they actually fold FLAT, and have a hard back so it's almost like having a mini truck. This has been useful soooooo many times, and the interior holds up to this abuse. Nothing is damaged save for a few minor scratches on "the bed liner", and the seats are suuupper comfy even for a guy like me (im 6'2"). Being a childish college student, I have not always driven this car easy as well. One of my favorite things to do with it back in the day would be reverse donuts in a wet or snow-filled empty parking lot (not recommended). That kind of beating would wear on most cars, but I've never had any issues with the transmission or engine or anything for that matter. That being said, I love this car, and I have always been very meticulous with the maintenance. The manual recommends an oil change every 4-6,000 miles. I change it every 3. I rotate the tires and check the fluid levels. They say with Toyotas, as long as you keep up with the maintenance, the car will last you forever. I can attest to this! (being that it is the sister car of the toyota matrix). The toyota transmission has handled hill after hill and beating after beating with no trouble. Still shifts like the day I got it. smooooottthhh. I wish I owned the GT so I had a little more acceleration, but it still does great in high traffic, high speed, merging situations. My only complaint, and I have seen this in a toyota matrix, is the gear lights next to the shifter had gone out and that some idiot biker ran into my passenger door and left a little dent. If you're looking into this car and want something reliable, useful, and long-lasting, look no further. Do yourself a favor and pick one up for super cheap.
I bought this car 4 years ago with 20,000 miles on it and it is up to about 110,000. So far the only failures were a belt tensioner ($100 fix) and two of the digital display lights in the radio went out. The car runs like the day I bought it. Mechanically, it seems indestructible. The body and paint are both solid too. I tend to neglect the body and on the rare occasion I wash and polish it, it always looks like it great. Not only is it well built, but it is very comfortable. With some years on the Vibe name now, more and more reviews are from people with 200k+ miles and I hope to be one of them. When the day comes to replace this, I only hope its twin, the Toyota Matrix, is still around.
Traded an Audi Quattro for this 2004 Vibe, best trade I've ever made.
The Audi was a well built vehicle, but not reliable and expensive to repair, and there were lots of repairs.
The Vibe is reliable, excellent gas mileage, easy to drive and half the cost of the Audi.
Will be getting another Vibe soon.
We have had our vibe since it had about 60,000 miles. She is at 273,000 and we haven't had the first issue other than it uses a little oil. Which is to be expected out of a high mileage car. If you see one of these for cheap with low miles snatch it up! Outstanding commuter car.
My vibe has 155,000 miles. Thanks to TOYOTA for making a great motor the only maintainance i've done is change plugs-which were extremely easy and affordable cause there is no plug wires to replace. tires and the front brake pads were extremely easy to replace. I also like that the back seats have hard plastic on the back of them so when they fold down its like having a small truck. I use this vehicle for my organic carpet cleaning business. Good gas mileage. So far havent found any other vechicle that is as old as this one that looks and operates as good as this one.