Author Topic: 2003 Pontiac Vibe (32 months after purchase)  (Read 2066 times)

clarkfan1979

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2003 Pontiac Vibe (32 months after purchase)
« on: March 14, 2017, 10:29:36 AM »
I purchased a 2003 Pontiac Vibe with 165,000 miles for $2,500 in July 2014. It has a Toyota engine, but it burns oil at a rate of about 600-800 miles per quart.

The Pontiac Vibe was one of the recommended cars on MMM list. However, because the 2003 burns oil many complainypants on this website told me not to buy it. I'm glad that I ignored the noise.

After almost 3 years it currently has 201,000 miles. I know that 36,000 miles in less than 3 years is a lot of driving. However, it was my wife's commuter car for about 9 months and we took it on a lot of road trips. It has been on 4 separate cross-country road trips of at least 2,000 miles each. I also use it 15 times a year to go snowboarding. It's about 200 miles round trip from the Denver area to the mountains.

The only needed repair was fixing the starter. I was able to do it myself for $137 and 3 hours of my time that to youtube. I bought a case of motor oil from Costco on sale for $2.15/quart.

I bought an ultra-gauge and the MPG is way better than I expected. It lists 22/29 for mpg. Without very much effort, my overall mpg is 32.5.

If I put more effort into my driving, I think it's possible to get 40 mpg overall. However, in my opinion, it needs to be 90% highway to get above 35 mpg. For city driving, I'm probably around 27 mpg. My best trip on the ultra-gauge was 47 mpg when I was drafting on the highway at a safe distance around 50-55 mph. 

 

JAYSLOL

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Re: 2003 Pontiac Vibe (32 months after purchase)
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2017, 10:48:27 AM »
Nice, i"ve been keeping an eye out for a good deal on a used Matrix/Vibe for a while myself. 

ketchup

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Re: 2003 Pontiac Vibe (32 months after purchase)
« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2017, 10:53:54 AM »
Very nice!  That one was on my shortlist when I was car shopping last year (ended up with an '09 Accent).

runewell

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Re: 2003 Pontiac Vibe (32 months after purchase)
« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2017, 11:15:21 AM »
Ah but what did Consumer Reports ever have to say about its reliability?

ducky19

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Re: 2003 Pontiac Vibe (32 months after purchase)
« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2017, 12:17:59 PM »
I bought a 2007 Vibe with 99k miles on it a couple of years back, absolutely fell in love with this car! You can haul so much in it, plus I average right around 30 MPG (I have a 20 mile each way interstate commute). So far I've put around 20k miles on it. I did have to put new tires on it and replace the front shocks/struts, but mechanically it has been awesome (and doesn't burn oil like the '03 does). I plan on driving this car for many years to come - I actually have challenged myself to still be driving it when I retire in 8-10 years. I've not heard of the ultra-gauge - I know what it does from your description, but where do I get when and how easy is it to install?

greenmimama

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Re: 2003 Pontiac Vibe (32 months after purchase)
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2017, 02:21:01 PM »
I'm trying to sell a 2010 Vibe, very little interest, it has been a great car for us, my DH started a furniture making business and is using a 2003 Honda Odyessey as his "truck"

JAYSLOL

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Re: 2003 Pontiac Vibe (32 months after purchase)
« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2017, 05:04:14 PM »
I'm trying to sell a 2010 Vibe, very little interest, it has been a great car for us, my DH started a furniture making business and is using a 2003 Honda Odyessey as his "truck"

Where abouts are you?

clarkfan1979

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Re: 2003 Pontiac Vibe (32 months after purchase)
« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2017, 11:19:30 PM »
I'm trying to sell a 2010 Vibe, very little interest, it has been a great car for us, my DH started a furniture making business and is using a 2003 Honda Odyessey as his "truck"

The vibe is great to buy, but hard to sell. Pontiac has a horrible reputation, so most people don't want to buy one. However, most people do not realize that it has a Toyota engine.

I would only buy it with no intention of selling. Once my Vibe hits 265,000 miles in another 4-5 years, I might try to sell it for $1,000. In 2020-2022, I might be interested in buying a 2010 Vibe. I should  be able to pick one up for around $3000-4000. 

Laura Ingalls

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Re: 2003 Pontiac Vibe (32 months after purchase)
« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2017, 05:51:20 PM »
I wonder why it burns oil.   You have spent a couple hundred dollars on oil.  My 2004 has the same mileage and has never burn or leaked any. 

Ebrat

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Re: 2003 Pontiac Vibe (32 months after purchase)
« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2017, 08:05:00 AM »
Don't know what year it is, but I know a guy whose Vibe has well over 300k miles on it at this point (very unmustachian commute). He loves that thing.

skeeder

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Re: 2003 Pontiac Vibe (32 months after purchase)
« Reply #10 on: May 04, 2017, 09:50:01 AM »
I love the vibe, it was on my short list as well.  (ended with a Camry)

I looked around since they've stoppped making it, the next best thing is their Corolla iM (or Scion iM), it looks like a pretty sweet hatchback.

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clarkfan1979

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Re: 2003 Pontiac Vibe (32 months after purchase)
« Reply #11 on: May 10, 2017, 09:44:04 PM »
I love the vibe, it was on my short list as well.  (ended with a Camry)

I looked around since they've stoppped making it, the next best thing is their Corolla iM (or Scion iM), it looks like a pretty sweet hatchback.

I think the newer Vibe's don't burn oil. However, I'm not sure if there's a big discount for newer Vibe's.

The Money Monk

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Re: 2003 Pontiac Vibe (32 months after purchase)
« Reply #12 on: May 11, 2017, 01:02:24 AM »
I had a similar but not as dramatic situation with a work van I got. It was a 1995 chevy G10 cargo van that I got for $1600. It had less than 60,000 originial miles which is very rare for work trucks and vans. Most of the time the ones sold with "low" miles are well over 100k. It had a HOST of cosmetic issues, and didn't have AC. It wasn't broken, it just didn't actually have it. I just got it for my reselling business (buying stuff at garage sales, storage unit auctions, etc) so the cosmetic stuff didn't bother me. Had to put maybe $600 into it over the next few years of using it for the business (4 tires, starter, ECM module, etc) and then when I stopped doing the auctions I sold it for $1300. so I got about 3 years of use for $1000. not too shabby.

The only problem with having a van or truck is that everybody asks you to help them move. NIGHTMARE!