Two-stepping with purpose

David Yochum

Pontiac provides an outlet for excitement

“Sittin’ ’round in my abstract part, this abstract thing goin’ abstract far,You’re such a vivrant thing, vivrant thing, a vivrant thing.” – Q-Tip

Brushed with chrome, honeycomb gauges, spiked front and rear bumper lines, a slicing 126-hp engine and enough space for surfboards and music equipment, Pontiac Vibe doesn’t stray from the Q-Tip method.

Its abstract appeal scored points for everything from creativity to comfort.

“There’s lots of headroom – very spacious,” Dinovo said. “I like that (Pontiac) used the same material on the doors and seats.”


+ Power at low RPMs

+ Comfortable seats

+ Innovative interior

– Buzzy engine

– Power windows/locks not standard

– Antenna blocks roof cargo

Dinovo vibed with Pontiac’s interior accents, such as recessed, red and white gauges and “easy-to-control” buttons, while Rogers fancied the two-pronged dashboard plug.

However, Goffe said Vibe’s “plastic looking” dashboard had “too many buttons” and potentially dangerous ergonomics.

“The radio controls are right above the gearshift,” she said. “You could accidentally hit the shifter changing stations.”

Sitting above smaller Ravenna traffic, Rogers didn’t appreciate Vibe’s dashboard shifter either, but still liked the car’s power and 4-cylinder engine tone.


Base price: $16,430

Price as-tested: $16,990

Engine: 1.8L DOHC 16V 4-cylinder

HP @ rpm: 126 @ 6000

Torque @ rpm: 122 @ 4200

Transmission: 4-speed auto

Base weight (lbs): 2,700

EPA mpg (city/highway): 29/34

Opposite Rogers, Sheth hated Vibe’s bumblebee engine buzz, saying there was “a lot of engine noise at high speeds.”

Pontiac’s flexible crossover, Vibe comes with a base, 126-hp engine that can be enhanced with all-wheel drive. Standard convenience options include air conditioning, outside temperature display, “household-style” power outlet and rooftop luggage rack. Power mirrors, roof mounted antenna, a rear liftgate and a 3-year/36,000 new-vehicle warranty are also included with Vibe at no extra cost.

Closing the door on Vibe, Sheth said he wasn’t feeling “standard Pontiac headlights,” while Dinovo was bothered by steering wheel vibration.

But what would a Vibe be without a little vibration?