Toyota Matrix v. Pontiac Vibe

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Thoughts from Oklahoma City auto-show this past weekend. The Matrix and Vibe are supposedly vehicle twins. But, considering a number of purchasing reasons below, why would anyone buy GM's Vibe? o The base Matrix retails for over a $1000 less. o The Matrix gets a "much better than average" rating from Consumer Reports, v. "better than average" for the Vibe. o Matrix has 60K powertrain warranty v. 36K warranty on the Vibe, if I'm reading it right. o The Toyota name will have significant attraction when re-selling the vehicle relative to Pontiac's, i.e., GM's lousy reputation. Note here that young folks WANT to be associated with Toyota, as in they will be perceived as smart, savy buyers, v. the dunces (like me) who buy American iron. Selling the Matrix used, I think, would be a much easier task, with more buyer traffic, and I'll bet, significantly higher resell values. Why suffer reselling? With a Toyota, people will come to me and I'll be negotiating from strength, v. hoping "someone will call today." Again, why would anyone buy GM's Vibe? Note: the Matrix is in ready supply, with no waiting period like a few other Toyotas. Thoughts?
 
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Yeah, I see your point. But, if you buy used, you could find a better deal on a Vibe! Call me completely irrational but something latent in my DNA makes me like the Vibe better (parents were always Pontiac people). I know...I don't know why....I've never really warmed to the look of the Matrix.
 

jbas

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"These vehicles are produced by the same people in the same plant along the same production line. The fact that Consumer Reports gives the two cars a different rating points to unreliable testing and/or statistical methods on their part, not any difference in the vehicles." I think you're right - the few less-than-pristene spots (body integrity) is harsher for the Pontiac. There has always been alleged bias favoring Japanese models on CR's part by many observers. Sure looks true in this case. "Also, I agree with one of the other members here that resale value is over-rated. Most people won't see the benefit of it, especially since dealers will only give you wholesale price for your trade in, but will turn around and sell it for retail. If I was a used car buyer, I'd definitely go for the Vibe, considering it's the same car and would have a lower price." Can't agree with you entirely - my comments were directed to private selling a vehicle outright, not trading it in. If I have a Toyota, like I once had a Honda CR-V, it was amazing (to me) how many folks responded to the ad for a Honda. Yes, if buying a USED Vibe, then maybe could get a much better deal, but that only supports my statement that buying a Matrix new is preferable to buying a Vibe new (i.e., more resell value for the Matrix).
 
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Well, if you live in a smaller town with only GM, Ford, or Chrysler dealers and the nearest Toyota dealer is an hour and a half away, you might prefer the Vibe.
 
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jbas, I understood you were assuming a private sale, but the majority of people don't sell privately. They just trade it in. Good resale value means a lot less in that case. If a car would sell for $1000 more at retail, you'd get half of that or less on a trade in.
 
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Depends on when you buy a Vibe vs. a Matrix. I bought my Vibe when GM was doing their silly "employee discount program," so I effectively got AWD for the regular price. Also, GM periodically offers things like 0% financing and/or GM card cash-back. Also, the vast majority of Matrix's on the Toyota lots near me were fairly stripped down models; things like sunroofs, premium audio and alloy wheels were rare. For 2005 & '06, GM seems to have put the "Moon & Tunes" package on every Vibe made; I tend to see many more Matrix's with window cranks, no C/C, etc. As for a Matrix AWD (which Toyota mislabels 4WD on their window stickers & dealer invoices), they're pretty much impossible to find. BTW: It seemed to me when I was looking at the Matrix, the salesmen were trying to move me into a Corolla S or LE. One more thing: They don't build the Matrix and the Vibe on the same line. The Vibe is built at NUMMI in Fremont, CA, while the Matrix is built in Cambridge, ON. Toyota did send rebadged Vibes, made at NUMMI, to Japan as the "Voltz" model; since discontinued. As for CR ratings, both vehicles are rated a "Recommended," with the nod going to Matrix because of dealer service, IMO. Considering I would have my vehicle serviced at Toyota, it's not big deal to me...
 
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Vibes are made on the same line with Corollas at NUMMI in California. Matrixes are made in Canada, as covered in this BITOG thread from November. But still, that's no reason they should rate differently with CR subscribers. I also happen to think the Vibe looks a little better, and comes in much more lively colors. Poorer resale value helps me as a used car buyer. If you're buying a car because of high resale value, then you may not be a 'car guy,' but a bean-counter.
 
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quote:
but the majority of people don't sell privately
Witness the number of dealerships advertising that "We'll pay off your trade, no matter how much you owe!"
 

jbas

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Wow! All good contra-points defending Vibe buy: ..discounts & incentives, incl employee discounts; ..availability of service; ..trade-in values negate Matrix advantage; ..prefer Vibe's style better; ..more & available Vibe options/features; ..quality same, CR eval difference not real. MustangC - At the AutoShow, I did sit in the new Dodge Caliber, and liked it. My initial thought is I'd take the Matrix/Vibe because of its known high quality, but...the Caliber seemed like a fine, well-thought out small SUV-ish.
 
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"If they want something uglier they could buy the Vibe and enjoy the extra plastic panels." --------- Or if they really wanted to go ugly, find one of those Pontiac Azteks. [Razz]
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Cogito: "If they want something uglier they could buy the Vibe and enjoy the extra plastic panels." --------- Or if they really wanted to go ugly, find one of those Pontiac Azteks. [Razz]
Or the Honda Element if they still wanted something new. That car has at least as much plastic cladding as any Pontiac ever made. Ick.
 
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What'll be interesting with the Caliber will be the turbocharged 2.4l w/300hp SRT4. At under $25K, it'll be the cheapest 300hp ride out there; should be fun to witness a four-door hatchback stay competitive with a Mustang GT.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Matt_S:
quote:
Originally posted by Cogito: "If they want something uglier they could buy the Vibe and enjoy the extra plastic panels." --------- Or if they really wanted to go ugly, find one of those Pontiac Azteks. [Razz]
Or the Honda Element if they still wanted something new. That car has at least as much plastic cladding as any Pontiac ever made. Ick.

hah! you have never been in one of those, are you? Give it a shot.
 
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CJM, no, but the inside of my mom's Asstek is very nice, too. It's also very comfortable to drive and rides very well. I'm sure the Honda is similarly nice inside, although Honda's seats usually hit me wrong (I've ridden in several). I still would NEVER own either one. They're too ugly. We affectionately call my mom's red Asstek the BRRB (pronounced just as it's spelled) for Big Red Rolling Butt. [Smile]
 
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Plain and simple for me when it came time for me to buy....5/60 for Toyota vs 3/36 for the Vibe. Case closed. Funny thing is that what convinced me to buy the Matrix was renting a Vibe in Alaska a couple of years ago [Smile] There are some minor interior things that are different...its is amazing how many people want a dual console compartment that the Vibe doesn't have also as I understand, no extra powerport in the middle console bin on the Vibe. Roof rack comes with the Vibe but if you have no need for it, more noise and drag Plus I have more Toyota dealers near me than Pontiac [Cheers!] Goose [Patriot]
 
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Speaking of powerports: The 120V power outlet on the Matrix isn't a 3-prong socket, making it rather useless since most everything I'd want to run off of it has a 3-prong cord. I suppose one could use a cheater adapter...
 
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