Toyota Matrix vs. Pontiac Vibe

I’m a bit enamored of the Matrix, because according to Edmunds, it has the lowest 5-year cost of ownership of any small wagon. I also think it looks decent.

I know the Matrix and Vibe are twins, and that they get their main parts from the Corolla. But why the price differences? Does GM just put the price up so that it can offer “discounts” to bring the prices to basically the same line?

How does GM get away with charging even the same as for a Matrix, when “Toyota” means “runs for 300K miles”, and “Pontiac” means “200K miles”, at least in Average Guy’s mind?

Why would the depreciation be so different? Is it just the makes’ reputations? Especially, why would the insurance be so different? I can’t see that, and it’s a major part of the cost differential seen there. So it pretty much comes down to the insurance and depreciation.

Another thing: why on earth would a dealership be listing a Vibe with 2K miles on it for more than I can figure for a NEW one, using Edmunds’ “True Market Value” calculations? It is closer, if I’m right and the dealership didn’t specifiy correctly that it has the mp3-playing stereo, but they’re listing it for over even that. Is that so I can talk them down 1.5K?

I drive an '05 Vibe. We looked at the Matrix as well. I think the Vibe is slightly more expensive because (at the base model level anyway) it has more.

We got the base Vibe with the electric package (remote keyless entry, power windows/doors, A/C, etc.). That plus the the stuff it came with (fog lights for example) was slightly more expensive than the Matrix, but was a better value for the dollar I thought.

Also, we liked the the look of the Vibe better personally. The Matrix just came off looking like a Honda Civic-esque mod-ready car (like the white tail lights they put on that thing… ack!).

I like the roof rack too (we have a cottage and haul a lot of stuff up there).

We have absolutely NO plans to ever resell (gonna drive it till it doesn’t drive anymore) so resale was of little concern to us.
I’m in Canada so, ymmv (maybe literally!)

Depreciation is based on what people are willing to pay for used cars. The Toyota name counts for a lot there, when there is no objective difference in the cars. In that case, it’s a good situation for buying a used Vibe. As to insurance, it could be because younger buyers tend to go for the Vibe for whatever reason.

I have had a Matrix for 3 years now. Love it. I’m 6’ 4 and 300 pounds so I need a little head room and arm room. The Matrix gives me 4 inches of headroom!

It’s been my experience that there is a significant difference between these makers.

In this case it’s the same car coming off the same assembly line. There is no significant differnence in the two cars.

Ok, maybe the age thing is the difference for the insurance, but then again, isn’t it much more determined by my driving record and personal stats?

Is it routine for the dealerships to advertise a 2K mile car for about the new price, and expect the buyer to talk them down 1.5-2K dollars (for a cheaper car like this)?

These are similar cars - in appearance and cost - but they are two entirely different manufacturers. The only thing that Pontiac and Toyota have in common is they both have 3 vowels in their name.

IIRC, the Matrix is available in two engine sizes while the Vibe only comes in one. Toyota keeps the big engine to themselves.

[The Prism] is being replaced by the Pontiac Vibe (which will be sold in Canada) and will be built in the same GM/Toyota-owned New United Motor Manufacturing (NUMMI) assembly plant in Fremont, California. The Toyota Matrix will be built in Toyota’s own plant in Cambridge, Ontario. These two plants, by the way, are consistently rated tops in quality by J.D. Power and Associates. Both the Vibe and Matrix are based on the all-new Toyota Corolla platform and share the same Toyota engines, transmissions, suspensions, brakes, and GM-designed/Toyota-supplied interior features. Even the warranties are comparable: GM will offer a 5 year/100,000 km powertrain warranty on the Vibe in Canada to match Toyota’s powertrain warranty. Only the cars’ exterior styling, option packages, and name badges are different.

Oh yeah, does anyone know how I can find out what the difference is for the GT and XRS models? The horsepower is up, but since they’re the same displacement as the lower models, and they’re already DOHC, I can’t figure what the power increase is from.

Engine tuning, timing, compression, different heads, computer changes, better breathing; there are lots of ways to get more power out of an engine.

I bought an '06 Matrix XR in late December of last year. I chose the Matrix over the Vibe primarily because the Matrix has the Toyota nameplate–I trust Toyota more than Pontiac (even though I know the cars are twins), and I believe the Matrix will hold onto its value better than the Vibe.

I just wanted to say that I have an '03 Vibe GT (bought in April of '02) and I’m driving it until it dies. I love my car.

Here’s the Vibe site.

And BTW, you can get the bigger engine in the Vibe. Not as much HP as mine (164hp in the new ones, mine has 180 hp), but I’m not sure why.

We have an 05 Vibe and absolutely love it. Our friends have an 04 Matrix and absolutely love it.

I think it comes down to which look you prefer, myself. When we purchased ours, we paid about $2000 less than we would have for the Matrix and gained fog lights and the roof rack, which didn’t come on the Matrix base model. I realize that the Matrix may have a better resale value, but I figure we saved up front what we won’t get back later. Plus, we don’t plan to resell any time soon.