2006 Pontiac Vibe Gas Mileage

We’re over 20,000km on the 2006 Pontiac Vibe now and the gas mileage is getting better. Even with the warmer temperatures and use of the air conditioning a fair bit our average gas mileage is 8.29L/100km (or about 28.4mpg if I did the math right) over about 18,000km. We’ve been tracking the Pontiac Vibe gas mileage since we bought the car and we keep entering the data into a spreadsheet. Makes it really easy to see how various things affect the gas mileage.

Currently the worst gas mileage we have gotten with the Vibe was 9.5L/100km (24.7mpg) (in mid February) and the best gas mileage was 7.1L/100km (33.1mpg) (in mid May and June). I also track a 5 fillup trend in my spreadsheet which makes it a little bit easier to see seasonal gas mileage. For example, the 5 fillups to the end of February averaged 9.0L/100km where as the 5 fillups to the end of June averaged 7.4L/100km.

If I ever get around to it, I’d like to put all of this information online as it’s very difficult to find real world gas mileage information. Since I’ve been tracking for all of my vehicles, I think it might be of use to someone in the future who is looking for more realistic numbers than what the window stickers say.

Oh, in case you’re wondering, this is a base Pontiac Vibe with an automatic transmission, air conditioning and cruise control. Almost all (90% minimum) of the driving would be considered highway driving. The car typically goes 50+ km one way to work 5 days a week on secondary roads (80km/h speed limit). It sees on average another 150km additional highway driving on the weekends (on 400 series highways in Eastern Ontario).

Updated: Oops, looks like I should check my conversions. Seems that I’ve been converting to Imperial Miles per Gallon. Not so useful in North America since we use U.S. Miles per Gallon. Duh. I’ve updated all the conversions now to quote US numbers. Also captured the proper conversions in the Pontiac Vibe real world gas mileage post.

17 thoughts on “2006 Pontiac Vibe Gas Mileage

  1. Allan

    And just for comparison: From the GM Canada Pontiac Vibe website:

    Mi. / imp.gal. (city / hwy / combined): automatic: 34 / 45 / 39
    L / 100km (city / hwy / combined): automatic: 8.2 / 6.3 / 7.3

    Cheerio!
    A

    Reply
  2. Jeff Ivany Post author

    Hmm, I forgot that Allan had posted the actual GM Canada numbers for the Pontiac Vibe. Also just noticed that they are quoting Imperial mpg which is rather odd. I know that in Canada we do use Imperial measure from time to time but it seems odd that they would actually quote an Imperial mpg number since most Canadians would be comparing the MPG numbers to other US manufacturers and/or other website geared towards US customers. Hmm. Nice and easy way to make your fuel consumption ratings look higher than what they “really” are.

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  4. Jerry Retkofsky

    Thanks for this info..My gas mileage on a 2006 vibe with the 1.8 engine, automatic and air gets 26mpg in the city and the best has been 28.3 mpg highway..I was expecting better.
    I purchased this vehicle used a month ago with 34,000 miles on it. I use 87 octane fuel.
    I am switching the oil over to a synthetic 5/30 Castrol to see if the mileage improves.
    Jerry

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  5. Jana

    Concidering buying a used Vibe as our Jeep Liberty is far from efficient. We would need the AWD model. But, I’ve heard that the non-engine stuff – like the inside mechanics, have some trouble. I would love to hear your feedback.
    Thanks, Jana

    Reply
  6. Jeff Ivany Post author

    @Jana: We haven’t had any problems with the Vibe in the 2 years we’ve had it now. The interior is all plastic and fabric. We’ve put a few scratches in the plastic without too much effort. It would be nice if it were a little more resistant to damage but it’s not a big deal. Everything else still works like it did when we got the car. The only addition we made was the cargo area carpet. The Vibe is all plastic in the hatch area so anything you put in the back will slide around if not secured. The carpet helps reduce that.

    Are you sure you *need* the AWD? ;) I live in Canada and we get many feet of snow every year. I’ve never owned an AWD or 4×4 and have never needed one. I live in a small town where most side roads don’t get plowed down to bare pavement. The AWD will get much worse gas mileage than the FWD.

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  7. Robert

    i purchased my 2006 vibe brand new-i had a chevy blazer lx and it was sending me to the poor house.my vibe has the 1.8 litter engine. sunroof. sound system and front whell drive the vehicle is loaded and we love it.we have had no problems with it whatsoever.i do have one recomendation for all -get yourself a K&N airfilter they are alittle pricey -i think i paid about 45.00 but they are good for like 1,000,000 miles all you have to do is recharge it with the 10.00 kit you need to buy and anyone can do it —- no brain surgery needed here.you recharge it at like 50.000 miles .and youre good for another 50.000.i have put one in my wives 2002 ford focus and also in my vibe and we both have seen our highway mileage go up 2-3 mpg .i now get between 35-38 on the highway with my vibe. please note that i am not a salesman for this k&N filter and i do not get paid to endorse it— it works and i just want to pass it on,i got mine (k&N filter)at auto zone.. try it for yourself and see the results chow Robert in wisc

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  8. laurie patrick

    has anyone here had transmission problems with the 2006 vibe. mine has 60,000 miles and the (auto) transmission clunks when it changes gears. others have said it is the soloenoid and will happen to matrixes too.

    how much will this cost to fix?

    what happens if you don’t fix it?

    i really thought this car would got lots of miles like the corolla.

    i only have factory warrenty-so it won’t be covered. this doesn’t seem right if it is happeneing a lot.

    what can i do?

    thanks.

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  9. guy

    Concerning laurie’s auto transmission clunking ; the Vibe has a 5 year powertrain warranty, so you should be OK.

    Reply
  10. Donald

    Actually in Canada we use Imperial Gallons. That’s why when you see EPA ratings for MPG it’s about 20% higher here than the US.

    Reply
    1. Jeff Ivany Post author

      Gack. Yeah, I really don’t understand why Canada allows imperial measures to still be used. We should just force the switch to metric and be done with it.

      As for why the ratings are higher in Canada, it’s more due to the fact Transport Canada still uses the older emissions based measurement system for determining fuel consumption. The US switched two years ago to more realistic MPG ratings and they are much closer to “real world” numbers than the Canadian ones.

      Reply
  11. Donald

    Oh what meant is say 40 MPG Imperial in Canada = 32 MPG US in the US. I don’t get the US’ decision to dumb down the EPA ratings… I have no problem meeting the old EPA methods used by Canada, although with a heavy foot yea I approach the new US method ratings.

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  12. Remi

    I have a 2006 Pontiac vibe base model 5 speed manual. I got 42.7 and 42.6 MPG last 2 times I checked. This is about 90% highway driving at about 110 km/h with not much hills. Each trips lasting about 100 km, summer time! Currently have 158K on this car (just bought 2 weeks ago)

    My last trip I got 665 km on one full tank (used 44L to fill her up after so it was quite empty)

    I sometimes rent a car and also look what MPG I get with those, here is some I got
    Kia Forte 2010 Automatic – 43.6 and 42.3 MPG
    Maza 3 2010 automatic – 41 and 42 MPG
    My old 98 civic 4 doors automatic gave me 42.7 MPG just before I sold it

    Reply
    1. Jeff Ivany Post author

      Hey Remi, you’re getting good mileage but you should make sure you specify that those are Imperial mpg numbers, not US mpg numbers. Based on your 44L/665km note, you’re getting about 6.6L/100km which is about 36 US mpg. That’s pretty good for the Vibe considering it’s rated at 6.3L/100km highway.

      I’m pretty sure the difference is the 5 speed manual you have. When trying to get fuel economy, being able to select the right gear for the job is a lot easier with the computer between your ears. ;)

      Enjoy the Vibe! We got rid of ours for a mini-van because we needed the extra space fro our growing family. The van isn’t quite as much fun to drive as the Vibe. ;)

      Reply
  13. Remi

    Yeah should have specified that I was using Imperial CDN measures but that was easy to figure out given I’ve included all the numbers :)

    I’m posting back with rather dissapointing results now that its winter time hehe! I changed to some Nordic winter tires (brand new) and now I’m only getting 34-36 MPG (CDN) so that means 28-29 MPG (US). I didn’t think I would see such a big difference!?
    8 MPG difference??? Maybe I should check my spark plugs and I heard about the engine coolant thermostat or something like that can cause bad MPG.. Or I’ll just wait untill I change back to summer tires and compare again..

    Reply
    1. Jeff Ivany Post author

      Remi, thanks for the update! Winter gas mileage always sucks! The biggest reason is the temperature but winter tires also cause a greater drag.

      Temperature is by far the killer though. If you only do short trips, the engine never gets to “operating” temperature which means the engine thermostat will keep the throttle open more to burn more gas to heat up the engine block. If you have a tachometer (which I think the 5 speed Vibe has), you can often see the RPM drop once the engine reaches it’s desired temperature. Unfortunately, all of this is by design so that the engine works properly. Cold parts and cold oil isn’t very good.

      One way to combat this a little is with an engine block heater. Our Vibe had a block heater and we’d plug it in when the temperatures were below zero over night. It helps a fair bit – oh – get a timer though. You only really need to run the block heater for a couple hours before you typically drive the car.

      Reply

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