Tag Archives: Pontiac Vibe

Posts about our new 2006 Pontiac Vibe.

2006 Pontiac Vibe Gas Mileage Updates

In the next few weeks, my 2006 Pontiac Vibe gas mileage updates will be coming to an end. We are going to be getting rid of the Pontiac Vibe as our family needs a larger vehicle now. The Pontiac Vibe gas mileage tracker will remain online and I’ll make sure I update the information one last time. I’ve got a bunch of gas receipts that need to be entered.

The Pontiac Vibe has been a fantastic car for us and we’re really sad to be giving it up. Unfortunately, it’s the car that is better for us to get rid of at the moment. We’re replacing it with a 2009 Dodge Grand Caravan (the deals are just too good right now!).

2006 Pontiac VibeI would have no problem recommending the Pontiac Vibe as a fantastic car for a couple or for a small family who has kids out of car seats. It’s also a great second car for commuting or piling everyone into for a short drive to the corner store or park. Our problem is we have two young kids in car seats and a stroller. Once you put the stroller in the back of the Vibe, you’re not going to be doing much shopping as there isn’t a whole lot of space left. With the two kids seats, the car is really a four seater. It’s impossible for us to go pickup anyone at the airport as a family. There just isn’t room for a person to sit in the middle between the two car seats.

When we return the Vibe, it will have just shy of 96000km on it.  We’ve had absolutely no issue with it.  It even still has the original brake pads and rotors on it and they are in fantastic shape! It was 85-90% highway driven and maintained according to the recommended schedule.

And hey, if you’re in the market for a used 2006 Pontiac Vibe and you know me, give me a shout and maybe we can work something out. :) I’ll even toss in the barely used winter tires on rims, the roof rack and the trunk carpet.

2006 Pontiac Vibe Gas Mileage Tracker

We’ve been tracking the gas consumption on our 2006 Pontiac Vibe since we bought it over 3 years ago. It’s now a habit for both of us to write the distance traveled on each gas receipt we get. The only problem is I seem to forget to collect all those receipts on a timely basis so they pile up in the console of the Vibe until we run out of space.

I finally got around to spending some time with all of the gas receipts we’ve been collecting for the last year or so. I’ve pulled it all together into a Google Doc which is magically translated into the interactive chart you should see below. Enjoy!


How will this help anyone?

The chart gets magically updated any time I get around to adding more data into the associated Google Docs spreadsheet. This will allow you to see real world gas mileage numbers for a 2006 Pontiac Vibe. To be able to make any sense out of what you’re seeing, you’ll need to know some basic information:

  1. The car is a normal 1.8L automatic transmission Vibe.
  2. It has air conditioning and cruise control, both of which are used relatively often (we don’t avoid using either for any reason).
  3. The car is typically driven over 100km/day on secondary highways where the average speed is a pretty constant 90km/h.
  4. The car averages roughly 80% highway and 20% city driving, based on the definition of “highway” driving.
  5. We put winter tires on the car. Usually we try to go as late as we can before putting them on (late November or early December most years) and I’ll take them off as soon as the night time temperature stay above freezing.

Is this gas mileage typical for the Pontiac Vibe?

That’s sort of a tough question. Based on the fueleconomy.gov website, the 2006 Pontiac Vibe gets 9.4L/100km city and 7.6L/100km highway (revised numbers). We’re averaging closer to the combined number of 8.7L/100km for the year.

If I can figure out how, I’ll get this page to live update the high/low gas mileage as well as the running average for some arbitrary period of time.

Pontiac Vibe Brakes

We recently noticed some new grinding sounds coming from our 2006 Pontiac Vibe when you used the brakes first thing in the morning. The first thing I thought was “Oh Crap.”. The second thing I thought was “Damn, I haven’t done anything with the brakes yet on this car.”.

That’s right folks, our 2006 Pontiac Vibe was over 85,000km on the factory brake pads and rotors. Now, admittedly, we do a lot of highway driving and very little in the way of stop and go driving. Even so, I figured that over 85,000km was a little much for a car to go on factory pads and rotors. We got the car into our local garage for them to take a look and let us know what the damage was going to be.

“There’s nothing wrong with your brakes.”

Yup, that’s what the mechanic said to The Boss. He mentioned that there were a few “hot spots” on the rotors that he was going to grind down but otherwise the fronts still had about 50% and the rears were still about 60%. Even the mechanic was very surprised when he realized these were the stock factory brake pads and rotors.

I really can’t complain about our 2006 Pontiac Vibe. We have only had to pay for a set of winter tires, oil changes and tire rotations. I think we’re in for a new set of all-seasons next spring but the car will be near 90,000km by then and again, I can’t complain about getting that much mileage out of a set of stock factory tires or a set of pads and rotors!

2006 Pontiac Vibe Review after 80,000km

We’ve had our 2006 Pontiac Vibe for about two and a half years now and we recently passed 80,000km (just shy of 50,000 miles). Overall the car has been working well for us. We’ve had no mechanical issues with the car and the only real cost has been regular oil changes. I think we’re soon due for a brake job though. We still have the original all-seasons on the car after 80,000km but we’ve put winter tires on for two of the three winters the car has gone through. Even with winters, the all-seasons tires still have around 55,000km.

2006 Pontiac Vibe

Our average fuel consumption for 2008 is currently at 8.34L/100km (~ 28 MPG). This isn’t very good in my opinion but it does include winter driving with the snow tires on. In the winter with the snow tires, we’re getting around 9.0L/100km (~ 26.5 MPG). In the summer months we’re down around 7.5L/100km (~ 31.4 MPG) which is a little better. It’s interesting because the US DoE has the 2006 Pontiac Vibe at 31 MPG (7.6L/100km) for highway with their readjusted numbers. My problem still stems from the fact this car was rated at 34 MPG (6.9L/100km) for highway when we bought it. The best fuel economy I’ve ever achieved in that car was a one-off 6.7L/100km (~ 35.1 MPG). That was when we were driving on secondary roads averaging 90km/h (~55 MPH), true “highway” driving. I also annoyed the snot our of The Boss on this drive as I was putting into practice some of the driving techniques I’ve learned from reading ecomodder.com. ;)

With some driving style modifications, I think this car should be able to do consistently in the 6.8L/100km to 7.0L/100km range in the summer. It’s very noticeable though when you turn on the AC as the little 1.8L engine has to rev higher to deal with the added load. This definitely contributes to worse fuel economy. One thing to keep in mind is that the defrost settings on this car also turn on the AC.

One other gripe about the car is that there is a very thin layer of paint. It seems that everything causes a small paint chip. I think if you sneezed while standing within 10 feet of the car it would get a paint chip. To try and keep the rust at bay, I bought one of those colour matched paint pens from the dealership and every couple months I have to dab a few more chips. Nothing major but it’s one maintenance annoyance I could do without.

We’re probably going to keep this car for many more years. It will probably get relegated to the “second car” in a few years as it’s not quite big enough for a growing family.

2006 Pontiac Vibe After One Year

Well, it’s almost been a year since we got the 2006 Pontiac Vibe. We still think it’s a decent car for us around town. This past Christmas we discovered that it’s just barely big enough for us to take the whole family on a road trip. More on that later. :)

After about 32500km, we’re averaging about 8.37L/100km. Since about 80% of that is what we would consider highway driving, we’re not overly thrilled with the real world gas mileage of the Vibe. Now that we have winter tires on and the air is cooler, we’ve been getting just over 9.0L/100km. It hasn’t even gotten really cold here yet as I think the lowest temperature over night was about -15 degrees Celcius.

As for the size of the car. We have a large dog and she basically takes up 3/4 of the trunk area. On top of that, with our munchkin in the infant carrier in the back, the passenger seat is too close to the dash to be comfortable for a long trip. So we had the car well packed for our trip this Christmas. Not too much in the way of weight though, about the same as 3 adults and light luggage. On the way out, we averaged 8.5L/100km. Not too bad. The only comment is that the car is definitely underpowered for passing. With this relatively minor load it had a heck of a time getting up to speed to pass on two-lane roads. It can be done but you had to turn off the overdrive and get a good run (ie get the car into the 4500-5000 rpm range) on the car you wanted to pass.

On the way back we had a rooftop carrier with some extra weight, probably equivalent to 4 adults and light luggage. Holy crap that made a huge difference on the gas mileage though. We averaged about 11.5L/100km! Our worst was a stretch through Quebec where we had a head wind and I was trying to drive too fast (Screaming munchkin, Quebec drivers, middle of nowhere, etc.). That lead to 296km on just over 35L or 12.1L/100km. Yikes! The biggest problem (other than the rooftop carrier) was that the car couldn’t stay in overdrive. It was constantly kicking down into 3rd gear when I had the cruise control on. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t trying to break any land speed records. I was driving at a speed slightly slower than you would normally see on those roads. Heck, the two cops I passed weren’t interested in me at all. ;)

On top of that, I discovered a trait about the car that I don’t especially like. When it does kick down from you pressing harder on the throttle, it takes an exceptionally long time to go back to overdrive when you let off of the throttle. There were times where I had to almost lift my foot completely off of the throttle just to get the car to go back into overdrive. Damn slushboxes. When I used the kick down button, it wasn’t as bad since the car would go back into overdrive almost immediately after you press it again.

Unfortunately it looks like there is a minivan in our future if we have another rug rat. :(

As far as the Pontiac Vibe goes, it’s likely going to become our second car in the future and go into the high mileage club with me taking it back and forth to work (110km/day round trip). 32500km in the first year. Hopefully it will last at least 10 years of driving like that!