Tag Archives: Pontiac Vibe

Posts about our new 2006 Pontiac Vibe.

Infant Car Seat in the Pontiac Vibe

This weekend I finally go around to installing our infant car seat in the Pontiac Vibe. We have an infant carrier that locks into a base that gets secured to the car. The infant carrier locks in so that the baby is rear facing. The Pontiac Vibe has the nifty LATCH/UAS hooks to make it super easy to lock the base into place. I had been concerned that I wouldn’t be able to get the base tight enough but that wasn’t a problem. I actually had the base so tight at one point that it took me about 10 minutes to get it loose enough to move the base to the passenger side of the car.

The only problem we’ve discovered with putting an infant car seat in the Pontiac Vibe is that the back seat isn’t as big as we thought. I started out with the seat on the driver’s side but then I couldn’t put the driver’s seat far enough back for myself to be comfortable driving. Now the seat is on the passenger side and it does make the front passenger sit closer to the front of the car.

We went with a “standard” sized infant carrier and it’s a good thing. We had been considering the newer 32 inch large carrier but I don’t think we’d be able to put it in the car at all. Originally we wanted the seat on the driver’s side so that the person in the passenger seat could see what the little one was up to. Maybe the passenger will just end up sitting in the back seat now instead.

Pontiac Vibe real world gas mileage

Another update on our 2006 Pontiac Vibe real world gas mileage. We’re now over 24000km (damn, 24000km/8months = 3000km/month or 36000km/year and that’s pretty much just the Boss driving it back and forth to work.) and the gas mileage is getting better. Of course, it’s near the end of the summer now and the car doesn’t have to heat up, etc. Surprisingly, even with the air conditioner on it still gets about 7.4L/100km (or about 31.5mpg).

Oh yeah, in case you were reading my previous 2006 Pontiac Vibe gas mileage post, I goofed on my conversions from metric to US mpg. I was actually converting to imperial mpg. That’s what I get for not paying attention to the online tool I was using. I’ll be going back to that post to update the numbers so they make more sense since not many people in North America use imperial mpg as a measure.

Just for the record (and so I don’t have to go searching for them again) the conversions are as follows:

US mpg –> L/100km = 235.215/US mpg
Imp. mpg –> L/100km = 282.4809363/Imp. mpg

Anyways, the best gas mileage yet was 6.96L/100km (33.8mpg) just last week. It wasn’t super hot, low 20s Celcius, and the car was only really driven to and from work. Again, it’s pretty much highway driving according to what the car manufacturers use as the definition of highway driving. Average speed is just over 80km/h with a few sharp curves/turns and some slower driving through town.

The Pontiac Vibe just doesn’t do well on what I consider real world highway driving – about 110km/h with the cruise control set and straight, relatively flat roads. That’s my commute and I was getting much worse gas mileage than the Boss. Maybe I should give it another run here for a week and see what it does now that the weather is more pleasant than when I was driving the Pontiac Vibe back in February.

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.

2006 Pontiac Vibe Review

We’ve had our Pontiac Vibe for a little over a month now and overall it’s a pretty decent car. It’s quite fun to drive, especially the nifty kick down button that turns off the over drive on the automatic. That little button makes it a lot easier to pass since you don’t have to do the typically gas pedal mash to try and force the transmission to kick down. When the engine is running in the higher RPM range (over about 4500), it has a decent amount of pull.

Other great features are the huge glove box (big enough for a box a Kleenex and a stack of maps in addition to the owner’s manual!), the huge center console storage box and the various other storage compartments scattered around the car. For a car this size, they really made the most of every available space by turning it all into storage. Not only that, the upright driving position makes it really easy to get in and out of the car and there is lots of head room, even for guys taller than (6’1″) me.

Some features that make it fun to drive, other than the kick down button I already mentioned, are the rather stiff suspension and the tight steering. I haven’t driven a lot of small cars but the Pontiac Vibe handles quite well in my opinion. It corners well and doesn’t have too much body roll which keeps it reasonably flat on those highway on/off ramps. The Vibe also has a very small turning radius. I still laugh every time I manouver that car into a small space since I’ve been driving a full sized truck for the last 5 years. A small turning radius isn’t something I’m used to. ;)

Now there is one thing that I would definitely add, a telescoping steering wheel. If you have long legs like me, you’ll end up putting the seat back. The problem with that is you then end up quite far away from the steering wheel. Even with the seat in an upright position, I still have my arms almost completely straight if I want to be able to driving in the standard 10 and 2 position. I can’t drive that way for a long period as it is simply too uncomfortable. A telescoping steering wheel would at least allow me to pull the wheel an inch closer making for a much more comfortable position.

Other interior oddities are the front cup holders (for some reason they are different sizes), the door “arm rest” and console are quite low (meaning they are useless as, well, arm rests) and the radio volume and tuning knobs can be easily confused in the dark when driving.

The rear storage area (trunk?) is a decent size and the rear seats can be folded to provide a huge space. The only gripe I have about the space is the hard plastic floor surface. I’m sure there is a good reason to have it now and then but I’ve yet to find a good reason. We ended up having to buy the rear floor mat because everything you put back there would be constantly sliding around. I guess we could have opted for the cargo net but even having a jug of washer fluid back there was enough to drive us bonkers after only a couple minutes driving.

The last comment I have is on the gauges. They are very bright and super easy to read. The gauges themselves are sunk in quite a bit which makes it difficult for your passenger to sneak a peek at your current speed. ;) There is one indicator light on the Pontiac Vibe that I really don’t understand. It is the “tail lights on” indicator. For some reason the car designers decided it was necessary to inform the driver when their tail lights were on. Basically, this indicator is on all the time when your head lights are on. Personally, I would hope that my tail lights were on and I don’t think it’s necessary to have an indicator light telling me this fact.

One last thing some people might be interested in is the gas mileage. We drive the car on the highway a lot, probably 80% of our driving. After almost 5000km in cold January and February we are averaging about 9.0L/100km. I’m not overly impressed by that number at the moment but if that is the worst we get, I’m going to be quite happy. I’m going to be tracking my gas consumption for a while so hopefully it will get better when the temperatures get back above freezing. Stay tuned for more.

2006 Pontiac Vibe

We bought a new 2006 Pontiac Vibe last week as a replacement for the truck.

It’s a pretty decent little machine. Very good gas mileage (compared to a V8, anything gets good gas mileage) and a rather peppy little engine. We got the automatic because this is the Boss’s new car and I get to drive the old beater (which you can see part of in a couple of the pictures).

There are a couple little quirks about it that are taking me some time to get used to. The driving position is a little awkward if you are over 6 feet tall (like me) and want to keep your hands at 10 and 2. I feel like I’m completely stretching my arms out to drive in that position. A telescopic steering wheel would be a fabulous addition. Otherwise it is very comfortable to do the lazy-man’s “hold the bottom of the steering wheel” position.

After a couple more weeks (and hopefully some more driving if the wife lets me!) I’ll be able to put together a more complete review.

So far I’m rather happy with the decision to get a 2006 Pontiac Vibe and get rid of my truck.