CarTalk.com Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Buying used GM's

Is it a bad idea to buy a 2006 Pontiac due to the changes at GM? Is it a bad idea to buy any old GM car now?

The Vibe is a rebadged Toyota Matrix. Any parts and service can be done at a Toyota or GM dealer.

You will not have any problem. GM will be fine.

No, it isn’t a bad idea. There are so many out there that remanufactured parts will be available for decades, even if GM and all the OEM suppliers disappeared overnight. (They won’t.)

And the only Pontiacs that weren’t mechanically identical to another USDM GM (or Toyota) model were the G8, GTO, and the G6 convertible (and that was only different in that it had the retractable hard top). There was also the Solstice which was only related to the also-dead Sky, but even with those they share a lot of parts with other models. There will be no shortage of expertise in these vehicles for the foreseeable future. Actually, the same goes for the G8 and GTO. Body parts and some suspension parts and other non-US parts had to be sourced from Australia, and may again in the future, but for the most part it’s US GM parts bin.

That’s kind of the reason Pontiac went away. There was no point. Why buy a Pontiac instead of a Chevy? There was nothing differentiating them for ages, and when they started making them different again recently, it was too little too late.

Oh, and you should think of GM and Ford and Chrysler cars in terms of platforms, not in terms of name plates. With GM, you want F, G, B, A, W, Y, Zeta, Delta, and Epsilon. Those are the main ones you should bother with (going back to the 80s). There are some others that you can get if you know what you’re doing, but for the most part everything that isn’t one of those is a pile of crap. Check them out on Wikipedia if you want to know what models are what.

Buying a VIbe you should be looking more into Toyota’s problems than GM/Pontiac issues!

Mechanically the Vibe and Toyota Matrix are virtually identical. As well the government, which owns a lot of GM, dictated during the bankruptcy and Pontiac shutdown that they had to honor all GM warranties.

Having said that, there will be some trim parts, if they break later that you will have trouble finding new. You may have to go to a wrecking yard or buy the Toyota part and graft it on the Vibe. The Matrix is a big seller, and I’m sure in the future a lot of Vibes will be sporting Matrix grills and trim.

The purchase price should reflect all these things.

But buying a Vibe is a lot less risky than buying a Saab or a Saturn Astra, which is a German-designed, Belgium built car no longer sold here and the importer has disappeared.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see the 2011 Chevrolet Vibe. It’s a popular car. GM did it before when they phased out Geo. The Prizm was rebadged as a Chevy. In any case, it is essentially a Corolla wagon, just like the Matrix. Buy the Vibe and enjoy it. That assumes, of course, it passes your mechanic’s pre-purchase inspection.

mmclaughlin4, where does it say that you want a Vibe or can’t I see well?

We’re psychic. I think intend was to show models of Pontiac that may not be as affected by GM’s restructuring. Then it turned into…these guys want one for themselves so they’re buying vicariously. :slight_smile:

“where does it say that you want a Vibe”

Check the tags immediately below the original post.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see the 2011 Chevrolet Vibe…I do not believe this will happen. I understand GM & Toy have terminated the alliance they had.

You’re right. I just did a web search. It showed that GM stopped ordering cars last August. Toyota will continue until April and then the NUMMI plant will shut down. Since the plant builds Corollas and Tacomas, I suppose that production will go somewhere else, too. I understand that Toyota won’t build Tundras in Texas anymore. Maybe one or both of these cars will be built there. They build Corollas in Canada, too.

GM gets a bad rap as it is, they don’t need Toyota’s problems compounding the issue