Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Time to Sell? '05 Pontiac Vibe

I own a 2005 Pontiac Vibe with 114,000 miles. It runs well and despite living in Buffalo has minor rust, but I am wondering if I should try to trade it in or sell it for something newer. I’d be interested in a newer, but used small sedan, like a Cobalt, Corolla, Accent, etc. Suggestions?

I’m not sure why you’d trade one small, used car that you know well and is running well for another small used car that you don’t know anything about. It would be odd. Keep in mind that the Pontiac Vibe is a Toyota Matrix.

Smaller than the Vibe? The Vibe is essentially a hatchback Corolla. You have taken the hit on depreciation already, so just drive it and maintain it until it starts falling apart.

Right, keep it and maintain it well, and you’ll get another 100,000 miles of good service out of it. Matrix parts will fit this car, and the radiator grill packs it in you can rebuild it with Matrix parts. You’ll have a very unique vehicle then!!

You should tell us WHY you’re considering trading your Vibe.

It has rust BECAUSE you live in Buffalo, not despite living there. I’ve been in Buffalo in the winter. I know.

A vibe with only 114K miles is usually not near the end of its useful life, assuming it’s been properly maintained (another thing we don’t know).

So, tell us, why are you thinking of trading it for something newer. If I had a 2005 Vibe I wouldn’t be tempted to trade it for any of the vehicles you list, so I don’t understand your motivation.

Don’t do it because you will get better mileage. A Vibe gets 2 MPG lower than a Corolla on average. The difference doesn’t justify the trade. And you get more cargo capacity with your Vibe.

Mleage wise, if you take good care of the car, it’s not half it’s life. An 05 should only have surface rust as a result of not sanding and touching up nicks and scratches. I suggest you do that and keep the car…and start washing it more frequently.

The thing about those cars on your list is that, while used, they might be trying to sell them for MORE than new, so it might be a better idea to buy new rather than used. You might get about $5k trading it in, if you’re lucky.

As for my care of the car: I get do the regular maintenance (oil change, fluid top offs, etc.) as well as keep an eye on tire pressure and try to make note of my mileage (always drops off a bit in the winter because I let it warm up before I make my commute to work).

Why would I consider something newer and smaller? Primarily maintenance costs and economy, but your feedback has helped me a lot. Thank you!

Getting rid of a car before it starts to have major maintenance costs and issues will cost more than you’ll save. Even a small note ends up being more than a major repair because the car note is always going to happen, whereas the transmission replacement (or radiator leaking ,etc) only happens occasionally.

If you are concerned about it, start a repair/new car fund. Figure out about how much a new car loan will cost you every month, then start putting the money into that savings account/category. If you start to feel like the repairs are pulling more out than you’re putting in, then its time to buy a new car.

But its never going to be worth it to try and beat the depreciation.

I have an 05 4runner with over 180k miles…it’s running GREAT…I have no intentions of selling it for several years. I don’t understand why people sell a car that’s running well when it’s only a few years old. If it’s running well and you like it…then why not keep it??

new car fever, keeping up with the Jones’, needs change

I’d probably still be driving my old Civic, but I’m glad I got rid of it. So much easier getting in and out of my Cx-7 than it was in the Civic

I still drive a 1982 GMC suburban with a 6.2 diesel. It’s an older truck, but reliable, and gets 31 mpg doing 55 down the interstate. Frankly you’re going to suffer more with a newer car than keeping what you have. If you want better fuel economy, try driving at 65 on the highways intead of 75. You’ll actually get much better milage. Plus if you get something smaller and “zippier” you’re going to have to deal with the higher costs of parts associated with newer vehicles. Yes, some newer import vehicles cost more to fix than something 5 years older.

Remember too…there is no such thing as minor rust. Rust to a car is like many people illnesses. Stay on top of it early and your car can be rust free or years. Let it go, and it’s “car death” if you will. You may think it’s minor, but if you go to trade it, trust me, it will be a major deduction in value. An 05 should have no perforations other than rust from nicks and scratches. Continue doing only oil changes and no body maintenance and your car will be one of those parts only, un inspectible rust buckets long before the mechanics give out.

Anyone can keep a car rust free indefinitely if you put the same effort you do in oil changes.
I did not read that you regularly wash, wax and repair nicks. It’s money in the bank if you do.