I am trying to decide between buying a Toyota Matrix and a Pontiac Vibe. Is there really a difference between these two cars besides the brand names? Or if I buy the Vibe for less now will I pay for it later in other ways? For example I did an online cost comparison of the repair costs on Edmunds.com for the two cars, and the Vibe came out about $150 more for labor? If they have the same engine and parts why would this be true?
Nope, no difference at all-- it’s the same car built at the same plant with exactly the same parts right up to the badges. You have stumbled upon the inaccuracy of reliability ratings-- there are many factors that contribute to the data they collect from owners that have nothing whatsoever to do with the mechanical worthiness of a particular car. Also, often the pool of people questioned is so small as to produce information with a very wide margin of error, which I would suspect is more of the issue here.
The one difference between the two cars is that the Matrix has a Toyota badge on it and will consequently be worth more as a used car.
I went through this for years with the Corrolla/Prism(Nova) clones. Generally I found the Toyotas did hold their value better with a few more standard features for a little more new. Identical otherwise, make sure that you are getting the best bang for the buck when you compare features for that little bit more you pay for the Matrix…
The cars are identical except for the trim. The Vibe chooses the sportier look, which is important to some people. As for the repair costs, they are identical regardless of what Edmunds sez. Both Pontiac and Toyota dealerships will service either car. So flip your coin.
They were never built in the same plant, though they are essentially the same cars. The Matrix is built in Ontario, Canada while the Vibe is built in Fremont, California. It may have something to do with Pontiac drivers vs. Toyota drivers; I’m not sure how the price was arrived at.