I've known for a long time that I need a daily driver. The barn is 80 miles round trip, and the truck is an expensive vehicle to put highway miles on, both in terms of gas (all time AWD = 16mpg highway) and in terms of cost of replacement. I want that guy to last a long time.
|I love this truck.|
My parents happened to have the ol' 2005 Pontiac Vibe sitting around doing nothing, so they offered it to me. Three weeks, a few hundred bucks in routine maintenance and 2,000 miles later, I have determined it's the greatest barn car ever made. Hear me out:
1. It's been getting 32-35mpg on the highway. Perfect for that long barn commute, and for your wallet: you're an equestrian, you've got better things to spend money on than gas.
|I've been doing a LOT of driving for work lately...|
2. The cargo capacity is similar in volume to a truck bed. Every seat folds flat except the driver's seat. My mom has carried a full sized loveseat home in the Vibe before.
|8 ft lumber, no problem. The left rear seat wasn't folded flat here because my saddle is sitting there.|
|Actual muddy tack: Connor's Majyk Equipe sport boots after a spontaneous trip through a muddy field.|
4. It has four tracks of repositionable tie-down anchors, you can see three of them in the picture above. You can literally ratchet strap your cargo down just like a truck.
5. Horse people are also dog people: The seats are made out of a miraculous fabric that resists dog hair weaving into it. It is truly amazing. I had Bitsy in there for four hours and you can't even tell after I vacuumed it.
|Our roommate Mark has gotten into hiking lately and has been taking Bitsy with him. She is, needless to say, the happiest dog in all the land.|
6 It's actually a rebranded Toyota, made in the same factory as the Toyota version, so they run forever. You'll hear a lot of stories about high mileage Vibes, including a friend of mine who currently drives one with 350,000+ on it. See #1: you've got better uses for your money than cars.
|Dat Toyota |
7. Despite being a Toyota under the hood, people are inherently prejudiced against the Pontiac name, so you can pick them up for very little $$. It was cheap new ($15k-16k ish) and they're really cheap used. See #1 again.
8. A bumpin' stereo for all that long-commute-to-the-barn time. This one has a premium sound system option with a subwoofer in the back that somehow sounds better than the truck's Bose system. I did install an aftermarket stereo to replace the broken stock one, and now it has Bluetooth and Spotify control too.
|A necessary purchase: when I brought the Vibe home, the stock radio's volume button went in a random direction every time you spun it. Not okay.|
9. It's fun to drive. I didn't want to get a daily driver that would make me miss the truck. I've been in a lot of 4 cylinder automatic hatches where the acceleration sucks and the handling is boring. The Vibe is peppy and handles like it's happy to be driven. I only wish it was the manual version, then it'd be really fun!
Anyone else on #teamvibe? Or have another contender for Greatest Barn Car Ever?