The Pontiac Vibe didn't take long to impress. We were sitting in the front seat, ignition off, looking at the spec sheet: six-speed manual transmission, all-wheel drive, base price of 17 grand. What more could an entry-level buyer want?
Not much, as our test drive near Las Vegas proved. We especially liked the 180-horsepower four-cylinder engine in the upmarket GT (the base engine makes 130 hp), and handling was responsive with both engines.
Bottom line: PT Cruiser or Focus buyers should add this SUV-ish sedan (or its twin, the Toyota Matrix) to their test-drive list.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.