is an on-line tool to search junkyard inventory, and when looking for a particular part, it can also show you interchangeable parts from other models or years. Looking at Vibe steering columns, it doesn't offer any 2nd gen steering columns as interchangeable for 1st gen columns, doesn't offer any 1st gens for a 2nd gen search. To me that indicates that a 2nd gen won't work in a 1st gen. What it doesn't tell me is what's different. IT might be mechanically or electrically incompatible, or both.
It seems like you could get a used 2nd gen column for around $100, so you could get one and try. Myself, I'd be wary, while it might be straightforward to validate if it's a safe mechanical replacement, there may be a lot of electrical interface differences. '
And then there's that pesky airbag in the wheel. That's not the kind of thing you can test to verify it'll work when you need it. Well, I guess you can test it, but that gets expensive.
Assuming of course you have the recall done to keep the airbag from spontaneously deploying, or the recall to keep the airbag from acting like a grenade, or the new recall to get an airbag the deploys fully.