old Car and Driver comparison test

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vibrologist
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old Car and Driver comparison test

Post by vibrologist » Wed Sep 17, 2014 1:28 pm

enjoy the read:
http://www.caranddriver.com/comparisons ... ison-tests" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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Nasmfell
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Re: old Car and Driver comparison test

Post by Nasmfell » Wed Sep 17, 2014 3:35 pm

Saw this, noted how they "blasted" the Vibe for the driving position, and engine noisier than the Aerios. They weren't too impressed with it.

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Re: old Car and Driver comparison test

Post by vibrologist » Wed Sep 17, 2014 5:23 pm

I wholeheartedly agree with blasting the driving position. In fact I am considering raising the the seat with spacers about 3/4 of an inch.

About 5 years ago I had a test ride with the Focus and that seat is straight from medieval torture chambers. In worn seats you can actually see a steel rod sticking out of the side bolster.

The PT cruiser is too heavy and thus guzzles gas. Also the quality is hit or miss.
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Re: old Car and Driver comparison test

Post by jayoldschool » Wed Sep 17, 2014 6:38 pm

Hmm, I like the driving position and the head room. Of course, I'm 6'7". I would like to mount the seat further back! My right knee is on the shifter surround, and my left leg is cramped from the dead pedal.

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Re: old Car and Driver comparison test

Post by vibrologist » Wed Sep 17, 2014 7:18 pm

There, you are not completely happy either. The dead pedal is easy to remove. You could probably modify it or rig up a wooden dead pedal that is more to your liking.

I am 5'8", that's American male average. Proportionately my legs are a tad short but that does not seem to help. Toyota/Pontiac simply failed in this regard.
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Re: old Car and Driver comparison test

Post by lannvouivre » Wed Sep 17, 2014 9:14 pm

vibrologist wrote:I wholeheartedly agree with blasting the driving position. In fact I am considering raising the the seat with spacers about 3/4 of an inch.

About 5 years ago I had a test ride with the Focus and that seat is straight from medieval torture chambers. In worn seats you can actually see a steel rod sticking out of the side bolster.

The PT cruiser is too heavy and thus guzzles gas. Also the quality is hit or miss.
And the timing belt was sent to torment mankind with the idiotic BS you have to go through to change it.
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Re: old Car and Driver comparison test

Post by Derf » Thu Sep 18, 2014 2:08 pm

vibrologist wrote:I wholeheartedly agree with blasting the driving position. In fact I am considering raising the the seat with spacers about 3/4 of an inch.
See your point about the Vibe, had an 88 Old, built a set of rails so I could slide it back an extra 3". The good news, the Vibe is easy to modify. Slide seat back; two bolts, slide seat forward; two more bolts. Trip to the hardware store for longer bolts and spacers, hour plus you get a great car with a custom seat. Unlike those new GM SUV's seat mounts with their inverted star bit #%@& requiring a special trip to the auto parts store for a custom socket. If you modify, share the measured lift, instead of a Sleep number guess you could have a Vibe number :D
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Re: old Car and Driver comparison test

Post by Nasmfell » Thu Sep 18, 2014 3:07 pm

For owners of later Vibes (20005+) is the driving position any better?

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Re: old Car and Driver comparison test

Post by trb » Thu Sep 18, 2014 3:17 pm

I've been thinking about raising the seat in the 03 GT a bit too. It sits lower than the seat in my son's 06, possibly due to all the extra miles on it, 3x the miles, as the cushion is a bit more squishy. On the 10 GT I had the seat set at the highest setting and it was a good position for me, 5'9" and about 160. I've actually thought about trying to find the 10 GT if it ends up in a local salvage yard and buy the seats from it. I need to check on it pretty soon before someone beats me to it.
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Re: old Car and Driver comparison test

Post by vibrologist » Thu Sep 18, 2014 5:40 pm

The good news, the Vibe is easy to modify. Slide seat back; two bolts, slide seat forward; two more bolts. Trip to the hardware store for longer bolts and spacers, hour plus you get a great car with a custom seat.
Almost. The right rear mounting point of the driver's seat is at the tunnel and sideways. That will require a piece of flat iron with 2 holes. That could turn into a weak spot. I think I get away with raising the front only.

I may do it this weekend and of course I will write it up-with Vibenumber, of course.
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Re: old Car and Driver comparison test

Post by ImUrOBGYN » Fri Sep 19, 2014 8:32 am

Haha I actually find the driving position a bit high. However, I rather enjoy the super low position of my lowered Supra and think our RAV sits a bit high. Though, in the RAV, I find it more acceptable.

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Re: old Car and Driver comparison test

Post by vibrologist » Fri Sep 19, 2014 9:07 am

Haha I actually find the driving position a bit high.
It's not that I want to sit higher. I hope to gain a bit better relationship between pedals, steering wheel and seat. As it is I can get the distance to the pedals right, then I have to stretch the arms out too much, or I get the distance to the steering wheel right, then I am too close to the pedals. Even then the steering wheel is not low enough. It is impossible for me to really relax.
Ideally, the steering would telescope and tilt lower than it does. I don't think I can drop the steering wheel and bring it closer to me as easy as raising the seat.
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Re: old Car and Driver comparison test

Post by kostby » Fri Sep 19, 2014 9:35 am

The driver's seat height was manually adjustable higher/lower using the knob or lever (depending upon the model year) on the middle left side of the seat. Apparently not all of them hold the set position as they age, however: viewtopic.php?f=29&t=42750&p=491795&hil ... ht#p491795" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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Re: old Car and Driver comparison test

Post by vibrologist » Fri Sep 19, 2014 1:59 pm

Height adjustment pivots the seat surface. The front edge will not rise with the height adjustment.
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Re: old Car and Driver comparison test

Post by Derf » Fri Sep 19, 2014 2:55 pm

vibrologist wrote: The right rear mounting point of the driver's seat is at the tunnel and sideways. That will require a piece of flat iron with 2 holes. That could turn into a weak spot. I think I get away with raising the front only. I may do it this weekend and of course I will write it up-with Vibenumber, of course.
Forgot about the tunnel mount. Some more time and a little added challenge to get the extra metal bent right.. But your rear passengers will love the added foot room.

I also like the Frat Boy "Case" study between the vehicles. Vibe comes in 2nd with 28 cases of beer. I think taking the seats out like the PT cruiser, I could go for broke getting 33 cases loaded, they forget the Vibe front seat folds down,..
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Re: old Car and Driver comparison test

Post by vibrologist » Fri Sep 19, 2014 6:25 pm

Already done: I bought 2 bolts, 40 mm long and I found 4 oversize nuts, 10 mm high, to use as spacers. I loosened the rear mounts, removed the bolts in the front and placed 2 nuts under the bolts. However, the bolts wanted to cross thread because the hole in the seat bracket did not provide enough enough room. Therefore I used only one nut under each front mount and raised the front edge of the seat by 10 mm. The result is quite amazing. The distance to the pedals is longer and to the wheel it is shorter. But most importantly: I can rest my hands on my thighs while holding the steering wheel. Also the 8:00 o'clock and 4:00 o'clock positions on the wheel feel more comfortable. I am now sitting comparable to the way I sat in the minivan (command seating is the automotive buzzword). I haven't done any long distance yet, but I think this adjustment is a significant improvement for me.

I think you can shim the seat by about 8mm without needing longer bolts.

By the way: when you raise the seat with the adjuster the front edge actually drops because the pivot point is down by the rails and about 1/4 the distance back from the front edge. That's an application of trigonometry.

The frat check reminded me of a horrible hangover: "One of those thirty beers must have been bad!" :lol:
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Re: old Car and Driver comparison test

Post by sat73 » Sat Sep 20, 2014 4:54 am

From the article:

"Unfortunately, when moving the driver up a bit from the Corolla position, the designers didn't get the controls in the right places. The pedals are too close and the wheel and shifter too far away"

I couldn't agree more with this statement. I'm 5'-10", perhaps a little more leg than torso, and if I adjust the seat to where I'm truly comfortable with my legs, I can barely reach the top of the wheel. I have no problems with visibility thanks to the factory seat jacker, but, I think they really missed the boat by not offering a tilt and tele steering column.

When I've driven our Vibe cross country, I have little 'booster pillows' to rest my arms on rather than trying to hold them full outright for hours on end.
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Re: old Car and Driver comparison test

Post by vibrologist » Sat Sep 20, 2014 8:27 am

if I adjust the seat to where I'm truly comfortable with my legs, I can barely reach the top of the wheel
As a result, when you take a corner you move your back forward and give up all the lateral support of the side bolsters. And on long distances you feel the elbows pulling down which moves your shoulders forward and bends the lower back.

sat73, you could try shimming the front of your seat. You may not need the pillows anymore and the reach to the steering wheel will be better too.

C and D blames the designers for that. I blame the accountants. The more parts they can use of the Corolla the cheaper the production: steering column, pedals, floor pan, seat bases.
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Re: old Car and Driver comparison test

Post by sat73 » Sat Sep 20, 2014 3:44 pm

Around town, I just scrunch up a bit, and keep my back to the seat. I drive using both feet, so it's not like I have to move my leg(s) a lot.

I've wondered to myself if another column would bolt in that has more adjustment. :?:

Back to the article, they gave the PT such high praise, yet, back about 2006 we rented a new one for a week and I couldn't wait to get out of the thing. It did NOT have the seat jacker or a sunroof, yet, if I sat up proper, my head was firmly in the headliner. I had to lean back like I was cruising da' hood..... :x :lol:
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Re: old Car and Driver comparison test

Post by Kincaid » Sat Sep 20, 2014 4:08 pm

Nasmfell wrote:For owners of later Vibes (20005+) is the driving position any better?

I am 5' 10" plus and I'd say I probably have slightly shorter than average legs. I find the driving position in my 2009 to be just great. The only car I could not like was a mid-90's Grand Am, which seemed to have the bottom cushion tilted backwards so I felt like I was in a recliner.
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Re: old Car and Driver comparison test

Post by hotbug1776 » Thu Sep 25, 2014 10:50 am

I would almost prefer lower and farther back. I do agree that the seating position takes some adjusting to get the right fit.
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Re: old Car and Driver comparison test

Post by vibenvy » Sat Sep 27, 2014 4:46 pm

The driver's seating position is the same in both our 2009 Vibe GTs: seat all the way down and all the way back, back of seat a couple clicks back from straight up, steering wheel all the way toward the driver and all the way up toward the roof. I'm 5'7", my mom is 5'3" and my dad is 5'10". We are all comfortable driving with everything positioned this way and have not experienced any issues with fatigue, uncomfortableness, etc. on longer trips. I actually find the seats to be very comfortable. I have fallen asleep in the driver's seat of my Vibe many times while on my lunch break at work :P.
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Re: old Car and Driver comparison test

Post by vibrologist » Sat Sep 27, 2014 8:23 pm

You have telescoping steering wheels in your '09 GT's? If so can they be put into the older ones? Mine is "05. That would make a big difference.
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Re: old Car and Driver comparison test

Post by Nasmfell » Sun Sep 28, 2014 2:42 pm

Kincaid wrote:
Nasmfell wrote:For owners of later Vibes (20005+) is the driving position any better?

I am 5' 10" plus and I'd say I probably have slightly shorter than average legs. I find the driving position in my 2009 to be just great. The only car I could not like was a mid-90's Grand Am, which seemed to have the bottom cushion tilted backwards so I felt like I was in a recliner.

I see. The 2009-2010 had telescoping steering compared to the 2003-2008. That may be a big help to you.

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Re: old Car and Driver comparison test

Post by Nasmfell » Sun Sep 28, 2014 2:45 pm

vibrologist wrote:You have telescoping steering wheels in your '09 GT's? If so can they be put into the older ones? Mine is "05. That would make a big difference.

I think telescoping steering wheel was standard in all trims of the 2009-2010 models.

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Re: old Car and Driver comparison test

Post by Dairgo » Mon Sep 29, 2014 12:36 am

I only recently realized I had a telescoping steering wheel (2009 Vibe GT). Driving posture was good before this discovery, now that I know, it's great. For reference, I'm 5'6", and I find I can get it just right sliding the seat half way back (abouts) with no incline from the rear lifter.

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Re: old Car and Driver comparison test

Post by vibrologist » Mon Sep 29, 2014 5:38 am

Thanks, Dairgo.

Now I need to find out if a telescoping column was an option in the Gen 1 Vibe/Matrix or if I can swap a '09 and later column into my '05 base. The columns can be bought from junk yards.
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Re: old Car and Driver comparison test

Post by Dairgo » Tue Sep 30, 2014 2:49 am

Good luck Vibrologist! Hope you can find the part, or make one work!

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Re: old Car and Driver comparison test

Post by Nasmfell » Tue Sep 30, 2014 8:48 am

vibrologist wrote:Thanks, Dairgo.

Now I need to find out if a telescoping column was an option in the Gen 1 Vibe/Matrix or if I can swap a '09 and later column into my '05 base. The columns can be bought from junk yards.

I don't think it was. If it was not an option/standard in the Corolla, it's highly doubtful it was in the Matrix/Vibe

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Re: old Car and Driver comparison test

Post by ColonelPanic » Tue Sep 30, 2014 3:07 pm

The first gen Vibes never had a tilt/telescopic wheel, nor did the Corolla from what I can discern until the 2009 redesign where it became standard.

The tilt/telescopic wheel has been around for ages on higher level cars, but when first gen Vibes were in production, such a thing was sometimes a novelty even on midsize cars. Forget about a compact having one... Rather ubiquitous these days, all the way down to subcompacts. I have one in my Sonic which I never adjust. :lol:

I find the driving position great on the Vibe. I'm short and have long-ish arms. The worst part of driving this car for me has always been visibility, though now I find it's well ahead of most cars available today.
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Re: old Car and Driver comparison test

Post by vibrologist » Tue Sep 30, 2014 6:13 pm

I'm short and have long-ish arms
That car was made for you.
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