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Toyota Matrix



  • Our brand new '05 Matrix has what is probably the same rattle as what you have. I fixed it, in my own ingenious way. I went to Staples and bought a small, soft erasure (about 1" X 2"). Soft is key here. Don't buy the harder, standard orange erasure. I trimmed one end so it was wedge shaped. I then pushed the erasure deep into the front-left corner where the windshield meets the dash board. It's been fine since I did this.
  • mpalmer,


    We just bought an '05 Matrix. I would suggest getting the ABS, but not the AWD option. If you go to the snow, get tire chains. Even if you have AWD, you can't get past the roadblocks unless you have chains. The XR has a decent stereo with 6-disc changer. That's nice. If you can, get the sunroof. Very nice during our nice SoCal days.
  • mpalmermpalmer Posts: 20
    Herzogtum71 and difilice, Thank you for the responses. But, do you guys think I need VSC? I don't really know much about it. Does it work inconjunction with the ABS?


  • mpalmer,


    I wasn't aware, when we bought our '05, that VSC was a separate option. I thought it came along as part of an "option package" or just came as part of the "XS" model that we purchased. I'm not sure if the standard model has it, but I think the XS and the XSR both have it. One of the benefits of buying the higher-end models I guess. It's nice to know, in the back of my mind, that our car has VSC, but I've got two cars now with VSC and I can't tell you if I've ever known that it is working. Basically, it controls the slippage of the wheels to help maintain control in cornering. It probably becomes active when you drive beyond the limits of the car, or meet up with a situation that requires radical driving.
  • mpalmermpalmer Posts: 20
    It's looks as if I've missed the end of year rebates offered on the Matrix, if there were any,I was late in checking. Does anyone know when I can expect more rebates to come out? Or know where I can find this information out?


  • I have VCS on the Highlander I drive and can't tell if it has ever done anything. I don't think our Matrix has it. But if it's easy to get VCS on the new Matrix and doesn't add much to the cost, then why not go for it?
  • mpalmermpalmer Posts: 20
    herzogotum71 and dflice,

       Thanks I'm gonnna spring for both ABS and VSC. Thanks :)
  • neatoneato Posts: 3
    Hi everyone. Not sure where exactly this should be placed so if I'm posting in the wrong area, feel free to move it!


    I have been in the market for a new car for sometime and the other day, I received a phone call from my local dealership about a 2003 Matrix XRS with 25,000 miles on it, loaded for $15,000. I was sold and ready to buy it when after some inquiry, I found that the first owner had burned out its original clutch.


    My concern is this: If the first owner (it was a leased vehicle so it is certified pre-owned) was able to burn out the clutch so quickly, how much damange was he able to do to the engine? Part of me is trying to rationalize and say that the engine is supposed to be driven hard so it is unlikely any serious damange to the engine was done. Plus, the car would come with the 3-yr Toyota warranty.


    However, I can't help but be concerned regardless. $15,000 for a used car is still a lot, especially for one with engine damage (although again, it is not known if any significant damage was done!). Furthermore, three years may not be enough for engine problems to arise.


    If anyone has any ideas, please share! I appreciate any and all responses!
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    there are other fish in the sea. $15K isn't the world's best price for a 2 year old XRS (possibly close to 3 years old at this point, depending on build date), and 25K is too young for it to need a new clutch - find one that wasn't driven so hard. Lots of regular folks are buying XRS's too. Ones that don't race it, but carry their kids in it instead.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • carlisimocarlisimo Posts: 1,280
    I'd worry that the car wasn't driven softly during the break-in period. And that the synchros have been beat up, meaning the transmission will be painful to use in the car's old age.


    On the other hand, the "certified" part of certified pre-owned tends to be pretty trustworthy. Ask for a second inspection of the powertrain and gearbox?
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    but they are not going to tear down the engine or the transmission - those CPO inspections amount to nothing much more than fluid checks. Do they do even do a compression check? The warranty is good, as long as you plan to sell at the end of the 6/100. And if the shifting gets stiff and crunchy before then, at what point will they do anything about it under the CPO warranty?

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • steine13steine13 Posts: 2,411
    "Do they do even do a compression check?"



    Thank you for asking.

    Who does a compression test, anyway? Typically, you do one of those if the power seems off.

    CPO is a clean & wax, a drive around the block and a look-see, an oil change + warranty. Can be an OK deal, I'd rather do my own inspecting than pay for a warranty, but that's me.


    And I don't buy cars that have been abused. My 99 Prizm had 135k miles of a BAD driver -- saw him in action -- before the clutch had to be replaced. Other than that, he took care of the car. I believe that's the same clutch you'll find in the XRS, and the mechanism looks no different than an '88 Celica... Toyota doesn't muck around too much with their designs. 25k? Run away.


  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    the XRS does not have the regular Corolla clutch, it has the short clutch out of the Celica GTS. In the Celica it feels engaged and makes fast driving easier. In the Matrix, because of the high seating position, it doesn't have the same effect. But it is still a better clutch than the base Corolla clutch.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • I drove a base corolla clutch for 10 years and 111,000 miles without having to do any work on it. Shifting was smooth, and never any question about what gear I was in.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    no, the clutch itself is a shorter one with more positive engagements. That is the only way it is different.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • saaviksaavik Posts: 2
    I am researching my next vehicle. The Matrix has caught my eye. I live in northern Ohio. I was wondering if someone could tell me how the Matrix (particularly the AWD version) handles the snow around here. How's the traction? Is there enough ground clearance? How well does it pull a snowy hill? Things like that.


    Thanks a lot
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    I'll second everyone here and say move on and don't buy this car. If you want to have a glimpse of the XRS crowd, why not visit their dedicated website. Just search for this site (pretty easy to find) using your favorite search engine.


    Unlike the XR, the XRS/6-speed is meant to be driven hard and is at its most fun at high rev points. With lift achieved at 5000+ rpm, this car is born to be raced, otherwise why did Toyota give it the Celica GTS motor with a closely geared 6-speed tranny ? If I own an XRS I will drive it hard too ... IMO, that is the only way to drive and enjoy this car....


    Although not the same, I have had to replace my front brakes on my '03 XR after only 33K miles. I drive my XR pretty hard as well....
  • petlpetl Posts: 610
    The vehicle (AWD) handles great in snow and ice conditions. The traction is fantastic. However, it's easy to get too agressive at times. Just remember it will not stop faster in those conditions (particularly with ABS).
  • saaviksaavik Posts: 2
    Thanks for the info. I will keep that in mind.
  • Petl's comments are on target. The 4WD Matrix handles snowy hills very easily. I shared your concern about ground clearance, but around here (Massachusetts) the plows are out before the snow is too deep on the roads. Driving through several inches of snow that piles up between passes of the plow is no trouble. If you need to go over snow banks that are a couple of feet deep, though, you should consider a higher profile 4WD.
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