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Toyota Matrix



  • I just bought a 2006 Matrix with no factory rack. My Corolla wagon had a factory rack and I bought a Thule rack to attach to it. I want to carry a cartop aluminum boat and maybe lumber and ladders occasionally. Anyone have any comments on racks that would work? It would not be used frequently, so I prefer something cheaper than Thule or Yakima. Maybe a good quality removable rack?
  • I'm wondering about the reliability of the '03 Matrixses.

    I have an automatic XS, and the computer just went out. So of course I had to have it towed to the dealer and they told me the water pump was going out and there was a leak in the oil pan....

    Now, I don't know why the oil pan would leak, and this is the second water pump to go out...

    So I'm wondering, is this unusual? Has anyone had any problems with their '03 similar to this?
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    Well, a lot of the '02s are more than 6-1/2 years old now, so they could have a lot of miles. How many miles do you have on yours?

    And if you always go to the same place for service, you may want to get a second opinion just to be sure you are not getting cheated. 3 water pumps (including the original) in anything less than about 250,000 miles seems excessive. Some dealerships have the attitude that any time they crack the engine cover for anything they might as well replace the water pump "while they are in there". Needless to say, this is an attitude that costs you a lot of money unnecessarily.

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

  • Oh duh, It's not an '03 it's an '06. Our Corolla is the '03... sorry.

    Anyhow this machine has 48,500 miles on it. The computer went out many many miles from the home dealership so this in effect is a second opinion on the water pump (kind of). Both have been replaced under warranty. Also when I picked it up the mechanic had noted that there was "a noise" coming from the air intake valve. That also seems quite odd.
  • I have had an 07 XR and currently have an 09 S Matrix, I have 3 dogs: a border collie/chow mix (about 35 pounds) and 2 chihuahuas ( 7 and 10 pounds). With the back seats up, there is more than enough room for them to all hang out in the back very comfortably.

    When I was first looking at getting the Matrix, I compared it against other cars it's size: Golf, Mazda3, Fit, and XB.

    The Matrix, by far, had the most front leg room, rear leg room, and cargo space (with the seats up) AND it felt safer and sturdier to me than any of the other cars.

    Inside the Matrix is much roomier than you would expect.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    Did you trade the '07 for the '09? Does anything, either good or bad, stand out to you as different between the two models?

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

  • I know this is an old thread, but my 2005 XRS gets 42mpg. Bear in mind that those are imperial gallons, at about 4.5 liters. Ok, they are highway miles, with a six speed and 32 psi. My average speed is about 118 kph; just over 60mph. I use all synthetic, and super, and avoid exxon, as I have boycotted them for years after I heard that they had the dirtiest gas of the major distributors. A US gallon is .83 of an imperial gallon; therefor my mileage with US gallons would be 34.86 miles to the gallon. I like a clean air intake filter as well as using the cruise control. The high revs took a while to get used to, but she likes it. I love this car. At a 100kph/60mph the revs sit at 2800.
  • Hi All,
    I am thinking of getting a 2004 Matrix XRS manual with 55k miles. It is a great deal and I am buying it from a reputable repair shop. They claim it is in great shape and has many more miles in it. For comparison, I am currently driving a 1996 Civic I bought new. 55K too many miles to be purchasing a Matrix with? Any persistant issues I should be aware of with this make/model/year?

    Thanks so much in advance....
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    The XRS is the trim that has the powertrain in it from the old Celica GT-S. Some owners have reported less-than-ideal clutch life from that model (clutches needing replacement in the 50-75K miles range, some even earlier).

    If you are buying the automatic, you should be aware that it is DOG slow with the 4-speed - the shift logic never lets the engine get far into the powerband (above 6200 rpm) before it shifts up.

    One or two owners with the Celica GT-S have reported premature oil burning, but with a model like this you are always going to have a few that raced their cars instead of breaking the engine in appropriately and so the rings didn't seat, resulting in excess oil consumption later in the car's life.

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

  • vennvenn Posts: 2
    In comparing the Pontiac Vibe and Toyota Matrix 2009 AWD's, I see they have almost the same dimensions except for the Maximum Cargo Capacity (under the "Specs" pages). According to the Toyota website: and it's 48.9 cu. ft., but according to Edmunds it's 62 cu. ft. (61.5 cu ft. per How can there be such a big gap between these numbers? What is the correct number? I think it must be the 48.9 since the 2 cars are basically twins and the Vibe has a capacity of 49.4 cu. ft. I just wanted to check if anybody knew. Thanks.
  • I noticed a few folks here have "upgraded" from the original Matrix to the redesigned 09 vehicle. I own an 08 and like most of the car -- except the harsh highway noise, and harsh ride on bumpy roads (which comes w/ the territory in a small car).
    I'm curious if anyone who's made this switch has noticed a dramatic improvement in terms of cabin noise. when I testdrove the 09 it seemed about the same to me.

    thanks in advance for any insights!
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    The trick with cargo space is always in how you measure it, which is why two sources can vary so widely. I agree with you it is probably the lower number since the Vibe is basically its twin. The thing to do is go check the car out and bring some big stuff with you that is similar in size to the biggest loads you anticipate having to carry. Then, see if it fits.

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

  • scotty42scotty42 Posts: 2
    Hello I have never used this type of forum before so I hope I am doing this right. I have a toyota matrix 03 I had the brakes replaced about 2years ago. Last night both front brakes failed to both fully disingauge. Both brakes when I got home were glowing red hot, back brakes seemed fine. any thought to what this could be? :lemon:
  • A failed brake caliper can cause the brakes to not properly disengage but it sounds unusual for both to do this at the same time. I would start by removing the calipers and inspecting them along with checking the fluid level in the master cylinder. Also, look over all brake lines and check for leakage.
  • scotty42scotty42 Posts: 2
    Thanks for your advice nick, I will have the car up on blocks tomorrow night I will let you know what I find.
  • I am currently looking to buy a used Toyota Matrix, like a couple years old (06', 07').

    I am torn between getting 5-speed manual transmission or an Automatic Transmission. I have read about the 5-speed manual's having transmission problems on one of the forums. Is this just in the 03' & 04' models? Is getting a Matrix a good thing? I need advice!

    Thank you
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    Having had both, I have to say you really need the manual to wring all the power out of the engine in the pre-'09s. The automatic is dog-slow.

    I believe the manual transmission problem only extended through the '03 and '04 model years.

    As far as is a Matrix a good thing, I can only say "good" will vary widely from person to person, right?

    For me it was the best balance available at the time (bought mine 1/07) of utility, price, fuel economy, and reliability. It's also fairly peppy and moderately fun to drive. Its pretty strong in the areas I just mentioned. Four adults can travel in full comfort in this car, the back seat is surprisingly large. The stuff you can fit in it is voluminous with the back seat down.

    Edit...I saw your larger post on the "pre-purchase research" board, and let me add that the Matrix is a great car for camping, for yourself or a couple, plenty of space to put your stuff in back.

    And no Toyota built today is the equal of your 1990 Camry, but I do think you will get 150K miles out of it without much trouble. Good luck! :-)

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

  • Thank you very much for the advice. I really appreciate it. I am going for a manual tranny.

    I'm having a hard time finding and Xr with manual tranny and a sunroof. The search continues.

    I am also accepting the fact that no car will be my Camry or my husband's 1995 Toyota Pickup that has 215,000 miles on it and still going strong (I've tried to kill this pickup and it won't die).

    Again, thank you for your advice!
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    If you're in the Bay Area, my local dealer in Novato has one. It's an '05, which I know is slightly older than you are looking for, but it IS an XR with a stick and moonroof. It has 44K miles.

    They also have an '06 XRS (with the Celica GTS engine) with a 6-speed and 27K miles that I am halfway thinking of picking up. I always liked the much tighter handling of the XRS, but by the time I got around to buying (2007) they had dropped the XRS trim.

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

  • lapierbblapierbb Posts: 1
    I am just curious if anyone knows how much tires cost for the Matrix. We are getting out of a 2000 Grand Am where we only had one real choice for tires and they were way to expensive. We do not want to make that mistake again. I will appreciate any help that I can get on this subject. Thanks!!
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