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Toyota Matrix

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  • My wife's Civic has an older 106hp engine. It is fine for her. If the car had a manual transmission it would be rather zippy too. There is more to a successful engine than a peak HP number.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,695
    one of the advantages of the Civic is its light weight, at 2500 lbs or so. Of course, all these new crossovers and compact wagons, including the 3 and the Matrix, weigh in at more like 2800. They are also higher with more drag than 2 and 4 door sedans and coupes like Civic.

    I will bet, though, that Honda brings in standard continuously variable valve timing with the next gen of Civic, which will boost low-end power.

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

  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,695
    I had an XRS as a loaner for a couple of days this weekend while my truck was in the shop...I had no idea just how different the XR and XRS are! Now I want to trade for the 180 hp, and fuel economy be darned! :-)

    This thing would get me a ton of tickets though - it just isn't happy unless it can go 90 mph or more, and the engine is SO rev-happy. You can drive around at 5000 rpm in town, no sweat - sm-o-o-o-th! I never got out of second gear except on the highway! And even with those drive habits, I got 25 mpg. When I turned it back in I went and had a test drive in an '04 (the loaner was an '03) - I really like the updated gauge lighting on the '04 much better. Plus, now you can get the 17s with the moonroof. The handling is much better in the XRS vs XR. I don't think it can be just the lower profile tires and the 17" rims - are the stabilizer bars bigger too? Or firmer struts?

    I think I have to trade up for one of these next year! :-)

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

  • capitanocapitano Posts: 509
    I told you. It's a rocket. No tickets yet for me.

    I keep thinking how versatile it is. I can putter around at 2-3k rpms or I can let it go. I love on ramps. I like being able to merge at 75-80 mph. Don't wanna let me in? Ok, I'll pass you.
  • bluestar1bluestar1 Posts: 112
    saw somewhere on the other popular Trix website that the main edge of XRS over XR starts above 6000rpm. The top end speed for both is a whisker apart as rpm climbs with identical power curve up to 110mph. However everything changes when lift kicks in at 6500rpm for the XRS, the XR is left eating its own dust at such elevated rpm. ? for you: Do you need to drive around at >6000rpm everytime to really get the butt-kicking feel of the XRS? Yeah, I've read about how the XRS is rev happy, but I kinda wonder if that is a good thing on the lifespan of the 2ZZ Yamaha engine.

    BUT, I am intrigued enough to go test drive an XRS, just for kicks....
  • mikusmikus Posts: 109
    And if you did not go above 6000 rpm, you did not feel real XRS ;)
  • capitanocapitano Posts: 509
    I find that I don't "need" to get into lift to have fun. Sometimes I hit it, sometimes I don't. I shift when I feel like shifting based on the situation at the moment.

    The XRS doesn't have to get into the lift range to get more power than the XR and the handling is better at all speeds.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,695
    the handling is MUCH better in the XRS! Don't be fooled! The XR is a rolling couch next to the XRS.

    I LIVE above 6000 rpm in this car! But you have to drive both to appreciate the difference below that engine speed. The XR engine feels suffocated by emissions controls by comparison. It is less connected, less quick to respond and rev, slower to slow down when you take your foot off the gas. (It is also MUCH lower emissions than the XRS engine). The stick and clutch engagement are couchlike also in the XR, by comparison with the XRS.

    The 2ZZ is the same engine in the celica GTS, and from what I understood reading about it in the past, it is specially reinforced for high speed operation, so I don't think being above 6K rpm a lot would significantly decrease the life of the engine. If you own an XRS and don't engage the extra lift above 6000 rpm regularly, I think you would be missing a good part of the fun of this car.

    I am back in the rental this week, which of course (because it is a rental) is an auto ('03), and it is a bummer that the gears are so far apart that when you floor it, it will only go up to about 7400 rpm (below redline) and when it shifts will fall back out of the high-powerband for a time. In my recent test drive of an '04, I had the salesman on my right, and so did not bring it up to redline at every shift, but in the 6-speed can you keep the engine in the powerband at each shift?

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

  • capitanocapitano Posts: 509
    Yes, you can keep the engine in lift with the six speed. Matrix owner and enthusiast sites even have some video of guys doing it in a celica. 120mph in 5th gear. If you can't shift enough you might not land in lift but you'll be close.
  • I drove both back last Dec. Settled on the XRS for the reasons you've mentioned - my spousal unit doesn't like me when we exceed 6K RPM; so we take the Avy when we're together. Kind of miss her in the XRS right up to 6000 RPM! BTW: gas mileage still remains above 29mpg. But who really cares.
  • carlisimocarlisimo Posts: 1,280
    How's visibility out the back? I rented a Vibe once and I was frustrated by how little I could see when turning my head. I know you can drive just using the mirrors but I'm used to older cars with plenty of window space and sometimes without a right side mirror. I think visibility will be a big factor in what I end up buying.
  • bluestar1bluestar1 Posts: 112
    When you hit 6500rpm, what speedo are you at ? I have never driven a car up to anything beyond 4000rpm, even then my LS400 will be well beyond 120mph anywhere >3500rpm, so I'd never imagine driving in the stratosphere of 6000rpm+. I'd speculate you have to be well above 130mph at lift, right ? BTW, since most speed limits are 70mph or less, I don't see how any XRS driver could ever stay within limit, with such a rev happy car, or can you guys do it ?
  • mikusmikus Posts: 109
    You remember that the car has a gearbox, don't you? ;) One can easily rev it up to 8K on the first or second gear, still staying within speed limit :)

    The higher gears the easier to keep engine within the "high" zone, because the gap between gears is smaller. I guess, about 1200-1500 on the 1-2, and about only 600 on 5-6. Something like that. So, if you managed not to drop when changing to second, you are in money :)
  • capitanocapitano Posts: 509
    Gee, I think the highest gear I've lift in is 3rd.

    From the reviews I read, the visibility in the Vibe is a little worse than the Matrix because of the thicker D pillars. It's fine for me, roughly comparable to my old pathfinder.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,695
    what speed are you at when first gear hits lift?

    If this car were raspy or rough at high speeds, driving it that way would be no fun, but the 2ZZ is so smooth that it begs to be driven at those rpm.

    The auto is hard to keep on boil around town, because the gears are so far apart. Lift occurs in second around 60-65 mph. But I assume that in the 6-speed lift occurs in first and second at much lower vehicle speeds?

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

  • capitanocapitano Posts: 509
    It looks like I hit lift in 1st gear around 33mph.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,695
    that's much better...I notice that even at 4-5K there is good pulling power, it is just below 3K or so that it tends to lag a bit. That settles my mind as to the question of whether or not it would bog around town at low speeds.

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

  • bluestar1bluestar1 Posts: 112
    I meant to ask that when you stay in the *lift zone*, what speedo range is that ? My guess is that it gotta be >100mph at 5th gear, and >6500rpm. And that is well above speed limit. I suppose that is what I am aiming at, lol ! But seems you guys are hitting lift in 2nd or 3rd gear.
  • capitanocapitano Posts: 509
    Lift is only dependent on engine rpm and not groundspeed. You can hit lift in 1st 2nd and 3rd and not exceed most highway speed limits.

    There's a video of a celica driver who launches at 5k, shifts to 2nd at redline and just over 40mph. After the shift he is still in lift and then he shifts into 3rd at 65-70mph.
  • mikusmikus Posts: 109
    > Lift is only dependent on engine rpm and not groundspeed.

    Yep. This is the whole point, to get the most acceleration right from the start. Short first gear helps, because it revs up quickly to the "high" zone, and then you just have to keep the engine revs there :)
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,695
    a car with only 132 ft-lb of torque on tap can really use a super-short first gear! One drive over the hills of San Francisco will convince you. :-)

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

  • Does anyone know?
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,695
    can now be had with the moonroof AND the 17" rims. Previously, you had to pick one or the other. Also, the gauges on all trims have changed from deep red lighting to red and blue numbering with white accents and a white odo/outside temp display.

    Finally, the prices for middle of the line XR models with popular equipment have actually dropped a little bit due to new equipment packages that reduce the price: I recently configured an '04 exactly the same as my '03 XR and it wound up about $300 cheaper!

    I don't know of any other changes: it shouldn't be changing that much, since it is only in its second year.

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

  • I could be wrong on this, but I think the only diff is the new gauge cluster....and possibly a couple new colours.
  • Sorry I didn't answer earlier - up in DC last week. If I ever get the chance to push 6k RPMs in fifth or sixth gear it had better be on the open plains of Montana; we're going to need wings for the time we spend airborne if we hit a bump. Don't like pushing more that 4K in first; up to 6K in second and third. In fourth gear, 4K is usually just beyond the speed limits so I move to fifth and sixth. Normally, I push 6K when accelerating onto the Interstate where I can quickly get to 65-75 mph . I have not had the safe opportunity to run faster than 3500 rpm (~90 mph) in sixth gear because of traffic, road conditions and local environments. Just waiting to go out west to the "Resume safe speed" limit roads and see what she really can do. As noted above, it is geared to move quickly - but she's isn't a sport car.

    Rear visual are good; I make a conscious effort to look over both shoulders when moving between lanes, check both mirrors, and ramp the prm which are all a result of European driving lessons.
  • Hi there,

     I recently purchased an '04 Matrix XRS a month ago thinking that I had following underneath my hood:

    1.8-liter DOHC
    16-valve VVTL-i
    4-cylinder
    180 hp @ 7,600 rpm
    130 lb.-ft. @ 6,800 rpm

    Unfortunately, Toyota recently downgraded their specs to the following:

    1.8-liter DOHC
    16-valve VVT-i
    4-cylinder
    173 hp @ 7,600 rpm
    127 lb.-ft. @ 4,400 rpm

     Toyota's '04 Matrix Brochure states that it has 180 hp, which was the reason I purchsed the vehicle.

     If you guys also feel you have been cheated, please let Toyota know at 1-800-331-4331 Ext. 3(M-F from 6 am - 6 pm)

     Hopefully, Toyota will do something about it.

     When Hyundai misstated their hp figures, they extended the bumper to bumper warranty by an additional two years.

     When Mazda recently misstated the hp figures on the RX-8 to 250 hp when it really had 238 hp, Mazda offered it's owners a choice of FREE scheduled maintenance during warranty period, in addition to $2000 in gas money. If you didn't like that idea, Mazda offered to buy the car back.
  • capitanocapitano Posts: 509
    It did seem odd that Pontiac had adjusted numbers downward and Toyota didn't.

    Numbes aside, is there any measureable difference in how a 2003 and 2004 XRS actually drive?

    I am somewhat disappointed in the drop in numbers, but I am still more than satisfied with the car.
  • Personally, since I own the '04 Matrix XRS, I haven't driven the '03 Matrix XRS so I wouldn't know personally.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,695
    that it would be impossible to notice this difference outside a race track. However, it is true that the precedent is there from other car companies for compensating buyers who are misinformed in this manner.

    So the torque peak now occurs much lower down in the engine speed: should make for better round-town driving. I wonder what was changed? I will bet it is something to do with stricter emissions requirements - the engine in the '03 was from the '00 Celica GTS and had been unchanged since its introduction way back then. Even in 2000 it was a high-emissions engine.

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

  • 2004 has an air pump system, I have read. Hence the new operation numbers.
    The difference, I believe, between the Ford/Mazda/Hyundai cases and this Toyota case, is that in the other cases the manufacturers actually thought the higher numbers were correct and then where proven wrong. Toyota has just corrected an error in specs. I am sure there are disclaimers in their catalogs and on their websites that cover them.
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