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Toyota Matrix

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  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,692
    TRAC Toyota dealers will rent you a Matrix for a day. Check out how far you have to sit from the wheel (peoples' number one complaint) - can you get your hands comfortable, and do you have to stretch out for every gear shift once you are in that comfortable position (which will guarantee you do not keep that comfortable position, because who wants to do aerobic stretches every time they need to shift?)? The other major complaint is the shortness of the seat cushion - do you feel a pinch point in your legs' circulation? If you feel any pressure at all, the seat will likely be uncomfortable for you after a couple of hours of driving. Can it be adjusted so you no longer feel the pressure?

     

    I had mine for long enough to do a couple of 1000-mile trips in it, and I had no problem with the seat or the driving position whatsoever.

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

  • petlpetl Posts: 610
    The seat cushion in the Matrix (2003) is actually longer than in the Camry (2002). The cushion is approx. 1 inch longer in the Matrix.
  • In his automotive column in today's Boston Globe, author Royal Ford wrote this in response to a question about what gift someone might get for a young driver:

     

    "We'll be extravagant here and assume you can afford a new car. Get the Toyota Matrix, with ABS, a four-cylinder engine, and all-wheel-drive.

         If a Massachusetts dealer tells you that package is not available (and at well below $20,000), contact me.

         This is a safe, cool-looking, reliable car."
  • Yeah the AWD matrix is probably a good choice for young drivers (And by this I mean drivers under 20). With the AWD, automatic transmission and slightly less HP than the standard Matrix it is going to minimize the ability of the young driver to do the stupid stuff that gets young drivers in trouble.
  • Hi everybody.

     

    My wife has a 04 Matrix XR which recently having some rattle coming off the dashboard. Seems like the sounds coming from the drive side above the gauges. It gets worse when the weather is cold. We had brought it twice to a local dealer but so far they haven't been able to eliminate it. Does anybody have the same issue and what is the fix?

     

    Thanks.
  • nortsr1nortsr1 Posts: 1,060
    Go to the SUV forum and click on the RAV 4 topic...I believe they discussed tha same dash rattle problem and there was a TSB Dash rattle repair listed.It is one of the more recent entries.

       Hope this helps, as it might pertain to your similar problem and give you something to show your Toyota service dept. mgr.
  • Has anyone had experience towing 1500< lbs with an XRS 6-speed? All Matrix are rated as being able to do so. I'm considering the purchase of an XRS, but wondering about the high revs necessary to achieve sufficient torque with that engine, particularly on take-off. I don't see an issue when up to speed. I would be pulling a 1000 lb trailer/jet ski up a ramp on occasion, as well as a 4x8 trailer for occasional trips to Home Depot. Any feedback on actual experience with similar situations would be appreciated!
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    Towing with a Matrix ? Why not just buy a small p/u to do that ? Seems like a much better choice than a Matrix to me. I do have a Matrix and can not imagine it towing anything with the 130hp 4-banger engine. That engine labors going up any hill with an incline higher than 20deg. ! Towing with the buzzy 180hp motor will be a chore, imo.
  • steine13steine13 Posts: 2,411
    ".. labors going up any hill with an incline higher than 20deg"

     

    That's ok, though, 'cuz there ain't no hills with 20 deg incline. 20 degrees is a ski slope.

     

    I find the engine to have plenty of power (base, 5sp) and could see towing a small sailboat or something like that... but at 1000 lbs, things would start to be less fun...

     

    -Mathias
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516
    That's ok, though, 'cuz there ain't no hills with 20 deg incline. 20 degrees is a ski slope.

     

    Polite disagreement there. This is my Ram dually in front of my home. My handy protractor says about 15 degrees, and this is after the street has actually levelled slightly. Of course, I live in the mountains, so your mileage may vary :)

     

    image

     

    kcram

    Host - Wagons
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    All roads have inclines, except if you'd argue that all roads are FLAT. As a learned gentleman that you are, I'd not try to stress this point too much, as I'm sure on second thought you'd agree with me, as well as kcram_Host.

     

    BTW, my point remains: get a p/u or SUV truck if you'd need towing. Much much better than using a sedan/wagon...
  • steine13steine13 Posts: 2,411
    "Rise over run" is -- correct me if I'm wrong -- the height gained over total distance traveled. Not horizontal distance travel.

     

    In other words, it is the sine of the angle that the road forms with the horizontal.

     

    The steepest slope I'm personally familiar with that has a sign on it is in my home town... it says 15% and it's pretty darned steep. The steepest one I've ever seen is in northern MI and is supposedly 25%. I've biked it a few times... it is so steep that I have to yank on the handle bar to get my foot to go down... my own weight won't do it, and that's with a 1:1 gearing. Another indicator: If there's even a tiny bit of sand on the road, you can feel your rear wheel slipping ever so slightly... it is STEEP.

     

    25% is about 14.5 degrees (arc sine of 0.25). I don't believe there is any road with a 20-degree angle -- that's a 34% incline. No way.

     

    BTW, all those mountain roads in CO or in the alps are actually not THAT steep... most were built at a time when trucks couldn't handle more than 10% or so for any length of time. The nastiness of all the alpine climbs in cycling is that they are so darned long, not that they are super steep.

     

    kcram, I hope you're not using your protractor on the picture... I'll only buy that if you shoot the picture through an aquarium... or a Scotch glass :-)

     

    -Mathias
  • steine13steine13 Posts: 2,411
    "All roads have inclines, except if you'd argue that all roads are FLAT. "

     

    Sure; I didn't say they don't have inclines. I'm arguing it ain't 20 degrees.

     

    Are there any civil engineers around? I wonder at what point asphalt starts to slide and break under the weight of cars or haevy trucks braking on the downhills... anyone?

     

    -Mathias
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516
    The definition of a percentage incline in terms of roads is rise over fixed horizonatl length, e.g. a 1-foot rise over 100 horizontal feet is a 1% grade. Thus, a 45-degree angle is a 100% grade - it's not going by arcsin, just straight height-to-horizon ratio. (A vertical wall has no grade because there's no horizontal travel to compute the percentage, essentially dividing by zero which is mathematically illegal.)

     

    I'll allow 2 replies, then we gotta get back on topic :)

     

    kcram

    Host - Wagons


    (who did his fair share of trig as well as civil and mechanical engineering courses in college)
  • steine13steine13 Posts: 2,411
    "Thus, a 45-degree angle is a 100% grade "

    Thanks!

    I learn something new (or in this case, old) on Edmunds every day. That makes it the arc tangent, and 20 degrees is 36%.

     

    I'll quit harping on this now... it's just that I was fascinated with this stuff when I was little, and I found that when you're sledding or skiing, and you'd swear you're going down a 45-degree slope when looking from above, it turns out it's at most 25-30 degrees when you look from the side. We have a sledding hill near here that I thought twice about before going down... it's REALLY steep and short, and when I checked it from the side, it wasn't nearly as bad as I thought.

     

    Of course, in mid-MI, the definition of "hill" is something that water runs down in only one direction...

     

    Thanks for setting me straight on the definition.

    -Mathias
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    Rest my case... ehm... point.

     

    :)
  • mpalmermpalmer Posts: 20
    I test drove the Matrix and fell in love with it. But, I am considering upgrading the seats to maybe a fabric like in the Camry (dealer said they could upholster over the ones that come with it). However the fabric material that comes with it IS pretty comfortable. Actually, I was surprised. Anyway, should I do it?? Thanks.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,692
    but I think the material used on the Matrix seats breathes better than the cloth in the Camry. Good for long trips.

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

  • mpalmermpalmer Posts: 20
    Hi all, test drove the Matrix and plan on getting a new '05 in a month or so. I think I test drove the XR FWD model (can't drive a stick). Can you guys help me with what options are worthwhile while keeping the price down?

     

    Safety is an issue for me, as I have two sons 12 and 8. So, should I get ABS, or VSC, or both? would like to know the diff between these. I definitely think I should go with the front and side/curtain airbags...don't even know if curtain is offered on Matrix...

     

     I live in Southern California, so harsh weather (snow) is not an issue, except for the rare skiing trip to Big Bear maybe some time in my future when the boys get older (if they want to go.) Do I need the AWD?

     

    I do want a safe car to drive through wet, rain-drenched roads for when it rains here.

     

    Is the stereo system adequate? Any other must have options? Would like to try sunroof, IF I can afford it.

     

    It dosen't take much to make me happy. I am in a '86 toyota Camry--and anything would be better than that. But, I think the Matrix would be MUCH better ;-).

     

    Marion
  • We have the 2003 with ABS (anti-lock brakes) and we got 4WD because my wife wanted it. Here in Massachusetts the 4WD is handy, but it sounds like you would be fine with FWD. I would strongly recommend ABS, especially since your 12-year-old may well learn to drive in this vehicle, but finding a FWD with ABS in our area is not easy.

     

    In skid situations you just keep your foot firmly planted on the brake pedal when you have ABS, and a computer pumps the brakes for you at something like a thousand times per minute in order to get the vehicle under control again. In our case the ABS has kicked in only a handful of times since we have the Matrix, and this was mostly on snowy surfaces. (You can tell the ABS is activated by a pulsating feeling in the brake pedal and a sort of "grinding" noise, for lack of a better word.) However, the ABS did kick in once on dry pavement when I slammed on the brakes because a huge animal darted into the road right in my path.
  • 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?

     

    Marion
  • 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?

     

    Marion
  • 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: 12,692
    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?
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