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Toyota Matrix: MPG-Real World Numbers

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  • gimmegirlgimmegirl Posts: 23
    I purchased a 2007 xr 5-speed Matrix a few months ago. I have about 3000 miles on the car. I have been getting 34 MPG in city driving. I have only taken two trips with this car.

    I live in Northern Virginia, and I took a trip to Blacksburg. Yes, that Blacksburg. I took it easy - lots of cops around. Drove about 65-70 and only got about 34 MPG. But, it is uphill almost the whole way, and inclines do pull a bit on the engine. On the way back, I got 41 MPG. Really. No lie. And I flew - 75 the whole way back. But, it is downhill the whole way, and I've found that if I'm going downhill, I can shift into neutral and coast for miles, adding a bit to the MPG stat. I don't go below the speed limit, and no, it doesn't harm the engine or the clutch.

    I drove to Philadelphia this past weekend, and went there and back on less than a tank of gas (plus intown driving around Philly and those hated tolls) and got 37 MPG.

    I have seriously cut back on my lead foot tendencies, and have tried to become a more gentle driver. I very much wanted to cut my use of gasoline, and buying this car was a large part of it. Except for my trips, I usually do not have other passengers, and I keep the car empty of all but the essentials.

    I love this little car. It isn't a hot rod, but then, I'm not 18 any more...
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,429
    That last hill before Blacksburg is 7 miles long and steep the whole way. Great for coasting down - used to do it all the time in my Scirocco. Even steeper (but not quite as long) going the other direction down into NC.

    Go Hokies!
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    first road trip in my Matrix this past weekend, and over 800 miles, I managed to get about 38 mpg. That is out on I-5 between SF and LA, set the cruise on 72 mph, had the A/C running most of the time. It was just me, so no extra weight in the car.

    I was pretty encouraged by that mileage. I think if I were nursing it a bit more (I did a fair amount of passing at speeds of 80 or more), I could pull 40 mpg out of it, and given the size of the car and the decent performance it has, that meets and maybe exceeds my expectations.

    It has the 5-speed stick, of course. In the bad old days of my automatic Matrix, I ran about 31 mpg in town, and 36 was about the best I ever got out of it on the road.

    Oh, and as far as around town, I am getting a very reliable 34-35 mpg, that almost never varies from that narrow range. I am just about at 5000 miles now, so that average covers a fair distance driven.

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

  • I've filled my new '07 twice, got 31 mpg on both tanks. It's an automatic, I have a serious lead foot (averaging 80 mph on my way to and from work, 85 if i'm late), and I spent most of that first tank stuck in Memorial Day traffic. Looks like the mileage difference between a stick and automatic is greater than I thought!
  • Matrix XR 2007 Automatic first tank of gas combined city/hwy 31.6 mpg, second tank mostly 80+ mph to the airport and back, 29.4 mpg. Third tank hwy mostly 70 mph cruise control, 34.3 mpg. Its rated 29 city, 34 highway, and you can get that depending on how you drive and how long you wait in traffic.
  • So, for those in the know, how does cruise control affect mileage on an automatic transmission? Does keeping the car at 70 mph manually do better or worse than locking in the cruise at 70?
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    The only way it might improve your mileage is that you may stray from your intended speed more than the cruise will - it keeps very close (+/- 1 mph in my car) to the set speed regardless of terrain.

    OTOH, if the terrain is NOT mostly flat, you will be able to anticipate the hills (and allow speed to drop on steep or long ones) and the cruise won't, so you will be better at improving fuel economy in that scenario.

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

  • gimmegirlgimmegirl Posts: 23
    Just refilled my 2007 Matrix 5 speed. This tank was entirely around town stop and go traffic. I got 37 MPG - not my best. That was coming back from Blacksburg several weeks ago: 41 MPG. I am very pleased.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    I just filled up again, XR 5-speed, 36 mpg right on the nose, in all suburban driving. Obviously, I could learn a trick or two from you as far as mileage boosting! I tend to drive in a more spirited way than would be optimal for best fuel economy. I can't help myself! :-)

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

  • gimmegirlgimmegirl Posts: 23
    impatient person you will ever meet, and am always in a rush. (My father used to say that I was going to be in a hurry for my own funeral.)

    Slowing down and taking it easy behind the wheel to save gas is important to me for a number of reasons. My nephew is in Iraq, I do not support this war, I think it is unpatriotic to waste energy. (But then, I've always felt that way. I was just a kid during the 1973 oil embargo, but I remember it well.) I'm spending some of my gas savings on a care package for my nephew :) :)

    Anyway, it has required some serious effort to slow down but it has been worth it. My commute is only 8 miles - most of the speed limits are 35 or 45 - none over 45. So it's a lot of stop and go, and a lot of opportunities to slip into neutral and coast. The 37 around town is good, but I'm hoping to improve on it. Keep the car completely empty of all extra junk - every little bit helps.
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,429
    Great mileage, and great reasons behind it. Couldn't agree more.
  • I'm thinking of buying an XRS but I'd like to hear from more people about the gas mileage. Do others get 30 on the highway?
  • gimmegirlgimmegirl Posts: 23
    Are you buying a new XRS? 5-speed or automatic? My 2007 5-speed gets 37-41 MPG both in town and on the road. I'm a bit of a hyper miler. Works for me.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    I would check in and say my mileage is still going strong at 6000 miles, '07 XR 5-speed.

    Last night's fill was 11.1 gallons, 390 miles, which is a solid 35 mpg and change. That is all suburban running about, no highway trips in there. My mileage actually seems to be getting a little better now that the engine is getting more broken in. :-)

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

  • We have over 52000 miles on our 2005 XR 5-speed manual transmission Matrix. Our overall average mileage is 37MPG. On a recent 4600 mile camping trip to Colorado, we averaged 36MPG. This trip included crossing several mountain passes and using dirt Forest Service roads. On the highway, we drive at or just above the speed limit.
  • Your mpg is much more in line with what I'm getting than the other estimates I read on this forum. I'm envious of these high 30's and even 40 mpg. I have 2007 model which I have about 1800 miles on. So far in 5 fill ups I've gotten 26-31 mpg, with 3 of them being in the 27-28 range. This is disappointing since it's a 5-speed and Toyota's estimated mpg is 30-36. Can I expect a better mpg after I get a few more miles on the car?
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    40 mpg fill-up this week, was on a bit of a short vacation, the driving was mostly rural at 65 mph and under, with some slow-speed touring around a wildlife refuge (like 15 mph and under for 10-mile stretches), A/C was running most of the time.

    439 miles, 11.0 gallons, I'm going to call that 40!

    Did a bunch of driving today coming back from there, all interstate highway, 70-75 mph with occasional faster bursts, A/C running about 3/4 of the time, got 37.5.

    Obviously slowing down works a lot better to boost mileage in this model than trying to go easy on the A/C use.

    '07 XR, 5-speed, now at 8600 miles (and still no weird signs or sounds from the Goodyear Eagles, treadwear looks even too).

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

  • I just looked up the recent Estimated New EPA MPG for the 2007 Matrix. It lists the new City as 26 mpg, Hwy 33 mpg with a combined mpg of 29. This is very much in line with what I've been getting. Whatever those of you that are getting in the 40's are doing I would definitely continue. The website for revised mpg is www.fueleconomy.gov.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    Yeah, the new EPA numbers are ridiculous, I will expect to routinely exceed the highway rating in all types of driving from now on...the running average for my car (XR 5-speed) is still 35 mpg. :shades:

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

  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    quick check-in with my latest fill-up from today: 382 miles, 10.6 gallons. That's 36 mpg right on the nose. And it is in the usual around-town running about, no long highway trips in there. It's a joke that for '08 this car is rated at 27/33.

    Gas is up to $3.10/gallon in my area, I am almost up to 10K miles in my not-new-any-longer 'Trix, and my running average is still above 35 mpg. This car truly is transformed with the stick shift, I must say. Not only is it more fun to drive, but the fuel economy is a solid 3 points better for me. It still only takes about $30-32 to fill it up after the low fuel light comes on, and I can go 400 miles between fills. :-)

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

  • I have a 2003 XRS 6-speed with 112k miles. Mileage has been consistently 28 per mixed (50/50) tank, and around 32 for highway trips with the AC off. I do throttle it and hit lift occasionally, but normally I shift around 3k and don't drive it as hard as it wants me to :P
  • dafydafy Posts: 5
    Bought a 2007 XR automatic last year. Live in hilly PA. Averaged 30 mpg. low was 28.9 mpg, high was 32.8 mpg. Fast driver- driving was mixed between highway and local. Suspect you could get a little more out of it if you drive it nice. No problems with it. Tires held up, brakes held up as did everything else. Handled well, fairly quiet and peppy enough. Suspect toyota could get more mileage out of it if they could get the rpm down to idle(800 rpm) when you release the gas pedal. Can carry a lot of stuff with the fold down seats and opening the rear window is a big plus-can bring home long items-10-12 foot 2x4s etc. To get a good price on toyota vehicles, you should get a sunday paper from a place like long island, n.y where there are lots of people, lots of toyota dealers and lots of competion. You can get a base model, auto, power package, winter guard, cruise and mats for 15930. If you are trading in-you got to know the value of the trade. Bring the n.y. add to your toyota dealer and ask them to match it. Suspect you should get a reasonable deal.
  • After posting my question, I ended up buying a 2007 XR Matrix manual transmission 5 speed in July. I was thrilled to get almost 40 mpg from the start! And I really like the car. But, just in the past 3 or 4 weeks I've noticed it slipping and it now has gradually gone from about 38 to 30 mpg! Any ideas about what's going on?
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    We ARE getting into winter now. The gas changeover has occurred (it switches to oxygenated gas in November, earlier in some places, which will get you slightly worse gas mileage), and temperatures are colder, causing your car to take longer to warm up in the morning.

    I have seen many people here at Edmunds report a 5-point swing or more from summer to winter in their gas mileage (various models).

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

  • Does anyone else have a reduction in their MPG during the winter months? I live in MA and the same thing happened last winter. My mileage went from 32/34 to 26 or so starting in Nov. thru April. When I called the dealer last winter he said it has to do with the additives in the gas? This seems a strange occurance.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    Not additives, oxygenates blended in. the more oxygenates in your gas, the lower your mileage will be. But that's not the only thing of course. Cold weather makes your car warm up slower too, any time it has been sitting for a few hours or more. And when it is running cold, it is burning a LOT more gas than when it is at full operating temperature.

    The more cold starts you have per tank of gas, the more your mileage will swing DOWN in the winter.

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

  • I have an '03 auto XR and over the 75k miles I've put on it, I average 33.6MPG. Best was 42, worst 28. 40s were when I was breaking in the car and babying it and I usually drive a little aggressive so it probably could be better. Make sure to keep your tires at the optimal psi and occasionally stay off the brake.
  • tedd66tedd66 Posts: 4
    Just got a 2007 XR with 18k on it, and got ~23 MPG in 100% city driving (Kalamazoo, MI so small, city) on the first fill-up. Dead of winter, oxygenated gas, all in-town driving, 6 mile one-way commute total and automatic transmission are probably costing me 5-6 MPG over "normal" driving conditions. I expect closer to 26-30 in summer, with more mixed driving and non-oxygenated gas.
  • I have an '05, just bought it the end of Nov. First tank of gas was regular 89 octane, I got 35 mpg and was pleasantly surprised, because the gas gauge seemed to go down fast, but my mileage was up! Second tank was 91 octane-I figured I'd get better mileage, but no! This tank fell to 27mpg. Whassup? Do you all run supreme or regular? During the second tank we had really cold temps, if that matters....
  • I have an '05, just bought it the end of Nov. First tank of gas was regular 89 octane, I got 35 mpg and was pleasantly surprised, because the gas gauge seemed to go down fast, but my mileage was up! Second tank was 91 octane-I figured I'd get better mileage, but no! This tank fell to 27mpg. Whassup? Do you all run supreme or regular? During the second tank we had really cold temps, if that matters....
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