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Toyota Matrix



  • petlpetl Posts: 610
    Not sure about the price. We owned one for 2-1/2 years. It was the most functinal, solid and reliable vehicles we have ever owned. To my knowledge this Corolla wagon has a good reliability record. I have not read of anyone having any major mechanical issues with them. It is one of the most trouble-free vehicles on the road today. I'm sure some individuals with problems will disagree (they are a small minority).
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 7,770
    You'll notice that we split the Vibe discussions out from the Matrix discussions into separate groups. Since a lot of the recent posting in that maintenance & repair discussion was dealing with the Vibe, that discussion went into the Vibe group. I'm going to be pulling out Matirx content from there into discussions here in the Matrix group.

    We're also trying to move away from having "mega-discussions" into smaller, more granular ones. In that regard, rather than having a single "Matrix Maintenance & Repair" discussion, we're encouraging smaller, more narrowly focused discussions. For example, brake issues will have their own discussion. I've just moved the recent thread of postings you were involved in on brake issues to the Matrix: Brake Problems discussion. Same for engine problems, etc.More specific discussions will be popping up as we go along. This will make it easier for users to find the info they're after without having to go through a 2000 post discussion. While I'm in the process of pulling out older content to start up new discussion here in this group, if you have an issue to discuss and there's not a discussion for it, feel free to start one.

    Pardon the dust while we move the furniture around a bit!

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  • herzogtum71herzogtum71 Posts: 470
    I hope this reply isn't too late to be of interest to you. We have had the AWD Matrix since August 2002. We now have close to 35,000 miles on the odometer. Problems have been few and most probably won't affect your newer model:

    * I found 2 little black plastic cup-shaped things under the car when it was new, about a month or two apart. The first time it happened the dealer said it hadn't come from the car, they had looked all over, etc. I don't think I even bothered asking them the second time. Speculation in this forum was that these might be plugs used when new vehicles are in transit on trucks.
    * Occasional burning rubber smell when new. I had them check for a cause at about 6,000 miles and of course no problem was found. This was a complaint raised by several people in this forum with the early Matrixes, I believe more often with standard transmissions than automatics.
    * Headlight sensor relay replaced at 8,9000 miles. Shortly after our '03 was manufactured, Toyota started using a new part so you shouldn't have this problem of too-frequent switching from headlights to running lights and back.
    * Until 20,000 miles I didn't think the low fuel light worked. Dealer said the circuit was there but there was no test to assure that it was working properly. Then I loaded a gas can in the back and decided to drive until it came on or until I ran out of gas. It does work, but it appears there is only about a half gallon of gas left in the tank when it does.
    * Peeling chrome on inside door handles. Hopefully this problem has been addressed at the factory by now. Driver's door handle was replaced under warranty. Front passenger door handle was replaced 5 months after the warranty expired.
    * One day my wife pulled out of the driveway and I noticed the rear passenger-side bumper cover/cladding was missing. Not inexpensive to replace, but the low profile makes this a not-uncommon problem. People back into snowbanks, pull up to a high curb, etc., and one piece or the other comes loose.

    That's about it in the way of issues I can attribute to the manufacturer. A few general comments:

    * Engine is small, but power is adequate for normal driving and merging onto interstates. But you need to expect a lot of downshifting.
    * I don't find the driving position to be very comfortable on long trips. Many complaints about this early on from taller drivers; maybe they changed something about the steering wheel in newer model years.
    * Fuel economy was 26.5 mpg after the first 30,000 miles. (I haven't figured it since.) On the highway we have got over 30 mpg a few times, but mostly expect upper 20's. Driving mostly in town with short jaunts on the interstate we usually seem to get 22 to 25 mpg.
    * Headroom and legroom are good in both front and back. Cargo space is limited, though. We were packed to the gills when I took the Matrix on the road with two teenagers.
  • freedom32freedom32 Posts: 4
    I appreciate your comments. I'm in the market for a 2007 Matrix and trying to decide between AWD and FWD. I'm leaning to the AWD even though the mileage will not be as good because of winter driving conditions in Iowa. I think I will use Consumers Report to try and get the best deal price wise. Thanks again.
  • bret27bret27 Posts: 10
    Thank you very much for the reply. We recently leased a AWD 2006 w/power package and cruise control. It is for my wife who has never cared much for what type of car she drives. It is amazing how every night she talks about how great a car it is. She had a PT Crusier that she disliked because of gas consumption and terrible turning radius. She says the Matrix is the easiest car she has every driven. She liked the Corolla she had many years ago so Toyota rates high on her list.
    Haven't checked the gas mileage but the little lady says it is much better than the PT so that is good enough for me.
    Thanks again for the info.
  • Where do you live/drive in Iowa? I live in I.C. and make frequent trips onto gravel roads in the winter and have never felt that I needed AWD. I don't think most places in Iowa get enough snow to justify the mileage/cost trade-off of AWD. FWD with a good set of snow tires should be able to handle just about anything an Iowa winter can throw at you.

    P.S. - I am not a Matrix/Vibe owner but I am looking for a new car and they are at the top of my list right now.
  • herzogtum71herzogtum71 Posts: 470
    I spent part of one snowy winter in Davenport. In Massachusetts we probably get more snow, but Iowa does get a reasonable amount.

    The Matrix is the car my wife drives to and from work, and my two daughters learned to drive in that car. On slippery surfaces all three are more comfortable with the AWD than they are in my FWD Highlander. And if I have the choice, I also will opt for the AWD Matrix if I have to go out in the snow. I feel like the AWD does give me a bit more control, and I'm happy to have one in the family. I couldn't see the need for two AWD vehicles, though!
  • freedom32freedom32 Posts: 4
    I live in the Mason City area. We have a 4 wheel drive pickup and there have been times when it has been very useful. Granted, you only need AWD a few times each year but sometimes it has been very necessary. We also live on a gravel road and the drifting can be bad now and then. Someone posted somewhere that a dealer told him that they were not offering AWD in the 2007 model. I will have to check on that.
  • freedom32freedom32 Posts: 4
    Its too bad they don't come out with a model that can be front wheel drive and then when you want AWD you just push a button. In 1994 we purchased a GM pickup that did have an electronic switch just like that. However, a few years ago I started having problems with the switch and could not change into AWD. After finding out the cost to fix it I decided sand bags were a lot cheaper. We do have a front wheel drive Honda but now we want to downsize and get better gas mileage.
  • That truck had push button 4WD NOT AWD, there is actually a big difference between the two. AWD is much better in slippery conditions, like snow and ice, than 4WD. Most AWD systems do not power the rear wheels unless slippage is detected. Push button 4WD systems suck unless you are going offroad or through very heavy snow as they power all 4 wheels once activated. Both however, are burdened with drive line energy loss and added weight and complexity, so unless you really need it, I wouldn't bother.

    I drove around Denver last March during the worst snow storm the city has ever seen in a FWD VW Passat w/ all season tires and didn't get stuck once. AWD is nice, but for 95% of the driving that I do, completely unecessary.
  • herzogtum71herzogtum71 Posts: 470
    That's not entirely true. We had an '89 Nissan Sentra wagon that was FWD until slippage was detected. Then it became AWD. That was the only year they made this system. Before that the Sentra wagon had a button. After '89 they quit making any sort of 4WD in the Sentra.

    There has been some disagreement in this forum about the Matrix AWD system. My service tech told me there always was at least 10 percent power going to the rear wheels, and I found some websites that confirmed this. Other participants have questioned this, though.

    If I remember correctly, Audi and Subaru also have a certain percentage of power always going to the rear wheels.
  • The VIBE are due for a 2008 redesign soon. This quote is from GM Inside News:

    Pontiac Vibe: To many people’s surprise, the Vibe will be sticking around. In 2008 an all new Vibe will come, riding on a Toyota platform like the current one. Expect to see it on dealer lots in late 2007.

    Press release from GM:

    Pontiac will continue to offer the base-model Vibe for the 2007 model year. It may bring back the GT and AWD versions with the next-generation Vibe, a spokesman says.

    I have also seen this press release in a couple of reliable publications.
  • robbiegrobbieg Posts: 339
    My wife is pregnant with our first child. We have a pretty big dog (basically he won't fit in the back seat with the baby) and we were wondering if the Matrix is big enough for the baby, the dog and the stroller? Really don't want to get a big suv or a minivan. Thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated.
    2014 Highlander XLE AWD, 2009 RX 350 AWD and 2007 Odyssey EX
  • gasman1gasman1 Posts: 321
    Our lab retreiver fits nicely in the back hatch. So you're looking at: a)man/woman in front seats; b)baby seat, baby gear, and folding stroller in back seats; and c) big dog in the rear cargo area. It will work, but for how long? You must ask and answer some questions for yourself. How long of a drive and will you need luggage? Where will luggage, groceries go? Do I really know how much gear a baby requires on a long trip? (Hint, you could FILL the rear cargo area and wish for more room.) As this baby grows, will there be a second baby in a few years (or while you plan to keep this vehicle)?

    I like the Vibe/Matrix, but personally question it being suitable for your family needs. (However, you're the only one that can answer that!) Should you need a slightly larger vehicle, you could consider/research: Mazda5, Subaru Forester X, VW Jetta/Passat wagons, Honda CRV, Honda Element, and Toyota RAV4.
  • I have a 2007 Matrix XR with 4,000 miles and basically like the car in terms of handling.

    A frequent but not constant rattling noise comes from behind the gauge view area. Thoughts and/or recommendations?
  • Will the Matrix meet your need? I'll go one step farther than gasman1 and answer "No!" The cargo area would not be big enough to hold baby gear and a large dog.

    An additional vehicle to consider before they quit making them is the 4-cylinder FWD Highlander. Around town the Matrix meets our needs nicely, but we found it too small for a family of four with luggage. After looking at quite a few vehicles I ended buying the Highlander. It's not a hotrod, but it has plenty of space and is more fuel efficient than most of the small wagons and crossovers available. And the 4-cylinder version is in the same price range as the other vehicles mentioned.
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    Get a regular minivan. You won't believe the stuff you'll end up having to haul around, including other kids and carseats. I doubt that you'd ever regret it, best thing we ever did.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,992
    With one baby and the dog, I'd say get something small like the Matrix and put the dog in the rear and the stroller in the back seat. Or look at a Mazda5. Or the Honda Fit. I have a Fit and it has as much room behind the 2nd row as the Matrix (21CuFt), and you can fold up the 1/3 part of the rear seat for the stroller, diaper bags, etc. Plus there's space under the 2nd row for paper towels, wipes, and a lot of smaller stuff. Stay away from minivans/SUVs if you only have one baby and aren't carrying other folks on a regular basis.
  • budhbudh Posts: 109
    I bought a new 2006 Matrix XR 2WD last May with VSC, ABS, and traction control that now has about 10,000 miles on the tires. With the zero degree temperatures in northern Indiana, I ventured out earlier this afternoon and I was slipping all over the place in the packed snow - the traction control (spinning tires) symbol was coming on frequently -- I had to concentrate on stepping VERY gently on the accelerator to avoid the tire spin.

    In my Highlander SUV with tires that have been on that vehicle for over 50,000 miles, I had no trouble at all.

    It was hard to tell if this problem was due to the Matrix. or if it was because the tires that came with the car are bad in the snow.

    Anybody else have this issue with a new Matrix in the snow? Is it the car? Or the stock tires that came with it?

    Bud H
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    I have the Eagles on mine, which I assume would be awful on snow. Would the Continentals be any better? I wonder...

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • OK...service station pumped a gob of water into my tank...i only got 5 miles down the road. Had it towed, mechanic says water has ruined the fuel pump, which is $800.00...i called dealer and its true. But i'm wondering will the water really ruin the fuel pump like that?
  • Probably nothing has changed in that regard in the past 40 years. My father had the same experience in a Rambler, except he only got a mile down the road. After some hassle the service station agreed to pay for the repair.
  • Good news I hope:

    Went to the Montreal auto show mid-Jan, the Toyota people confirmed that the all new 2008 Matrix would be available (at least over here) end of this summer. They also confirmed the reason why it was so late: the styling was juged too ugly and they had to redo it.

    Last week, I went to a dealership near Montreal, and I was told the exact same information, so it looks believable. I tried very hard to get any details, but the salesman would only tell (and only knew) that the new car had been demonstrated to the dealership owners around here a few weeks ago and the owner came back with a huge smile telling : WOW people, we are not going to lose money with this one!

    Let's wait a few more months and see....
  • Rookie11 I bumped your post to the Prices Paid & Buying Experiences thread, Go Here hopefully you will find those to help answer your question over there! :)
  • cubssoxscubssoxs Posts: 139
    The thing is though the 2008 Matrix would probably come out in conjunction with the 2008 Corolla which everyone is saying is delayed till spring 2008
  • jenny541jenny541 Posts: 4
    I'm interested in the Matrix, but now that I saw a 2008 model will be out near the end of summer, I'm wondering if I should wait?

    I got a great quote on a 2007 Matrix yesterday and my husband and I are trying to decide what to do. I'm thinking if the 2008's come out, they will cost more? Also, will I get a better deal on the 2007's once the 2008's come out?

  • budhbudh Posts: 109
    Normally, I connect a radar detector in my vehicle by finding a relatively unimportant fuse in the fuse box that has power only when the car is running, take the fuse out, replace it with the positive lead of my radar detector wire inside the fuse opening (jamming the fuse on top of it), connecting the ground, and it's ready to go.

    But if anybody has tried to access the fuse box in THIS vehicle, they know it a treat! Tiny fuses that you have to get on your back to access, and can hardly reach them and read the designations.

    Anyone know of one or two wires powered up only when the ignition is out of the off position that are easily accessible?

    Bud H
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    If you buy an '08, you will experience the same thing that peeved off a few '02 Corolla buyers: a really short model year that will leave you with the "old model" barely 6 months into your new car ownership. Just something to be aware of if you decide to wait.

    The deals on the last model year are usually the best regardless of model or manufacturer - Toyota does a good job of ramping down production of the old model in anticipation of the new, but even so there will probably be good deals on Matrix if you can wait until New Years Day 2008.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

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