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Toyota Matrix



  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    Well, I don't know about anyone else, but I haven't been driving all over trying out Matrixes at different dealerships! :-P

    Actually, I don't think I have EVER test driven a car five times before buying it (or not buying it, for that matter). Twice, yes. 3 times, I think maybe once. Not more.

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

  • moontommoontom Posts: 28
    yes, well, I admit to being a bit obsessive.

    actually it was just that the first two I drove were different enough to give me pause. one I could see driving every day, the other, no way. I walked away thinking I'd never buy a matrix and began looking at similar cars from other manufacturers. and then I found myself in another dealer a few wks later, and while my friend was testing RAVs I tried some more matrixes. these, too, were different...would have bought the one fairly "peppy" one, but it didn't have ABS/side curtains (don't get me started on that). so, another search ensued. last night brought home an 08 speedway blue XR. very nicely built car! w/ Eagle RS-As and not the dreaded Continentals!

    thanks to all for the help/insights! this forum is a great resource -- I know it changed the way I shopped quite a bit.
  • mbuntingmbunting Posts: 158
    Hello, I'm in the market for a new vehicle. Wondering if anyone happened to pick up an 08' Matrix for anywhere near invoice pricing?

    We may go test drive the Matrix tomorrow...I know it's early (for the 08's) but I thought I would try for this (if we like the car) and see what happens.
  • moontommoontom Posts: 28
    the deal I got for the XR 08 ended up about $150 over invoice. (I don't have the paperwork w/me).

    first was told by the internet salesperson that the dealer wasn't doing much on any 08s but when I got there that changed. guess it was an end of august thing.

    hope that helps and good luck. one thing that sold me on the matrix was the driver's perspective on the road. really nice, very different from corolla...
  • mbuntingmbunting Posts: 158
    Thanks for the quick reply moontom...I'll see what I can do...definitely better to get the 08' if you can get it for a relatively close price to an 07'....

    I'm all over the place on what vehicle I want right now...gonna test drive a few this weekend and hopefully get rid of my current vehicle privately (probably selling it on Saturday or Sunday) and then my wife and I will need a car...

    And when I say all over the place...I'm anywhere from Kia to Pontiac to Toyota...all the way up to Audi (A3)...really love the A3, but really hate the price...

    thanks again...
  • Are there still problems with the alignment and tires for the Matrix? I've been thinking about purchasing one all year and still haven't decided. Read through several forums that mentioned aggravations/problems with the alignment and the fix not being a simple one. Also - has anyone purchased the Matrix after having the Echo? That's what I'm looking to do...
  • just bought an 08 trix and it came with Goodyear eagle RS-A tires. the problem many on this forum had was with COntinental tires...dunno if toyota switched across the board, but one post I read somewhere suggested to look for alternative tires to the Contis. guess you could say I have my fingers crossed.

    good luck on yr search....

  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    How funny you should ask that! I have both, an '02 Echo and an '07 Matrix. The Echo is my commute car, the Matrix is my travellin' car. ;-)

    And I am up to 7000+ miles now in the Matrix, no problems with tires or alignment, and I have the Goodyears.

    Anything specific you wanted to know about the transition from the Echo to the Matrix?

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

  • Starts shimmying at 65mph,began about 11000 miles and got worse now, have over did all the things they new but didn't help.I had the tires rotated at D.C.T. and balanced. It drove good, shimmy gone. Got home,rubbed my hand over the back tires that was on the front and the cross tread would catch your fingers in one direction,not so on the tires that were on the back and now on the front,rubbing the tread back words or front words did not do this. By the way, got a nail in the back tire some time ago and was patched but put back on as whats known as inside out. Dont think this had any thing to do with it. Tires,(good year eagles)
  • rts3rts3 Posts: 26

    I’ve almost made up my mind to buy the 2008 Matrix (XR). Before I pull the trigger, I wanted your thoughts on some of the following miscellaneous questions?

    1. Car resale value: How would you rank the Matrix’s resale value compared to Honda Civic and Volkswagen Jetta?

    2. Auxiliary audio input: Does the 2008 Matrix come with auxiliary audio input for ipod/mp3 player? If not, can it be easily installed?

    3. Car's gender profile: My apologies for the sexist question … but is the car more like a chic car or a guy car or both?

    4. Safety: Does the car feel too light? I’m just worried about being bullied by suburban SUVs on the highway.

  • dana15dana15 Posts: 1
    The headlights on my matrix won't turn off. I had to disconnect the battery so that it wouldn't drain. I tried the different light settings to see if it would help but nothing. The only problem I've had lately is that sometimes the car hesitates when I'm starting it. According the the service station, the battery is fine it just had some corrosion that they cleaned up.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726

    1. Worse than Civic, better than Jetta.

    2. Aux input is an option for the '08 Matrix, I believe. It is not standard.

    3. I don't think it's particularly a "chick car". I have seen plenty of both riding around in them.

    4. The car feels light at high speeds - it does not get buffeted by passing trucks, but above 75 mph strong side winds will move it around a bit. It has enough tire that you can correct without losing your line.

    Hope that helps! :-)

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

  • Hi there! I missed this reply earlier on... Well, we have the same taste in cars, it seems. I only need the one car and have thought about trading the Echo in to purchase a Matrix. I'm 46 but still can't see myself in a sedan. The Matrix just looks fun. Have been a passenger once in one and the owner loved their Matrix. I am spoiled with my 34-35 mpg that I've always gotten with the Echo. My daily commute is roughly 40 miles round-trip, almost all highway. My trips out of town, about 200 miles up the highway, usually get me about 38-39 mpg. I know the Matrix won't do as well but I'm hoping it won't be a drastic change. How has it been for you? Does the Matrix have a better "ride" at all? The Echo's little tires always give me fits on rough roads. I live near Houston and the road construction gets you all the time. And, the road noise... Can afford a higher price / nicer car now but really don't to spend all my money each month on a high car note plus more gas - not the way things are now with gas costs. Anyway - anything you can offer as an observation between the two... will help.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    Hmmm...well, I'm quite fond of both these little cars. I drive 20-25K miles per year, so I like to split the miles between the two. The Echo is the perfect commute and city car, it seems to me.

    As for some of the points you mentioned:

    The Matrix uses about 10% more gas than the Echo for me. I have a short work commute and hardly ever have to sit in stop and go, so the Echo really excels, pulling 41 mpg consistently. By contrast the Matrix, which I use for suburban driving and the occasional trip out of town, pulls 35 or so.

    The Matrix is a lot more fun through twisty roads than the Echo. The Echo's lack of a rear sway allows it to lean like a drunken sailor as soon as you try hard cornering with it, and of course the little tires will begin to protest before too long too. By contrast, the Matrix has much better body control and grip too since the tires are notably larger.

    Both of these cars have a bit of "clip-clop" over rough road surfaces, and a fair amount of road noise gets in, but the noise level is definitely LOWER in the Matrix. With the longer wheelbase, it has a smoother ride too.

    The seats in the Echo, of course, are flat and spacious with little to hold you in place in cornering. I like that in a commute car because it gives me a real sense of being able to spread out in the cockpit, which as you know is very open for such a small car. The Matrix "sport seats", while great for cornering because of the side bolsters, tend to confine a bit more.

    Speaking of which, when you test out the Matrix, be sure you can find a really comfortable position in the driver's seat - this car has a funny relationship between wheel, pedals, and seat. Try and go for a longer drive if they will let you.

    Both cars have good get-up-and-go. If you are a manual driver you should be aware that the Matrix essentially has three forward gears plus two overdrives. This allows it to get great gas mileage, but does mean that fast passing maneuvers even on the highway require a downshift to third. It's plenty fast enough for everything I have wanted to do with it.

    And of course, where the back seat of the Echo is for small children or short trips only, the back seat of the Matrix will allow you to carry around two adults back there in complete comfort. And if you put the seat down, there is a LOT of cargo space. The HVAC fan in the Matrix is more powerful too, so the A/C is more effective than it is in the Echo.

    Good headroom, comfortable seats, direct steering, decent rearward visibility, all these are common to both I would say. Both have strong brakes, also good low-end torque because of the VVT-i.

    Don't know if that helps at all. If you think of any other questions let me know! :-)

    BTW, what else besides Matrix are you considering? I'm curious....

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

  • Just want to clarify that after turning off the ignition and removing the key the headlights remain on? In that case there may be a problem with the headlight control switch. Or possibly a wire has come loose.
  • While checking on prices for some regular maintenance items I noticed the replacement fuel filter for the 2006 Matrix is integral to the fuel pump inside the fuel tank. Has the fuel filter on the Matrix become a non-serviceable part or does the gas tank really have to come out for this maintenance item?
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    Ever since Toyota has had fuel injection in its models, it has stated that the fuel filter is NOT a routine maintenance item. It's the same for all the Toyotas. I'm not sure why - a service writer once tried to explain it to me but I didn't really get it - but I will say it has never proven to be a problem for me either in many many miles of driving Toyotas...

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

  • I was unaware of the Toyota fuel pump/filter assy. policy. I guess if it is not a major issue it will work fine with years of service.
  • Hi, this is all new to me. I hope someone out there has had a similar problem and can help me. I have a 2003 Toyota Matrix. I love it!!! It's been great with only general maintenance. I do have a problem when putting fuel into the gas tank. It constantly clicks the pump off during a fill up. It hasn't always done this and has only started in the last few months. Is there a fix or a problem? Thanks!! :confuse:
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    If the tank venting system is plugged, what you described will occur: a lot of back pressure on the fuel nozzle will occur when you are pumping gas in, and it will click off constantly.

    There is a valve that may be plugged up, but since it is part of the emissions system which is warrantied much longer than the rest of the car (and is likely still under warranty in your case, depending on what state you are in), I would take it to the dealer for a look-see.

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

  • Wow - I missed your reply way back in October! I signed up for notification alert but didn't get this one... Just came upon it. Thanks for all the great info. If I do go with the Matrix, I wonder if I should get the 2007 at a lower price or get the 2008? I don't think I'll go with the 2009... not sure about that one. I realized that I did leave out that my Echo is automatic and that's what I'll buy again. You asked what else I'm looking at - I really don't know. Have enjoyed the Toyota - with my budget and my desire for good fuel efficiency - I'm not sure what else I would look at. Can afford to upgrade for once but now that gas costs so much, I don't want to give up good gas mileage.
  • Hi nippononly,

    Thanks for taking the time to reply to my problem. I'll have it looked into immediately!!
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    Oh OK, well if automatic is your thing, then I can tell you that back when I had an automatic Matrix about four years ago (long story), I managed to get about 32 mpg as a running average. That was, again, in mainly suburban driving without a stop-and-go commute, and the occasional longer trip.

    And if you can still find an '07 at a dealer, get the '07! You should be able to whittle down the price a lot as the '08s have been on lots for months now, and there were no meaningful changes (I think tire pressure monitoring became standard, that was about it).

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

  • I have a 2004 Matrix with 46,000 miles on it. About a month ago, the manual transmission blew and had to be replaced. While reading these forums, I found that this is not an uncommon problem.

    My faith in Toyota is shaken, and I'm now questioning the reliability of my car.

    My question to all of you... How reliable has your Matrix been? I'm interested in year and mileage. If you've had problems, what have they been?

    I'm gathering this info as part of my decision to keep or get rid of this car. Thanks for your input!
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    is too young to be of much help to you - 1 year and 12K miles. But it certainly seems that the pre-2005 Matrix manuals had some kind of weak point in design. From what the other folks here are saying, your car was probably updated with the post-2005 parts when your transmission was repaired. So you may still want to think about keeping the car, if you can confirm that occurred.

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

  • microrepairmicrorepair Eastern MassachusettsPosts: 508
    I've got 49K miles on my XR and have been really ticked off at the Continental tires. The first two front ones were bald in 16K miles and I foolishly bought two more of the same only to have them go bald in about 18K miles. I then bought two Avon tires for far less money and not only are they wearing much better but are better in rain/snow and also more stable at highway speeds as far as staying straight ahead.. Check them out at Tire Rack.

  • microrepairmicrorepair Eastern MassachusettsPosts: 508
    Does anyone have a clue how to remove the rear wiper blade without destroying the blade arm and/or rear window on my 2003 XR? I cannot find any kind of a release tab or anything that will allow the blade to slide out of the arm or anything that will release the arm from the wiper shaft. I actually had my local mechanic replace the blade 2 years ago and the new blade has never been in total contact with the window due to being bent or forced in some unnatural position to get it into the blade holder. Apparently he didn't know how to replace it either.
    Or will I have to go to the Toyota dealer and pay an outrageous price for them to do their secret magic stuff ??

    :confuse: :confuse: :confuse:
  • Also - has anyone purchased the Matrix after having the Echo?

    We bought the wife an Echo in 2000. Bought a Trixie in 2006.

    That Echo has been positively fab! If pressed to come up with ways to improve the little sweetheart, I'd be hard pressed. For what it is, it's quite peppy, reliable, simple, roomy and economical to keep serviced.

    The Matrix has been pretty fair, but pales when compared to our experiance with the Echo. Clutch is much too close to the brake. Not nearly as responsive as the Echo. Too many little electronic annoyances. Seats are not so comfortable. Gives a more cramped "feel" even though it's actually a larger rig. The Echo's central instrument panel is far superior. Had to get front end alighnment at 17K.
  • jefe47jefe47 Posts: 3
    i still can't decide between the 08 and the 09. i want abs and the extra airbags w automatic.
    does anyone know what the apr and/or rebate will be in February for the 08?

  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    It's almost guaranteed to be exactly the same as it is now. And if past experience with Toyota is anything to go by, it will end after that, and the last of the '08 Matrixes will be sold fairly quickly. Last production of the '08 was in December, so as many '08s as will ever be out there again at dealers are there right now...

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

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