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Toyota Matrix



  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    but they are not going to tear down the engine or the transmission - those CPO inspections amount to nothing much more than fluid checks. Do they do even do a compression check? The warranty is good, as long as you plan to sell at the end of the 6/100. And if the shifting gets stiff and crunchy before then, at what point will they do anything about it under the CPO warranty?

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

  • steine13steine13 Posts: 2,561
    "Do they do even do a compression check?"



    Thank you for asking.

    Who does a compression test, anyway? Typically, you do one of those if the power seems off.

    CPO is a clean & wax, a drive around the block and a look-see, an oil change + warranty. Can be an OK deal, I'd rather do my own inspecting than pay for a warranty, but that's me.


    And I don't buy cars that have been abused. My 99 Prizm had 135k miles of a BAD driver -- saw him in action -- before the clutch had to be replaced. Other than that, he took care of the car. I believe that's the same clutch you'll find in the XRS, and the mechanism looks no different than an '88 Celica... Toyota doesn't muck around too much with their designs. 25k? Run away.


  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    the XRS does not have the regular Corolla clutch, it has the short clutch out of the Celica GTS. In the Celica it feels engaged and makes fast driving easier. In the Matrix, because of the high seating position, it doesn't have the same effect. But it is still a better clutch than the base Corolla clutch.

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

  • I drove a base corolla clutch for 10 years and 111,000 miles without having to do any work on it. Shifting was smooth, and never any question about what gear I was in.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    no, the clutch itself is a shorter one with more positive engagements. That is the only way it is different.

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

  • saaviksaavik Posts: 2
    I am researching my next vehicle. The Matrix has caught my eye. I live in northern Ohio. I was wondering if someone could tell me how the Matrix (particularly the AWD version) handles the snow around here. How's the traction? Is there enough ground clearance? How well does it pull a snowy hill? Things like that.


    Thanks a lot
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    I'll second everyone here and say move on and don't buy this car. If you want to have a glimpse of the XRS crowd, why not visit their dedicated website. Just search for this site (pretty easy to find) using your favorite search engine.


    Unlike the XR, the XRS/6-speed is meant to be driven hard and is at its most fun at high rev points. With lift achieved at 5000+ rpm, this car is born to be raced, otherwise why did Toyota give it the Celica GTS motor with a closely geared 6-speed tranny ? If I own an XRS I will drive it hard too ... IMO, that is the only way to drive and enjoy this car....


    Although not the same, I have had to replace my front brakes on my '03 XR after only 33K miles. I drive my XR pretty hard as well....
  • petlpetl Posts: 610
    The vehicle (AWD) handles great in snow and ice conditions. The traction is fantastic. However, it's easy to get too agressive at times. Just remember it will not stop faster in those conditions (particularly with ABS).
  • saaviksaavik Posts: 2
    Thanks for the info. I will keep that in mind.
  • Petl's comments are on target. The 4WD Matrix handles snowy hills very easily. I shared your concern about ground clearance, but around here (Massachusetts) the plows are out before the snow is too deep on the roads. Driving through several inches of snow that piles up between passes of the plow is no trouble. If you need to go over snow banks that are a couple of feet deep, though, you should consider a higher profile 4WD.
  • zombozombo Posts: 89
    Just had a local Toyota dealer install(so the warranty wouldn't be voided) the TRD short throw shifter for my 5 speed XR along with the front and rear TRD sway bars.Now shift action is sweet and the annoying body roll around corners is all but gone!


       I was going to trade in on a 05 RSX,but after taking one for a test drive I discovered there was no head room in it for my 6'3" frame unless I reclined the seat waaaaaay back,so much so I felt like I was halfway laying down! Getting back in the XR it felt absolutely spacious by comparison!So now my XR with 26k miles is paid off and handling and shifting 100% better than before!Next up,better speakers and possibly an amp to go with the Delphi 6 disc stock head unit.
  • I would like to know the performance of the Toyota Matrix XR 4X2 or 4X4 AT on snow. I am not sure if I should get the 4X4 version due to its safer drive on snow; although, I am aware that it will sacrifice both mpg and speed. Kindly enlighten me on this. Thank you very much.
  • zombozombo Posts: 89
    I've heard the auto in the Matrix,2 or 4wd is dull,dull,dull!Personally an auto in a car with only 130 horsepower(even less for the 4wd)is nothing I would even consider. Just had a 2004 Corolla(same engine as the Matrix) loaner from a dealer for a day with auto and it couldn't get out of it's own way.Just my two cents.
  • tommyg12tommyg12 Posts: 158
    I still have the original Continental tires on my '04 AWD. Just starting to turn 15k miles and the tires show about 6/32" on the thread gauge. I would say about 1000 miles ago, I started hearing more tire "whirr" and the vehicle now seems "darty" when on roads that are not very smooth. Any of you have or had these tires and experience the same? thanks.
  • dunworthdunworth Posts: 338
    Hi all


    I am new to this forum and have some questions about the Matrix 4WD, automatic in the basic trim level. We will be trading in our 2002 Corolla in a few months for something with 4WD.


    I have narrowed it down to a Subaru Impreza, Matrix and possibly RAV4.


    I do not like the appearance or the tight dimensions in the interior of the Subie, although it does drive well. I am not sure of the quality of the current Subaru line-up either, especially since it is a GM affiliate. We have really enjoyed our Corolla which has been flawless. I already have a Honda product and would really like to stay with the Toyota lineup. Since this is for my wife as a city car, we do not need a rocket but I want something with all weather traction and good quality/reliability.


    Any opinions/experiences with the Matrix versus the RAV4 or Subaru? Any reservations about reliability of the 4wd mechanism in the Matrix?


    Thanks in advance for all your input.
  • tommyg12tommyg12 Posts: 158
    The Matrix is a great car, I wouldn't hesitate to buy another. The RAVs are fun also. I have no experience with the Subies. You really need to drive the Matrix/RAV to compare, as they drive very differently. Do you like sitting higher (RAV), lower (Matrix), etc.


    One key thing to keep in mind, the RAV will be totally redesigned for 2006. They should be hitting the lots by late Summer.
  • petlpetl Posts: 610
    We traded our 1998 RAV for the 2003 4WD XR Matrix. The Matrix was less expensive with more features. It offered better gas mileage, more interior room, more flexibility, better ride, and a lower insurance rate. We recently sold it (unfortunately we no longer needed 2 vehicles). Liked it so much it took 18 months to finally put it up for sale (it lost out to our loaded 2002 XLE Camry).


    We owned it for 2 1/2 years and had 48,000 kms at time of sale. It ran flawlessly and was solid as a bullit. The 4WD system in the Matrix is different than in the RAV. The RAV is continuous, the Matrix is on demand (It's the front wheels that drive the vehicle until slippage is detected, then the back wheels kick-in with additionnal traction. The transfer is seemless and extremly effective). Both work well... but the RAV has a higher ground clearance (something we did not need). Left many cars behind in snow and ice conditions. However, as I stated before, it will not stop any quicker in those conditions (particularly with the ABS). Safe and precautious driving habits are the order of the day. Good luck with your decision.
  • tommyg12tommyg12 Posts: 158
    Correction, just saw an updated press release. The next RAV will make its debut at Frankfurt in the fall and go on sale in early '06.
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,679
    Keep in mind the 1998 Rav is smaller than the current generation (2001 to present) Rav.
  • petlpetl Posts: 610
    I realize that. We compared the current RAV to the Matrix before purchasing. If memory serves me right, the Matrix is approx. 6 inches longer than the current RAV. Back seat passengers benefited the most. The vehicle felt more spacious.
  • I looked at Subarus a year ago and was scared off by the headgasket issue in the Outback. Check the Subaru discussion to see if Imprezas have this problem.


    We looked at both the RAV4 and Matrix before buying the AWD Matrix in August 2002. The back seat room is much better in the Matrix. It has been a reliable car for my wife, who wanted the AWD. I will agree that it's not a hot rod, but it certainly has adequate power and it is great on slippery surfaces.


    Re dunworth's comments: Please be aware that the Matrix AWD system has come up before in this forum and that there is disagreement on the issue. I have noted that the Toyota literature when we bought the Matrix claimed it was "full-time" all-wheel drive. The service manager at my dealership told me it was always at least 10 power to the rear wheels, and this percentage would increase based on driving conditions.
  • dunworthdunworth Posts: 338
    Some good discussion on the Matrix. Thanks to all of you. I understood that the 4wd system, while not like a Subaru is on all the time and redistributes power depending on traction.


    I have also considered the Vibe version of this vehicle. Although they are the exact same vehicle, the Toyota version is made in the slightly better plant in Canada (where they build the Lexus RX330) while the Vibe is made in the NUMMI GM joint venture in the USA. The quality numbers are marginally better on the Matrix not that it matters much.


    I suggested a Vibe to my wife but she did not want anything with Pontiac written on it. Too bad since we have a GM Visa card with $1600 available.
  • Dunworth, it sounds like your wife and my wife would get along well. My wife also refused to consider the Vibe because it was a "Pontiac." I tried to tell her this was not rational since she previously had driven an '87 Chevy Nova, which was a Corolla clone built in the same plant in California that now makes the Vibe.


    I know several people with Vibes who are quite happy with them, but people in this forum have complained about the Vibe paint being thin and prone to chipping. The other complaint I have heard is that the roof rack on the Vibe is useless for most purposes unless you remove the radio antenna. But of course you won't have that issue with the Matrix since there is no factory roof rack available.
  • dunworthdunworth Posts: 338
    I remember the Nova, it was a good little car. It came in a unique sedan or a hatchback version, the latter of which was also offered as a Corolla. It is odd that the Toyota branded products always do better than the GM ones despite being literally the same vehicle.


    I remember back in the late 1990s, GM was rebadging its Cavalier as a Toyota for sale in the Japanese market! No-one was fooled of course. The old Cav was a good cheap ride but it was nothing like a Toyota visually or in overall execution.


    I did not hear about the paint problems on the Vibe. I thought GM generally had OK paint durability even if the finish is not the best. It could be that the Vibe is offered in Pontiac colours which are harder to paint. I know GM and Toyota use different grades of galvanized steel for their vehicles which could account for some of the learning curve for the Toyota NUMMI plant learning how to paint the car. Our Canadian Corolla built in the same plant as the Matrix has quite decent paint durability (our Canadian built Honda is not as good)so I would hope the Matrix would be good as well.


    Has anybody out there put high mileage on a Matrix 4wd yet? I believe the oldest ones are now about 3 years old.
  • We have had ours for 2 and a half years, but only 22K on the odometer.
  • petlpetl Posts: 610
    Our 4WD XR had flawless 50,000 kilometers (30,000 miles) when we sold it. Solid little devil.
  • dunworthdunworth Posts: 338
    Thanks herzogtum and pet1. Makes the case for the Matrix even stronger.


    The Matrix 4WD is about $24 K in Canada plus tax (15%). I just visited a GM lot near my office at lunch and they have new 2005 two door Jimmies (4.3 L Vortec V6, auto, air etc) for $19 K plus , freight and tax. You could get a real SUV (albeit the last in the line) and save $5 K or buy a Corolla wagon with sort of 4wd.


    The brand value in a Toyota is truly unbelievable. I am not doing this to slag GM either since my family has owned and enjoyed many GM vehicles since the mid 1970s. But the price difference can be shocking. No question I will still be driving a Matrix or possibly a Subaru but if you wanted a real truck......
  • Howdy- Any chance you could shoot me that $1600 here on a Vibe purchase? : -)
  • dunworthdunworth Posts: 338
    OK itsa deal! Sadly ours are not transferrable otheriwse I would actually give them to a friend if I do not end up using them.


    Although the truth is I will still work on my wife about the Vibe versus Matrix. I never had an issue with my GM stuff so, for me, it does not matter whether it is the Toyota version or Pontiac.
  • Hi Everyone....I've just replaced my Camry for a Matrix XR 4WD....this is my second Toyota and since I had no problems at all with the Camry, I decided to stay with a Toyota product....test drove the Matrix 4WD and really liked it....wife also liked it a lot....we had a chance to drive it on 3 inches of snow and it handled it very well. Does any one has any experience with 6 to 8 inches of snow...does it drive OK ? What about the 4WD system, the dealer told me it has 90% in the front wheels and 10% in the back, this change to 50/50 when slippery conditions are detected. I tried to get additional info. through Toyota website and could not find it. I'm now trying to check the actual mileage I can get. Thanks for any reply.
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