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Toyota Matrix



  • petlpetl Posts: 610
    I used to tow a 1200lb boat and trailer with our auto AWD. No problem. If you tow frequently or for long distances your maintenance schedule may change.
  • smith16smith16 Posts: 1
    hi! I have a Toyota matrix 2004. At 30000 something miles i heard shhh sounds at the front end of the car.. so i brought it to the dealer and they said i need a wheel alignment but still the sound was there, so they told me that i should get new tires because it's thinning out and the sound came from the tire. After a month, I had discount tires installed goodyear yokohama (is this a good tire for it??). After the tires were installed, the noise was still there so, i had discount tire tire rebalance it three times and then again it didnt seem to go away so i went back to the dealer stating my problen and told me that discount tires don't know how to balance them so im letting them balance it for me.. currently im waiting for results. I dont know a lot about cars.. but i dont know what to do with it. Do you have any answers?? And oh. aside from the noise it shimmies when i go towards 60..
    Thank you.
  • I liked the Yokahama tires that came on our '89 Nissan so much that I went out of my way to buy them again when the originals needed to be replaced. I think they should work well on a Matrix.
  • Maybe your rim is bent...
  • While researching the Matrix for possible future purchase I was dismayed to learn that the Matrix was rated the worst of all small stations wagons by the Highway Loss Data Institute.
    Quote: "Injury losses indicate the relative frequencies of injury claims per insured
    vehicle year..." The Matrix rating was 131 - Substanially Worse Than Average. This data was for the 2001-2003 period. I'm curious whether any safety enhancements have been added to the car since 2003. Comments?
  • petlpetl Posts: 610
    Makes me wonder how reliable the information is. The Matrix wasn't available until March-April 2002 (as a 2003 model). There weren't that many on the road in 2002, none in 2001 and maybe enough to judge in 2003. How can a proper (2001-2003) rating be assessed?
  • rex7rex7 Posts: 3
    Does the shhhh sound go away when the brakes are applied? If it does that may be the wear indicator which means you should have the brake pads checked for wear. Front pads should last more than 30k but it is possible they are worn out. Sometime crap can build up around the pad and make noise by rubbing on the rotor, not common but I have seen it happen.

    As for the shimmy I know that my 2005 matrix needs to have the axle shaft bolts checked every 5000 miles per the owners manual. Perhaps one is just a little loose. Does it click while turning sharply right or left in a parking lot? Could be a bad axle shaft. At 30K a boot(axle shaft) could have torn and let dirt in.
    hope this helps

  • petlpetl Posts: 610
    Sounds like something is rubbing against the tire or the wheel. I don't think a wheel balance or alignment has anything to do with a shushing sound. Did you have the brakes checked?
  • Just what is the Highway Loss Data Institute measuring in this study? I just did a quick Google search with the keywords "crash test" and "Toyota Matrix" and discovered that at least the 2005 Matrix fares pretty well in crash tests. (Some of the sites that come up are competing forums, so I unfortunately can't list them here. You'll need to do this search for yourself.)

    The previous post's point is well taken that there could not be a huge sample of Matrixes in the study for the period covering 2001-03. And the wording of the quote makes me think that the study really is not an indication of vehicle safety. For example, you could have a very safe vehicle involved in more crashes than the average car (maybe because the vehicle in question tends to be driven by younger and less experienced drivers). So there could easily be a greater frequency of injury claims when compared to another vehicle that doesn't do as well on crash tests but that also is involved in fewer accidents.
  • jaembejaembe Posts: 1
    Can I repace the standard 205/55R16 tires with 205/50R16?
  • capriracercapriracer Somewhere in the USPosts: 854

    The 205/50R16's will have less load carrying capacity. Overloaded tire failures are not pretty sights!
  • ia3dia3d Posts: 1
    I love my new 2006 Matrix XR. I find, however, that because of my height (5'4.5") the head restraint pushes my head forward and places uncomfortable pressure on my neck. I've tried all different positions for both it and the seat back, without finding a comfortable driving position. Does anyone have a suggestion for a solution (other than completely removing the head restraint!)? Anyone know of a flattened pyramid-shaped pillow that would cover the gap between where the restraint pushes forward and where the seat slopes back?

    I also find that the steering wheel could be much closer to me and that the center arm rest is much too far toward the back to be comfortable. I realize that I myself am a bit short on one end, but as I can't change that, I'm looking for possible solutions.
  • I have replaced the Tires on my vibe with 205/50R16 and it has a much smoother ride.... and it didn't mess up the speed either...
  • nortsr1nortsr1 Posts: 1,060
    Why not purchase yourself one of those orthopedic wedge shaped cusions. It would raise you upward to where your head restraint shold be comfortabe and there are also automobile seat type cushions that when placed on the drivers seat would not only raise you higher but also more forward toward the steering wheel.You can find these at almost any PepBoys, AutoZone...or (even walmart auto section, Target, K Mart!!!
    Sounds to me that you should have more thoroughly test driven the Matrix before spending the money?????
    You say you "love" your new Matrix????? You are not going to "love" it for long unless you get comfortable in it!!!!
  • Hi. I had the same problem. Guess what?! You can completely pull the headrest out of the top of the seat and turn it around so that the flat side is facing forward. It makes all the difference in the world.
  • hathat Posts: 11
    Anyone know why Toyota only offers VSC with automatic transmission/FWD Matrixes? It seems odd they don't offer some species of traction control (even if not full-blown VSC system) with manual transmission/FWD.

    I currently have AWD with manual trans ('97 Outback), am leaning toward '06 Outback, but am also shopping some FWD wagons (Focus, Matrix). Matrix would be strong contender if not for this omission.
  • Hi everyone. I'm trying to identify a car that is 1) very reliable (hence looking at Toyota and Honda first) 2) has the latest safety features (like side impact airbags and good crash ratings) and 3) has the option of adding a navigation system. This is a car for grandpa and he doesn't know what he wants, though he is leaning towards a hatchback so I volunteered to do some research for him. He's also about 5'2" so I need a car that has good visibility for him. He is used to driving a Nissan 300ZX, which has a lot of power, but it's an old car with few safety features and not as reliable.

    Would you recommend the Matrix for this kind of driver? My boss, who is 5', has a Matrix and seems to really like it. Thanks for your help!
  • My wife drives our Matrix. She's about 5'3" and the car seems more comfortable for her than for me (about 7 inches taller). But I'm not sure this is the best vehicle if visibility is a big issue. Side and rear visibility is not nearly as good IMHO as in our older vehicles, including an '89 Nissan Sentra wagon.

    Have you looked at the Scion hatchback model? That's a Toyota product and may be more comfortable with better visibility. A friend of mine was looking at the Scion for his 90-year-old mother (who insists on driving a standard transmission BTW). He thought it would be a good vehicle -- easy to get into and out of, nice size, etc. Odd thing he noted was that cruise control wasn't included, but he figured that wasn't important since his mother wouldn't be doing much if any highway driving.
  • We are considering buying a 2006 Toyota Matrix, but I am puzzled by the difference in safety ratings from the 2003-04 years and the 2005-06 years. The earlier models have a better safety rating than the more recent ones. (5 star vs 4 star for the passenger in the frontal star rating and 5 star vs 3 star for the front seat for the side star rating) I have been told by Toyota there has been no changes in the design of the vehicle so why is there a difference in the ratings? Does anybody know? :confuse:

  • budhbudh Posts: 109
    At the end of this posting is a response I received from a local Toyota
    dealer in northern Indiana about buying a 2006 Matrix.

    Regarding #4 below, this seems to contradict what I have found on Kelley
    Blue Book and other sites. I want ABS and Vehicle Stability Control. My
    research told me you could get VSC on 2WD and not AWD. The dealer is saying
    below the exact opposite.

    So for those with VSC or who checked it out, is VSC available on 2WD? On
    AWD? Or both? Including special orders?

    Bud H

    *** begin dealer message ***

    This is what we are finding:

    1) The SP or Extra Value Pkg #1 is being built primarily with options CK and
    CF and that's it.

    2) Accessory Pkg, Bumper Protector, Cargo Mat, Floor Mats, Security System
    and 16" Wheels are all options we can add aftermarket or here at the

    3)EV Radio option w/ JBL AM/FM Stereo 6-Disc CD Changer in dash and
    Restraint System are both unavailable on current XR vehicles out there
    without getting QP or Extra Value Pkg #2 and they are both factory installed

    4) Stability Control is not available on any 2WD units out there only AWD.

    5) ABS Braking system is another one not available on any XR models out

    *** end dealer message ***
  • Hi, I just bought an 06 Matrix Base front wheel drive and was reading the owner's manual. It suggest "tighten drive shaft bolt" at many of the service intervals. What is this? The car is front wheel drive. Any ideas?
  • I think that if you look closely, the owner's manual covers ALL models. The "tighten drive shaft bolt" would be under the "if applicable" category.
  • Thanks, herzogtum71! I'll check out the Scion. But my husband and his father really want Grandpa to have a navigation system in the car and I think the easiest thing would be the built-in ones with big screens and voice-commands. So, we may have to move up to a sedan like the Accord.

    Thanks again!
  • I'm pretty sure that the "tighten drive shaft bolt" applies to the AWD only. That's what my '04 maintenance manual says. Plus, the AWDs are the only models with a "drive shaft".
  • budhbudh Posts: 109
    Some information for those interested in Toyota special ordering from the factory and how it works.

    I special ordered a 2006 Matrix XR 2WD automatic yesterday morning. I put down a $500 deposit.

    The stated time for arrival is four to six months, and the dealer sees it in their expected future inventory three to four weeks in advance before the car arrives. Once that happens, my credit card would probably be charged. It is expected that the earliest my credit card will be charged is when the dealership sees the car is on its way three or four weeks in advance of arrival.

    Bud H


    1912 2WD Sport Matrix Wagon 4-Door (Automatic Transmission)

    8P4 Indigo Ink Pearl (exterior color)
    FB13 Stone (cloth interior)


    Z1 Accessory Pkg, Preferred (PIO)
    SP Extra Value Pkg #1
    CK Guard Pkg, All Weather
    PO Power Pkg
    AB Braking System, F&R Anti-Lock
    EF Bumper Protector, Rear (PIO)
    C1 Cargo Mat (PIO)
    CF Floor Mats, F&R (PIO)
    EV Radio, AM/FM Stereo w/6-Disc CD Changer in Dash
    BE Restraint System, F&R Head Curtain & Front Side Impact Air Bag
    V5 Security System, VIP RS3200 Plus (PIO)
    VS Stability Control, Vehicle • Standard & XR 2WD w/Auto Trans
    AW Wheels, 16" Aluminum
    RW Wiper, Intermittent Rear Window


    ENGINE 4-Cyl, 1.8 Liter
    TRANSMISSION Automatic
    TIRES (4) P205/55R16
  • It makes sense that the AWD would have a drive shaft bolt to tighten. Thanks for the tip. So far I really love the Matrix.
  • nortsr1nortsr1 Posts: 1,060
    You gave us all that info but not the price before TT/L and any additional fees????
  • I just bought a Matrix XR 4WD for my wife. The passenger side airbog is enabled by a weight sensor in the seat... enabled when an adult sits in the seat, disabled when a child sits in the seat. Can anybody point me to a site that gives the weight threshold for this sensor?

    So far, the salesman told me 60 lbs, I saw a post somewhere on this board that said 80 lbs, but the service dept at our dealer said 20 lbs (seems to low to me).

    I tried searching the forum... but haven't manage to pull any useful info, yet.

  • We've been told we can order VSC on an automatic 2WD but not a manual. ABS does come on an XR, but again a special order not the production build. Why Toyota wouldn't make ABS and rear air bags standard on all its models is a mystery. It sounds like you may have encountered a lazy dealer.
  • budhbudh Posts: 109
    Supposedly, getting a Toyota special order completed in a reasonably timely manner happens most easily if you go through a dealer with a very large inventory of cars ordered every month.

    1. Can anyone confirm if this is true?

    2. How do you determine what the largest volume Toyota dealers are in your area? (In my case, living in South Bend, Indiana, any place within 2 or 3 hours of me, which would include Chicago, Indianapolis, and Fort Wayne would work.)

    3. Is there a way to see the volume at a dealer for a particular model?

    Bud H
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