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Toyota Matrix



  • las1las1 Posts: 1
    Hi...I wanted your opinion about my 2003 Toyota Matrix which I purchased in June 2002. I have just over 60K on it and I heard a tapping noise. At 60,500 mi I took it to toyota (after just completing a 60K servicing at another place - not Toyota dealer at 59,000 because the engine light came on) and they said it was my transmission, big time. Because of how unusual this problem was at this mileage, they offered to pay 1/2, but this had nothing to do with the warrantee being so close, because when it was out, it's OUT. They said it would cost $3100. How do they know that's what it will cost? I took it to an independent transmission specialist and he said it is hard to tell what the cost will be until they get in there to see what the extent of the problem is. If it costs less to repair, should I pay less? I am concerned they just came up with that number so that I would pay the bulk of the cost. Should I not expect Toyota to cover it fully? I could have them itemize and set a price to all their work, but how do I know it's legitimate? I feel vulnerable and taken advantage of. Do you have any recommendations? I really want to get rid of this car...I have had Honda's, Subarus, Acuras and VW's and none has caused me this type of problem at so low a mileage. Please advise.
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,679
    I would get to a Toyota dealer immediately, and have them see what's wrong. Then, if it is a transmission, call Toyota (not the dealer) and explain your situation. I bet they cover it. It is very unusual to have a transmission fail in a Toyota. They generally have the best reliability of any make. You are just unlucky!! Even the best sometimes have a problem.
  • path4path4 Posts: 24
    I was just about to complain about its poor MPG before I saw your post. Today, it got 27 mpg for a 300 miles highway trip. Admitted, there were a few miles of stop-and-go traffic and I averaged 78mph, but, 27mpg is not acceptable. Actually, its best observed MPG is 30mpg, so 27 is within normal variance, and is consistent with Spark321 number. Besides its poor mileage, it is very noisey and floaty on highway. It is simply a punishment to drive more than half an hour in this car. I haven't got any mechanical problems. Only the front driver side window can not be closed tighty, which makes a lot of annoying noise on highway. This noise however, is nothing compared with wind noise and engine nosie. I also concur with Spark321 as to what he said about the heater and AC.
  • If you were AVERAGING 78 mph, 27 mpg sounds pretty good. Optimal gas mileage is supposed to be at something like 55-58 mph.
  • 1) Gas mileage: used to be 30ish in city and 35-38 freeway. Recently (post 100,000k hard miles) it had dropped 2-3mpg.
    2) Maintenance: replaced tires (85k) and a CV joint (106k)
    3) I expect at least another 100k miles.
    4) Performance: my base/manual will smoke a 2003 v6/automatic Mustang every time.
    5) After about 300 miles, the seats get somewhat uncomfortable.
    6) Absolutely comfortable. Driven in high winds, 100+ degree temps, -15 degree temps, high winds (hurricane force), jeep trails (did I mention hard miles?), heavy rains (hurricane again) and snowstorm (1-2"/hour in NE Ohio) and have had no problems controlling my 2003 Matrix.
  • I always find it interesting that DRLs are considered a "safety" feature on cars ... and were called "suicide lights" on motorcycles when they came out.... Maybe my motorcycling background is why I _ALWAYS_ turn my headlights (and, therefore, taillights) on when driving.
  • path4path4 Posts: 24
    I see you are very easy to be pleased. I was comparing it with my friend's Buick LaSable, which got 25mpg locally, and another friend's Camery, which ran 35mpg on highway. Personaly, I got 32mpg from a rented Impala for a 1K miles' trip at an average speed of 85mph. All these cars are heavier, much more comfortable and accelerate much faster than the Matrix.

    If you were AVERAGING 78 mph, 27 mpg sounds pretty good. Optimal gas mileage is supposed to be at something like 55-58 mph.
  • Most people say I'm quite the opposite of easy to please....

    My father has a Buick (Century, I believe) with V6 and also has reported some highway trips averaging 35 mpg when wind conditions were favorable (basically no stiff crosswinds). He drives 65-70. Keep in mind that the low-profile sedan has better aerodynamics than the SUV or station wagon shape, so fuel efficiency isn't reduced as much at higher speeds as with cars like the Matrix/Vibe.

    Today's paper had an article about new EPA testing that is supposed to better reflect real-world driving -- hard starts and stops, highway speeds greater than the current 60 mph, etc. Bottom line is that the EPA rating on most vehicles will decline, some being as much as 30 percent lower than today's ratings. Hybrids are supposed to take the biggest hit.
  • mkolmkol Posts: 6
    I finally purchased my Matrix XRS and I am looking for some accessories online(bumper protector, pet screen, wheel locks, etc). So far, I have found to be cheaper. Do you have any other recommendations? Also, they seem to have only up to 2005 model accessories, were there any changes at all at the 2006 model? I highly doubt it, excuse me for my ignorance. :)
    Thanks a lot.
  • I have the same thing happening with my 2004 Matrix. Oil leakage, irritating squeak in the driver's seat and inconsistent "catch" in the starter. The mechanics looked at me like I was crazy when I complained.
    Somehow, it's nice to know I'm not alone.
  • on a hot day how did you find the airconditiong? i tried the scion xa out on a very hot day , and it was poor . i am hoping the matrix is alittle better .
  • i know the corolla without side air bags scores low , but at least you can get them . since you can only get side air bags in the 4 wheel drive , how does the regular matrix score? i thought if i would buy one it would be a good idea to get the side air bags , do you feel the regular matrix would be safe? or would it be like having the corolla with out the side air bags?
  • path4path4 Posts: 24
    Haven't you seen all the posts about the poor AC in Matrix ? It takes half an hour to cool down the cabin to 70F with the medium setting even the outside temp is 70. While under the same condition, a camery needs only 2-3 minutes. For local commute, I rarely use the AC. For a long trip on a nice day, I scroll down the window and turn the AC to maxium setting for ten minutes, and then close the window. For a long trip on a hot summer day, I just bear it for the first half an hour. In my opion, it is the worst AC. I have driven toyota echo and chev aveo. And yes, their AC's are better. I would have traded it in had my financial situation allowed me. It is my first new car, and I see a lot of first new car buyers including myself regreting on not spending a little bit more on a better car. The bottom line is that civic, corrola, matrix ..., they are not that cheaper if you can find a deal on accord or camery.
  • hi thanks no i did not see the information . i just started to look at thev matrix and just start researching about it . infact on a very hot day i tried the pt cruisner and that worked really fast and was very cold . i would like toget something alittle better on gas . i see that honda fit is coming out , not sure if that will be any better .do you think it is because the engine is just to small ? and that is why the air isn;t that good . thanks
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,469
    I am trying to figure out if the Matrix and Corolla have the same final drive ratio - It seems they have the same gear ratios. Can somebody tell me how many rpms a Matrix is turning at 60 mph in 5th gear (manual tranny of course).

  • i know that the matrix has problems with the AC being poor ,how about the corolla since it has the same engine?
  • i read the matrix has a starting problem , does anyone know does the corolla have the same problem? do they drive about the same ?
  • steine13steine13 Posts: 2,562
    i think i can answer both of your questions; the AC problem can be fixed by properly adjusting the hot air/cold air blend door.

    the starting problem is confined to the matrix, since the vibe does not have a passive theft deterrent system.

  • capitanocapitano Posts: 509
    Living in Miami, I run my AC pretty much every single day. It works well enough for me. I generally cruise around on recirc at level 2 though I will go to 3 and vent if it's been sitting in the sun.

    My wife's Civic always had decent air conditioning. After a ride in my Matrix one day she starting complaining about how weak her AC was. So since the car was a few years old I took it in to get AC checked. It came back within spec. No leaks, no refrigerant loss. Nada.
  • Actually you can get side airbags in a Matrix that is not 4 wheel drive. Just over 1 year I ordered a 2005 front wheel drive Matrix XR 5-speed through my local dealer (Central Atlantic Region). My salesman first checked all dealers in the region for a vehicle that I liked (5-speed, ABS, and Side Airbags) and found none. It took approximately 7 weeks from the time my order was placed to receive the car. I've been completely satisfied in my first year with the car.

    If you buy a Matrix without side airbags, crash performance will likely be similar, (but not necessarily identical) to the Corolla, since the Matrix has a higher seating position and weighs slightly more.

    Another thing to consider when deciding between vehicles that may or may not have side airbags is resale. In 5 - 10 years when you might sell this vehicle, side airbags will probably be standard on every car sold. A car without side airbags would be harder to sell, or would sell at a reduced price.

    In my opinion, the initial extra cost of side airbags is worth it when you consider that they might save your life, or that your car's resale will be that much better. (I just wish that Toyota would make them standard equipment like Honda is now doing on all of their vehicles, or at least make them more readily available without having to custom order from the factory.)
  • path4path4 Posts: 24
    If you care about gas price, you shouldn't buy Matrix. A V4 Camery is more fuel efficient. It sounds very strange, but it is the absolute truth. I have never got above 30mpg, mostly 28 on a long highway trip. It is probably because of wind resistence and 1.8L engine being too little. All in all, Matrix is a vehicle poorly made by toyota.
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,469
    Too bad there is no V4 in the Camry.
  • As one other person pointed out, there is no V4 in the Camry. However, as a Matrix owner, I must disagree with your assertion that the Matrix is a "vehicle poorly made by Toyota." Since I purchased a 2005 XR 5-speed just over 1 year ago, the car has performed exactly as expected. It has needed nothing more than routine maintenance (oil changes and tire rotations) and gas mileage has been right in line with the EPA estimates of 36 highway and 30 city. The lowest mileage I have ever gotten was 31 MPG, and that was on the first tank from the dealer. Since then, fill-ups with mostly highway miles have consistently been 35 - 36 MPG, while fill-ups with a mix of highway and some local driving have averaged 33 MPG.

    I don't know whether or not you also own a Camry with which to compare the Matrix (I don't); but if you compare EPA mileage estimates for the Camry with the Matrix (both with 4 cylinders, 2WD, and automatic transmissions) you'll note that Camry estimates are 34 highway and 24 city; while the Matrix is estimated at 34 highway and 28 city. Mileage estimates for the 4WD Matrix are a bit lower at 31 highway and 26 city, while estimates for the XRS model, with the more powerful engine, are 32 highway and 25 city.

    Bottom-line, in most cases the Matrix will get better MPG (based on EPA estimates) than the Camry, with possible exceptions being the 4WD and XRS models of Matrix, neither of which represents a sizable percentage of sales. My own experience with a 2WD XR 5-speed Matrix suggests that Matrix MPG is very good and exactly what I should have expected.
  • My 2005 Matrix XR 5-speed turns at about 2300 RPM at 60 MPH in 5th gear.
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,469
    Thanks, I was trying to figure out if the gearing is the same as the Corolla, and it appears to be. The Corolla also turns 2,300 rpm at 60. I am trying to avoid a buzzy car, as the speed limit here is 75 and routing hwy speeds are 80+. 4,000 rpm gets old after several hours.
  • path4path4 Posts: 24
    I must congratulate on your lucky Matrix. I also read someone's matrix could get 38mpg on highway. Mine is 2004 base 2WD with 19K miles now. Today I got a pathetic 26.4mpg for a 350 miles highway only trip. I know I am not alone, so I am not sure why people are telling vastly different stories. But, I will ask the guys at toyota to take a look at it. Most likely, they will do nothing about it.

    My lowest mileage is 18mpg, for a normal local only driving.
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,469
    Were all 350 miles on the highway? What speed were you going? How many psi in the tires? Were there hills? What transmission do you have? etc.
  • tommyg12tommyg12 Posts: 158
    Expect a short carryover '07 model year, with the following changes applying to a early release '08.

    ***Breaking News***

    2007 major model change.
    - 2.4L (2AZ-FE)
    2.4 Litre
    2AZ-FE specs
    Sequential Multiport Electronic Fuel Injection
    Balance Shafts
    Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle [ULEV]
    Compression Ratio - 9.6:1
    Horsepower (kW) - 157 (119) @ 5700 rpm
    Torque (N.m) - 163 lb.ft. (221) @ 4000 rpm

    - available all wheel drive (new one) 5 speed tranny
    - solid hatch door (no more separate opening glass)
    - XRS will be discontinued

    These are confirmed for the major model change in 2007 either for the 2007 model or early release 2008 depending on how the new Woodstock plant launch goes.

    With the XRS being discontinued, this means that the GT Vibe is being cancelled. Also the AWD Vibe is being cancelled.
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,469
    Sounds like I better hurry up and get one before they "improve" it with a thirstier and heavier engine.
  • It's too bad they are discontinuing the separate opening glass on the hatch. The cargo area is really quite small. When I traveled with 2 teenagers it was packed to the brim. The separate glass opening made it easier to unload. If I opened the entire hatch, things tended to fall out before I was ready to catch them!
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