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Toyota Matrix



  • tommyg12tommyg12 Posts: 158
    I agree completely. It is very nice to have the choice of opening the glass or the entire hatch. Especially having a hatch button on the key fob.
  • mmyk72mmyk72 Posts: 67
    I'm seriously considering buying the Matrix, but not for 8-12 months. I'd like the XR auto, with anti-lock brakes.

    What's the difference between the newer models and the existing: Are there more engine power, change in mpg, any cosmetics improvements?

    I've read the compliants about weak heat/AC, and rattling...these problems didn't give me a warm and fussy feeling to just go out and get it.
  • path4path4 Posts: 24
    I highly recommand you to wait and test. The change from 1.8L to 2.4L may turn out to be a huge improvement. From my own experience, the AC is weak, but it will cool down the cabin. It just takes a longer time. You can hear the rattle at low speed, but once on highway, you cann't hear it anymore because it will be overpowered by other noises. Engine noise, wind noise and tire noise, plus a floaty ride are traits that unmistakenly put it in a decidely lower level below camry. I imagine the 2.4L engine will lower the engine noise and RPM significantly to improve comfort factor. Gas mileage may increase as well, as a small 1.8L engine and a big resistance factor are not a good match for fuel efficiency.
  • sgmsgm Posts: 23
    No significant changes between the 2005 and 2006.....we have one of each in red, as you described, but without antilock brakes.

    Gets heat within 3 or 4 blocks here in Dayton, OH even when it is in the teens and air is nice and cold in summer. No rattles or squeaks in first 6 months of ownership. Very well built.

    The only thing we can say even slightly negative is that economy is not as good as the EPA ratings of 28 city and 34 highway. Actually it may get 34 on pure highway, but we have not ran a full tank through doing nothing but highway. City and suburban we get about 26 average; sometimes a little more.

    As a comparison, my Miata is rated 23/29 mpg and in the same urban and suburban driving I average about 28-29.

    Very nice cars though. Never see many on the new car lots and never see them advertised on TV. What the dealers get, they seem to sell quickly.

    We bought both for invoice plus $50 title plus 7% tax. On the second one we bought I had the dealer order it in to coninside with the fall sale Toyota Corp. has around Thanksgiving. They put out $1000 coupons, so on the second one I got it $1000 under invoice.

    At least in my market (OHIO) Toyota has two of these $1000 coupon sales a year (at least the past few years) at Thanksgiving and one in the Spring.

  • zombozombo Posts: 89
    If the fuel mileage is so bad in the Matrix,then why did Edmunds recently rate it no.10 in their top ten fuel efficient cars? I've had my 03 5 speed XR for 4 years now,never got below 30 mpg and usually average 33-34 in the warmer months and have gotten 36 on long highway trips.I think people buy it with the auto and/or all wheel drive configurations and somehow expect to get 5 speed two wheel drive gas mileage out of it with the AC on most of the time-never going to happen.Noisy engine? It's a sporty car with an engine that likes to rev and the sound is part of it's appeal.

    As for reliability I've had a DRL light sensor and the rearview mirror replaced under warranty and those are the only problems I've ever had with the car.I'd consider buying the new model,but it looks like Toyota is going to ruin it with a bigger engine and poor fuel economy like they did with the Celica replacement- the TC! I'm also disappointed to see that they're doing away with the rear window opening on the 07 ,as I use that most of the time,much more convenient than opening and closing the big hatch.
  • path4path4 Posts: 24
    I don't know why some people always assume others are stupid. This is not some hightech stuff and people do know what they are talking about. Mine is 04 base 2DW. I drive at 75-80 and occasionally 85. The reason I don't drive faster is because it is too noisey and floaty, although the highway here is almost empty at night. The 300 miles/oneway commute I take every week is straight,flat and not much above sea level. The mileage is about 26-29 regardless AC on or off from my one year's observation and unsatisfaction.

    I once rented a 04 Chev Impala in March and drove it more than 1K miles at a speed around 90mph and sometimes 100mph. It got 31mpg even with some local miles. I also enjoyed how quiet it was. I didn't have to increase the volume to listen to the radio. Inside my matrix, I have to double the volume.

    I did read people reported both 28 and 38 mpg for matrix from different websites, with the 28 ones claiming they drove like grandma and the 38 ones 10mph above speed limit. Maybe it is a quality control issue. But, all of my friends who have corrolas complained how noisey they are, and none liked the rev-happy sound. Seriously, my matrix changes gears at 6K rpm when I floor it, which I did less than 10 times as there was no fun doing that, but it is still too sluggish to be called sporty.

    My previous 10-years old, beaten-up, oil-leaking, tires-evened accord got 31 mpg at about 80mph. When I bought the matrix, I had a lot of hope to see an increase to 33 or 35 from what I read on different websites. I kept hopping after the break-in period, the second oil change, the 7.5K maintance, the 1.5 maintance, but it never happended, and I began to read more and more complaints about its poor gas mileage.

    I think negative reviews from experienced owners are more helpful for potential buyers. When I was doing research on Matrix, all I read was how wonderful it was, and none mentioned the exccesive noises on highway. I believe they do know their cars are noisey, but reluctant to say it. I can accept the poor gas mileage because it is not too bad after all. But, the noises are killing me on highway as I drive a lot on highway and have to turn the volume up to listen to the music. I was often surprised to realize that the music was at an ear-deafening level after I got off the highway and stopped at a stop sign. Having said that, I don't think I am a picky person, neither I am rich enough to be picky. However, from my own experience, I consider Camry, Accord, Tauras, Impala are comfortable cars. Matrix, Corrla, Civic are certainly not.
  • steine13steine13 Posts: 2,562
    The reason the Matrix/Vibe twins only get 30mpg or so on the freeway is aerodynamics. These are tall cars with a lot of frontal area; there's a lot of drag.

    My wife can get 35 mpg in the car, I've never been over 30. I don't believe there's anything wrong, it's just physics at work. Drive 65-70 mph on level roads and with low winds and I think you'll see 35 mpg or so.

    "The Laws of Physics Are Strictly Enforced."
  • zombozombo Posts: 89
    You're routinely driving at 75-85 and wonder why you're not getting better gas mileage in a relatively tall car and why the road noise is so loud? No lightweight economy car that I know of is going to be quiet at those speeds.Obviously you need a heavier,more streamlined car for that type of driving. A radar detector and a PBA card wouldn't hurt either!
  • I'm about to purchase a new XR and would welcome comments on the optional JBL 6-disc, 7 speaker system: was it worth the extra dough? I'm thinking of going with the standard radio and adding an amp and better speakers.
  • I notice quite a few posts about the Matrix's aerodynamics. Is Cd of .32 that bad?
  • steine13steine13 Posts: 2,562
    Air resistance is a function of velocity x Cd x A, where "A" is the frontal area.

    The Cd is fine, but this is a big & tall car for its class.

  • herzogtum71herzogtum71 Posts: 470
    Also important to note that the drag coefficient doesn't come into play as much if you are driving the posted speed limits. Driving at 75-85 mph is going to reduce fuel efficiency in any car, but the impact is greater with a body style like the Matrix than in lower profile cars.
  • luvmbootyluvmbooty Posts: 271
    The base model you can add the rear window wiper, power locks and windows, keyless entry. You can add vehicle stability, antilock brakes, tire pressure system, and all available airbags to both models. Unless I want to add any options I really don't need, I think the base model would be the better buy. Does anyone disagree?
  • fixitvixfixitvix Posts: 2
    After years of only buying american cars, I finally bought my first import. I'm a do-it-yourself type Saturday "mechanic". On the Toyota Matrix, it states in the owners manual that a reminder light will come on when its time to change the oil. Changing oil and a filter is easy. How do you reset the oil reminder light on the dashboard?? :) :)
  • sgmsgm Posts: 23
    The answer is in the manual. :)
  • Time to buy my daughter her first car. Must be a hatchback. She's moving to
    either north of NYC or to San Francisco. Priorities are of course good combo
    of price, affordability, safety, ease of maintenance, mileage, looks,
    reality. We've narrowed down to these three. Yes, I know Matrix is more
    expensive (and larger) than Fit or xA but we might buy a young used one if
    this makes sense. Would appreciate your feedback, advice, warnings,
    encouragement, etc. Thanx in advance!!
  • luvmbootyluvmbooty Posts: 271
    Hard to compare Fit because not all info available. The xA and Fit do better gas mileage than Matrix. Matrix has more space: rear seat up=21.8 cu. ft., rear seats down 53. The xA rear seat up 33, down 11.7. Fit 41.9 down, 21.3 up. On average both Matrix and xA score about the same on government crash tests. No tests for Fit yet. The xA has 103 horse power, Fit has 109, Matrix has 126. All have driver and passenger front and side airbags and rear side airbags. All have antilock brakes. 14' tires for Fit, 15' for xA, 16' for Matrix. Traction and stability control and tire pressure monitor only for Matrix. Electronic brake distribution for Matrix and Fit. Hope info helps. Good luck! :shades:
  • johnc19johnc19 Posts: 15
    When I was looking to buy a Matrix a little over 1 year ago (2005 model) I too considered the Base Model vs. the XR. I ended up buying the XR because it had some standard equipment that's not even available on the Base model, such as: (1) color-keyed outside door handles and mirrors, (2) Power remote controlled outside mirrors, (3) 115V aux. power outlet, (4) fabric rear door trim, and (5) maplights.

    I really liked the looks of the XR much better with the color-keyed mirrors and door handles. In addition, the non-power outside mirrors on the base model were difficult to adjust properly when I drove one. At the time I bought, I think the XR cost about $500 - $600 extra (when comparably equipped), which seemed reasonable for the extra features not available on the base model.

    On my XR model, I also got the extra value package #1 (only $270), which includes color-keyed front and rear underbody spoilers, fog lamps, and cruise control. Cruise control can be ordered as a stand alone option on the base model, but the color-keyed spoilers (which I think really give the car a nice look) and foglamps aren't available on the base model.

    Keep in mind that Toyota typically builds their cars with certain popular option configurations, and may not be willing to build certain models with or without some options. I had to special order my car because I wanted a 5-speed with side and head curtain airbags. (Not one of their standard option configurations, but at least they were willing to build it that way.)

    As long as you recognize what's not available on the base model, and are happy without certain features, then the base model is a fine choice. My advice is if you can swing the extra money (less than $1,000) for the XR with the extra value package #1, you'll get a car with some nice additional features that might make you happier over the long run. Just my 2 cents worth.
  • luvmbootyluvmbooty Posts: 271
    Thanks for the response! Do you know of any pics on the net I could see and compare the color-keyed outside door handles, mirrors, front and rear underbody spoilers?
  • Hello all,

    I was hoping for some information from all Matrix XRS owners. I'm thinking of buying one from either 2004 or 2005, and was hoping for some feedback from current owners.

    What year is it?

    Are you happy overall with the car?

    How many miles do you have on it now?

    What sort of maintenance costs have you incurred?

    Thanks a ton!

  • sgmsgm Posts: 23
    No meaningful changes in 05 and 06's. Air and heat works fine and no squeaks or rattles, etc, after 4,000 miles on both of our Matrix. We have two XR's with automatics. No antilock brakes or side air bags. You have to add certain packages to get those options.

    During this winter, mpg as not been as advertised, but with warmer temps it is improving.

    We are most happy with both of them. Both RED - one with dark grey seats and the other with light grey!

    At least in our area they are competing their twice a year $1000 coupon sale - Toyota is taking $1000 off your best deal. I think it ends 3/13.

    I had my dealer order in our second one to coincide with the sale at Thanksgiving. Got both at invoice, but the second one at $1000 under invoice using the coupon sale.

  • joey0708joey0708 Posts: 39
    i thought the corolla and the matrix would be the same . why are there so many bad things with the matrix?do the corollas have the same problems?that is why i would buy the matrix they say it has the corolla engine, that has a proven record. maybe they are not the same either.
  • path4path4 Posts: 24
    Although I thought buying the matrix was a big mistake for various reasons, I must add it has served me 2 years without any problem. But, my friends' corollas have all sorts of problems. They are not old at all, less than 100K miles, about 5-7 years. One had a blown engine. One shakes badly on highway. Another one had needed $1000/year repair for 3 years. The only good one never had a problem in 5 years from 50K miles to 100K mikes. But it is extremely noisey, like in an airplane. So, from my experience, I am not convinced corollas are quality cars.
  • petlpetl Posts: 610
    Concerning the problems with the Corollas, you have to look at possible causes. Was the one with a blown engine maintained properly (oil changes, etc.)? The one that shakes badly, how are the tires, balancing, wheel alignment, struts, shocks, etc. (was it somehow damaged)? On the third one, what kinds of repairs were needed? Were they needed because of neglect? I'm not saying Corollas are trouble free. However, blanket statements without description or explanations are sometimes misleading.
  • pecclespeccles Posts: 52
    The current Matrix with a 4 speed automatic is rated at 34/28 mpg while the Camry with the 2.4L and 5 speed auto is rated at 34/24 mpg. If the Matrix keeps its 400lb weight advantage, it could have actually better highway gas mileage than it does now and should be able to keep its city mileage with the new 2.4L and 5 speed auto.
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,469
    Aerodynamics hurts the hwy mileage much more than weight. I doubt the Matrix would be better than Camry on the hwy.
  • path4path4 Posts: 24
    People who buy corollas are people who value their hard earned a few thousand dollars and they protect their purchase. People who don't maintain their cars are living in Hollywood. My friends never changed oil, neved rotated or balanced the tires, they floored the gas padel whenever possible, they drove in the 2 and L gear, they loved to hit pitholes, they used AC in winter and heat in summar, they fill 93 gas and sometimes added nitro. I am really proud of them.
  • hmarhmar Posts: 15
    I've just ordered an XR, 5-spd manual, with the All-Weather and Special Value #1 (cruise control, fog lights, etc.). What did it for me (the upgrade to XR) had nothing to do with 115v outlets (a nice touch, though), or color coded handles - it's all about the power mirrors. It's really a sleazy bit of marketing on the part of Toyota that they make a power package available with the Base Matrix that powers up everything but the mirrors. Manual mirrors didn't matter on my '84 Civic Hatchback because it only had the one mirror on the driver's side, but when you need to make the passenger's side right, you can go nuts doing it manually. Toyota makes you pay quite a bit more for that upgrade.
    Incidentally, all Corollas come with power mirrors, showing just how deliberate this was on the part of Toyota.
  • petlpetl Posts: 610
    Your reply, which really doesn't make much sense, explains that you know very little about the buying public. Many people, regardless how much they make or where they live, do not maintain their vehicles. There was nothing wrong with the questions. It helps determine the cause of problems (if people are honest). The sarcasm was a little funny, very little. Incidentally, there is nothing wrong in running the AC in the winter and the heat in the summer (if you can stand it). I'm sure you are (proud of them).
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 7,768
    Please stick to discussing the Matrix and not each other please. No need to turn things persoanl.

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