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That said, let this not turn into a silly pi$$ing contest, and keep the (so far) interesting comparison between the cars going in this discussion!
Me too, and I bet your Matrix handles like my MPV too.
Nothing beats a toyota or lexus.
Just a reminder kids: Don't forget to wear your protective gear when you go play commando with paintballs.
me smart guy.
I know it is an opinion but for lurkers out there do yourself a favor- test drive the Elantra GT. Afterward you may still decide to go with the P5 or the Matrix. Nonetheless, I would wager that the words it is still a Hyundai would have little meaning to you.
The Elantra is not just a couple of thousand dollars less than the P5 it is arguably a better car- period. It will depend on your taste but I found the P5 ride to be too harsh for me while the GT was more balanced. There are few options because it comes standard with nearly everything. Heck it even has heated side mirrors. The GT's acceleration is better; though I would give the twisties and styling edge to the P5.
I am not mentioning the Matrix simply because I have not driven it. Still, if the Matrix is competitive to the P5, then the Elantra is competitive to the Matrix. The GT is a solid car. The words it is a Hyundai may have had some significance in the 80's and early 90's but this is a new century and Hyundai is not the same car company.
A couple of weeks ago, I found myself needing to find a car fast - I had two beaters (my beloved '90 Integra and a '92 Escort SW) I was hoping to limp along for a couple more years until my wife's Odyssey was paid for (coulda got a WRX then ;-)), but both went to be with Elvis in rapid succession.
After dropping the Ford off at the transmission place (where it got an eventual death sentence), I walked over to the local Mazda dealer to try and drive a P5. They only had an automatic (I think I've bought my last automatic), but I took it out anyway. I was a HAY-UGE dissapointment. I hated the action on the tranny and it was weak to the point of being unsafe. Blaming it on the tranny, I found a dealer with a couple of stripped 5-speed P5's in stock and arranged a test drive. It was much better, but still dissapointing - I found it a little tight, but not too uncomfortable, the stereo sucked (but they all did in my price range), the steering wheel was a little small for my taste, it was weak on the low-end (it wasn't all the tranny after all), and the shifter felt loose and sloppy. All-in-all, not a bad car for the price, but not the car I had been reading about for the last 6 months or so.
The TS test drive went much better. Even stripped the price was a little on the high end (still have those Oddyssey payments!), but it was a larger, stronger, more comfortable vehicle.
I figured I should check out everything in the class/price range (mid-teens), so the next day I went out at lunch to drive a Matrix. I was going to look at a PT Cruiser the next day. My expectations were low, but I was immediately impressed! I found the high seating position more comfortable, and I actually liked the shifter halfway up the dashboard (didn't think I would on either count). Even with the higher center of gravity, I thought it handled at least as well as the P5 and felt stronger off the line
and faster than the P5 (specs notwithstanding). When I could sit in the back comfortably without adjusting the front seat (I'm 6'2 and of 'larger carriage';-)), I was nearly sold. My wife drove it the next day - She liked it too, but wasn't into the color ('radiant red') and we couldn't come to terms on price (they wanted $400 below sticker + $250 of bogus 'dealer overhead'). Found a price on the internet for the same car at invoice-$45. Called the dealer and they actually had it on the lot (gave me the VIN), and said the only additional charges would be Virginia sales tax (3% vs 3.2% at the Virginia dealer - How do they do that?) and tags. Faxed the price in writing. That was it - I put a deposit down over the phone and picked it up the next day. It was faster and handled better than the one I drove the day before! It's been two weeks and I'm still happy.
Had it not been for the deal, I might have still gone with a P5 on price alone, but we'll never know. ;-)
(Sorry about the long post)
Toyota Matrix-I heard a rattles on the glove box immediately. I even see the glove box cover moves while I drive. A big disappointment. Too many options.
Mazda Protege5-Not much noise. It is quiet in the cabinet. Only problem is hard to find a Sport automatic with ABS. Finally bought one with S-plan price and 2.9 APR financing.
It is great and the drive is impressive.
Also, are do insurance companies consider these "sport" cars or "wagons" for insurance costs.
Pondering in New Mexico
Just wondering though, what car did you have before getting the Matrix? If you had a larger, more powerful car before the new car, that would also explain the disappointment you had with the P5's power.
Anyways, good luck with you Matrix in the future.
Car seats - Can't comment on the P5, but the Matrix has tons of head room (key to getting a good tight fit on a carseat IMO) and decently wide rear doors. There is also a tether attachment (already installed, not just threads like on my Odyssey) for all three rear positions. Per my casual reading of the owner's manual I think there are also special side attachments in at least the left and right positions.
My kids are all out of regular carseats, but all three - including a full-size Century combination 5-point carseat/booster chair - fit with plenty of room to spare. I imagine it would take two carseats with no problem.
As for insurance, my insurance company (Progressive) lowered my insurance after we added the P5 and dropped my old Impreza RS. They listed it as a hatchback.
I know I will have to put the carseats in the cars, but Im glad to get some feedback about them because in some cars the two seats are so smashed in there that its tough to buckle my son in his booster seat. Seems like every time I turn around their is more info about keeping kids in car seats (to 60 or 80 pounds) so I know it will be a long time dealing with the seats. What I like about the van is one kid is in the middle seat and one in the back, so they dont fight as much. In our old cars I used to drive around with a big piece of foam (LOL) for stuffing between them to minimize bickering.
Thanks so much for the answers!
And building on that... in the recent Car & Driver comparo, they picked the Pro5 over even the 180hp Matirix!!
But the Matrix has way more room, no doubt about it. I have the moon roof in my P5 and I'm not a tall guy (5'10"), but I can see how a tall guy might feel a bit cramped in my car. And feeling cramped in a car isn't very pleasant. I also really like the fact that on the Matrix, you can open the rear glass without opening the hatch. That I'd really like to have.
Both pretty solid cars IMO, and I can see lots of reasons why one might buy a Matrix over a P5, but I just can't see performance as one of them.
Minivan seating position
Slammed RAV4 looks
Numb Handling with exaggerated body motions due to high seats
Pricy once you add options
Typical Toyota salesman snobbery
Things that turned me ON to the P5...
Value (standard everything)
Low factory financing
Handling, Handling, Handling
Communicative Steering & Brakes
Super Comfortable Seats
Maximum interior space with minimal exterior dimensions
Long reliability history
Proven Japanese build-quality
Drives like a sports car, hauls like a wagon
Straight line speed (0-60) is about 9th on my list of automotive priorities. Value, handling, bang-for-the-buck, quality and safety are far more important.
The GTS version of the Matrix on the other hand is a much more capable car. The suspension has been upgraded to a nice solid feel when cornering. The 17" wheels really help give it needed grip around corners and the lower profile tires help turn-in considerably. The HP is not in quite as useful a range but when you wind it up it goes pretty good. The torque is still low but if your the type of person that like to wind it up who cares.
There you go. That's my opinion, I'm glad you like your Matrix.
I was indeed dissapointed when I drove P5, but only because it has been so over-hyped by the automotive press to the point of raising expectations beyond what it could possibly deliver.
The P5 has been available abroad as-is for 3 years, and the Protege sedan it's based on has been in production for even longer then that. The Protege lineup has been on CR's Best Bet list for years. It's been built inteh same Japanese factory, by Japanese workers, of 95% Japanese parts for that whole time. Experience counts. That's why I gave the "long reliability history" edge to the P5.
Besides, Toyota's quality has been slowly slipping for years (according to most surveys). They built their quality reputation 15 years ago when the competition was pure junk... and now they live off that rep. The gap between Toyota/Honda and everyone else just isn't as huge as it used to be.
What it all comes down to is subjective opinion, not right or wrong. I'm not bashing the Matrix, I just pointed out the thins that I didn't like. I'm glad there are choices out there for everyone.
hmmm, the NUMMI plant builds some pretty solid stuff. I don't know that there is much room to criticize Toyota on its production facilities in any country. As a Mazda supporter, I could only hope that plants in the US that build Mazdas were this good. In the case of the Protege, however, I'd say that the production facility in Hiroshima is every bit as good as a US Toyota facility.
Clearly I've got issues with the UAW.. these are my problems and I try to deal with them as constructively as possible. hahahah ! :-)
RWD and AWD cars will experience oversteer if pushed too hard.
I'm curious but I haven't looked it up yet...what kind of suspension does the Matrix have set-up in the rear?
My mix up.
Still, I specifically wanted a Japanese car, built in Japan of Japanese parts. There aren't many around anymore. I bought this car for the long, long haul and I wanted my best chance of the best assembly, quality, and longevity. Historically, that means Japanese.
I drive a P5 with the auto tranny and have yet to encounter the "unsafe" aspect of this combo. Please enlighten me????
A guy here at work has his son in the hospital and his son's freind that was in the car with him is dead. They were ripping down a dirt road and lost control of the car and it rolled several times throwing both boys from the vehicle in the process.
I don't know what kind of vehicle they were driving but I do know this.....Kids don't get in these kind of situations because of "weak tranny's" or a lack of power to the wheels.
During the test drive, I attempted to pass a slow-moving truck on a hill. After moving to the left lane, when I pushed on the gas pedal it first hesitated, then raced, and while it did get me up the hill, it never felt all that strong, and yes I was was a little scared there for a second. Now knowing how touchy you P5 folks are, I perhaps should have chosen my words more carefully (don't feel too bad - they're chewing me up for agreeing with a reviewer's comment about the dim guage lights over on the Matrix board, so Matrix owners might even be a little touchier). I think I made it clear from my original posts that I'm pretty down on automatics in general, and in retrospect maybe I shouldn't have driven one even if that was all they had on the lot. The P5 (with a 5-speed) really is a nice car, it just didn't work as well for me personally as the Matrix. I really can't fault anyone for choosing one over the other.
I'm just toying with you a little Tom, but you just managed to make my point. You attempted to pass while going up a hill in a car that you were entirely unfamiliar with. Sounds like you put yourself in a potentially dangerous situation, not the P5. A weak transmission or lack of power is not the problem here.
Every automatic I've driven hesitates a moment before downshifting.
I've made dozens of passes in the 22,000+ miles I've put on my P5 and haven't had a close call yet.
Know thy car and it will keep you safe.
I decided to post originally because my experiences with both cars seemed so markedly different than what I was seeing posted. I expressed my honest opinions, perhaps with a little hyperbole (intended or unintended), but I called 'em as I saw 'em. Had I seen them differently, I might well have ended up making a different choice. They are both well-built cars with simiar specs in about the same price range, but this is a 'vs.' topic after all......
You are correct sir, and without opinions, these forums wouldn't be any fun.
I like shifting manually myself sometimes. Thats what my motorcycle is for.
Now, can a Matrix stir up this kind of passion from their owners????
I know what you mean about passion, though. I wanted to (maybe 'expected to' would be more appropriate) get passionate about the P5, but I just couldn't. Just wasn't the car for me right now. I'm really really happy with the Matrix, but I wouldn't say 'passionate'. Now, a WRX......
Well, I have yet to meet a person that has gotten younger.
I test drive the Matrix the other day and like it a lot. Fresh design, sharp looking body panels, comfortable seats and useful cargo area. But I still wonder why Toyota put that sporty but torque-less engine in the Matrix. Yes, it is very sporty and fun to see the rpm swing to > 6k and zoom.... May be I am old (31yo) but I don't think I would like to do that too often. Plus this is not a Celica, Matrix owners actually put passengers (front and back) in their car. I am unsure about the durability (yes, I know this is a Toyota but...) of engines under these working condition. Why they don't put the base Camry engine (or even the RAV4) engine in it?? Both of these engine with lots MORE torque, with good MPG and on regular fuel as well.
Havn't test drive the P5 yet but I like that classy but sporty look of the P5 a lot. I think I will take a test drive soon....
There is a reason why there's a loyal following of Protege/Protege5 owners, because they're so much fun to drive!