Toyota Matrix vs. Mazda Protege5



  • bsum70bsum70 Member Posts: 37
    I know, I am going to test drive the P5 when I have time to test drive the P5 and finish my story...
  • SporinSporin Member Posts: 1,066
    I think you hit the nail on teh head... Toyota should have squeezed the 4-banger from the new Camry into the Matrix.


    * Base Number of Cylinders: 4
    * Base Engine Size: 2.4 liters
    * Base Engine Type: Inline 4
    * Horsepower: 157hp @ 5600 rpm
    * Torque: 162ft-lbs. @ 4000 rpm
  • shriqueshrique Member Posts: 338
    Your right with specs like that it would be a really good fit. The gas mileage might be a little low for the segment but I bet it would feel just about right. Lot's of torque good HP. What's the redline on that engine do you know?
  • SporinSporin Member Posts: 1,066
    Don't know.
  • maltbmaltb Member Posts: 3,572
    My comment was related to his earlier statement that the P5 was a more youthful car. Besides that, it was just a bit of humor in an otherwise tense world.
  • tom3ktom3k Member Posts: 91
    Humor (or 'humour', for our Canadian friends) can be a dangerous thing in a 'vs' topic. Careful, before I smack you with my cane, whippersnapper! Lucky for you it's the same color as the guage lights in a Matrix, so I can't see it in all this sunshine........
  • maltbmaltb Member Posts: 3,572
    I didn't doubt your ability to cope. You've taken a beating in here and yet return for more.

    Where were we?
    "P5 under powered? Are you nuts?"
  • tom3ktom3k Member Posts: 91
    Old and nuts! An unbeatable combination.

    IMO, of course;-)........
  • bsum70bsum70 Member Posts: 37
    As what I said before, I am worried about the durability of those little engines in Matrix. I know Toyota want to use Matrix to aim at those young (Generation X Y or Z or whatever) so they make it more sporty by putting a high rev engine (BTW, I think Toyota did an EXCELLENT job for sound isolation). It would be pretty sporty or quick JUST with the driver (may be one passenger), like the normal load in a Celica. But Matrix is designed to be versatile and carried more people and 'stuff'.
    The RAV4 engine should be a good fit, and the MPG should be better too!! (consider the weight difference between those two)

    Just my two cents
  • SporinSporin Member Posts: 1,066
    I think you are right. The hi-revving motor just doesn't suit what MOST people who buy the Matrix will use it for.

    I think that despite the marketing hype (boy racers), a majority of Matrix will be sold to people who basically want a small, sporty, mini-minivan.

    Having to rev the engine pask 6k to get to the horsepower just doesn't suit that buyer.

    Just my conjecture.
  • dogtrainerdogtrainer Member Posts: 96
    I tend to agree with you that most who buy the Matrix will not want to rev that high very often, that's why I advise people I know not to waste their money getting an XRS for the bigger engine. OTOH, I have an XR auto, and I'm satisfied with the engine. When entering 55 - 60 mph traffic from a standstill, you want to have your foot on te floor For the short time it takes to get up to speed. That's acceptable to me.
  • bsum70bsum70 Member Posts: 37
    The reason that I considered XRS is their 4 wheel brakes. That is the only trim level come with rear disc brake... Also, I never own a 6 speed manual...
  • dogtrainerdogtrainer Member Posts: 96
    I didn't say no one should consider the XRS. It's just that a few of my friends have expressed to me that they were considering it because they felt the more powerful engine would be more to their liking. I essentially advised them that in normal driving, they would get little or no benefit from the extra HP, and they should save their money.

    I find that the brakes are fine even if they're drums in the rear. Since the front brakes do most of the work, and most of us don't do repeated stops from high speed, I doubt there is a significant difference in performance.

    Of course, if you absolutely must have a moonroof, or you really love shifting a 6 speed gearbox through traffic, knock yourself out.
  • bsum70bsum70 Member Posts: 37
    Test drive P5 the other day,
    Good news: precise steering, short throw shifter (a little rubbery), agile, powerful (feel) engine, decent price, good dash layout, comfortable seat
    Bad news: the sales person was a jerk!, ROAD NOISE, less cargo room than Matrix, cramped interior, dated (compared to Matrix) dash design, did I mention road noise and sales person was a jerk?
    Overall, P5 is very good, but just not for me. It drives very much like my 92 Honda Civic Si. I drove a lot at hwy speed, Protege 5 is much nosier than the Matrix. To me (just my opinion) that is very important(more head room is a big plus as well). Also it cost more to insure the P5 than Matrix.
    Fantasy: Matrix with Acura RSX Type-S engine & 6 speed gear box...... , now we are talking fun & practical......... just a dream
  • iwphilliwphill Member Posts: 48
    I just bought a base Matrix and am very happy with it. The other contender was the Mazda P5, but it didn't have quite enough room for me. I needed more cargo room and hauling capability (especially since I was trading in my truck!). I still think the P5 is a great vehicle, and my wife still has her eyes set on it as a possible future vehicle for herself, but it just wasn't what I needed. Just not as spacious and room as the Matrix.
  • shriqueshrique Member Posts: 338
    Really? Wow i bought mine because the interior made good use of space. The headroom is a bit tight for the height gifted and the back a bit short for real hauling but I thought it was a nice compromise. Everyone that I have hauled around in my car thought the back seats were pretty spacious.
  • sunbyrnesunbyrne Member Posts: 210
    I must agree with shrique--one of the things I really like about the Protege is that it has as much interior space as many mid-sized cars, but not the size or price tag of one. I'd hardly call the P5 "cramped."

    Now, I will agree that the Matrix has a lot more room in it and is very airy with the high roof line (frankly, makes it feel like a minivan to me), and if space is your main concern, then the Matrix should win for you. But let's be fair, that doesn't make the P5 "cramped."

    Oh, and I'll take the "dated" P5 dash over the Matrix's faux chrome rings and terrible constrast ANY DAY. Chrome is evil, and why anyone would want it on the dash, glaring up into the windshield, I'll never know.

    But yes, the Matrix is quieter, can't argue there. Not a big factor for me, but if it is for you, score one for the Matrix.
  • iwphilliwphill Member Posts: 48
    I think you both are confused.....I never wrote the word "cramped" (please read my post). I said that "it didn't have quite enough room for me" and "Just not as spacious and roomy as the Matrix." That doesn't mean I think it's cramped. What I was saying is that it didn't have enough for me, which is just my opinion. There's nothing wrong with the P5. It's a terrific car, and for the record, I don't think it's "cramped".

    I just needed more room, and the Matrix has a lot more room - 53.2 cubic feet of cargo room with the rear seats down. The P5 has only 24.4 cubic feet with the rear seats down. Cargo capacity is very important to me, as I tend to "load up" quite a bit. But of course, it's all relative to what your needs are........
  • sunbyrnesunbyrne Member Posts: 210
    No, jwphill, you didn't say "cramped," but bsum70 did in his post #215. That's what I was reacting to--sorry, I should have been more clear.
  • bsum70bsum70 Member Posts: 37
    I am comparing Matrix & P5. Is the P5 'cramped' and not acceptable?? NO NO NO. It is just not as roomy (or 'feel' roomy) as the Matrix. Just to clarify......
  • sunbyrnesunbyrne Member Posts: 210
    Well, in your post, you said the P5 was "cramped." That's what both Sporin and I reacted to. Happy to see the retraction, though. :-)
  • SporinSporin Member Posts: 1,066
    It might also be interesting to note that Toyota measures their rear cargo area volume from floor to ceiling and Mazda measures it from floor to top of back seats. Big difference. Combine that with the fact that the Matrix has a much higher roofline and you can see hwo they win the numbers-wars.

    I know I have piled TONS of stuff in my car and when I go recycling (many months worth) on Sat. I will take a picture of the loaded car to show just how big it is back there.

    As far as front and rear seat room, I can only say this... I bought the P5 becasue I fit in it in every seat... comfortably. And I am 6' tall and f-a-t. :-) It is also one of the few "compacts" that can fit a rear facing infant seat easily, and without pushing th efront seats way forward.

    I've never even sat in a Matrix so I cannot comment on it's room.
  • mdaffronmdaffron Member Posts: 4,421
    ... the 2000 Protege ES AND the 2002 Protege5 in our driveway. I also am about 6 feet tall (just a hair shy of 6-1, in fact) and weigh in at an enormous 280 pounds. I'm constantly pushing seats back all the way in any car I'm in. To my delight, however, in both the Protege and the Protege5, my driver's seat is still two notches from all the way back -- a first in ANY car I've ever driven -- and on top of that, I can still -- no kidding -- get out of my driver's seat, open the back door, and sit in the rear seat WITHOUT eating my knees! Two years and 39,000 miles since I bought my Protege, I continue to be impressed at this! Now, for all I know the Matrix may be the same -- the closest I've gotten to one is zooming past one on the expressway every morning ;-) -- but in its class, compared to cramped little cars like the Sentra and Civic, it's just amazing to have this much room in a "compact" car!

  • cdnp5cdnp5 Member Posts: 163
    I'm glad that iwphill has cleared up how they measured the rear cargo space in the P5 for me. I was wondering how it could have 19.8 cf with the seats up and only 24.4 withn them down. I'm no rocket scientist but I know that the space should at least double when you fold the seats down. They only measure to the top of the seats, wow, this is quite interesting. I've been having this debate with a friend about trunk space or should I say usuable trunk space. Some cars may have a larger number bot not any more usuable space. I think that they should give you real numbers (length x width x height) so you have a good understanding for space. I've looked in the back of a Matrix (seats up) and to me it looks about 10-20% smaller than my P5. I'll have to take my Rubbermaid (2 x 68 Liters) containers and see how much room is in the back of a Matrix because they fit really easily in my P5.
  • hardoohardoo Member Posts: 31
    Fortunately for consumers, there seems to be a booming market for family-friendly vehicles that combine style with utility, and this forum has centered on two: the Matrix and the Protege5. To me, the Matrix combines utility with a dash of sporty style. The vehicle with which it probably competes most directly is the PT Cruiser, as a tall, front-drive, cargo-friendly wagon. The only trade-off is that you gain Toyota reliability in exchange for less appealing futuristic styling. The Protege5, by contrast, offers sporty styling with a dash of utility. It should provide strong reliability (like the Toyota) and a fun driving experience (compared with the more mature Cruiser), but cannot carry as much as either the Matrix or the Cruiser. As someone who is going to make his next purchase in the coming six months, these three vehicles are my top choices for a 30 year old teacher with a wife and hopefully a family on the horizon. But even I am having a hard time choosing between the three of them. I guess I'd like it best if my wife would trade in her Civic on the P5 and let me take the Cruiser.

  • ashutoshsmashutoshsm Member Posts: 1,007
    ... 'appealing' and 'futuristic' without 'not' in reference to the PT Cruiser?

    I do hope you're not an English teacher :-)

    On a car note - perhaps the PT Cruiser fits the bill as a competitor too, but most people can't get over its dated and boring looks (I know, there is a contingent of those who thing the opposite is true) and truly pedestrian handling - not to mention legendary (NOT!) reliability that it inherited from the Dodge Neon.
  • hardoohardoo Member Posts: 31
    You wrote, "... 'appealing' and 'futuristic' without 'not' in reference to the PT Cruiser?"

    No, I wrote "less appealing" and "futuristic" in reference to the Matrix' appearance when contrasted with the PT Cruiser. When you compare the Matrix with the Cruiser, you gain Toyota reliability, but you lose style points.

    "I do hope you're not an English teacher :-)"

    I am. I do hope you're not one of my students ;-)

    "On a car note - perhaps the PT Cruiser fits the bill as a competitor too, but most people can't get over its dated and boring looks (I know, there is a contingent of those who thing [sic] the opposite is true) and truly pedestrian handling - not to mention legendary (NOT!) reliability that it inherited from the Dodge Neon."

    Most people seem fascinated by its retro looks, as I'm seeing more and more of them on the road these days, and Chrysler continues to ratchet up production. And its reliability has had good early returns, as shown in Consumer Reports' string of perfect red targets, although I will admit that long-term durability is a concern. As for truly pedestrian handling, I think that's where the Matrix and Cruiser are perhaps most comparable. Both are tall cargo-friendly wagons that try to mask an unsporty drive with a stylish veneer.

  • maltbmaltb Member Posts: 3,572
    I was waiting for him to spank you a good one...hehehe.
  • ashutoshsmashutoshsm Member Posts: 1,007
    I troll this discussion, and truly abhor the PT Cruiser too! I doubt there are many things in life I'd use such a strong word for, but the PT Cruiser is one of them - LOL!
  • protegextwoprotegextwo Member Posts: 1,265
    It all about personal taste?

    Maybe it's just me? However, the Cruiser is trying to look like something it is not (a hot rod coach from the 50's)! Yikes it's odd looking and derivative, lol! (Like my grammar Mr. English Professor?)
    ;-))) Worse yet, it's fancy sheet metal sits on a Dodge Neon's chasis, ugggh!

    The Vibe/Matrix seems to be a tad more original and for better or worse, contemporary. I prefer it's styling and admire it's cross-over SUV aspirations. BTW, the Vibe/Matrix rides on a top box Toyota Corolla chassis, does it not?

  • hardoohardoo Member Posts: 31
    You wrote, "It all about personal taste?"

    Preference is all about personal taste. It is your prerogative to prefer the styling of the Matrix, or any other car, to the PT Cruiser. I do not believe it is a matter of personal taste, however, to assert that the PT Cruiser and the Matrix are comparable vehicles, which is all I have done in this forum.

    You wrote, "Maybe it's just me? However, the Cruiser is trying to look like something it is not (a hot rod coach from the 50's)! Yikes it's odd looking and derivative, lol! (Like my grammar Mr. English Professor?)
    ;-))) Worse yet, it's fancy sheet metal sits on a Dodge Neon's chasis, ugggh!"

    I think the disappointment some people feel about the PT Cruiser is that they expect it to be fast only to find that it is not. They want looks, utility, and speed for under $20,000 and are disappointed not to find it. But Chrysler has never marketed the vehicle as a blazer; it is a cruiser. Like the Matrix, it is a space-efficient tall wagon that tries to provide SUV utility on a compact platform with some style.

    You wrote, "The Vibe/Matrix seems to be a tad more original and for better or worse, contemporary. I prefer it's styling and admire it's cross-over SUV aspirations. BTW, the Vibe/Matrix rides on a top box Toyota Corolla chassis, does it not?"

    One could just as easily argue that the Matrix presents itself as something it is not. It looks sporty, but it is built on a Corolla platform with the same 130 hp Corolla engine. Even the upgraded XRS engine and its 180 hp are not terribly sporty, offering a weak torque curve and no appreciable benefit below 6,000 RPM. Like the PT, it is simply a cargo-friendly tall wagon with some style.

    Ultimately, for vehicles that offer such similar qualities, the comparison comes down to style, value, and reliability:

    1) Style -- do you prefer retro touches or futuristic styling?

    2) Value -- how much do comparably equipped vehicles cost? Looking at the figures, the PT costs more, but dealers are more willing to bargain (check the TMV), and Chrysler is more eager to offer incentives.

    3) Reliability -- which car will last? I'd put my money on the Matrix, as Toyota generally and the Corolla specifically have held their quality and their value. Although, these vehicles were made in conjunction with GM and are built in Canada, so it's not as if we're discussing a Japanese car made in a Japanese plant by Japanese workers using Japanese parts. On the other hand, my biggest concern with the PT is that it is a Chrysler, an American car built in Mexico. In its favor, however, Chrysler had the fewest initial defects of any American carmaker according to Consumer Reports, which also described the PT as having "much better than average reliability" illustrated with a string of perfect red targets. And they back that report with a new 7 year / 70,000 mile powertrain warranty to bolster consumer confidence, compared with the traditional 3/36 for Toyota.

    In short, they are very comparable vehicles, playing similar roles and providing similar functions for similar dollars. Thus, I think the PT Cruiser, rather than Protege5, is the car with which the Matrix best compares. The Protege5, which I also like, probably competes most directly with the Ford ZX5.

  • shriqueshrique Member Posts: 338

    For what it's worth I think I like the Vibe better than the Matrix for looks. I hate to say it but it's more subdued (except for the front end) The Matrix just looks odd to me.

    My personal choice was the Protege5 because I wanted 4 doors and a hatch w/sporty handing and a good price tag. To get hte good handling version of the Vibe/Matrix you had to buy the higher end model. I didn't want/need the plastic cargo area. I don't like having stuff richochet around the interior of my car when I drive with some "zest".
  • protegextwoprotegextwo Member Posts: 1,265
    "It is your prerogative to prefer the styling of the Matrix, or any other car,..."
    by hardoo

    Thank you for validating my right to have fun on my Gateway EV500. Relax my good friend, "it's all good"! ;-)

  • protegextwoprotegextwo Member Posts: 1,265
    Like the Matrix; it is a space-efficient tall wagon that tries to provide SUV utility on a compact platform with some style.
    By Pat

    Pat, I agree with your theory and applaud your common sense. I do not believe Toyota markets the Matrix/Vibe to the "20 somethings"; demographic group. Toyota created the SCION brand to capture that demographic. I trust that most Matrix/Vibe automobiles are sold to 33 to 45 year old couples with smaller families. This segment would shop the Matrix/Vibe tall wagon as an alternative to the higher priced, less fuel efficient Mini-SUV.

  • riopelleriopelle Member Posts: 132
    Lovetrain, I don't know if you've been to the movies lately, but there is an animated Matrix commercial featuring the funky 20-something bombing around a city in his Matrix being played before lotsa gen x flix, including Episode 2. This definitely suggests to me that Toyota's considerable Matrix marketing budget is being used to target gen X and Y. With Scion a year or more away, why would they give up that market now, anyway?

    Toyota has Camry, Avalon, and Corolla for the adults. Matrix fits the bill for the crazy kids who know sport coupes and Utes aren't all that. It just so happens that Toyota 's reputation brings the older folks in, too.

    Having said that, I see a lot more 35+ drivers in Matrices than P5's. The P5's taut ride requires a young body, or at least a young mind.
  • the_big_hthe_big_h Member Posts: 1,583
    All I've seen are middle age men/women driving them.

    Protege5, on the contrary, are almost exclusively driven by younger folks (men & women), from what I've seen on the road around here......
  • protegextwoprotegextwo Member Posts: 1,265
    JD, no I've not seen the animated Matrix commercial. If I get to a movie it's kid related (Spy Kids, Jimmie Neutron, Star Wars, and other movies of that ilk, lol!), because that's one place my 6 year old son and I can go together on a rainy day.

    As far as Toyota's Matrix marketing budget, if it is being used to target Gen X and Y,...they surely know more than I. Nonetheless, I'm not convinced a Toyota Wagon with SUV-CROSS aspirations will sell in big numbers to those demographic groups. Popularity with the younger (20-30) group is a hard to pinpoint. The Volkswagen Jetta has "it", the Nissan Sentra doesn't. The Honda Civic has "it", the Toyota Corolla doesn't. The Ford Focus has "it", the Dodge Neon doesn't. I predict, the Mini Cooper will ALWAYS have "it", and Mitsubishi (as bad as they want "it") will never have "it"! "It" is, of course the hip, cool, popular appeal that only the 20-30 demographic can define with their wallet.

  • riopelleriopelle Member Posts: 132
    Lovetrain, it's a pretty cool commercial, I must say, similar to the used VW spots. Too bad it isn't for Mazda. Sorry you didnt get it before Ep 2.

    I agree with your "it "list, and add the P5 has so much that it's nuts! The Protege sedan still doesn't have it, although the ES is getting there.

    Has Toyota managed to buy "it" for anything? I think not. Certainly, the Matrix does not have the it of which you speak.
  • 1matrix1matrix Member Posts: 47
    Just a couple of figures to show that some "retro" vehicle designs are becoming less popular only a couple of years after inception: (yr-to-date production numbers for calendar yrs 2001 vs 2002)

    VW Beetle: 78,500 vs 65,000
    PT Cruiser: 123,500 vs 105,500

    (Figures from "Automotive News" site)

    I think these numbers show that "retro" designs may be hits their first years out, but they have much less long-term appeal. Probably why only a few automakers have embraced these types of designs.
  • protegextwoprotegextwo Member Posts: 1,265
    1matrix, thanks for the info. I was thinking, maybe not "less long-term appeal". Prolly, just "limited appeal"! I might be splitting hairs here, however; limited appeal means to me, only so many folks care for the styling or versatility of a vehicle. On the other had, "less long-term appeal"; means that the automotive product has not lived up to it's expectation of quality and value.

    The VW Beetle prolly is a victim of "limited appeal". I for one was never a fan of living in the past. IMHO, the new VeeDub Bug has a very limited audience. Nonetheless, by most accounts, the VW Beetle is a very competent auto?

    Now, maybe it's just me, but the Chrysler PT Cruiser is the perfect example of a "lack of long-term appeal". The expectations for high levels of fun and performance were never really met? Just a Dodge Neon in fancy sheet metal. There is still some hope for the new 2003 PT Turbo Cruiser and the new convertible PT Cruiser.

  • shriqueshrique Member Posts: 338
    It took them long enough but they are finally coming out with a convertible beatle. I think they probably missed the good sales window on that one.

    On topic bit.
    So do you think they would ever make a convertible Matrix? (GRIN)
  • ashutoshsmashutoshsm Member Posts: 1,007
    What? And make that thing look even uglier? Ummm, but since we ARE talking about Toyota here ... ;)
  • matrix123matrix123 Member Posts: 14
    464,000 cars recalled for faulty fuel pump...
    No admission from manufacturer until the government released their crash test results...
    Sounds like Focus all over again...
    I guess I better stick with my ugly Matrix.
  • nippononlynippononly Member Posts: 12,555

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

  • maltbmaltb Member Posts: 3,572
  • nippononlynippononly Member Posts: 12,555

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

  • ashutoshsmashutoshsm Member Posts: 1,007
    3/50 (P5) vs. 3/36 (Toyota). Unless you consider the inflated Pontiac Vibe warranty! Now that might tempt some people.

    Yes, rust is higher on Toyotas, but seriously - how many new cars would rust in 5 years versus 7 or something?

    Any other warranty coverage variations that I may not be aware of?

    And, oh - Proteges (including the P5) rule, Matrices drool! (in keeping with the juvenile nature of the last few posts)
  • nippononlynippononly Member Posts: 12,555
    I am talking about the powertrain warranty - you know, the one that replaces the expensive things that go wrong, like engines and transmissions.

    5/60 on all new Toyotas, as it should be with all cars these days, IMO.
    Isn't being juvenile fun occasionally?

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

  • megsammegsam Member Posts: 2
    I drove both the MP5 and the Matrix and much preferred the MP5. In both I tested automatics. I felt the MP5 had better pickup and handling. I was unimpressed with the Matrix and I thought it would be a better ride. I think for the money, the MP5 is a great car. I just wish I could be ABS w/ side airbags without having to get a moonroof.

  • ashutoshsmashutoshsm Member Posts: 1,007
    To keep costs and logistics down, most manufacturers bundle options together based on market research. Now, sometimes, this research is not really very accurate, but that's jut the way it is.

    If I remember correctly, Toyota traditionally nickel-and-dimes the buyer for everything, and has some of the weirdest option groupings of all manufacturers - don't know if that's true of the Matrix, though, But I think the P5 options are still somewhat acceptable!
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