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Toyota Matrix: MPG-Real World Numbers

PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Member Posts: 9,372
With the price of gas being what it is, your real world mileage is becoming more important than the estimates on the sticker. This is the place to talk about your real world on the road results!


  • rex7rex7 Member Posts: 3
    I have a 2005 base with an auto trans with 6500 miles on it. From day one I have got a consistant 23 mpg in the city and a combo city/highway of 27mpg. I thought as miles increased (break in) so would the gas mileage. I dont drive like crazy person either. I noticed that when using the defrost and turning on the fan the ac would kick on. It doesnt kick on if I have it on floor. I am wondering if this may cause the lower mileage. Just an idea.
  • herzogtum71herzogtum71 Member Posts: 470
    What you describe about defrost & floor is normal with most if not all cars sold these days. The AC doesn't really detract from fuel efficiency like it did many years ago.
  • hmarhmar Member Posts: 15
    Matrix XR, 5sp mt. Bought on 5/12/06.
    I live in NYC, so I spend a lot of time in 1st and 2nd gears.
    I have been in a lot of long bumper-to-bumper jams - getting 30mpg on those tanks.
    I also took a road trip upstate - 660 miles round trip, highway, of course - got over 35.
    It's also been very rainy this past month, so I've needed the defogger often, which turns on the A/C, which probably cuts into the mileage a bit.

    As Toyota advertises 30/36, I have no complaints.
    Supposedly, after 5K, it's supposed to get better, which would be gravy for me.
  • alzadaalzada Member Posts: 2
    Matrix XR auto, daily commute is 50-50 city/highway,now up to 30 MPG - but considering both hubby and I are XXL size, sure it would be in the 32-33 range if the load wasn't so heavy... Took a 1700 mile round trip in March, HEAVY winds most of the trip [both ways!] but still got 32 MPG hiway with headwinds in the 30-40mph range with gusts up to 60 - and the car stayed glued to the road like the tires were velcro. I LOVE THIS CAR!!
  • alzadaalzada Member Posts: 2
    Another trip to TX (driver only this and above trip). No severe winds this time. Tried to balance speed/fuel economy, set criuse for 65 for the whole trip and got MPG's of 36-37. BTW, our other car is an Avalon and I choose to drive the Matrix - that's how much I LOVE THIS CAR!
  • hal9001hal9001 Member Posts: 28
    Getting about 27 mpg in a mix of city and short trip freeway miles. I'll be going on a 4200 mile trip in a few weeks and will post mileage figures for 100% freeway miles.
  • 051378051378 Member Posts: 4
    I have a 2006 Matrix XR. I commute 224 miles round-trip each weekday to work. I have 19,000 miles on this car since April, 06. (We also use it on weekends and almost never drive our 05 Ford Explorer XLT 4-DR anymore) I get a solid 32-34 MPG on my Matrix depending on speed, wind and A/C use. I have had as much as 35 MPG.
    I love this car except for the following:
    1.) Don't buy a black one with black interior. Very hard to keep clean inside and out. 2.) Non-existent illumination on the left side dash controls and steering column mounted controls. Difficult at night to find switches. 3.) Brakes are only adequate at best. XRS has 4-wheel disc but who wants to buy premium gas for a compact car? 4.) Parking brake handle is at an awkward angle in the off or disengaged position. It looks like it's pulled-up or engaged when it's not compared to every other vehicle I've every owned with a center console mounted parking brake lever.
  • phil_bphil_b Member Posts: 2
    I have a 2005 XRS and I put kayaks on the roof with a Yakima rack every other weekend. If I have 2 or more kayaks on the roof and drive around 75 mph, my mileage is about 24 mpg. Without the roof rack and driving a more reasonable speed, I can get up to 30-32.

    I love this car!!
  • sgmsgm Member Posts: 23
    We have two Matrix.....an 05 and an 06. Could not be happier with them. Well, they don't quite live up to their MPG ratings, but then have never found any manufacturer to be accurate.

  • daka320daka320 Member Posts: 4
    Have a 2006 XR AWD with 18,000 miles. The numbers posted on the window when we bought the car are fairly accurate.
    We took a long 4000 mile trip a few months ago. Averaged 32-33 mpg. Not bad considering part of the trip was in CO mountains and we do not drive slow (75-80 mph).
    Just drove to Santa Barbara from Phoenix. A/C on about 90% of the time with temps up to 115 degrees. Averaged right at 30 mpg traveling at 80-85 mph. Like I said we do not drive slow.
    In town, 25-28 mpg. Our mileage has improved past 10,000 miles. Very satisfied with these numbers!!!
  • techtroopertechtrooper Member Posts: 2

    I bought my 2006 Matrix XR (4WD Auto) in Atlanta with 20k on it already, and drove it all the way to CT. With synthetic oil, i am getting about 37-38 MPG on the highway. Around town it's around 26.

    I drive the speed limits all the time (yes, really,) and accelerate fast when i think i should. So, the EPA MPG is about right for me around town, and much lower than actual on the highway.

    Average MPG is not as good as i was hoping to have (31 MPG,) but much better than my previous V6 Crapsler Concorde. Hopefully, i can afford a hybrid next time, in a few years... :-)
  • hal9001hal9001 Member Posts: 28
    Got back from my trip about a week ago: 5,137 miles in all. Got about 31 mpg average on the trip. This was in my XR AWD going mostly about 75 mph with the AC on almost constantly. Got 35+ mpg on 2 tanks; probably from "hiding" behind Semi trucks and/or long descents from mountain areas.
    In high altitude mountainous areas (Colorado) this car is dangerously underpowered. I had to pull in behind the trucks crawling along at 20 mph because I couldn't get enough speed to safely get in the faster lane.
  • wolvie91wolvie91 Member Posts: 1
    I have the following and will put in what I have found. Driving on the hwy in the prairies I average 600 Km for 70 km/gal, roughly 380 mpg or 42.5 mi/gal. Even driving in NW ONT and the east coast the miles varied but worked out the same give or take 50 km for passing and going up hills. One thing I did find is that the optimal speed is 62 mph, this a couple from MN told me. They who drove a manual XR. They and I both agreed though that with automatic it's gutless going up hills and passing takes what seems forever.
  • herzogtum71herzogtum71 Member Posts: 470
    Automatic of course. I just figured the gas mileage for the 37,684 miles the car has been driven to date. Result is 26.4 miles per gallon. Probably only a quarter of the miles have come from long-distance highway driving. Very little big city driving as well. Primarily short trips of 4 or 5 miles on country-like roads, and/or short spurts of 5 or 6 miles on the interstate to get to malls, etc.
  • jtomjtom Member Posts: 26
    my matrix xrs has 28k miles on it. I drive 90% city driving with AC on all the time and am sometimes little heavy on the right foot. I get 21.5 mpg consistantly.
  • cdhumistoncdhumiston Member Posts: 1
    I live in Southern California and comute about 90 Miles per day in my 2005 Matrix. I am getting an average of 31 MPG. This includes quite a bit of city driving on the weekends. I love my Matrix and would recomend it to anyone who is looking fo an economy car with a good bit of storage space as well as a comfortable ride.
  • nippononlynippononly Member Posts: 12,555
    So on my very first tank of gas, the free one from the dealer, I got 35.5 mpg! 319 miles, 8.9 gallons of gas. Fantastic! This is what I was hoping for.

    That was a short tank because I was headed up to Yosemite, and there's no gas in the park. The first full tank should come this week, and I will report back. So far I'm at 350 miles on the current tank, and the gauge is only down to about 1/3 tank. This one might get close to 40 if I'm lucky! :-)

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

  • dudleyrdudleyr Member Posts: 3,469
    Is that with a stick or an automatic?
  • nippononlynippononly Member Posts: 12,555
    That's with a stick. The second tank is now officially in: 395 miles @ 10.3 gallons = 38.35 mpg, call it 38. Lovin' it! :-)

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

  • nippononlynippononly Member Posts: 12,555
    Filled up tonight, and the car spent a good portion of this tank either hauling four people or being stuck in traffic and often both! As a result, the fuel economy dropped, but to a value that is acceptable to me given there was no highway use in this tank at all:

    374 miles, 11.2 gallons, 33-1/3 mpg. :-)

    I also discovered that the fuel light comes on with about 11 gallons used, that's what, 2.4 gallons left in the tank?

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

  • nippononlynippononly Member Posts: 12,555
    today: 366 miles, 10.6 gallons = 34.5 mpg by my calculations. I am very happy with the mileage this thing gives, and I am hoping that after the 5000-mile mark and with the summer weather and gas we will have by then, I might see this average edge up a point or two.

    Here's hoping! :-)

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

  • cignalcignal Member Posts: 1
    My '03 XR automatic put out 41.3 mpg on a r/t from Huntington Beach to San Diego. 405 and 5, right lane all the way, 52 mph and 100 percent cruise control. Drove my wife crazy going so slowly. Typical mpg runs around 32. Also, I've put 14.9 gals in the tank on one fill-up, so forget about the 13.4 capacity spec. Mine seems to be one of the few that came with a navigation system. I'd never own another vehicle without one.
    Love the car.
  • pixelrifficpixelriffic Member Posts: 2
    I have a 2005 with about 12,000 on the clock. It's the base model with auto. I have never been able to get over 25mpg combined city and highway. Even with windows up, no AC, at the speed limit, and so on.

    I was a little disappointed, but not a big deal. I still quite fond of the little car. Seeing some of the other mileage stats makes me wonder if something might be wrong? It's well maintained, fresh air cleaner, and so on.

    Any thoughts on this? Or did I just get one that's at the lower end of the curve?
  • tanjatanja Member Posts: 1
    I'm averaging between 30-33 with snow tires on (which are essential) during the winter. I generally drive about 65% on the highway at 70 mph. 10% in city traffic, and 25% country roads around 45 mph. I imagine it will be much better with regular tires and warm weather. And the slower I drive the better mpg. I've had it a little over a month and put on 3500 miles - I love the car!
  • rushkyrushky Member Posts: 3
    I have 2006 base model, Auto, and never gotten more than 24mpg even on 100% highway driving. The car dives okay--I wonder if something is wrong?? :confuse:
  • nippononlynippononly Member Posts: 12,555
    2000 suburban miles, but find that the mileage is extremely consistent and predictable at 34 mpg, '07 XR 5-speed. I can sometimes get to 35 mpg in routine driving, saw a 36 on one tank (probably an anomaly), have never got less than 34 yet.

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

  • nippononlynippononly Member Posts: 12,555
    So I filled up today, 398 miles, 11.0 gallons, which I make out to be 36 mpg! Yay!

    We are back to the summer gas around here now, plus it has been very temperate lately, no really cold mornings, not much A/C use in the afternoons, all of which has helped. Plus one day I was ferrying people back and forth for much of the day, probably did more than 100 miles in a single day that day.

    But still, it was nice to see the 36 mpg reading. Mine is an '07 XR 5-speed, now with about 2600 miles on it.

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

  • suydamsuydam Member Posts: 4,676
    I'm in the market for a second car. I'm looking for a hatchback/small wagon with good fuel efficiency. Unfortunately most of the driving will be around town, Am I doomed to under 25 mpg? So far I have been looking at the Versa and the Toyota Matrix. How does the Matrix do in town/rural driving?
    '14 Buick Encore Convenience
    '17 Chevy Volt Premiere
  • slimreynoldsslimreynolds Member Posts: 1
    what's up guys. I have a 2004 matrix XR with 226,000 miles on it with a stick shift and i average approximately 42 miles a gallon. i do drive on the highway 99% of the time so the number reflects highway mpg. I did, however, make some upgrades to my intake, exhuast and tires. I still think i can squeeze out a couple of more mpgs. any suggestion?
  • dudleyrdudleyr Member Posts: 3,469
    Try 40 psi in the tires and 0w-30 Mobil 1 synthetic oil. That may squeeze another 1 or 2 mpg out of it.

    How fast is that highway driving?

    suydam - I think the Matrix/Vibe is a good choice, especially with a stick shift. The Honda Fit is a little smaller outside, but just as roomy inside (remarkably so). It should also get slightly better mpg than a Matrix. Stay with the stick shift though, autos use a lot more fuel in traffic as they are always fighting the torque converter at idle, and can't coast.
  • gimmegirlgimmegirl Member Posts: 23
    I purchased a 2007 xr 5-speed Matrix a few months ago. I have about 3000 miles on the car. I have been getting 34 MPG in city driving. I have only taken two trips with this car.

    I live in Northern Virginia, and I took a trip to Blacksburg. Yes, that Blacksburg. I took it easy - lots of cops around. Drove about 65-70 and only got about 34 MPG. But, it is uphill almost the whole way, and inclines do pull a bit on the engine. On the way back, I got 41 MPG. Really. No lie. And I flew - 75 the whole way back. But, it is downhill the whole way, and I've found that if I'm going downhill, I can shift into neutral and coast for miles, adding a bit to the MPG stat. I don't go below the speed limit, and no, it doesn't harm the engine or the clutch.

    I drove to Philadelphia this past weekend, and went there and back on less than a tank of gas (plus intown driving around Philly and those hated tolls) and got 37 MPG.

    I have seriously cut back on my lead foot tendencies, and have tried to become a more gentle driver. I very much wanted to cut my use of gasoline, and buying this car was a large part of it. Except for my trips, I usually do not have other passengers, and I keep the car empty of all but the essentials.

    I love this little car. It isn't a hot rod, but then, I'm not 18 any more...
  • dudleyrdudleyr Member Posts: 3,469
    That last hill before Blacksburg is 7 miles long and steep the whole way. Great for coasting down - used to do it all the time in my Scirocco. Even steeper (but not quite as long) going the other direction down into NC.

    Go Hokies!
  • nippononlynippononly Member Posts: 12,555
    first road trip in my Matrix this past weekend, and over 800 miles, I managed to get about 38 mpg. That is out on I-5 between SF and LA, set the cruise on 72 mph, had the A/C running most of the time. It was just me, so no extra weight in the car.

    I was pretty encouraged by that mileage. I think if I were nursing it a bit more (I did a fair amount of passing at speeds of 80 or more), I could pull 40 mpg out of it, and given the size of the car and the decent performance it has, that meets and maybe exceeds my expectations.

    It has the 5-speed stick, of course. In the bad old days of my automatic Matrix, I ran about 31 mpg in town, and 36 was about the best I ever got out of it on the road.

    Oh, and as far as around town, I am getting a very reliable 34-35 mpg, that almost never varies from that narrow range. I am just about at 5000 miles now, so that average covers a fair distance driven.

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

  • dgornsteindgornstein Member Posts: 6
    I've filled my new '07 twice, got 31 mpg on both tanks. It's an automatic, I have a serious lead foot (averaging 80 mph on my way to and from work, 85 if i'm late), and I spent most of that first tank stuck in Memorial Day traffic. Looks like the mileage difference between a stick and automatic is greater than I thought!
  • kevinarnoldkevinarnold Member Posts: 4
    Matrix XR 2007 Automatic first tank of gas combined city/hwy 31.6 mpg, second tank mostly 80+ mph to the airport and back, 29.4 mpg. Third tank hwy mostly 70 mph cruise control, 34.3 mpg. Its rated 29 city, 34 highway, and you can get that depending on how you drive and how long you wait in traffic.
  • dgornsteindgornstein Member Posts: 6
    So, for those in the know, how does cruise control affect mileage on an automatic transmission? Does keeping the car at 70 mph manually do better or worse than locking in the cruise at 70?
  • nippononlynippononly Member Posts: 12,555
    The only way it might improve your mileage is that you may stray from your intended speed more than the cruise will - it keeps very close (+/- 1 mph in my car) to the set speed regardless of terrain.

    OTOH, if the terrain is NOT mostly flat, you will be able to anticipate the hills (and allow speed to drop on steep or long ones) and the cruise won't, so you will be better at improving fuel economy in that scenario.

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

  • gimmegirlgimmegirl Member Posts: 23
    Just refilled my 2007 Matrix 5 speed. This tank was entirely around town stop and go traffic. I got 37 MPG - not my best. That was coming back from Blacksburg several weeks ago: 41 MPG. I am very pleased.
  • nippononlynippononly Member Posts: 12,555
    I just filled up again, XR 5-speed, 36 mpg right on the nose, in all suburban driving. Obviously, I could learn a trick or two from you as far as mileage boosting! I tend to drive in a more spirited way than would be optimal for best fuel economy. I can't help myself! :-)

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

  • gimmegirlgimmegirl Member Posts: 23
    impatient person you will ever meet, and am always in a rush. (My father used to say that I was going to be in a hurry for my own funeral.)

    Slowing down and taking it easy behind the wheel to save gas is important to me for a number of reasons. My nephew is in Iraq, I do not support this war, I think it is unpatriotic to waste energy. (But then, I've always felt that way. I was just a kid during the 1973 oil embargo, but I remember it well.) I'm spending some of my gas savings on a care package for my nephew :):)

    Anyway, it has required some serious effort to slow down but it has been worth it. My commute is only 8 miles - most of the speed limits are 35 or 45 - none over 45. So it's a lot of stop and go, and a lot of opportunities to slip into neutral and coast. The 37 around town is good, but I'm hoping to improve on it. Keep the car completely empty of all extra junk - every little bit helps.
  • dudleyrdudleyr Member Posts: 3,469
    Great mileage, and great reasons behind it. Couldn't agree more.
  • clivia4121clivia4121 Member Posts: 8
    I'm thinking of buying an XRS but I'd like to hear from more people about the gas mileage. Do others get 30 on the highway?
  • gimmegirlgimmegirl Member Posts: 23
    Are you buying a new XRS? 5-speed or automatic? My 2007 5-speed gets 37-41 MPG both in town and on the road. I'm a bit of a hyper miler. Works for me.
  • nippononlynippononly Member Posts: 12,555
    I would check in and say my mileage is still going strong at 6000 miles, '07 XR 5-speed.

    Last night's fill was 11.1 gallons, 390 miles, which is a solid 35 mpg and change. That is all suburban running about, no highway trips in there. My mileage actually seems to be getting a little better now that the engine is getting more broken in. :-)

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

  • surprisecapnsurprisecapn Member Posts: 3
    We have over 52000 miles on our 2005 XR 5-speed manual transmission Matrix. Our overall average mileage is 37MPG. On a recent 4600 mile camping trip to Colorado, we averaged 36MPG. This trip included crossing several mountain passes and using dirt Forest Service roads. On the highway, we drive at or just above the speed limit.
  • wilson12wilson12 Member Posts: 8
    Your mpg is much more in line with what I'm getting than the other estimates I read on this forum. I'm envious of these high 30's and even 40 mpg. I have 2007 model which I have about 1800 miles on. So far in 5 fill ups I've gotten 26-31 mpg, with 3 of them being in the 27-28 range. This is disappointing since it's a 5-speed and Toyota's estimated mpg is 30-36. Can I expect a better mpg after I get a few more miles on the car?
  • nippononlynippononly Member Posts: 12,555
    40 mpg fill-up this week, was on a bit of a short vacation, the driving was mostly rural at 65 mph and under, with some slow-speed touring around a wildlife refuge (like 15 mph and under for 10-mile stretches), A/C was running most of the time.

    439 miles, 11.0 gallons, I'm going to call that 40!

    Did a bunch of driving today coming back from there, all interstate highway, 70-75 mph with occasional faster bursts, A/C running about 3/4 of the time, got 37.5.

    Obviously slowing down works a lot better to boost mileage in this model than trying to go easy on the A/C use.

    '07 XR, 5-speed, now at 8600 miles (and still no weird signs or sounds from the Goodyear Eagles, treadwear looks even too).

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

  • wilson12wilson12 Member Posts: 8
    I just looked up the recent Estimated New EPA MPG for the 2007 Matrix. It lists the new City as 26 mpg, Hwy 33 mpg with a combined mpg of 29. This is very much in line with what I've been getting. Whatever those of you that are getting in the 40's are doing I would definitely continue. The website for revised mpg is www.fueleconomy.gov.
  • nippononlynippononly Member Posts: 12,555
    Yeah, the new EPA numbers are ridiculous, I will expect to routinely exceed the highway rating in all types of driving from now on...the running average for my car (XR 5-speed) is still 35 mpg. :shades:

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

  • nippononlynippononly Member Posts: 12,555
    quick check-in with my latest fill-up from today: 382 miles, 10.6 gallons. That's 36 mpg right on the nose. And it is in the usual around-town running about, no long highway trips in there. It's a joke that for '08 this car is rated at 27/33.

    Gas is up to $3.10/gallon in my area, I am almost up to 10K miles in my not-new-any-longer 'Trix, and my running average is still above 35 mpg. This car truly is transformed with the stick shift, I must say. Not only is it more fun to drive, but the fuel economy is a solid 3 points better for me. It still only takes about $30-32 to fill it up after the low fuel light comes on, and I can go 400 miles between fills. :-)

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

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