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Toyota Matrix: MPG-Real World Numbers



  • I recently bought an '05 Vibe- Matrix with less than 28K on it. I've been averaging about 27 mpg highway at 65 to 85 mph and 30 to 31 city. Very disappointing. It has original tires. I noticed that the fronts are rated at a higher psi than the backs, they are original equipment... Goodyear RSA's. Have also noticed that it drives kind of "squirrely" over bumps. Have read the threads on camber and toe and I'm concerned for tread life and mileage. Any suggestions?
  • Forgot to mention it's a base model 5 spd. I feel I should be getting well over 35 city as I live in a rural area with littel stop and go. Freeway mileage should improve not decrease in my estimation. I've been considering a cold air intake and have been looking to reprogram for better fuel efficiency.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    Filled up tonight for the first time in a couple of weeks, maybe longer: 11.33 gallons, 422 miles, which my calculator says is better than 37 mpg. Can't complain! Don't suppose I will be seeing the 40 mpg I was dreaming of, any time soon though.

    2007 XR 5-speed.

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

  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    the A/C use has begun in earnest, here in California!

    As a result, last night's fill-up: 377 miles, 10.9 gallons, makes for 34.5 mpg according to my calculator.

    2007 XR 5-speed.

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

  • I blocked off the lower grill for the winter in hopes of warming up the engine quicker.
    A piece of black foamcore 4x30" behind the grill:
    I'd rather have it look low key than try to gain any slight aerodynamics by modding in front of the grill.
    I'm hoping to save a little gas by warming up the engine faster.
    I take mostly short (10-20mi) trips.

    I've compared the average of two fillups without the cover to two with the cover and saw an increase of 0.75MPG (27.25 to 28MPG), in spite of a small drop in average ambient temp.
    All fills were ~1/2 a tank at the same pump with no topping off.
    All the trips were short, mostly stop and go, 20mi or less, driving the way I normally do, which is pretty gently.
  • Hi, I bought a 2009 Matrix last year and soon after I bought it I noticed it was getting terrible gas mileage and called my dealer. She told me that the car needed to learn my driving style and so I never really gave it much more thought. Well I just drove 120 miles on the highway and used 3/4 tank of gas. So I used 9.9 gallons of gas to drive 120 miles going between 55-65 mph. This just doesn't seem right. I do not have any lights on indicating that something is wrong. I just had a premium oil change done and all of my filters and tires were fine.
    I called the dealership and they told me that if no lights were on the dash they can't diagnose a problem since the car is computer based. One of the reasons I bought this car was for the great gas mileage. There has to be a reason I am getting such poor mpg...can anyone help me??
  • Your car seems to be using roughly twice as much fuel as normal.
    Thinking in terms of physics, if that gas is being burned the extra energy must be making something very hot. Or you could have a serious fuel leak.

    Does the car coast well in neutral? On flat ground under 20MPH it should roll a long way. If not there's dragging brakes.

    Start the engine cold and feel the radiator hoses while it idles for a few minutes. The hoses should stay cold until the temp gauge is almost up to normal. If not the thermostat isn't working right.

    Is it a manual or automatic trans? If auto is it going into overdrive? What are the rpm's at 60mph?
  • circuitsmithcircuitsmith Posts: 117
    edited June 2010
    2006 5-speed 20K odo, on the suburban/highway roads of Maryland Eastern Shore, two passengers & light cargo, keeping under 65mph, 36 PSI front, 32 PSI rear, with AC, 5w-30 dino.
  • :lemon: I get 21.5 MPG in a used 2003 Matrix, standard xmission, 125,000 miles. I used to own a 2003 Vibe, almost exactly the same and got 34 MPG. I read the posting here and went to my dealer to get a diagnostic done. It cost $49 and I was told I needed a special diagnostic and I'd have to leave the car. Needless to say I did NOT leave the car for a second wallet-fleecing.

    Has anyone solved this MPG issue? Why won't Toyota talk about it? Most of the posts I've read show a roughly 1/3 loss in gas mileage. Has anyone found a solution? Is this something that Attorney's General should be suing Toyota over?
  • Greetings from a new Matrix owner.
    I just got a 2009 Silver Matrix, automatic, about 50k miles.

    Anyway, I've been keeping really good track of my mileage over the last month or so and am running right about 30-31mpg with the 85-95% highway driving I do.

    I'm wondering what tips & suggestions I could do to improve my MPG.
    - Has anyone ever used or read about these MPG improvement chips they
    sell on eBay?
    What are your thoughts on them?

    -Would a 'cold air intake' improve my MPG's?

    thoughts & opinions MUCH appreciated!! :)
  • circuitsmithcircuitsmith Posts: 117
    edited January 2011
    30-31mpg is OK if driving in cold weather and using gas that contains ethanol.

    Those 'chips' on ebay are just a 5 cent resistor in a fancy box.
    It tricks the engine computer into injecting a bit more fuel to slightly increase power (expect REDUCED mpg!).
    There's no simple way to increase both power and MPG.

    A cold air intake might increase power slightly only at full throttle.
    The stock air intake is cold air, with slightly more restriction and less noise.
    If you're trying to increase MPG you won't be spending much time with the throttle to the floor!

    To save fuel:
    keep the tires fully inflated (I run the fronts at 36psi instead of 32psi).
    get the wheel alignment checked
    don't use oil thicker than 5W-30
    check for dragging brakes - feel for a hot wheel after a highway drive with minimal brake use
    always keep the overdrive enabled.
  • Yes, it has been cold since I've had the car. Any guestimates about what could happen with warmer weather & warm weather gas?

    Hmmm...just a fancy resistor huh. The comments/feedback people have posted sure make you think it's more than that & it CERTAINLY doesn't mention it will LOWER mpg's. :(

    Sounds like the cold air intake would go unused 98% of the time with me so that purchase won't happen.

    Thanks for the other tips.
    I knew about the tire pressure & alignment suggestions but not the oil or dragging brakes. I'll have to check it out.

    Now, if only I could figure out how to collapse & store the collapsible cargo cover thingy I'd be set! :confuse: :shades:
  • My mileage drops about 4mpg in the winter, in Wash. DC.

    Some of the buyers on Ebay leave the feedback before they use the device long enough to make a meaningful test.
    The rest are placebo or just wishful thinking.
  • your car is a 2003 its not going to get as good of gas milage as a new car getting a diagnostic cost money get over it
  • mantechmantech Posts: 28
    Has anyone who heard a clunk,pop or knocking noise when turning the steering wheel tothe left or to the right? SEE Toyota Technical Service bulletin# TSB3248. My 2009 Matrix 1.8L has already experiencing this kind of problem. I went to the dealer and they quoted me nearly $450.00CAD with taxes. Badluck for me, because my ODO already passed the 60K basic warranty so Toyota won't covered this problem. Is this a new Toyota quality?I'm not expecting this kind of problem,
    usually steering shaft a trouble free. I guess not many Corolla/Matrix owner whot got this problem, that's why is not worth to send this issue as a recall. I will send a letter to Toyota Canada, just to let them know what kind of problem I'm having with. :cry:
  • bigguyebigguye Posts: 1
    I have had the same issues with my 2009 Matrix that I purchased in the fall of 08. Highway mileage is 16 to 17 mpg (if I am lucky and stay at 55 or 60 with the cruise control on). Toyota and the dealer handed me the same answers, the way I drive, the type of fuel, a break in period, the computer does not see any problems and on and on (my ML320 gets 26 mpg on the highway, da!). As a last resort I am taking it back this Friday to do a gasoline consumption test, and if that does not work then I am going to park it in front of the dealership with signs all over it stating the issues and the lack of results.
  • My car is doing this now. I have just under 56K miles on the car 2009 base model Toyota Matrix. I bought it new. My water pump was replaced courtesy of Toyota last week, and one of the bolts that holds the air bag bracket in place was loose and had to be tightened, but neither of those fixes took car of the sound I have when turning the wheels. What did the dealer offer as a solution to the problem?
  • mantechmantech Posts: 28
    The solution is, I have to pay for the steering shaft assy' approx. $270.00 for the parts and
    $200.00 labor. The Toyota Canada said: It is difficult to established the life expectancy of a component and predict when a failure occur. There are many variables that will contribute to their durability. :cry:
  • nomenclatornomenclator Posts: 2
    edited May 2012
    Have a 2010 Corolla matrix. It is slighly less aerodynamic than the corolla sedan but same engine and same weight and the epa says the same city mpg but slightly less highway mpg. 26, 32. And 29 combined. 1.8 liter engine.

    I'm getting 22-24, with combined driving. Manual transmission. I don't do a lot of fast driving then braking. I don't rev up extremely high rpm in low gears unless I'm merging into freeway traffic. Normally shift at about 2500 to 3500 rpm. Bit higher on hills. So I don't know why my mpg is so low. Don't smell any gas leaks. Tires have precise psi.
  • nomenclatornomenclator Posts: 2
    edited May 2012
    Just becuase the gas isn't leaking doesn't mean it is being burned. It could be drawn into the cylinder, but not fully combusted. In which case you'd have higher than normal carbon coming out the exhaust (black smoke) or could be entirely unburned and you'd have raw gas coming out the exhaust. I would however check for dragging brakes first.
  • circuitsmithcircuitsmith Posts: 117
    Try shifting at lower rpm's.
    "Moseying" along on flat ground I shift at 2000 rpm.

    I have a scan tool that gives instantaneous MPG.
    I found that on a stretch of flat ground at 40 mph MPG is higher in 5th gear than 4th.
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