Edmunds dealer partner, Bayway Leasing, is now offering transparent lease deals via these forums. Click here to see the latest vehicles!

Toyota Matrix Interior/Passenger Comfort Problems

gazollergazoller Member Posts: 1
Seat replacement

After coming from a car with very hard seats I thought the softer seats of the Matrix would be a welcomed change. Instead I find them to be too soft and lacking sufficient lumbar support for my taste.

I tried inserting air-bladders for lumbar support but the seat remains too soft. After-market seats would do the trick but I am concerned about electronics around the built-in seat airbags.

I understand the after-market seats will *not* offer airbags in the seats and I'm fine with that. What I want to know is what (if any) problems should I expect if I replace the stock seats. For example: Will the electronics complain that they no longer sense/have a connection to the seat airbags? Will other airbags in the system fail to deploy by removing the stock seats from its signal loop?

Seems a shame to sell the car just because I am not a fan of the seats.


  • gc77584gc77584 Member Posts: 65
    My mom bought a used 2005 Matrix XR last weekend. Very nice little car in great shape - but for one thing: I don't know if I can explain very well, but the metal part of the driver's seat belt is on the wrong side, so the belt webbing has to be twisted in order to get the thing fastened. Is there anything I can do to fix this or do I need "a professional"? She bought it at Carmax so she does have a full 30-day warranty on it and can bring it in there, but I thought I'd pose the question here.
  • vonnyvoncevonnyvonce Member Posts: 129
    It can be fixed. Pull the belt all the way out then fold over a bit of the belt and feed this thru the slot on the buckle. Pull the buckle slowly down while trying to fold more and more of the belt until you've completely turned in over.
  • gc77584gc77584 Member Posts: 65
    Thanks! We weren't pulling the belt all the way out - that made the difference.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Member Posts: 9,372
    Since we're moving away from the generic, catch-all type of discussions, I'll use your post as the start of a new discussion dealing with interior/comrfort issues with the Matrix.
  • herzogtum71herzogtum71 Member Posts: 470
    I address the lumbar support issue by using a separate pillow when I drive. Check out what is offered for sale at your local chiropractor offices. They are fairly expensive but better quality than mail-order catalogs. And you can get them in colors that will match or complement your car's interior. For driving you want the pillow to be as thin as possible. I have one in my Highlander that I have used for about 15 years, and the one in the Matrix (which I drive less frequently) is even older. So they will last a long time if you treat them well.
  • patvizinapatvizina Member Posts: 16
    I plan to take a couple LONG, as in 2100 mile, roadtrips each year with my 3 kids. I hesitate to put them in the backseat of a Matrix or Vibe for that distance. Does anyone else have experience with long trips and comfort issues in the backseat due to the flat bench seat?
    :confuse: :confuse:
  • herzogtum71herzogtum71 Member Posts: 470
    I took a 2200 mile trip with two teenage daughters in the back several years ago. They had no complaints -- plenty of legroom and headroom. My wife, though, rode in the middle of the back seat on a trip that took about 2 hours and said it wasn't all that comfortable. If you can have 2 kids in the back and one in the front passenger seat, you're good to go. If you have to have all 3 kids in the back, especially if they are pretty big kids, you may need to go with a different plan.
  • badgerrrbadgerrr Member Posts: 6
    We own a 2006 Matrix. Both my wife and I find these seats press a bit hard against the leg at the edge, and will cause discomfort on any long drive. We have adjusted those seats 6 ways from Sunday. The problem was only slightly lessened. Maybe it will get better as the seats wear in.

    Just a cautionary note.
  • mrp2mrp2 Member Posts: 2
    I did not close on a Matrix 07 (base model 5M) because of a problem on the upholstery of the driver seat. There was a void (~1 inch) left/rear corner (where one seats on) so that the internal white foam was sticking out. It could clearly be seen standing up and before entering the car. It seemed to me that the upholstery had not been properly placed on the frame of driver seat or that someone with a considerable weight had seated on it, forcing the foam out. There was no indication of tear and was not observable on the front passenger set. The sales person stated that this is how the base model comes from Toyota. I asked to see other models. A smaller void (0.5”) on the same place was observed on another base model but not on a XR model.

    The dealer was unconcerned and would not give me a “Due Bill” for this problem and insisted that Toyota warranty would cover this. The car on the lot was the one I wanted. I was ready to buy right then as we had agreed on the price. Instead I wasted 3 hours of my time.

    Has anyone inspected the driver seat cloth upholstery for this problem? What opinions about the cloth used in the Matrix seats are out there?

  • herzogtum71herzogtum71 Member Posts: 470
    I haven't heard of this problem with the Matrix before. The dealer is not correct about it being the norm for base Matrixes.

    But the other thing the dealer said is correct. It should be covered under warranty -- but I suppose only if someone acknowledges that it isn't normal. I bought a Renault Medallion in 1987 that had a bubble on the vinyl on the front passenger seat. (Where you sat was fabric, but the sides of the seats were vinyl.) The dealer replaced the seat cover right away under warranty. Didn't try to tell me it was normal, though.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Member Posts: 9,372
    I wouldn't consider gaps in the upholstery to be "normal" in any make or model. Not now, not back when I first started to drive, not when Model T's were rolling off the line!
  • timber4timber4 Member Posts: 2
  • timber4timber4 Member Posts: 2
    After a torrential 30 minute high wind rain my 2004 Matrix started reeking of mold when I drive with windows open - took to dealership - 2 dealerships said they had NEVER heard of such a problem. They took door panels apart and there was some standing water collecting in bottom of car door - the drain holes were not plugged shut though according to repair technician - they blew out the water and sprayed with lysol which I provided . . . anyone else had to deal with this . . . .still smells like mold and I get allergic symptoms when driving with windows up or down but only smell with windows down. Nobody seems to be equipped to get rid of the mold and deal with this problem . . . Anybody else run into something like this? Thoughts, suggestions welcome. Thank you.
  • tcapps589tcapps589 Member Posts: 1
    Have seen several base model Matrix cars on the market, but need a passenger fold down seat (only comes on S model and above). Any chance of buying a fold down seat and installing on the base model...Or is this change NOT POSSIBLE, Too expensive or other factors. Thanks, Terry Capps
  • aspakeaspake Member Posts: 2
    I just bought a 2010 Toyota Matrix. Not only is it on the recall list, but the front driver's seat is KILLING my leg after about 30 minutes of driving. A typical commute for me is over 50 minutes, and there a days when I spend hours in the car. By that time, I'm crippled from the pain in the right leg due to the seat.

    The seat edge is apparently not padded enough, or too high, or something. I'm going to try a pillow and I'm taking it back to the dealer to see what they can do.

    I've had both a Corolla and a Tercel (and a Subaru Impreza) previously and have never had such a thing as this - it's like a hard metal rod pressing on the tendons in the back of my knee. Horribly painful!

    What happened with you and your wife when you experienced the same problem???
  • laserbluelaserblue Member Posts: 313
    One of my friends had the same problem as you.
    If I remember, he told me that he had to adjust his seat by lowering the front or raising the back and now no more pain in his right leg.
    The secret is to adjust your seat for your leg to be in a comfortable position..
  • aspakeaspake Member Posts: 2
    edited February 2010
    Thanks for that information and it definitely sounds correct. However, I'm not sure how to lower only the FRONTt of the seat. I will check the manual. The entire seat seems to go up or down. I will try more adjustments..

    Thanks so much for the helpful suggestion. If this fails, I've already called the dealer about the seat and asked for help. The car will be spending some time at the dealer's next week for the two recall fixes--both the gas pedal and the floor mats. Hopefully if I haven't been able to fix the seat by then, they can.

    Thanks much.
  • matthew59matthew59 Member Posts: 1
    We have the same issue of mold inside Matrix doors/windows in soggy Seattle. Has anyone found a solution to this? Our door drains are okay. Thanks.
  • d49829d49829 Member Posts: 2
    I have been looking at used Toyota Matrixes and Pontiac Vibes. I want the folddown front passenger seat, but don't want to buy the XRS or GT versions of the cars.

    Wondered if anyone has a solution or source for a replacement folddown front passenger seat?

    Thank you,

  • pollybeauspollybeaus Member Posts: 1
    My mom has a Toy/Matrix too..i used it for a drive to Vegas, about 3 hours and my knee hurt so bad it ruined my trip..when i driven it around town it is the same issue..bad knee pain,leg pain...my mon after having the car for three years is now limping and has a awkward walk on the right leg!!! And i told her i know it has to be her cars front seat...doctor's are unsure what it is. Well, i will keep you posted here, but i say it is that darn front seat.
  • d49829d49829 Member Posts: 2
    Sorry for the delay in replying! My right knee has been bothering me since driving this car. Are you or your Mother's problems with your right leg as well?
    Thank you, Dan
Sign In or Register to comment.