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Toyota Matrix Test Drive: What Did You Think?

PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Member Posts: 9,372
edited September 2014 in Toyota
This is the place to share your test drive impressions of the Matrix.


  • deg856deg856 Member Posts: 120
    Took a long second test drive - the dealer let me take it home for a couple of hours on my own. I wrote last time that the take off felt sluggish during the initial test drive, but my second impression was much better. The engine is a little loud on take off, but the power is more than adequate with me, my wife, and our 3-year old in the car. Freeway cruising is great - steady, well controlled ride and pretty quiet (seems as quiet as our Sienna, if not more quiet). 3000 rpm in top gear (4th) gives you 76 mph - much more relaxed than the Mazda 3 Hatchback automatic (which only goes 66 mph at 3000 rpm in top gear) that I also test drove. I'm totally sold on the Matrix and now it's just a matter of finding one with the right color and options.
  • silverado3silverado3 Member Posts: 3
    my wife and I are looking at the matrix to buy and want to find out the safety factors in having our baby in the back seat with the 2005 side airbag system. the dealer (or toyota ?) has no recomendation as to whether or not a baby should be in the back with the side airbag system on. the new side airbag system extends from the front to the back seat and emerges from the roof (not the seat). we wanted to add it to the car as a safety feature but are uncertain about its safety to the baby in the back. Another issue of safety for us is adding ABS. Today on our test drive I slammed on the brakes many times and the brakes never locked up, in fact they acted much like anti-locking brakes. would abs add more safety, especially with an inexperienced driver? And how is their reliability? I know in my silverado they have failed to work a number of times.
  • johnc19johnc19 Member Posts: 15
    I am considering purchasing a new 2005 Matrix XR 5-speed, and have test driven the car a couple of times and really like it. I've read a few professional reviews on the Matrix which generally have good things to say. However, one area that appears in these reviews as a potential weakness is an awkward/uncomfortable driving position. Although I haven't noticed anything wrong with the driving position during test drives, neither of my test drives were for an extended period or distance.


    I would be interested in hearing from some Matrix owners who've had their cars for a while about what they think of the driving position.
  • skyblu88skyblu88 Member Posts: 3
    I test drove the Matrix and thought that the driving position was very awkward. I felt like i was in a pick-up truck, and that i had poor visibility around the vehicle. I also do not like the positioning of the gear shift.
    My neighbor just bought the matrix and loves the car, but also has the same complaint. Also, CR mentions this in their current car issue.

    Other than this one complaint, i think the matrix is a great vehicle, and would still consider buying one.

    I currently have a 94 civic and love to drive this car. I feel that it hugs the rode and is a part of me when i am in it. If Honda made a sporty 4-door wagon to compete with the VW Rabbit, Mazda 3, or Matrix, i would buy one in a heartbeat. The Honda Fit is just too small. I don't care how great the ratings and gas mileage are, i would not want to take a hit from a Suburban in the Fit, or any other subcompact.

    I am leaning more toward the mazada 3 for my next purchase, because of the interior styling and driving position/seating.
  • wexmarywexmary Member Posts: 1
    My wife and I are Toyota people, I have owned Toyotas for last 25+ years. Right now we have 2004 Corolla and 2002 Camry. Looking to replace 2002 Camry and looked at Matrix. Love the way it looks and being it is a Corolla 5-door hatch, were expecting a great test-drive.

    Boy, was I disappointed. It was so bad I wonder if it was just a lemon of a test car or if it was indicative of the car. First off, the noise, both engine and road was awful past 30 mph. Ride was awful, even minor bumps rocked the car. Brakes were awful as well.

    We got back into our 2004 Corolla with 44,000 miles on it and our car rode MUCH better.

    I think this car had the smaller engine, but I was very disappointed. Is it worth looking at a Vibe? Hope about a Scion Xb or even another Corolla.
  • rfin16rfin16 Member Posts: 2
    Can the type of tire make a significant difference to how bumpy the ride is? The 2004 Matrix we bought is much rougher than the 1998 Tercel it replaced. But it hs wide low riding tires from Bridgestone which are fuel efficient and sporty but possibly soft and contributing to the bumpiness. What do you think? Thank you for comments and advice.
  • anjo1anjo1 Member Posts: 2
    I am very dissappointed with this car. The rattles, squeaks, and other quality issues make me feel like I'm driving a car 10 years older than it is. There are also some severe blind spots and the mileage is also dissappointing.
  • mantechmantech Member Posts: 28
    You must have a fit and assembly problem, you just unlucky. I used to own an 07 Matrix and it was rattling right under the dashboard at passenger side. It happen only during idling. I already sold it. Now I own 09 Matrix, Touring package and I don't experiencing a rattle and squeaks so far. Actually the 07 Matrix is noisier usually when you put 87 octane gas. Aside from that, the engine it's not that smooth as the 2ZRFE engine of 09 Matrix. What model of 09 Matrix you got?
    Is it "S" which is 2.4 litre engine or a base 1.8L?
  • anjo1anjo1 Member Posts: 2
    I have the S AWD model and I must say I'm really disappointed with this car. Now with the recall, I'm even more upset about buying it. Probably won't get much for a trade.
  • deafmatrixdrvrdeafmatrixdrvr Member Posts: 2
    Got a 2010 S. Hate it. The noise level on the interstate is deafening. Doors are flimsy and don't seal properly. Gas mileage isn't bad ~28mpg hwy but small tank means only 300 miles on a tank. Can't turn off the stupid automatic headlights. Shroud added by the S option is just tacked on with plastic tabs that have already broken. Backup lights are too weak to safely backup especially when blinded by the headlights which won't go off. Goodbye Toyota!
This discussion has been closed.