View Full Version : Toyota Matrix
I need a new vehicle within the next few months and I'm considering a Toyota Matrix. Anybody own one or have friends or family members who own one? Looking for opinions positive or negative.
After driving an old Explorer around the past few years good gas mileage is important. I also want a vehicle with some cargo space, good price, and looks nice and so far the matrix seems to be the best match.
Impreza WRX Wagon. 227HP Turbocharged 4 banger boxer engine (Porche boxers use boxer engines if I remember right) will get in the upper 20's per gallon I think, and it's quick as hell. Just make sure you get stick, I hear the auto shifts way out of the power band (over 3K RPM). They look good too what with the hood scoop and floodlights. You can get brand new 2002 models for about $19-21K now since the 2003 STi's and WRX's came out.
I really like the subaru's but they are not very poular here and there's not many subaru dealers. If I ever have probs. then I would have to go out of the way for parts or repairs.
And I'm not really worried about going too fast, just getting around comfortably so I prefer an automatic. I can drive stick but would rather not have to.
Have you considered the Acura RSX? The non-S is 160hp and as a 2.0l engine.
If you're willing to go for the Type-S it's a big upgrade for 4K w/ 200hp, 6speed.
08-19-03, 10:17 PM
Well I can attest top the duribility of Toyota...
My 95 Corolla has been through hell and back. Totally neglected oil changes for months on end. But still running strong at 130k miles.
And I can attest to the strength of Toyots glass... took 3 wacks with a ballpeen hammer to break the rear small window
08-19-03, 10:29 PM
My Toyota truck has 230,000 miles on it, and runs great. :)
I personally don't like how the Matrix looks. I'd get something like the Mazda Protege 5:
08-19-03, 11:46 PM
I'm not a huge fan on the looks, but it sure beats cars like the Pontiac Vibe...
Seriously though, it all boils down to what you want. If you like the looks, then it doesn't matter what others think aobut the cars looks.
The matrix is one of those classless cars right? It's like an SUV, wagon, and sports car in one...hmmm...how well can that work? Ya know? The thing that always gets me about cars like that is...well...what are they saying? It's not very good at anything, but it's got a little of everything.
So what do you want out of it? You might find good gas mileage and cargo space in a small SUV too. Like a RAV4 or Mazda Tribute. I think you can get V6's with those too...which still give decent mileage, and might have more utility than the Matrix.
But that Matrix isn't a bad car, and you can't go wrong with Toyota for quality and reliability. But, I'd wonder if it's just a tall Corolla with a celica engine. If I were looking for the utillity, I'd probably go for a small SUV and get the 4wd/awd for the snow.
08-20-03, 12:15 AM
Originally posted by Lusankya
took 3 wacks with a ballpeen hammer to break the rear small window
why'd you smash it with a hammer?
the matrix is a good car. i wouldn't get it if you just want transportation. you should look into a golf or something. golf's are deceiving. you'd be surprised what you can fit in there. and they come with i beleive a 1.6 16v motor.
08-20-03, 01:17 AM
probably locked his keys in it... :) atleast thats my guess.
Originally posted by Breadfan
The matrix is one of those classless cars right?
Other parts of the world call it a HOT HATCH but in this case an overweight hot hatch.
Choose with a view on maintenance cost & availability of parts. Is this the most bang for buck in your price range? If what you want is a car that will carry your stuff & take you from A to B with min headaches then it seems to be a good choice.
Thanks for the replies
Yodums...the Acura RSX is a nice looking car but not really what I'm looking for. I prefer 4 doors over 2 and I dont find hondas or acuras very comfortable.
Giblet Plus!.. the mazda protege 5 is already on my list of vehicles I want to test drive, pretty similar in specs, features and cost to the toyota.
Breadfan...the Matrix and Vibe are the same car just different body style, but I agree the vibe is much worse looking. I'm also considering some of the smaller SUV's but cars just handle so much better than SUV's especially in the rain and I'll mainly use the vehicle to get from home to work.
The base engine of the matrix 130HP is the corolla engine, and the 180HP model is the celica engine. I dont really need 4WD b/c it doesn't snow where I live.
emericanchaos...didn't even think about the VW golf, might have to check those out too.
Sonny...yep, maintainence and parts cost/availability on the toyota should be lower than most other vehicles mentioned as there are corolla's everywhere.
My sister drives the Mazda 5, and she loves it. I would definately reccommend it. Great cost, great car overall. For the extra bang though, get the Mazda 6.
08-22-03, 10:28 PM
friend has a matrix, he loves it, it's quite roomy and quick.
08-29-03, 02:02 AM
Originally posted by WyrmMaster
probably locked his keys in it... :) atleast thats my guess.
Exactly correct. We couldn't find a slimjim and couldn't call a tow truck or the cops to open it as there was *cough* stuff inside.
08-29-03, 02:28 AM
My dad just got a new bug, not the fruity ones but a nice grey one with a 5-Speed manual. This car is a blast to drive and the gas milage is awsome, but being stock it is not the fastest but I have yet to drive a car that takes corners like it, It is nearly impossable to pull the back wheels out. However cargo is the only issue that maybe needs some fixing but when the back seats a folded you can stick a office chair in there with room to spare. Also another downfall is it is labled "Cute" by many people and that is no good :o
Originally posted by Mr. $T$
.....I have yet to drive a car that takes corners like it, It is nearly impossable to pull the back wheels out.
For a frontwheel drive that is normal & for an enthusiast a terrible problem of understeer. This is actually a very common problem with FWD cars, it's just too much to ask the wheels that drive to change directions too.
08-29-03, 03:33 AM
Yes this is true, I knew some car guy would say somthing :). But despite that it still handles very well. :p
08-30-03, 08:59 AM
front wheel drive's can handle well but if you're specifically looking for a well handling car then FWD isn't what you want. all wheel drive is usually best. you get the accelleration benefits of RWD and you can use the front wheels to help pull in a corner resulting in much tighter lines.
but if you asked a japanese person what's the best handling car they'd most likely say Nissan S14 (95-98 240sx for those in the states) or the age old toyota trueno/levin GT Apex. again for us in the states that would be an 85-86 toyota corolla GT-S hatch back. (see initial D)
I finally test drove a Matrix and a Protege5 and I like the Mazda much better. It comes from the factory fully loaded except leather and sunroof, drives better than the toyota and is cheaper. Still going to look around a bit more before I make a decision.
09-24-03, 07:54 AM
I'd consider one of those new Honda Elements, they seem pretty practical and fun.
09-24-03, 08:29 AM
i know someone with an element, and it might be practical but its definitely one of the fugliest vehicles on the road (on the level with the pontiac aztek as far as i'm concerned).
i also know someone with a protege5 wagon and its a nice little car, he's been driving it for over a year and it seems like a great vehicle.
i'd say go with the protege5 unless something else comes up hehe.
09-24-03, 02:35 PM
Now to me it has a kind of clumsy charm, found in such vehicles as the original mini, the citroen 2cv etc. Aztecs and everything out of the GM design department in the last few years are utterly utterly without any such redeeming character however. That includes the new trucks, the cadilllacs, the vibe, and every other abomination of automotive form they have wreaked upon us. I swear that boomers are buying them, forcing themselves to like the things, because they think it makes them look young and hip, while the truly gifted in that department ( ;) :D ) just point and laugh.
I thought about an element briefly but I dont really like it (looks) and also dont want another SUV right now. Cars handle so much better than SUV's and get better gas mileage.
I'm going to test drive a 2002 Focus ZX5 on Mon, only has 13K miles and costs over $5K less than the Mazda or the Toyota b/c its used. I'll update then and let you guys know what i think about it.
09-25-03, 01:06 PM
Get a truck! :)
They're so practical.
If you like the Protege', give a look to the VW Golf or GTI.
Don't want/need a truck, I'm tired spending a fortune on gas and if I need to haul something my parents live 20 mins away and they have an Expedition and a trailer I can borrow. My dad also has a F150 company truck.
I also Looked at the VW's and the Golf is a bit too small and GTI is above my price range.
09-26-03, 06:47 PM
I'd spend $5 and get the Consumer Reports anual report. My wife and I used that to narrow our selection down to a Corolla or Protege (different class of cars, but same goal.)
Mazda didn't have quite the same level of quality, although the price range was similar on those.
One thing I noticed is that most of the Protoge's they had on sale in Minneapolis had sun roofs (they were pushing the package). I found that it was too short for me (since the sun roof subtracts 2-3 inches from the interior of the car), and I'm only a bit shy of 6' 0".
At any rate, good luck with your selection! -- Paul
09-26-03, 08:16 PM
The only thing I have against Proteges are they are usually in my way, driven by some 70 or 80 year old at like 30Ks and I'm stuck behind the damn things, thinking, "Where's the freakin' zoom zoom then!"
Well I test drove the Focus ZX5 today and bought it. Its in excellent condition, has just over 13K miles and cost me $10,200 with power everything, 16" wheels, keyless entry, 6 disc changer. For that price I couldn't let it go especially since it has plenty of factory warranty left.
Overall the ZX5, Matrix, and Protege5 are very similar in specs, comfort and space. I found the focus has better pickup than the Toyota but not quite as much as the Mazda (at low speeds). Overall the focus is the ugliest of all 3 cars but I think I got a good deal so I'm happy.
Thanks to everyone for all the help/advice
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