Last post on Jan 08, 2013 at 9:04 PM
You are in the Toyota Matrix
What is this discussion about?
Toyota Matrix, Wagon
#2259 of 3315 Considering a 2004 Toyota Matrix XR Front Wheel Drive w/ Auto Trans
Sep 26, 2003 (12:38 am)
Iím considering a 2004 Toyota Matrix for my next car (If the 2004 Prius isnít quite quite attuned to my tastes like I hope it might be that is) and I was hoping that some of you on this board could answer some questions I have about the car.
#1 - Is this a car that youíd recommend purchasing snow tires for or does it hold itís own well enough with the standard all season tires. I travel to Wisconsin regularly down roads that arenít plowed near as well as they are around here. I did fine in the past with an old Ď93 Front Wheel Drive Subaru Impreza no ABS (I had put on 14 inch tires by that point I think with I believe Michelin MXV 4 tires)
#2 - 16 inch vs 17 inch tires. Are the 17 inch tires (all season, not summer) worth the upgrade? Any negative tradeoff as far as snow/rain handling or should the car handle better in these conditions with all season 17 inchers? Any experience with this?
#3 - Iíve read that the paint is rather thin and chips easily. Is this still true on the Ď04s? Has anyone tried a clearbra/invisashield (those clear acrylic kits that fit on the front of the car to prevent rock chips) for their Matrix? How do you like it? Worth the money? Stupid question, would waxing the car frequently help prevent against some of the more minor rock chips since it is providing some sort of barrier?
#4 - This is probably more of a general question than anything but does anyone else have problems with their windshields developing a bunch of chips that are visible in direct sunlight? This was a problem that I inherited with my Ď93 Subaru and developed on my Ď02 Subaru. My parents Ď94 Infiniti Q45 has the same problem (they inherited that problem when they bought the car used). I suspect that it has something to do with highway driving (brilliant deduction eh?) I never tailgate but when youíre going between 55 to 155 (these are Chicago expressways after all) I guess itís not outlandish to expect dust and dirt to impact the windshield at such a high rate of speed that itíd leave pitting. Is there any way to avoid this problem or have you found the Matrix have a more durable windshield that resists this better?
#5 - If I choose the Matrix over the Ď04 Prius Iíll definitely be having a remote starter installed (something I somehow doubt I could have put on the Prius). This time around I want to have it installed by the dealership. The system theyíre offering is by Pursuit (apparently a division of Audiovox) anyone have any experience with a Toyota Dealership installing one of these on their car? How do you like it?
#6 - Interior rattles . . . Nothing drives me up the wall more than interior rattles that arenít attributed to something Iím carrying. This is ESPECIALLY true on a vehicle I can expect to dump 20k or more on. I understand that theyíve fixed the interior rattles more or less for 2004? Is this true?
#7 - Anyone have the TRD Sway Bar and Strut Brace installed? Does it negatively affect the ride? How much better is the handling of your vehicle and would you recommend it?
I wasnít considering the Matrix until about a week ago when a friend of mine suggested the Corolla after I test drove a Scion (was visiting in San Diego) and didnít like it (was rather slow to get up to speed on the expressway). I didnít like the Corolla (after driving Subaru Impreza sport wagons for years I find cars with trunks to be impractical) but I was very surprised and pleased with what the Matrix had to offer. Good job Toyota!
Sep 26, 2003 (2:04 am)
A car bra (or mask) will cause a lot more damage than it prevents UNLESS you religiously remove it after EACH drive, wash the car thoroughly, remove any grit from inside the bra and put it back on after the car is thoroughly dry. Most car bra users find this out the hard way. You will note you see very few of them on good looking cars nowadays.
As for windshields, I suspect they have gotten softer due to some weight reduction efforts and/or crash factors. I wouldn't want the windshield to be so strong that it didn't pock or mark but it also stopped me and my head real quick in a collision. But you are right, they definitely get many more scratches, pocks marks, etc,, than they used to and it seems to take far less to cause them.
Snow tires are needed where ice is prevalent or where it snows with any frequency. It is best to put them on ALL four wheels, not just the drive wheels, but few people do. All season tires are not a snow tire substitute.
And waxing will do nothing to prevent rock chips.
Sep 26, 2003 (6:02 am)
I've read some comments on owner sites by people who have some clearbras. They seem to like it.
I don't know about hardness levels of windshields. I got a nice chip in my windshield 5 miles from the dealership on the day I bought it. All the other cars I have had got chips in
I haven't noticed any chips in the paint yet, but that doesn't mean there aren't any.
Mine's an 04 and at 3200 miles so far I have no rattles.
I have the 17" all seasons. So far they are fine for me. I wanted the better handling and was willing to accept the stiffer ride that that brings. You may feel differently. Mine's an XRS and already rode stiffer than the XR.
#2262 of 3315 Supercharger
Sep 27, 2003 (9:30 am)
SC is offered by TRD for about 3K. I would prefer to add 500 just for plain 2-liter engine instead. Why would I buy underpowered car with good mileage and spend 3K to get the same mileage as other 2 or 2.3 engines? Do not think so, Toyota. I would rather buy Mazda3. Granted, 1ZZ-FE is about as powerful as others' 2-liter engines, but Matrix still seems underpowered.
derekgdw: about tires. 17 vs 16 would not make a big difference, it is the rim which is 1 inch bigger, not the tire. But 17 are usually wider. For snow the wider tires the worse, because a car "floats" on the snow. The rain driving is not that straighforward, it depends on tire design. Get a set of winter tires, maybe a little bit narrower with higher profile. Studs might help too if they allowed in your state. Or at least get a set of "M+S".
Prius is gotta be way cool car. If only its styling was nicer, like Audi A2.
Sep 28, 2003 (10:55 am)
POWER: I found the automatic transmission to be a bit underpowered, but the 5-speed, while not a rocket off the line, is pretty fun to drive and I am still getting +-37 mpg.
SNOW: I have not had a winter yet with mine, but, like other posters said, at least M&S and, in case of emergencies, keep chains and bourbon in the car.
RATTLES: None (yet)
PLURAL OF MATRIX: Take your pick:
D. Matrix (like "fish," both singular and plural.
Sep 28, 2003 (11:09 am)
TRD's SC gives you 170-175 hp in the Matrix, much more than those other 2.0s mentioned, and even more than some of the 2.3s. Yup, $3K investment and fuel economy will drop to that of the competitors, but the power will be higher than them.
To my mind, a 2.0 with 150 hp is a better compromise with fuel economy than a 175 hp S/C engine with fuel economy in the low to mid 20s.
Sep 28, 2003 (3:56 pm)
"D. Matrix (like "fish," both singular and plural."
Unless you're Mafia, in which case its "fishes" as in "sleeping with the fishes".
"To my mind, a 2.0 with 150 hp is a better compromise with fuel economy than a 175 hp S/C engine with fuel economy in the low to mid 20s."
Like I've been saying for some time, Toyota must have installed that SC engine in my Matrix by accident because that's the mpg range I'm seeing.
After 13000 miles the infamous instrument panel squeak is with us... And now the wife is complaining about the way it "blows around" on the highway. I think it is very stable in crosswinds; what she interprets as blowing around is really the short wheelbase bounce and since she is a white knuckle driver, she twitches the steering wheel when the car bounces; ergo, it does some weaving within the lane. I don't have that problem; for me it is a pretty good highway cruiser; actually not too noisy either..
But since it is her car, I have a feeling it's life with us is gonna be on the short side.
Sep 29, 2003 (6:34 am)
bugged me very much, but this car DOES feel light in heavy crosswinds. I am surprised anyone gets mileage as low as low 20s.
I am just about to get the 20K oil change, and I will leave the car to get rattly A-pillar panels quieted, and the center storage bin cover fixed (broken hinge), and the wobbly rear-view mirror replaced. I may ask them to look at the loud whiney wiper motor too...it would be just my luck for those to quit working 5 miles out of warranty. Anyway, this little pit stop will happen this week or next.
I was reading in automotive news this AM that the new Mazda3 will have a 148 hp 2.0 or a 160 hp 2.3 - I wouldn't mind having the former in my Matrix. I wonder what mileage the new 3 will get. It is interesting that one of the segment leaders, the Civic, is still at 115 hp when everyone has up-powered so much, and Honda does not seem to be concerned...Civic is still at least two years away from its next redesign.
Sep 29, 2003 (6:48 am)
My wife's Civic has an older 106hp engine. It is fine for her. If the car had a manual transmission it would be rather zippy too. There is more to a successful engine than a peak HP number.
Sep 29, 2003 (11:55 am)
one of the advantages of the Civic is its light weight, at 2500 lbs or so. Of course, all these new crossovers and compact wagons, including the 3 and the Matrix, weigh in at more like 2800. They are also higher with more drag than 2 and 4 door sedans and coupes like Civic.
I will bet, though, that Honda brings in standard continuously variable valve timing with the next gen of Civic, which will boost low-end power.