Last post on Jan 08, 2013 at 9:04 PM
You are in the Toyota Matrix
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Toyota Matrix, Wagon
#2400 of 3315 Previous AWD discussion has been found ...
Feb 01, 2004 (7:41 am)
Check posts 88-95 in "Toyota Matrix vs. Pontiac Vibe -- Compare Notes." (These are from November 2002, and at that time the discussion apparently was called "Matrix & Vibe Enthusiasts -- Compare Notes."
The brochure I picked up about the Matrix at the time we were purchasing it in August 2002 claims this about the drivetrains:
"Front engine, front or full-time 4-wheel drive (full-time 4WD available on Matrix and Matrix XR only)."
If the Matrix 4WD is 10 percent rear under normal driving conditions that statement is technically true. According to a post by nippononly, this is the same system as Subarus with automatic transmission and still basically FWD that reacts to slippage.
I couldn't find a statement about the 4WD system at www.toyota.ca. If you could provide the exact url I would be interested in how it is worded.
They wouldn't have changed the 4WD system in the Matrix for the 2004 models, would they?
Feb 01, 2004 (12:01 pm)
they wouldn't have changed the system for '04. It is a 90/10 system, not so different from the one Subaru uses in its automatic-equipped cars. I do not remember how much power it can shift to the back if need be, but if it is worth its salt, it should be able to get to 50/50 when things get slippery.
Feb 02, 2004 (7:14 am)
there is word in the Vibe thread that it gets a restyle for '05. Is there any indication that Toyota will do something similar for Matrix? I have a feeling it might be a little early - Toyota normally goes three model years before the mid-cycle reskin.
#2403 of 3315 Matrix 4WD
Feb 02, 2004 (10:37 am)
Not too sure about the 10% rear under normal driving conditions. When we purchased our XR 4WD in March 2002, we were always under the impression (based on the information available at the time) that it was a FWD until slipage was detected. Only then would the additional traction (rear wheels) kick in. That's the way it's described in Toyota Canada's web site. How to get there 1) www.toyota.ca, 2) vehicles, 3) Matrix, 4) handling. Either way it works well.
Feb 02, 2004 (12:03 pm)
I think I found the statement you are referring to:
Matrix is always in the groove. And can change tempo and rhythm in a heartbeat. Touring in front-wheel-drive, the V-flex system kicks in automatically to provide 4-wheel traction when required. Go ahead. Step up."
Since the Matrix is made in Ontario, the 4WD system would have to be the same for the U.S. and Canadian markets. Can anyone explain the discrepancy between the "full-time 4WD" statement in the brochure for the 2003 model that I have and the FWD becomes 4WD statement on the Canadian website?
I had an '89 Nissan Sentra AWD wagon for many years that definitely was described as FWD until slippage. (That was the only year they made this particular system -- different from the 4WD system the Sentra had through 1988.) I must admit that I don't notice nearly as much slippage with the Matrix as with the old Nissan. Whether this should be attributed to a full-time 10% in the rear or to some other factor, I don't know.
#2405 of 3315 brochure info
Feb 02, 2004 (6:10 pm)
My original brochure describes the 4WD drivetrain as "fully automatic V-Flex 4WD". Also an article in Autonet ca (November 30, 2001) explains the system this way "The Matrix 4WD's V-Flex drive system acts just like a FWD in normal operation. However, slippage of a front drive wheel causes a viscous coupling in the drivetrain to activate 4WD, transferring up to fifty per cent of power to the rear wheels. When both front wheels have traction again, all the power goes back to the front wheels." There are a couple more reviews that describe the system in the same fashion (Yahoo Canada Autos, Triple Plate.com). That has always been my understanding of how it worked.
I guess we have to keep in mind that this is a totally new system and should not be compared to anything else out there. Works for me (today is the 1st day the Camry has been out for a spin since before Christmas). I wish they would manufacture this type of vehicle based on the Camry platform (don't want a Highlander).
Feb 05, 2004 (7:46 am)
I took my wife's Matrix in this morning to have the oil changed and the AC filter replaced, and I took the opportunity to ask the service manager to explain in simple terms how the 4WD system works. For what it's worth, I will pass on his comments here.
He said the 4WD senses slippage and routes up to 50 percent power to the rear wheels. There always is a certain percentage of power, about 10 percent, going to the rear wheels. The ratio changes a bit even in dry conditions when going around corners.
When I asked specifically about it being basically FWD in normal driving conditions, he said that was not the case for the reasons just mentioned.
#2407 of 3315 New Matrix, poor sound quality from the radio.
Feb 05, 2004 (5:01 pm)
Just got a new, base model Matrix with power package. Love the car, but what's with the radio? It doesn't sound broken, but the quality is not what I'd expect. I'm usually not fussy about sound, but my last car was an '86 Mercury Lynx with a stock radio, and it sounded better than this. The sound is a little cheap, like it's coming from a cardboard tube. Music is so-so, and it's a little hard to understand talk. The base is worst, so I've raised the treble.
Have others found this? Should I try to get this fixed or get a new radio?
#2408 of 3315 Is equilizer engaged?
Feb 05, 2004 (6:11 pm)
The first time I played a cassette tape in mine I wondered the same thing. Then I discovered that the equilizer setting from the radio had not carried over to the tape. It made a big difference in the sound. Basically I'm happy with the sound from the stereo system in our Matrix. Only complaint is that the speakers seemt to rattle a bit too easily if the volume is cranked up a bit and there is heavy bass.
#2409 of 3315 More on 4WD by herzogtum71
Feb 05, 2004 (6:54 pm)
What the service manager has stated is, to some extent, accurate. However, to my knowledge there are times when the Matrix is propelled solely by the front wheels. Every article I have read to date, including Toyota's written explanation indicates that, until slippage is detected, the front wheels drive the Matrix. The amount tranferred to the rear wheel veries depending on the circumstances. That is one of the reasons why we unloaded the wife's RAV for the Matrix.
We could beat this drum forever. The important issue is that the V-flex system is flawless and completely transparent. Please let me know if there is any written documention on how the V-flex system actually works (specifically the 10% thing). Thanks.