Last post on Jan 08, 2013 at 9:04 PM
You are in the Toyota Matrix
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Toyota Matrix, Wagon
#3109 of 3315 Re: 2006 Matrix [bret27]
Jul 13, 2006 (10:05 am)
I hope this reply isn't too late to be of interest to you. We have had the AWD Matrix since August 2002. We now have close to 35,000 miles on the odometer. Problems have been few and most probably won't affect your newer model:
* I found 2 little black plastic cup-shaped things under the car when it was new, about a month or two apart. The first time it happened the dealer said it hadn't come from the car, they had looked all over, etc. I don't think I even bothered asking them the second time. Speculation in this forum was that these might be plugs used when new vehicles are in transit on trucks.
* Occasional burning rubber smell when new. I had them check for a cause at about 6,000 miles and of course no problem was found. This was a complaint raised by several people in this forum with the early Matrixes, I believe more often with standard transmissions than automatics.
* Headlight sensor relay replaced at 8,9000 miles. Shortly after our '03 was manufactured, Toyota started using a new part so you shouldn't have this problem of too-frequent switching from headlights to running lights and back.
* Until 20,000 miles I didn't think the low fuel light worked. Dealer said the circuit was there but there was no test to assure that it was working properly. Then I loaded a gas can in the back and decided to drive until it came on or until I ran out of gas. It does work, but it appears there is only about a half gallon of gas left in the tank when it does.
* Peeling chrome on inside door handles. Hopefully this problem has been addressed at the factory by now. Driver's door handle was replaced under warranty. Front passenger door handle was replaced 5 months after the warranty expired.
* One day my wife pulled out of the driveway and I noticed the rear passenger-side bumper cover/cladding was missing. Not inexpensive to replace, but the low profile makes this a not-uncommon problem. People back into snowbanks, pull up to a high curb, etc., and one piece or the other comes loose.
That's about it in the way of issues I can attribute to the manufacturer. A few general comments:
* Engine is small, but power is adequate for normal driving and merging onto interstates. But you need to expect a lot of downshifting.
* I don't find the driving position to be very comfortable on long trips. Many complaints about this early on from taller drivers; maybe they changed something about the steering wheel in newer model years.
* Fuel economy was 26.5 mpg after the first 30,000 miles. (I haven't figured it since.) On the highway we have got over 30 mpg a few times, but mostly expect upper 20's. Driving mostly in town with short jaunts on the interstate we usually seem to get 22 to 25 mpg.
* Headroom and legroom are good in both front and back. Cargo space is limited, though. We were packed to the gills when I took the Matrix on the road with two teenagers.
#3110 of 3315 Re: 2006 Matrix [herzogtum71]
Jul 14, 2006 (6:28 am)
I appreciate your comments. I'm in the market for a 2007 Matrix and trying to decide between AWD and FWD. I'm leaning to the AWD even though the mileage will not be as good because of winter driving conditions in Iowa. I think I will use Consumers Report to try and get the best deal price wise. Thanks again.
#3112 of 3315 Re: 2006 Matrix [herzogtum71]
Jul 15, 2006 (6:56 am)
Thank you very much for the reply. We recently leased a AWD 2006 w/power package and cruise control. It is for my wife who has never cared much for what type of car she drives. It is amazing how every night she talks about how great a car it is. She had a PT Crusier that she disliked because of gas consumption and terrible turning radius. She says the Matrix is the easiest car she has every driven. She liked the Corolla she had many years ago so Toyota rates high on her list.
Haven't checked the gas mileage but the little lady says it is much better than the PT so that is good enough for me.
Thanks again for the info.
#3113 of 3315 Re: 2006 Matrix [freedom32]
Jul 17, 2006 (8:32 am)
Where do you live/drive in Iowa? I live in I.C. and make frequent trips onto gravel roads in the winter and have never felt that I needed AWD. I don't think most places in Iowa get enough snow to justify the mileage/cost trade-off of AWD. FWD with a good set of snow tires should be able to handle just about anything an Iowa winter can throw at you.
P.S. - I am not a Matrix/Vibe owner but I am looking for a new car and they are at the top of my list right now.
#3114 of 3315 Re: 2006 Matrix [shrinermonkey]
Jul 17, 2006 (12:41 pm)
I spent part of one snowy winter in Davenport. In Massachusetts we probably get more snow, but Iowa does get a reasonable amount.
The Matrix is the car my wife drives to and from work, and my two daughters learned to drive in that car. On slippery surfaces all three are more comfortable with the AWD than they are in my FWD Highlander. And if I have the choice, I also will opt for the AWD Matrix if I have to go out in the snow. I feel like the AWD does give me a bit more control, and I'm happy to have one in the family. I couldn't see the need for two AWD vehicles, though!
#3115 of 3315 Re: 2006 Matrix [shrinermonkey]
Jul 29, 2006 (9:00 am)
I live in the Mason City area. We have a 4 wheel drive pickup and there have been times when it has been very useful. Granted, you only need AWD a few times each year but sometimes it has been very necessary. We also live on a gravel road and the drifting can be bad now and then. Someone posted somewhere that a dealer told him that they were not offering AWD in the 2007 model. I will have to check on that.
#3116 of 3315 Re: 2006 Matrix [herzogtum71]
Jul 29, 2006 (9:05 am)
Its too bad they don't come out with a model that can be front wheel drive and then when you want AWD you just push a button. In 1994 we purchased a GM pickup that did have an electronic switch just like that. However, a few years ago I started having problems with the switch and could not change into AWD. After finding out the cost to fix it I decided sand bags were a lot cheaper. We do have a front wheel drive Honda but now we want to downsize and get better gas mileage.
#3117 of 3315 Re: 2006 Matrix [freedom32]
Jul 30, 2006 (4:55 pm)
That truck had push button 4WD NOT AWD, there is actually a big difference between the two. AWD is much better in slippery conditions, like snow and ice, than 4WD. Most AWD systems do not power the rear wheels unless slippage is detected. Push button 4WD systems suck unless you are going offroad or through very heavy snow as they power all 4 wheels once activated. Both however, are burdened with drive line energy loss and added weight and complexity, so unless you really need it, I wouldn't bother.
I drove around Denver last March during the worst snow storm the city has ever seen in a FWD VW Passat w/ all season tires and didn't get stuck once. AWD is nice, but for 95% of the driving that I do, completely unecessary.
#3118 of 3315 Re: 2006 Matrix [shrinermonkey]
Jul 31, 2006 (2:29 pm)
That's not entirely true. We had an '89 Nissan Sentra wagon that was FWD until slippage was detected. Then it became AWD. That was the only year they made this system. Before that the Sentra wagon had a button. After '89 they quit making any sort of 4WD in the Sentra.
There has been some disagreement in this forum about the Matrix AWD system. My service tech told me there always was at least 10 percent power going to the rear wheels, and I found some websites that confirmed this. Other participants have questioned this, though.
If I remember correctly, Audi and Subaru also have a certain percentage of power always going to the rear wheels.