Last post on Jun 02, 2009 at 2:41 PM
You are in the Toyota Matrix
What is this discussion about?
Toyota Matrix, Subaru Impreza, Wagon
Mar 02, 2008 (9:05 pm)
I Actually Just Traded My 2006 AWD Toyota Matrix In Last Month For A 2008 Impreza Outback Sport. I Really Like The Subaru Alot More Power. Gas Mileage Hurts A Little Bit But Its Nice
#14 of 21 Just chose Impreza over Matrix
Apr 03, 2008 (12:00 pm)
I just spent a month going through the same choice for a small wagon to replace a 1999 Passat Wagon (did get 283,000 miles out of that one!). I had to get a monthly payment under 250 and that nixed my first choice of a Legacy Outback (now just Outback Wagon).
I live in western Massachusetts and will not buy a car with automatic transmission (that's just a personal preference). I took a mileage cut from the Passat which had a 1.8 Turbo and got 31 on the highway (90% of my driving) but I no longer need to use Premium fuel with a normally aspirated engine. I seriously considered the Mazda3 as well as the Mini Cooper Clubman and the Matrix. The Cooper was awesome to drive -- handles like a racecar -- but I need better back seat access for adults. The Mazda dealer pissed me off by being too pushy and the street racers at the tire store ranked on it for being a Ford in disguise. I really liked the idea of getting AWD for the winter and in this price range there is no question that Subaru is the way to go with AWD - the system on the Matrix is an add-on (and not too popular from what I've seen). The smaller Matrix engine that gets the higher mileage is woefully underpowered -- I could tell as soon as I test drove on the highway. If I wanted the better power (larger engine) and AWD, the Subaru was the clear choice. My local Subaru dealer was also able to make a deal the Toyota people couldn't match. I chose the Impreza Outback Sport because for the extra $1500 you get a huge amount of value (I hated the fuzzy base seats and wanted the leather steering wheel with controls and the heated seats and the rear disc brakes and the VSC and the roof rails). I also think the 2009 Matrix (which is what they have on the lots now) is uglier. People at work have not stopped commenting on the new Impreza -- everyone likes the looks. My only dissapointment was discovering that the roof rack rails cannot be adjusted fore and aft which means my existing Thule roof box doesn't fit them. The car handles really well -- it holds tight through twisty corners. The low end power is impressive -- I am surprised how slow I can go in 4th gear and still be able to get good acceleration.
Apr 03, 2008 (1:17 pm)
both the Impreza and the Matrix have been updated to a new model, my opinions on Matrix v Impreza have also changed: the Impreza is the leader between the two. But unless you want a stick shift they are very close in spec now, where they didn't used to be (the Matrix used to have way less power, higher mileage, notably more space inside, there also used to be a stripped AWD model available which there isn't any more).
I think it's a lot harder to find Toyotas with the VSC than it is to find Imprezas at dealers with VDC.
Of course if like me you will only accept a stick shift, there's only one choice between the two!
#16 of 21 Re: now that [nippononly]
May 05, 2009 (8:26 am)
How funny - it was a year ago I wrote that, and I have now (as of Saturday) traded my Matrix for an Impreza, specifically an Outback Sport. The new car is so much the better driver, there's no comparison with my Matrix, which was an '07. I did not test drive the new Matrix back to back though, so it may be that the new Matrix AWD is much more competitive. Basically, I would not settle for an automatic, so there was no point in checking out the Toyota.
My new car has almost as much room inside as my old car, and way more power. It's going to be fun.
#17 of 21 Re: now that [nippononly]
May 06, 2009 (12:30 am)
Farewell to your XR07, hello Japanoid made Subaru. More fun to drive than your old car but it eats more MPG. Who cares, as long you're happy with the power of this horizontally opposed engine.
#18 of 21 Re: now that [mantech]
May 06, 2009 (7:30 am)
Absolutely! I'm figuring extra gas costs at less than $20/month for now, and that's manageable. TOTALLY worth it given the difference in driving experience.
May 06, 2009 (10:55 pm)
are hard on ALL the cars they test, but they are particularly hard on the Matrix AWD, in this comparison between it and the Impreza 2.5i:
Some especially juicy quotes for those that like to laugh:
The Matrix's clean, unpretentious interior styling emphasizes function. A pervasive sense of cheapness and fragility prevents its cabin from achieving rugged or utilitarian props. The Toyota's black cockpit is brightened only by acres of the hard, shiny silver plastic that ToMoCo owners have come to know and abhor.
The AWD Matrix comes in one drivetrain flavor: a 2.4-liter inline four-cylinder engine with a four-speed automatic transmission. Pop it in "D," arrange a sour expression on your face, mash the gas and the 158hp mill will hustle the portly (3360 lbs) Matrix about with joyless adequacy.
The drivetrain's misère de vivre is a blessing in disguise; you weren't going to have fun driving the Matrix anyway. Unmanned aerial drones offer more steering feedback than the Toyota's over-boosted helm. The Matrix' pillow-soft suspension upholds this commitment to sensory deprivation. Body roll and understeer quickly define the limits of cornering ability (or lack thereof).
And yet as harsh as these words are, they won't surprise anyone who has driven any Toyota but the Celica since the year 2000.
Some of the criticisms of the Impreza are well-placed too, while others seem to me to be a bit over the top. But then again, I just bought one!
While I wouldn't call the Impreza the perfect car or anything, you only have to drive some of the other cars in its price range to be very thankful for the aspects of the Subaru that make it much more a driver's car than most of the competition.
Jun 02, 2009 (2:17 pm)
I have had an '09 Matrix S FWD Auto for almost a year now. Went through a winter with it. Completely worthless in the snow. The "traction control" is just another word for putting the brakes on all the wheels so you come to a dead stop in 7" of snow and get stuck. I have to turn it off most of the time to avoid getting stuck (it frequently snows 6"-12" just while I'm at work before I have to commute home for the day). I used to have (#)_(#) WRX and would buy it back in a second for more than I traded it in for. No comparison, Impreza > Matrix in every way. If you are at all concerned about gas mileage, the Matrix shouldn't even be on your radar: the Fit scores #1 in nearly 100% of comparisons and gets outstanding mpg vs. the Matrix. Bottom line, I was shopping the Fit and made the very stupid decision of buying a Matrix instead because it was roomier. It's supposed to snow here even tonight (in June) so I don't know if I can even wait for Subaru to release new model info for 2010 because at the rate they're going it will be dumping 12" a day before I can find out about the new 2010 Impreza line...
#21 of 21 Re: title [speculative1]
Jun 02, 2009 (2:41 pm)
I chose my '08 Impreza Outback Sport over the Matrix and Mazda3 last year in March and my first winter with car the car confirmed it was the right choice. I put on a set of dedicated snow tires and the performance in the snow was outstanding - I did not get stuck once and while the handling didn't quite match the summer tires, it was better than any other car I've driven in the snow. Real all-wheel drive matters.