2004 Corolla vs. 2004 Matrix - Fuelly Forums

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Old 10-22-2009, 01:13 PM   #1
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2004 Corolla vs. 2004 Matrix

I currently drive a 2004 Corolla (auto). I bought it for $5200 with 120k on the odometer. I average from 37-45 mpg. The more time I spend in the driver's seat, the high the number. The more my wife is strapped in, the lower the number falls. I currently put 12-14k on it per year. That will change to a more reasonable 3k or so per year (we are moving).

I have a coworker who is selling his 2004 Matrix (auto). He is selling it for $4000 with 90k on the odometer. I have noticed that the Matrix's numbers on fueleconomy.gov are fairly low compared to the Corolla -- for every model year.

As these are essentially the same car with different body styles, the different numbers confuse me. I would like to think that it is just driving styles between the two types of people who purchase each of the cars. Can anyone weigh in on why the numbers on the Matrix might be low? I am also thinking about selling my Corolla, and am confident that I could get more than what I paid for it. Getting the Matrix dirt cheap would just be icing on the cake... especially since I prefer it's superior usability with the lay flat seating.
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Old 10-22-2009, 11:16 PM   #2
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I just sold my 04 corolla two weeks ago & bought an 04 matrix. I haven't been checking the gas mileage very accurately yet, but as far as i know the corolla gets better mileage because of its shape and its curb weight (it weighs like 200lbs less than the matrix for some reason). My old corolla was an automatic and my matrix is a 5spd. So, i think the mileage is actually pretty close (since i am a conservative/coasting driver with a 5spd. ANyways, i will post again if i find out anything else about the matrix. So far, i love the car........ its gr8!

However, $4000 for an 04 matrix seems like a really low price... yoou'd better check it out really carefully.
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Old 10-24-2009, 08:45 PM   #3
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The Matrix owner is a guy at work who is being transferred back to Japan in March. He bought the car with 60k on the odometer from another guy who was going back to Japan. I will carfax it just to be sure, but I would be shocked if the car had any history on it at all.
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Old 10-24-2009, 09:32 PM   #4
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The matrix has two things against it weight and frontal area. If you park it next to a corolla the matrix is taller with a more upright windshield. That will cause aerodynamic drag and hurt milage.
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Old 10-24-2009, 09:50 PM   #5
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I calculated the efficiency of my 2004 Matrix today after finishing a tank of gas.... I got an incredible 36MPG in mixed driving. I just inflated the tires today to 42PSI... so we will see how much that helps out. As far as i'm concerned the corolla (2004) will get about 5mpg better than the Matrix (2004). But i have to be honest, i like the matrix way more... it is very practical & easier to find in the parking lot @ the ballgame!
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Old 10-25-2009, 05:05 PM   #6
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I was guessing that you would take about a 10-15% penalty making the switch to the Matrix.
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Old 11-05-2009, 06:18 PM   #7
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Correction... i averaged 31MPG on my last fill up. 70% of that driving was city driving & 30% was freeway.
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Old 11-05-2009, 06:19 PM   #8
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But I'd probably get about 40mpg overall with a 5spd corolla
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Old 11-17-2009, 04:28 PM   #9
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I just finished another tank recently & got 31 MPG overall in the matrix. Thats mostly city driving.... I've changed my driving habits alot & that has made a HUGE difference in my FE... I've also kept the tire pressure a little past 40PSI & I think that has helped too.
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Old 11-18-2009, 04:25 PM   #10
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What was your original mileage averaging at in your Corolla?

After I move in a month or so, my miles driven will be dropped down to about a third or quarter of what they are now. I am thinking that the little hit I will take by switching over the the Matrix will more than be made up for by the superior usability it offers.
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