i should have started this a while ago to warn how the Matrix drives and its mpg in L.A. city street and highways.
So here it goes: I own a bone-stock 06 matrix xr fwd auto (yesss, fully loaded). Info was extracted from www.edmunds.com and from my Toyota brochure. My tests were conducted in warm weather (78-95F) L.A. and Sacramento street (as well as the 5 freeway between these two cities), and was with a Linear Logic scangauge II (now broken RIP ). I do not drive fast or have a heavy so-called American-foot. My rank in driving has been placed in the "grandma" ranks (thank you very much).
Length: 171.3 in. Width: 69.9 in.
Height: 61.6 in. Wheel Base: 102.4 in.
Ground Clearance: 5.9 in. Curb Weight: 2778 lbs.
Front Head Room: 40.6 in. Front Hip Room: 51.7 in.
Front Shoulder Room: 53.2 in. Rear Head Room: 39.8 in.
Rear Shoulder Room: 52.6 in. Rear Hip Room: 47.8 in.
Front Leg Room: 41.8 in. Rear Leg Room: 36.3 in.
Luggage Capacity: 21.8 cu. ft. Maximum Cargo Capacity: 53 cu. ft.
Maximum Seating: 5
Base Number of Cylinders: 4 Base Engine Size: 1.8 liters
Base Engine Type: Inline 4 Horsepower: 126 hp
Max Horsepower: 6000 rpm Torque: 122 ft-lbs.
Max Torque: 4200 rpm Drive Type: FWD
Turning Circle: 36.8 ft.
As you can see, fuel economy is not so rich as the Corolla because of its weight. I had also owned an 05 Corolla S before this car and the best mileage i got on the city was 26.3/34.7 hwy. This was constant on an auto tranny. I'm pretty sure the Corolla CE in 5-speed form and massive amounts of weight reduction alone is able to achieve 32/41 or even exceed the quoted mpg. Now, can you believe the numbers if aerodynamic work was done on one of these?
Anyways, my Matrix achieves 24.1 on the city 28.8 hwy on the auto tranny. i drove it a few times from L.A. to Sacramento and its average was 28.8 mpg. Its best in the hwy speed at 60 mph (not 70) was 28.8mpg. i drove it also at 55mph and still achieved 28.8mpg in a hwy with very minimal curves and hills. Only I was in the car (150lbs). All cruise tests were with A/C off, radio on, between 80-95 degree temperature from L.A. to Sacramento, 45 psi on all tires. No wet weather. Don't ask how i survived the drive with the A/C on. I thank God i'm still alive without brain damage. Total mileage from L.A. to Sacramento is 380 miles, and my tank light lit up at 368.1 miles. Not so great considering i started with a full gas tank.
As you can tell by its dimensions, it's very spacious. It suits 5 people comfortably that are under 6 feet tall (and that are not on the heavy side); there's plenty of head space because of the car's height. When you fold down the back seats and the front passenger, you get wads of space to load over-sized items. The seats are not so comfortable for a long cruise (needs more lumbar and neck support).
The engine has a nice pick-up (with only the driver on board), but that's about it. After the pick-up, the acceleration tends to be sluggish, but that's ok. When fully loaded with 5 people and a loaded hatch, it gets horrible gas mileage (22.6 was my best in the city/ 25.7 hwy) .
My Conclusion: The Matrix is too heavy for the 1.8L Toyota engine. If you're looking for a spacious, family size, fuel-sipping car that can haul 5 people comfortably and still get above 35-40 mpg, there aren't many around except the Corolla, echo, Golf tdi, scion xa and xb, or the Civics, and still, they are limited in space. I could probably make the matrix more efficient by trading it in for a 5-speed , and doing a massive strip down for weight reduction, and still have the space i want . Sadly my wife rebukes the idea and prefers an automatic and the options .
i drove it a few times from L.A. to Sacramento and its average was 28.8 mpg. Its best in the hwy speed at 60 mph (not 70) was 28.8mpg. i drove it also at 55mph and still achieved 28.8mpg in a hwy with very minimal curves and hills. Only I was in the car (150lbs). All cruise tests were with A/C off, radio on, between 80-95 degree temperature from L.A. to Sacramento, 45 psi on all tires.
Whoa, Toyota must have some high strung automatic gear box for mileage at 55-60mph to be sub 30mpg with a four! You should be able to hit ~50mpg@60mph with the right box/od gear, but it'd probably be prohibitively expensive unless you DIY.
Originally Posted by FormulaTwo
I think if i could get that type of FE i would have no problem driving a dildo shaped car.
at 60mph is the transmition locking up? that is the main thing that I could see that you might be driving to slow, or if it is locking up you are running the engine slower then it's designed for peek efficency.
This is so hinkey to me. The Matrix gets the same mileage city and highway as my obese, toaster-shaped, jacked up, 2.4 liter, 160hp Element. The E has a 5 speed and 2wd, though, so I guess that explains it. Wait, you don't have awd, do you? Anyway, something is rotten in the state of Matrix...
I have the fwd version and not the awd. It is an auto. i have driven a 5-speed matrix when they were repairing the faults and recalls on my Corolla S (their temporary rental car). That base Matrix kicked *** and had a better pick-up than my auto. It did a lot better on mpg, but i really never had a chance to plug in my Scangauge so i cant tell you what numbers it gave me. I never driven an awd Matrix before, so i cannot say, but when it comes to weight, i know a lighter car will get slightly better mpg.
Ryland. I might have to agree on you. Since the revs and peak HP and TQ are high, then i might have to find a decent rpm (instead of 2450 @60mph) to get better mileage. I also was using cruise control the whole way through on even hwys. My thought is that my car may just be too heavy for the 1.8L. I mean 122 pounds of torque (peak@6k rpm) pulling 2800 lbs plus 150 pound driver? What was i thinking when i bought it? LOL... obviously not saving gas.
Does anyone have any advice for another nice, light-weight, fuel-efficient family car that can pack 5 people comfortably and still have strength to pull out 40-45 mpg on city streets? Lots of people pointed out the prius and the civic hybrids, but they're just too small . OMG... i like your idea. i would like to find a tall geared transmission after i pay off my Matrix and experiment on the mpg it can get.
How many miles are on it?
Do you run synthetic oil?
I used to have an '03. Those seem to be the only two differences between what you are doing and what I used to do with my old Matrix XR besides I ran my tires at 50psi. The '03 has a fancier "body kit", much more low profile but I have an idea Toyota got complaints about people nailing curbs with it because it was so low - a possible reason why the later models don't have that kit. My synthetic oil was 0-20 Royal Purple or Mobil 1.
Mine was loaded to the hilt with the exception of alloys. I had the heavy moonroof too, premium 6 disc indash CD, auto w/overdrive etc. With 82,000 miles, the lowest mileage I ever got was 29mpg with the best being 42mpg. I consistantly got around 35-36 though. The only thing I can think of is maybe differences in your traffic and mine. My rate of speed was mostly 65-75mph. My weight is around 200lbs and the wife ALWAYS commutes with me too - there were always two peopel in the car.
The ONLY reason I got rid of it was the wife thought it was too big for her to drive. I swapped it for an older 2001 Corolla "S" with 72,000 miles - back in Feb. I'm averaging 36mpg with that (see garage or signature) - I'm no mileage god as I drive "moderate", meaning I will not hold up the flow of traffic - within reason.
Your's does have the overdrive transmission right?