The Toyota Matrix has many popular modifications. Although performance improvements are nothing new, there are several important foundational elements to take into account to guarantee you unlock your vehicle’s full potential. Here are a few worthwhile modifications for your car’s handling and horsepower.
In This Article...
Suspension Set Up
Make the suspension faster than the engine at all times. Being able to turn and halt will always be more crucial than being able to travel quickly. A properly adjusted Toyota Matrix suspension can help you out-handle your rivals and, depending on the type of racing you do, even improve your times. Until the suspension is changed with a performance setup, such as coilovers, a car with softer suspension from the factory will nearly always handle poorly. Old, worn-out suspension should be replaced since it greatly impairs handling, especially in spirited driving where handling is crucial.
The height and damping of your Toyota Matrix may be adjusted with the aid of coilovers, allowing you to reduce your center of gravity and stiffen your chassis for better handling and control. It’s also a crucial step in enabling you to turn your car into a true performance machine, converting your changes into palpable wheel horsepower. This makes your car look sportierand better, in our opinion.
Choosing the appropriate coilover can be challenging because there are so many different coilover brands and models available. When purchasing Toyota Matrix coilovers, you should pay attention to the following four things.
PRICES FOR SPRING
An essential component of your suspension system are springs. They regulate the car’s ability to bounce, absorb shocks, and produce little body roll when it is loaded. Higher spring rates need to be compressed with more effort, which limits how far the suspension can travel. When you brake, accelerate, or turn your car, the body of the vehicle moves. By minimizing body movement, you improve handling predictability and efficiently distribute the cornering load across all four tires, improving grip. With much stiffer springs than OEM suspension, most aftermarket coilovers improve handling and provide the driver a better sense of the road and their vehicle when engaging in intense driving.
2. ADJUSTABILITY FOR SPRINGS AND VALVES
Lowering the Toyota Matrix is one of the numerous reasons people buy a set of coilovers for their vehicle. Performance will be enhanced and excessive body roll will be reduced thanks to the lower center of gravity. High grade coilovers must have the capacity to alter ride height, spring preload, and damping. You may fine-tune how your car behaves and give it the ideal ride height for your application by adjusting the coilovers. It’s also crucial to have the option to switch out the springs for stiffer ones because track cars require far higher spring rates than street cars do in order to increase grip, enhance handling, and lessen body roll. To avoid a bouncy ride, which is ultimately harmful to handling, it’s crucial to match your spring rate with your damping whether you switch to a stronger or softer spring.
TOP MOUNT 3.
A mount that fastens the coilover’s top to the automobile and holds everything together is located on top of the coilover. Between the mount and strut assembly are two distinct types of bushings, either rubber or pillowball type, which are together referred to as the “Top Mount.” Since rubber bushings deflect more and are a major contributing factor to the loss of suspension precision, it should come as no surprise that OE manufacturers utilize them. Most OEM struts have soft rubber on them, which allows for significant energy deflection. A more rigid rubber mount increases durability and lessens energy deflection. A pillowball bushing is a metallic spherical joint that does not move at all when cornering forces are applied, unlike a traditional rubber bushing. The suspension and steering will feel much more precisely as a result.
MOTOTUBE DESIGN 4.
There are two types of dampers you will find inside any coilover: monotube and twin tube. An inner and an outer tube are used in a “twin tube,” if you will. The piston shaft, valve, and oil are kept inside the inner tube. Nitrogen gas and damper oil are contained in the outer tube. The piston forces oil out of the inner tube by its valve and into the outer tube when the suspension is squeezed, as seen in the following illustration. The oil is drawn back into the inner tube from the outside tube as the piston repositions itself. Because it allows for more suspension stroke and enhances ride quality, the majority of OEM suspension uses the twin tube damper setup.
Monotube dampers separate the liquid from the gas with a floating piston while holding the gas and the shock in one tube. The construction forces the damper piston to push oil via chambers and valves on the piston itself. By compressing slowly through small bumps and more quickly through larger bumps, the gas can be compressed and react more swiftly with this design. The Monotube differs from typical twin tube dampers in that it can be used either side up, which is a very significant feature. The Monotube contains more fluid, has greater heat dissipation, and enhances the damper’s reactivity as compared to the twin tube design.
The Monotube design outperforms the twin tube design for the optimum performance on the road or on the track.
Air suspension is a fantastic alternative if you don’t require Toyota Matrix solutions made expressly for severe track use. Many air suspension kits on the market today, though mostly utilized for street or show cars, are robust enough to endure light track use as well. While opinions on coilovers versus air suspension can be hotly contested, in our opinion, air suspension is a fantastic Toyota Matrix suspension option due to its unrivaled height adjustment.
Sway bars are another factor to take into account while upgrading your Toyota Matrix. Nearly all factory automobiles are set with an understeer leaning by default. They are safer and easier to drive at their maximum as a result. For instance, a stock Mitsubishi EVO 8 (AWD Turbo) has a 22mm rear sway bar and a 24mm front sway bar. The objective is that upgrading the rear bar should be one of the first changes you undertake to bring the car to a neutral position, even though the EVO can need several upgrades right out of the box. We replaced the rear bar on our EVO 8 with a 25mm bar after seeing that the bar itself almost completely fixed the car’s understeering problems. The size of a bar can have a huge impact on how it handles. Remember that when you lower a car, the suspension geometry changes, which can lead to faulty sway bar preloading, unexpected handling, or, in the worst case, damage. Use movable endlinks to properly preload the sway bar to fix this.
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Speeding up is enjoyable, but how well can you stop when you’re at your strongest? For every build, this must be taken into account. How well you can brake and how frequently you can do so will make a significant impact whether you’re creating a race car or a street car. Larger calipers with extra contact pins in the caliper are used in big brake systems to hold and compress bigger brake pads. You’ll need to press the brake pedal for less time to stop if the brake rotor has greater brake pad surface. Additionally, it prevents brake fade, which is the buildup of heat and energy from the brakes that leads to sliding after a long period of operation. Less brake fade is caused by larger calipers’ ability to remove heat from the braking action. A Toyota Matrix Big Brake Kit is essential for any build since it allows you to brake effectively, safely, and stylishly.
Although the list of Toyota Matrix modifications is virtually unlimited, we hope that this has given you a decent place to start. Check out our complete blog here to discover more about the performance upgrades we advise, such as exhausts and tuning.
A Toyota Matrix can go how fast?
The Matrix will keep up with traffic, but acceleration times won’t set the world on fire. The S model with AWD completed the quarter mile in 16.8 seconds with a trap speed of 81.3 mph during MT testing, going from 0-60 mph in 8.9 seconds. The Matrix’s outdated four-speed automatic is, however, its main flaw.
A sports car, is the Toyota Matrix?
The Toyota Matrix, sometimes known as the Toyota Corolla Matrix, is a small hatchback that was adapted from the Corolla and is produced by Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada in Cambridge, Ontario. The Matrix, which debuted in 2002 as a 2003 model, was the product of a partnership between Toyota and General Motors; the Pontiac Vibe, which was put together by New United Motor Manufacturing, Inc. (NUMMI) in Fremont, California, served as GM’s contribution. 
The Matrix, which was marketed as a sporty hatchback rival to the North American Corolla and was officially sold there until it was withdrawn, was included in Toyota’s sales data as a submodel of the Corolla.
The exterior sheetmetal and trim on the Matrix and Vibe were different, despite having almost similar mechanical and interior components. The crossover utility vehicle, or “CUV” as Toyota refers to it, is a small, tall station wagon that is marketed to a very young market group.  The term “sport wagon” is another prevalent name for this kind of vehicle.
The Matrix, which debuted in February 2002, saw a small makeover for the 2005 model year before undergoing a total redesign in 2008 for the 2009 model year to coincide with the release of the tenth generation Corolla. In 2013 and 2014, respectively, the United States and Canada stopped selling the Matrix. [Reference needed]
How durable are Toyota Matrix engines?
The absolute most dependable engine ever created. A Matrix should last well over 300k miles if the maintenance regimen was followed from the beginning.
Which model of Toyota Matrix is best?
The tragic Toyota Matrix has a lot of positive qualities. Toyota created one of the most useful little wagons with a lot of storage space, strong dependability, and high safety ratings. It was a multi-tasking compact car, but sadly, it was withdrawn from the market in 2013.
One of the primary issues to consider when purchasing a used Toyota Matrix is reliability. It’s not surprising that the Matrix, which is just a Corolla with a larger trunk, gets a reliability rating of 4.0 out of 5.0 according to the people at RepairPal.
However, some Matrix eras are less trustworthy than others. Today, we’re listing the Toyota Matrix model years you should stay away from and the ones you can buy with confidence.
Which Toyota Matrix Years to Avoid?
The following years of the Toyota Matrix should be avoided because of dependability issues:
- Toyota Matrix, 2003
- Toyota Matrix, 2004
- Toyota Matrix 2005
- Toyota Matrix from 2006
- Toyota Matrix 2009
The best approach to purchase a car is through the CoPilot app. We’ll show you all you need to know about each listing, including how long it’s been on the lot and whether or not there are comparable cars in the area for less money. We’re built using the same technologies that dealerships use.
The engine issue is one of its most serious problems. Numerous owners have reported hearing ticking or rattling noises emanating from the engine as well as excessive oil use. The Matrix engine simply gave out in the end. According to reports, this feared engine breakdown occurs at about 103,300 miles and costs $3,400 to fix.
The car’s gearbox system, which is similarly prone to failure, is another issue. However, the complaints indicate that a manual system is the only one where this issue occurs.
The version has performed better in terms of dependability than the Matrix from 2003. According to Car Complaints, the 2003 Matrix has received 209 NHTSA complaints and eight recalls.
The 2004 model of the Matrix, which is from the first generation, has issues with the engine and transmission. Similar to the previous year, it appears that only manual transmission cars are affected by the problem, which manifests as loud grinding noises, sluggish shifting, and no fifth gear.
A small number of Matrix owners have complained about engine issues, however at a smaller extent. Owners have heard rattling and ticking noises while driving prior to failure.
Although the 2005 Toyota Matrix’s reliability was far better than that of the 2003 model, it still has issues of its own that are difficult to ignore. The 2005 Matrix is included on this list of Toyota Matrix years to stay away from due to 372 NHTSA complaints and six recalls.
Owners of the Matrix have complained of banging sounds coming from the transmission. Some people have also mentioned irregular shifting and whining sounds coming from the floorboard. A few owners reported that the transmission in their automobile frequently hesitates, which is a sign that the transmission system is broken.
Another problem that potential purchasers should watch out for is the check engine light coming on suddenly. RepairPal speculates that the malfunctioning oxygen sensor that activates the check engine light may be to blame for this problem.
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Unfortunately, dependability issues persisted with the 2006 Matrix in the following year. The 2006 Matrix has 285 NHTSA complaints and eight recalls, according to data from Car Complaints.
The frequently reported abrupt acceleration of the 2006 Matrix is arguably the car’s biggest problem. Many customers have complained that while cruising at modest speeds, their Matrix suddenly accelerated and that applying the brakes had no effect. Many reports state that the airbags didn’t even inflate following impact because of the quick acceleration.
This problem caused the Japanese automaker to initiate a significant recall. Toyota was forced to settle in court with a cool $1.2 billion for what was described as “sudden RPM increase/vehicle acceleration owing to accelerator pedal sticking.”
The 2009 Matrix is one of the worst years to avoid buying a Toyota Matrix because of its plethora of dependability difficulties. The 2009 model of the Matrix, which also happens to be the poorest model year, received yet another “Beware of the Clunker award” from the website Car Complaints.
The main problem with the 2009 Matrix is engine failure. According to numerous reports, the engine’s extreme noise was what people first noticed. When the gas pedal was depressed, the sounds in some instances changed to rattling, and eventually the engine died. It costs $3,400 to correct this problem, which appears at about 103,300 miles.
Once more, the Matrix has transmission issues that mostly impact versions with manual transmissions. Transmission replacement or overhaul is the typical treatment, and it typically costs $2,290.
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The 2007 Toyota Matrix, winner of the “Seal of Awesome award by Car Complaints, is a popular compact car option. It has a spacious backseat, a solid and comfortable cargo compartment, and outstanding fuel efficiency. The 2007 Matrix is a great family car if you have two kids even though it isn’t quite a huge hatchback.
The transmission issue, which exclusively affects manual transmissions, is the main source of reliability problems. Other than that, if you’re searching for an older hatchback, the 2007 Matrix offers fantastic value.
The 2012 Matrix is a solid choice if you’re looking for a newer Matrix model. At a cheap pre-owned price, this compact car provides dynamic appearance, respectable performance, interior comfort, and great fuel ratings.
The majority of the serious issues with the Matrix, such engine and transmission failures, are thankfully nonexistent. Instead, two issues that aren’t exactly deal-breakers for this model are the radio’s flaws and the glare from the back windows. The 2012 Toyota Matrix is a fantastic, dependable vehicle that provides excellent value.