1 2
MA$$hole
MA$$hole HalfDork
2/18/15 11:25 a.m.

So with Silverfleet planting the bug in my ear of considering a 1st generation Matrix XRS as a replacement for the E39 Wagon, I am asking the hive mind what are your thoughts, things to look out for? I found an 03 6spd with 139k not too far from me, asking $6500 & considered taking a look at it. I know these have the same motor as the Celica GTS which is what's appealing to me. What should I look for on these, problem areas, maintenance items, etc?

SlickDizzy
SlickDizzy PowerDork
2/18/15 11:39 a.m.

Many people claim the 6-speed has a very high potential to be money shifted. When I was looking, I found more than one example with a blown transmission, so there might be some truth to that claim - but they also didn't exactly seem to be enthusiast owners, FWIW. They are basically a Corolla XRS wagon. Monkey Wrench Racing is the #1 vendor for this platform, it seems, and they have a lot of cool stuff available.

The 2ZZ is a cool motor (and an absolute fire breather with the right mods) but unless you wind your daily out to redline on a regular basis, the 1ZZ (XR) is a better choice. More usable torque for getting around town and significantly better MPGs. The 2ZZ/6-speed is a crappy drivetrain for urban driving. You need to wind the crap out of it to get any power, and the stock tune drops you out of VVT engagement with every upshift...

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH MegaDork
2/18/15 11:53 a.m.

I've driven the RunX, its JDM cousin. The 2ZZ can make gas disappear faster than an inline-4 should and would benefit greatly from an aftermarket ECU, especially to move the VVTLi engagement point lower and keep it from disengaging on upshifts.

The shifter gates are pretty close together, but to me the most annoying problem with the gearbox is that 1st and reverse are right next to each other and there's no lockout collar, so the difference between shifting into 1st and reverse is just a slight amount of leftward pressure.

Edit: On the upside it does sweet bootleg turns. The handbrake is almost as sharp as a hydraulic one, but it's just cables pulling on the shoes for the disc-integrated handbrake drum.

NGTD
NGTD SuperDork
2/18/15 1:01 p.m.

Do you like to rev a car like a motorcycle?

I test drove one and unless you are prepared to rev the ever-loving E36 M3 out of them everyday, I don't think you will be that impressed.

That and the Toyota tax. I ended up buying my Golf for less than 1/2 what the least expensive one I could find was.

BTW - Vibe GT - badge engineered Pontiac - may go cheaper.

SlickDizzy
SlickDizzy PowerDork
2/18/15 1:42 p.m.

+1 on the Vibe GT if you go down this road. They were priced about 30% less than the Matrix XRS when I was looking, for the exact same vehicle.

calteg
calteg HalfDork
2/18/15 2:05 p.m.
GameboyRMH wrote: The 2ZZ can make gas disappear faster than an inline-4 should

Came in to post this.

Toyota + 4 cylinder = great MPGs, right?

WRONG.

I ended up with a 2003 civic SI instead. And it was cheaper to boot.

Swank Force One
Swank Force One MegaDork
2/18/15 2:22 p.m.
SlickDizzy wrote: Many people claim the 6-speed has a very high potential to be money shifted. When I was looking, I found more than one example with a blown transmission, so there might be some truth to that claim - but they also didn't exactly seem to be enthusiast owners, FWIW. They are basically a Corolla XRS wagon. Monkey Wrench Racing is the #1 vendor for this platform, it seems, and they have a lot of cool stuff available. The 2ZZ is a cool motor (and an absolute fire breather with the right mods) but unless you wind your daily out to redline on a regular basis, the 1ZZ (XR) is a better choice. More usable torque for getting around town and significantly better MPGs. The 2ZZ/6-speed is a crappy drivetrain for urban driving. You need to wind the crap out of it to get any power, and the stock tune drops you out of VVT engagement with every upshift...

The thing is.... nowhere does the 2zz make any less power than the 1zz. I would never tell someone to buy a 1zz car for better low end power, as they also have longer gearing.

A 2zz/6spd XRS without working VVTL-i will still be faster than a 1zz/5spd car.

Swank Force One
Swank Force One MegaDork
2/18/15 2:23 p.m.
calteg wrote:
GameboyRMH wrote: The 2ZZ can make gas disappear faster than an inline-4 should
Came in to post this. Toyota + 4 cylinder = great MPGs, right? WRONG. I ended up with a 2003 civic SI instead. And it was cheaper to boot.

They'll do high 20s. It's not great. Not awful.

MA$$hole
MA$$hole HalfDork
2/18/15 2:47 p.m.

Now I really didn't like my 08 Civic Si when I had it. No torque & it felt way to big to be a Civic. I look at the XRS as being a possible autocross toy as well. If I were to consider the XR I'd just get the base model since the only difference is the body cladding or I'd buy any other boring appliance. Not saying that XRS isn't anything fancier than a high end washing machine.

I've considered an EP3 or an RSX Type-S but finding one unmolested or needing major repairs in my area is not possible.

HiTempguy
HiTempguy UberDork
2/18/15 2:56 p.m.

Wait... I am confused.

Doesn't everyone on this forum profess a love of absolutely wringing the balls out of a car to enjoy as a daily driver vs it having any useable power?

This thread is like the anti-grm forum. I are confused. Sounds like the Matrix would be perfect daily driver. Boring corolla, but with some aftermarket support to make "fun", ok mpg, and a crazy drivetrain to wind out if you are bored.

My 1996 civic makes no low end power with the stock obd2 1.6L sohc. It sure is fun to wind out when I need to at 6k rpm though. Same with my last Swift GTi, 8500rpm shifts were fun when needed, but it made enough power between idle and 4k rpm to putt around.

MA$$hole
MA$$hole HalfDork
2/18/15 3:10 p.m.

Yeah, I'm not going to be winding the thing out everywhere I go. I can deal with high 20s, I'm averaging 18 in the E39 right now with the new commute.

carbon
carbon Dork
2/18/15 4:44 p.m.

I was always really surprised these aren't the go to hot hatch in this segment. 2zzge/c60 is a winning combo and these cars are pretty functional and can be made to handle well easily.

There was a trd blower as a dealer installed option (or from too. As he parts dept). As usual, Toyota barely told anyone this and sold few, I wish they'd promote that stuff better.

Vigo
Vigo PowerDork
2/18/15 5:13 p.m.

I think anyone recommending a 1zz over a 2zz has not driven both. The 2zz/6spd combo is not bad out of lift. I honestly think it drives pretty similarly to a FRSBRZ (as far as power delivery) up until ~6500 where it gets MUCH BETTER. It doesn't really suffer a horrible dearth of torque in my opinion.

Also, as already said, even if you thought the 2zz was gutless, the 1zz is not any better, anywhere, at all.

Knowing that they are mechanically basically the same chassis, i kinda really wish i could get a 2g Prius with a Matrix XRS drivetrain without having to build it myself. I like our Prius's styling a lot more than the Matrix styling.

SlickDizzy
SlickDizzy PowerDork
2/18/15 5:55 p.m.

I must have driven a weak 2ZZ then. I drove a 1ZZ Celica and a 2ZZ Vibe GT, and the Celica felt a lot torquier while putting around town. No comparison in the higher revs, of course.

carbon
carbon Dork
2/18/15 6:10 p.m.

1zzfe

2zzge

They're not real different before 6500. They're both 1.8l but the 1zz has a little longer stroke/smaller bore, 2zz has bigger bore, shorter stroke, and has a much better head. Both are vvti, 2zz adds an important "L" to that. IIRC the early ecu is MUCH better on the 2zz

Vigo
Vigo PowerDork
2/18/15 9:16 p.m.
I must have driven a weak 2ZZ then. I drove a 1ZZ Celica and a 2ZZ Vibe GT, and the Celica felt a lot torquier while putting around town. No comparison in the higher revs, of course.

I would venture to guess you were mostly feeling the weight difference.

Kenny_McCormic
Kenny_McCormic PowerDork
2/18/15 9:23 p.m.

In reply to Vigo:

Yeah, definitely weight. My 99 (fixed cam) 1zz Prizm, with just me in it and the trunk cleaned out is pretty spry, bordering on spunky. Sufficiently fun to run around town in. It turns into a total piece of E36 M3 dog fully loaded.

Gunslinger
Gunslinger New Reader
2/18/15 10:57 p.m.

I love mine, its a little top heavy, but handles well. With gearing its not boring after 4k rmp All the non driver seats fold forward, plastic On the back of them. So i can tote most things.

Swank Force One
Swank Force One MegaDork
2/18/15 11:11 p.m.
SlickDizzy wrote: I must have driven a weak 2ZZ then. I drove a 1ZZ Celica and a 2ZZ Vibe GT, and the Celica felt a lot torquier while putting around town. No comparison in the higher revs, of course.

A fully loaded Celica GTS tips the scales at just about 2500lbs. Vibe of any kind is substantially heavier.

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH MegaDork
2/19/15 9:25 a.m.
Swank Force One wrote:
SlickDizzy wrote: I must have driven a weak 2ZZ then. I drove a 1ZZ Celica and a 2ZZ Vibe GT, and the Celica felt a lot torquier while putting around town. No comparison in the higher revs, of course.
A fully loaded Celica GTS tips the scales at just about 2500lbs. Vibe of any kind is substantially heavier.

A RunX is just under 2500lbs from the factory, but being a JDM-only vehicle I'm sure the Vibe/Matrix have lots more safety junk in them.

penultimeta
penultimeta New Reader
2/19/15 1:19 p.m.

I cross shopped these last year but ended up with an EP3 civic. I looked at a couple XRS/Vibe GTs and liked them. The 2zz to me did not seem overly revvy, felt like plenty of power for most DD needs. I'm used to driving Hondas though, so that could explain it. I would have pulled the trigger, but ended up finding a better deal on the EP3.

Gunslinger
Gunslinger New Reader
2/19/15 4:42 p.m.

My matrix is 2700lbs

MA$$hole
MA$$hole HalfDork
2/27/15 11:37 a.m.

Well last night I purchased an 03 XRS with 151k for $3800. Black, NAV, 2 Owners, all service records. Pics eventually.

nepa03focus
nepa03focus HalfDork
2/27/15 12:24 p.m.
Gunslinger wrote: I love mine, its a little top heavy, but handles well. With gearing its not boring after 4k rmp All the non driver seats fold forward, plastic On the back of them. So i can tote most things.

Just a question, do you know if with the front passanger seat folded you can fit 8 foot long boards and have the hatch closed?

HiTempguy
HiTempguy UberDork
2/27/15 12:47 p.m.
MA$$hole wrote: Well last night I purchased an 03 XRS with 151k for $3800. Black, NAV, 2 Owners, all service records. Pics eventually.

Nice, congratulations! How do you like it so far?

1 2
Our Preferred Partners
WSaQwPFDQN66ThzMet9L2iEz6Q0xZf0ITYgunGRUl8ay5PqaqtQI8OzqQsiPZ1Z6