Toyota Matrix/Corolla 1.8 Opinions

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Apr 11, 2003
Spring HIll
I'm ready to ditch the Sienna, looking at the Toyota Matrix with the 1.8L and Auto Trans. Yeah, it's smaller, but if the wife likes it, then I like it too. [Big Grin] Anyone have opinions about this drivetrain combo? I don't believe it will be sludge prone like the V6 Sienna. I just would like to hear some stories good or bad, about this setup. Thanks....
If I remember right......the HO engine is made by yamaha, and is used in the toyota celica gts (and the pontiac vibe.... sister car to the matrix). I believe some info was posted on that engine around here. [ October 30, 2003, 09:09 PM: Message edited by: sbc350gearhead ]
If it's the same engine in the Corolla, it's built like a tank. I bought my car for one reason, durability. I have 140k on a 1.8L 2001 Corolla and can't say enough good things about this engine. It's been taken care of and seen 90% highway miles and various synthetic oils, but it still has extremely good compression and could probably out live me. In my car, 8-10k seems to be the most I can get out of a good synthetic oil. TBN at 5k was about 5 for most oils I've tested. I averaged about 5-7k mile drains most of the cars life, primarily to keep the engine as clean as possible. This plus AutoRx are another reason my car runs so well with this kind of mileage.
Drove my nephew's 2003 Corolla S today. Engine is buzzy at startup but is quite zippy even with auto. Tunnel vision driving view. Bad surprise is that I started to get sick with the unsophisticated suspension setup - very choppy ride with bobbing too common. I think you better drive one for more than around the block before you make that decision. I cannot fault it's predicted reliability, quality, economy and value but I was truly disappointed with the ride. I actually recommended that he consider this model too. I wonder if this can be fixed?
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