RAV4 or Matrix? - Toyota RAV4 Forums
Shopping and Test Drives Discuss the various issues that come into play when you are test driving, comparing and pricing the RAV4 with other SUV's.

User Tag List

LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-09-2012, 08:18 PM Thread Starter
Junior Member
Country: caramelmarx's Flag is: United States
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Northern CA
Posts: 1
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
(Thread Starter)
RAV4 or Matrix?

I'm in the market for used cars right now and trying to convince my parents to let me get a rav4. They are helping me purchase the car so their opinion is important. They want me to have a reliable car with good gas mileage and I want a car that can haul all my camera equipment and handle a little snow every once in a while.

I fell in love with the older rav 4's recently and am trying to make the argument for it being a better alternative to a newer Matrix. The 2011 Matrix does have a decent amount of cargo space, it gets better gas mileage, and can handle some light snow if you get 4wd. The rav4 has even more space but worse mileage and has less reliability.

How do I convince them to support me getting a rav4? What questions should I be asking but am missing? How can you determine the reliability of a 7yo car?

Thanks for any help. I've learned a lot from the forums and they continue to be a valuable resource.
caramelmarx is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-09-2012, 10:23 PM
Country: blackdograv's Flag is: United States
blackdograv's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: VT
Posts: 171
Thanks: 5
Thanked 6 Times in 6 Posts
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Perhaps ask yourself why you want the Rav4? I did not know that reliability is lower for the Rav4. Yes, the mileage is not as good and it costs more than a Matrix. I test drove a 2010 matrix this past summer prior to buying a 2009 R4 V6 Sport. We obviously did not get to compare 4WD capabilities in snow. Very generally my impression is that if I were a young single person with an active life that the Matrix would be a good blend of style, mileage, affordability and features. Wanting more comfort now that I'm old and more solidity= safety with a child, we felt more comfortable in the Rav.

Any 2005 vehicle is going to be less reliable and require more maint than almost any 2011. I'd figure out the oldest vehicle you can get as cert preowned... and go from there. 2009 would be a better bet if you want it to be pretty trouble free for 5years. Personally I think you'll be happier overall with the newer matrix. It is a nice little car.

You should continue to research and see what year rav4 and matrix you should afford. If you know how much you have and how much your folks have to contribute you can do the math pretty easily. Look at Kelly Blue Book and NADA values. If I were you, I'd strongly consider Certified Pre Owned from a Toyota dealer. Look at the NADA values and kbb values for cpo. Decide on maximum miles you want on the new rig. Decide on trim package you want.

Then assume you can get a deal for around a grand under kbb or maybe two grand under nada. Then go out and look at what's on dealer lots. Check cars.com. Be willing to travel a good distance if you see what you want. Play them off against each other. You can make your deals over the phone too. If you see what you want but it's at a dealer 100 miles away, make a solid offer. If nada has the vehicle at 22,000...with that same mileage, and you are seeing similar vehicles going for 21,000...call the dealer up and offer them 19,500 and make sure you let them know you are pre-authorized for the loan value or that you will be paying cash( if you don't need to finance).

The warranty does not have to be serviced at the dealer you purchase at. You can get it warranteed locally. Don't let them dick around and try to gear the purchase price around monthly payments. If you really cannot make a deal happen at that price... then retreat and move your thinking to a vehicle one year older. Get your number in your head and down on paper. Know the Kbb and Nada cpo values for that year and mileage. If they try to steer you to another similar vehicle, but older, or higher mileage, or lower trim package... leave the place and go get coffee and pull out your smartphone, run the new vehicle and see want price would need to be to make it a great deal for you.

Also, stay away from the V6 Rav4. Although on paper EPA mileage is only 2 off from the 4 cylinder... in reality it's easy to do a LOT worse than that with the 6. Plus it's rather dangerously fast.

Week after Christmas is an awesome time to visit the dealer and GET THE DEAL YOU WANT. They're in there bored to tears drinking eggnog and trying to remember what a customer looks like, and in you walk with cash wanting to drive that blue 2010 matrix off the lot before 5:00. End of the month AND end of the year quotas to meet... you're probably going to be able to name your price and if you stick to your guns, get it. ALWAYS be ready to walk away however if things are going south. You have additional ammo if you've been watching the dealer's website and KNOW that this paticular 2010 matrix is dealer stock #2910387 (or whatever) and that it has been on their lot for over four weeks. After 3-4 weeks, dealers HAVE to get rid of cpo vehicles because Toyota insists that "stale " vehicles be gone... even if they have to move it to auction and lose money. Even though your deal may be WAY below NADA, they may still make out better by selling to you vs. selling at auction for three grand less... especially if all the work to get it to cpo condition has already been done.

Anyway, good luck. You're lucky to have parents that are helping you out.

2009 RAV4 Sport 4WD V6 SAP
blackdograv is offline  
post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-09-2012, 10:45 PM
Senior Member
Country: djb383's Flag is: United States
djb383's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: The Republic of TEXAS
Posts: 334
Thanks: 7
Thanked 20 Times in 20 Posts
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
If u are looking at a used Matrix, don't rule out looking at the Pontiac Vibe as well.....it's the GM/Toyota joint venture twin to the Matrix. Raise the hood and see Toyota everywhere, not Pontiac or GM. We have a '05 Vibe, 70K miles, have replaced an O2 sensor and that's it in 7 years.....knock on wood.

'09 RAV4 V6 Ltd - Yep, it's gotta HEMI
djb383 is offline  
post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-09-2012, 11:57 PM
Advanced Member
Country: Kryten's Flag is: Canada
Kryten's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: St. Albert, AB
Posts: 723
Thanks: 3
Thanked 10 Times in 10 Posts
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
I wouldn't rule out a 2004-05 RAV4. Mine has been extremely reliable. I have never had to shell out a single penny for anything other than scheduled maintenance, and have had zero warranty claims. Simply, nothing has ever gone wrong with it. Granted, I have much lower mileage than most because I don't drive it much during the summer (have 1991 MR2 for that), but still I believe these model years to be very reliable - still built in Japan.
Kryten is offline  
post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-10-2012, 01:32 AM
Advanced Member
Country: doane2u's Flag is: United States
doane2u's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: California
Posts: 847
Thanks: 109
Thanked 42 Times in 37 Posts
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
I bought a 2003 Matrix XR and we owned it for a few years. This early model had one of the worst driving positions I've found in a car, but it handled well and had really good gas mileage with quite a bit of storage space. It was also noisy on the road.. I just could never get comfortable driving it. During the several years we owned it we had no problems, very reliable for a car with about 60K miles on it. My 2002 RAV4 at the time felt much more comfortable and quite and my 2010 is another step up in comfort along with a V6 which is pretty amazing.

2010 Toyota RAV4 V6 AWD Sport-Sport, Magnetic Grey/Charcoal, Extra Value Pkg, Sport Appearance Pkg, Tow Pkg, BlueLogic hands free
doane2u is offline  
post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-10-2012, 08:24 AM
Senior Member
Country: Willow's Flag is: Canada
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Ottawa, ON
Posts: 303
Thanks: 7
Thanked 5 Times in 4 Posts
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
We had a Matrix when they first came out. My wife loved it, she thought it was very comfortable, I thought it was decent. The one thing I found was that it was gutless. Not enough power to pass people. I find our Rav better in all aspects execpt fuel economy.
Willow is offline  
post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-10-2012, 10:12 AM
Advanced Member
Country: RTexasF's Flag is: United States
RTexasF's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Northeast of Dallas TX
Posts: 9,199
Thanks: 113
Thanked 676 Times in 557 Posts
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Assuming there is enough room for your needs I say Matrix. A one old year car vs a seven year old car is a no brainer for me. Who is responsible for fuel, insurance, maintenance, and repairs? If the parental units are going to foot the bills that's one thing, if it's you go with the newer vehicle.....play the odds.

2008 Base V-6
2008 Limited V-6
Tow Prep Package & front wheel drive (both)
RTexasF is offline  
post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-10-2012, 05:00 PM
Advanced Member
Country: Blogson's Flag is: Wales
Blogson's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Oregon Coast USA
Posts: 6,113
Thanks: 71
Thanked 451 Times in 436 Posts
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
About reliability, check Consumer Reports annual auto issues, available in many public libraries. But in general I would go with a 2011 vehicle vs. a seven year old one.

2011 Upgraded Base V6 4WD
2007 Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Classic LT
2002 Craftsman LT1000 V2

Jesus is Lord
Blogson is offline  
post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-10-2012, 05:08 PM
Country: rob west's Flag is: United States
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Northern Kentucky
Posts: 126
Thanks: 24
Thanked 7 Times in 7 Posts
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
ditto on the newer vehicle

Rob West
rob west is offline  
post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-11-2012, 12:15 PM
Junior Member
Country: Nicholas's Flag is: Canada
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Posts: 10
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Got a 2005 Pre-Owned Matrix XR in 2007 and was very reliable, great on gas, low maintenance... only problems were Mod related
Traded it for my RAV4 only because the 0% for 72 Months was tempting.
Nicholas is offline  
Sponsored Links

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome