2009 Matrix Really Jarring Ride

We have a 2009 Toyota Matrix, 1.8 L, 4 cylinder. We love it, except that any tiny bump on the road does not seem to get absorbed AT ALL! The ride is more jarring the further back in the car you go. Is this a problem with the shocks, suspension, or low profile tires??? Is it fixable? We’re having a baby soon, and are worried that riding in the back seat will actually cause damage!

Check the tire pressure cold. Set the pressure to the number on the door sticker. I had a mechanic who would inflate the tires to 35 psi at each service, our 86 Dodge Colt’s recommended pressure was 26 psi. At 26 psi, the ride was fairly stiff, at 35 psi it was brutal.

I wouldn’t worry about the baby too much, they’re tougher than you think. A four door hatchback is a good choice for hauling children. I had a station wagon for our first child and it was a godsend.

Ed B.

Yeah, we thought about the tire pressure. The tires themselves have a much higher psi then what is suggested in the door (50 vs 35, respectively). We’ve tried both but can’t tell the difference.

We do love the rest of the car, especially the large trunk and fold down seats!

If tire pressure is not the problem your stuck.

Small cars have a poor ride compared to their larger counterparts. Especially if your car has the 17" low profile tires instead of standard ones. My kids 2 & 4 ride in a stiff riding sporty car (Subaru WRX wagon) and are doing quite well.

I understand the new baby concerns however they will be fine.

If you decide to move on my only advice is jump way fast forward to a minivan.

50 psi listed on tire is MAX pressure and dangerous to inflate your tires to. Never use tire pressure listed on a tire for future reference. Always refer to door or owners manual.

Andrew is correct.
The maximum inflation pressure imprinted on the tire’s sidewall is just that–the MAXIMUM pressure that can be put into the tire before there is a real danger of the tire exploding.

Think of it this way–if your doctor told you that your maximum safe blood pressure was…let’s say…150/85, that does not mean that this is a desirable blood pressure! Maximum means…maximum…and it does not mean that this is to be considered either normal or desirable.

Always use the inflation pressures supplied by the vehicle’s manufacturer. These are found on the label on the driver’s door jamb and in the Owner’s Manual. PLEASE read and follow these inflation guidelines, as your grossly inflated tires have much less traction on wet and slippery surfaces than tires that are inflated to the correct pressure.

Also, depending on how long you have been running the car with this ridiculously high pressure in the tires, you may have already put excess wear onto the center area of the tire treads, and you may have caused damage to the struts and/or other suspension components because of the excessive impacts from potholes that they have been subjected to.

Follow Toyota’s recommendations for inflation!

It can’t be just small cars, since we traded in a 2000 Corolla for the Matrix. The Corolla was great, and not jarring at all! The low profile tires are standard with the new Matrix models, so that could definitely be the issue.

Yes, we know all about tire pressure, and know the guidelines for the car. And that the pressure is to be tested when the car is cold, and that outdoor temperature affects the pressure and should be adjusted accordingly. Thanks for the concern, though!

I have a 2004 Matrix XR and when I test drove it (used/bought in Dec.'07) it seemed to ride hard.

Because I had ridden in a 2000 Olds Silhouette (van) for four years I had expected a stiffer ride due to weight, etc.

However, when I brought this up with the salesman, he talked to the manager and came back and told me they would replace the old tires with new Michelins. Hmmmm.

As a result I have four new Michelin low profile Harmony’s on and find the ride is improved.
I still try to avoid the potholes and manholes that haven’t been height adjusted to new pavement heights.

Check if you have optional lower-profile tires with larger wheels. If you don’t have the smallest wheels/tires that come with the Matrix (205-55R16), I bet you could find someone who would trade with you.

Please post the size of the tires installed on your car. The super-low-profile tires that are all the rage now make cars ride like forklifts…

I have the 16" on my matrix. I wish I could go to 15" higher profile.
I remember when most of the biggest cars had 15" wheels.

I concur Caddyman. I tried used 225/45/17’s from an STI on my Subaru WRX. It rode horribly. I reverted back to the stocker 205/55/16’s a nice balance of performance/comfort for a stiff riding Subaru WRX.