I was looking at a ‘08 Toyota Matrix today and was seriously thinking about buying it until I noticed it didn’t have anything in the back to tie down my two 14’ sea kayaks. It has nice mounted loops underneath the front and seems like a roof rack shouldn’t be a problem, but a rear tie down point concerns me. Any Matrix owners out there have some advice. Otherwise, I think I’m forking over a few more $$ for a Subaru.
We use top-ties from www.rutabaga.com.They have two different types. This has been covered before on this site and some of the do-it-yourselfers have suggested substitutes for this.
For Stern: Item is flat loop with plastic cylinder that is closed in trunk or under tailgate. Cylinder stays inside vehicle when trunk is shut providing external loop with metal grommet to tie through.
We use hook into loop so we have that end wrapped in towel to prevent scratching car.
For Bow: Flat loop with metal grommet which is attached under hood by a bolt otherwise holding a radiator support or some other bolt not in contact with hot metal. Plain loop protrudes from hood. In winter, loop can be pushed under hood.
We are in Northern VA and need to find out more about Jug Bay.
the Outbacks,now only have a single tow loop in the center in the back. Various sized caribeiners will fit into most body,or frame holes on most cars somewhere underneath. I have them on a RAV4 for hauling 2 boats,on frame holes, if hauling 1 boat I use my trailer hitch as a tie point.Just my 2 cents.
I have an '04 Vibe, which is essentially the same car (same assembly line). If you look at the left and right "frame" members under the rear of the car, you'll see a nickel sized hole stamped in each. One is back up behind an exhaust pipe, but a hook will fit into them and I can assure you I've never had a problem with the ropes encountering too much heat. I posted pictures in another thread, here's the text:
Here are photos of my hood loops, what a rope ratchet looks like and one of the frame holes I hook onto under the rear of my car.
It's worth noting that I used existing under hood holes for my loops and there are plastic washers between the metal washers and the body. I sewed the loops together for strength, melted the bolt hole in place with a glowing hot bolt (which yields a stronger melted together hole) and filled it in with leftover grommets I had from an old project.
Also note that the rope ratchets are not simple pullies. They grip the rope solid and have a one way (releasable) ratchet action. Hook, pull, zip -- you're done.
I chose the Pontiac Vibe over a Toyota Matrix (again, identical cars except for sheetmetal) because the Vibe had a much better rack option. Yakima has a hybrid rack option that uses the rear bars on the Vibe to give a much better spread than possible on the Matrix. I carry a 16 foot canoe or a 14 ft. solo canoe AND 12 ft. kayak on it all the time.
I was lazy and used some 1/4" yellow poly rope and made a loop with a double fishermans knot through the same holes in the frame under hood as you did.
Your solution is much neater and prettier than mine. So far with two solo canoes on top have not had any problems in 2 years. But it’s time to change out the rope so may go for the webbing strap.
On the back of the Matrix there are 2 rings one on each side when you open the tailgate. Did the same thing using a longer loop of rope.
Thanks everyone for the info. I really like the Matrix and it sounds like it’ll fit my needs for hauling my boats. Its cheaper and gets much better mileage than the Impreza and Forester I was considering.
Check out the rack options…
Between the Matrix and Vibe before you buy. I was inches from buying a Matrix 'till I saw the bar spread on the Yakima setup. Vibe has the same engine, drive-train, interior as Matrix (all Toyota), but under the Pontiac name. It was cheaper too. Awesome mileage!
Check out the weight limit on the Vibe rack if you plan on carry 2 kayaks. It was a while back but I remember seeing a 75 lb limit.
Yakima Rack on Matrix is much narrower, but I think it is rated at 150 lbs.
Not sure what current limit is for the Vibe but definitely worth checking out before buying.
Been there, done that.
The built in rack load is 75 lbs. With yakima bar attached to it and another up front on towers, I carry my boats with no problems. It’s rock solid. I strongly suspect the weight limit was determined by lawyers. I can rock the car by yanking on the cross-bars and they don’t budge even the least bit.