Toyota Matrix? Vibe? Chevy HHR?

Discussion in 'The Fire Hydrant' started by FG167, Jun 6, 2012.

  1. FG167

    FG167 New Member

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    I need to fit one 36" crate (regular or SUV), one 30" crate and one 24" crate. The SUV crate has no side doors but everything else does/can. Does anyone have these vehicles and know if these crates will fit? I'm leaning strongly towards the Matrix. I commute an hour and would like better gas mileage than our Element/Pilot. Thanks!
     
  2. stardogs

    stardogs Behavior Nerd

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    Leah reviewed her HHR for my Four Paw Drive vehicle blog (4pdrive.wordpress.com) and I have a few other vehicles up as well, though I haven't reviewed the Matrix or Vibe yet. I would be surprised if the Matrix or Vibe could handle all three crates tbh. The HHR miiight be able to handle them.
     
  3. FG167

    FG167 New Member

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    I read all of the reviews :) It looked like the HHR would be the tightest. I read this review:http://www.cargodogs.com/2007/05/toyota-matrix-2007-big-on-the.htm and was thinking they might fit if these are both 36"...
    [​IMG]

    I'm just so much more visual - I can't find photos of dog related stuff in cars very easily (besides your blog and this one!) and was hoping someone else would have a very gas friendly, small-ish vehicle that could fit my three dogs. I will eventually have to haul the crates to a dealership and try it but was hoping to avoid that until I had narrowed it down better. I just "heard" about the Matrix today so not sure if I am missing others. Never once considered the HHR until I saw your blog.
     
  4. Keechak

    Keechak Aussie Obssessed

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    My friend has a Matrix and we easily fit two 36inch crates and a 24inch crate in there with plenty of room left for packing camping equipment for two people.
    She took some pictures of our packing so I'll see if I can get them from her.
     
  5. stardogs

    stardogs Behavior Nerd

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    Let's see, thinking this through "out loud"...

    Most of the vehicles in the hatchback category *should* fit a 36" where the back seat is (36"x24"). Your tight point is going to be the slope of the rear hatch vs. where the wheel wells are (i.e. can your crates fit side by side and still not hit the slope of the hatch). A 30" crate should be 30x21 and a 24 is usually 18" wide, so you have to have wheel wells that are at *least* 37" wide and most small hatchbacks have 36-37" spacing between the wheel wells.

    In my Impreza, I have 37" between the wheel wells and about 24" from the side of the 36" over the back seat area to the hatch at the 27" point that my second 36" crate hits the hatch at. I'm not sure if there would be an additional 6" just by dropping down 6" to the 21" height of the 30" crate.

    That help at all?
     
  6. Beanie

    Beanie Clicker Cult Coordinator

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    Matrix and Vibe are the same car, just styled differently and one is badged Toyota and the other Pontiac... dunno if you know that or not. Same engine in both and I found it to be pretty underpowered so I stopped looking at them. Sparks/Puckstop had one and they loved it though IIRC.
    I looked at the HHR because Leah loves hers so much and it is surprisingly tiny! Smaller than my Chevy Impala. More crate space but it's a smaaaall car. I'm not sure if you'll get better MPG out of them than an Element though. Both are 4 cyl 2.4L engines. The Vibe/Matrix carry a 1.8 (though I believe the last run of the Vibe came in a sport package that may have bumped up to a 2.4) so you'll get better MPG out of them but obviously you sacrifice power hence why I found the Vibe really underpowered...
     
  7. sillysally

    sillysally Obey the Toad.

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    I don't know about fitting the crates but I have a Matrix and LOVE it! I drive it in all kinds of traffic and don't get the feeling that it is underpowered, but that's just me.
     
  8. Keechak

    Keechak Aussie Obssessed

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    ok here is the picture of the crates in the Matrix, we piled all our camping gear around and in front of the smallest crate(pictured closest to the camera)

    I don't have a picture of it fully packed tho but it was awesome.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. stardogs

    stardogs Behavior Nerd

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    Oh wow that's awesome! Are the 36" crates regular width (24") or SUV-style (21")?
     
  10. FG167

    FG167 New Member

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    EEEEee :hail: :thumbsupsmileyanim::thumbsupsmileyanim:

    That pretty much made my night - thank you!!!!
     
  11. Keechak

    Keechak Aussie Obssessed

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    they are regular 24 width
     
  12. stardogs

    stardogs Behavior Nerd

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    Wow!

    (adds the Matrix to the Four Paw Drive "to review asap" list)
     
  13. Keechak

    Keechak Aussie Obssessed

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    I give my sincerest apologies, they are NOT 36inch crates, they are 30inch. I had thought they were the same as my own 36 inches but I was mistaken. Still a good car to add to the review site! You can haul a max of two 70 pound dogs and one 40 pound dog.
     
  14. stardogs

    stardogs Behavior Nerd

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    If your friend would be up for it, I'd love to have an owner review of it - details on guest reviews are on the blog. ;)
     
  15. release the hounds

    release the hounds Active Member

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    I have no idea how large my crates are, they are relatively large. They carry GSD's with plenty of room to stand and turn around. I can fit one of those in my wife's VIBE and it just squeezes in height wise, but plenty of room on sides and deep when the seats are down. IT's a vari kennel. I never really played around with any configurations to see how or what else I could fit in. I always use a minivan to transport the dogs when i'm taking more than one.

    But I can say, i like driving the car and as a commuter its a nice ride and the MPG's are nice too, we average mid to upper 30's with town and hwy miles..

    My mom recently got a matrix because she liked my wife's vibe so much.
     
  16. FG167

    FG167 New Member

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    Hmm....I am thinking I could fit a 30" and a 24" where the two 30" crates are and then a sideways 36" where the little front one is? I need one 70 lb dog, one 45 lb dog and one 21 lb dog to fit in their respective crates. I should still be ok, right?
     
  17. stardogs

    stardogs Behavior Nerd

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    If the Matrix is like most hatchbacks, you'll have a hard time fitting a 36" in the back because of the slope. An SUV style one miiiight work. It would still probably fit better to put the 36" on the back seat area (esp since you need to use the end door vs. a side door) and then put the smaller crates side by side in the cargo area (perpendicular to the 36").
     
  18. Beanie

    Beanie Clicker Cult Coordinator

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    You could check into a Chevy Malibu Maxx too - hatchback/wagon style. There is a slope in the back on that one too though, but it might be bigger to begin with. I think the Malibu comes in a 4 cyl too so might be able to get some better mileage out of it than if you got the V6 version. Not positive though.

    I would just find a dealership nearby that has whatever you're looking at, go with your crates, and see if they fit, LOL. I'm planning on doing that when it's time for me to get a new vehicle haha.
     

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