Home » Tag-Team Partners: Kia Soul vs Cadillac Sixty Special vs Toyota Matrix vs Dodge Avenger

Tag-Team Partners: Kia Soul vs Cadillac Sixty Special vs Toyota Matrix vs Dodge Avenger

Sbsd 4 26 2024
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Happy Friday to all Autopians within the sound of my voice! Today we’re doing another four-car shootout from the week’s winners, but we’re going to do it just a little bit differently: you’re going to choose two cars. We ended up with two American automatic four-door sedans and two Asian stickshift hatchbacks this week, so you will be choosing one of each.

Yesterday it was Stormtroopers vs Velociraptors as we looked at two Korean compacts that were largely the same under their very different bodystyles. The voting was close, but the more conservative and practical Soul won in the end. I think that would be my choice as well. I don’t like the dash in the Veloster, and as several commenters pointed out, it has blind spots that could hide a T-Rex (either the dinosaur or the band).

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I was just about to say that Stormtroopers vs Velociraptors would make a fun Star Wars/Jurassic Park crossover movie, except we all know how it would end: the stormtroopers would just miss every shot, even the easy ones, and the raptors would figure out how to work the controls on one of those speeder bikes, and it would be over before the end of the first reel. Oh well; they can’t all be great ideas.

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All right; let’s review the week that was, and then you can make your choices. Remember, you’ll be picking two cars: one from the sedans, and one from the hatchbacks. Here they are.

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1993 Cadillac Sixty Special – $4,500

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This old Caddy beat out Stephen Gossin’s latest rescue, a Chrysler New Yorker, on Monday. I think a lot of it had to do with the eight slappin’ pistons right there under its hood, in the form of Cadillac’s HT engine, in its final and best form. And it is a good engine, certainly better than the early problematic Northstars that some other Cadillacs got. But I remember all too vividly trying to change the spark plugs on my old Coupe DeVille. I had to reach number eight from underneath the car, with a complex combination of extensions and swivels.

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I do have to admit that Cadillacs of this era are mighty nice ways to get down the road. The seats are comfortable, the ride is just floaty enough, and because of the modern FWD chassis design, they hold the road a lot better than the RWD dinosaurs that came before them. Set the automatic climate control just-so, turn up the stereo, and just eat up the miles. And the gas. Lots and lots of gas.

2003 Toyota Matrix – $3,150

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This Matrix won over a Honda CR-V with a lot more miles on it, but that also had lien papers instead of a title, which I think scared a lot of you off. Apparently an unconventional title situation is more frightening than a noisy timing chain, which the 1ZZ-FE four-cylinder in this car has. Toyota engines aren’t known for snapping chains, even when they make noise; I once had a Toyota pickup with the mighty 22R engine in it that made such a racket on cold starts that I thought it was trying to eat itself. Never caused a problem, but it sounded awful.

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This is the first Matrix, the one everybody liked, the one that gave it a following. The second Matrix had more stuff in it, but didn’t make as much sense, and was viewed by a lot of fans as a disappointment. We all tried to like it, but after a while we stopped pretending and admitted that it kinda sucked compared to the original. And the third Matrix was really–Oh. Wait. We’re talking about the car, not that other thing.

2011 Dodge Avenger SE – $1,500

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This example of the much-maligned Dodge Avenger sedan has one really good thing going for it: the 3.6 liter Pentastar V6, Chrysler’s go-to engine for the past dozen or so years. It’s a durable and reliable engine, and if it has been maintained, even this one with over 200,000 miles on it should still have some life in it. It’s also hilariously overkill for the mid-sized Avenger; no FWD sedan this size needs nearly 300 horsepower.

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This thing is cheap and nasty, but it will get the job done. It’s the automotive equivalent of Pabst Blue Ribbon, but without the ironic hipster seal of approval. It’s okay to enjoy it (responsibly), but if your friends catch you, you have to be ready with a response: “Yeah, I know it’s garbage, but it’s cheap, you know? And it’s not really all that bad.”

2011 Kia Soul – $3,900

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And finally, we have yesterday’s winner, this little green Kia from Alabama. More than one commenter informed me that this color is actually called “Alien,” which makes me like it even more. And I suppose that means this car can survive anything except Sigourney Weaver and her cat?

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The Kia Soul is one of those cars that, as soon as it came out, I imagined would make a good cheap beater someday. And now this one, at thirteen years old and less than four grand, is fulfilling that promise. I don’t imagine all of them will weather the years as well as this one has, but I fully expect Souls, especially stickshift ones, to be part of the automotive landscape for a long, long time to come.

So there they are: the week’s winners, as chosen by you. And now it’s time to pick your two favorites, one sedan and one hatchback. There are four pairs of cars below, complete with the total price of both. Cast your vote, and have a great weekend!

(Image credits: Craigslist sellers)

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Timothy Swanson
Timothy Swanson
29 days ago

Matrix + Soul. The best choice and it isn’t close.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
1 month ago

No problem it is cadilac as a tribute to Robin Williams in Cadilac Man and the Sould for the bluesy tribute Soul Man.

Freelivin2713
Freelivin2713
1 month ago

Cadillac + Matrix for sure…next would be the Avenger then the Soul which I don’t like and is ugly
“What? You think I’ve never ridden in a Cadillac? I’ve ridden in a Cadillac hundreds of times, THOUSANDS!!!”

Here4thecars
Here4thecars
1 month ago

Darn you, SBSD! I want the two hatches, and have no use for the sedans. If I must, I’ll vote for the Dodge and the Matrix. One stupid car for dumb stuff, and one sensible car for everyday stuff.

Baja_Engineer
Baja_Engineer
1 month ago

Caddy + Soul for me.
Yes it’s the most expensive combo out there but you don’t really see a well-preserved 30 yr old Caddy anymore and although I’m not fan of the Soul (yesterday’s vote was for the Veloster) it makes total sense to pay $800 more than an 8 yr older, ticking bomb Matrix

Last edited 1 month ago by Baja_Engineer
Geo Metro Mike
Geo Metro Mike
1 month ago

Caddy & the boxy car please. Used to dislike the Soul but they have grown on me; and after the dmv it’s a trip to the toy shop to get a stuffed hamster for the dash.

EastbayLoc
EastbayLoc
1 month ago

Well then, I chose the Caddy and Soul. Could have gone Matrix too. I’d rather have that New Yorker from earlier in the week than the Caddy but here we are. Soul patrol out.

STEPHEN WALTER GOSSIN
STEPHEN WALTER GOSSIN
1 month ago
Reply to  EastbayLoc

(big high five in your direction)

FloridaNative
FloridaNative
1 month ago
Reply to  EastbayLoc

Samesies. I went Soul over Matrix due to age and condition for not much more money. That Avenger is total trash.

Last edited 1 month ago by FloridaNative
Cyko9
Cyko9
1 month ago

I’m almost always going to vote for a Matrix; they’re just too useful and long-lived to ignore. I’ve never considered an Avenger, but this one actually sounds kinda fun. Put some neon yellow chin spoilers on it and pretend it’s a mini-Charger. The Cadillac is nice, but I’d prefer something much older & stylish or newer & faster.

Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
1 month ago

T-Rex (the band) could hide in plain sight, these days. I went with Cadillac + Soul because I think that would be a great band name. Or Soul Cadillac.

MATTinMKE
MATTinMKE
1 month ago
Reply to  Canopysaurus

Soullac?

Cadoul?

FrontWillDrive
FrontWillDrive
1 month ago

I’m doubling down on the Cadillac for when it works, and the Matrix for when it doesn’t.

Luxobarge
Luxobarge
1 month ago
Reply to  FrontWillDrive

I like the way you think.

Baja_Engineer
Baja_Engineer
1 month ago
Reply to  FrontWillDrive

That backup might need a backup, just saying…

FrontWillDrive
FrontWillDrive
1 month ago
Reply to  Baja_Engineer

That just gives me an excuse to buy more cars!

XLEJim700
XLEJim700
1 month ago

Cadillac for your telecaster, case of Colt 45, and your sequined lead singer.

The roadie can follow in the Soul with the amps and drum kit. The rest o’ them bums can ride the bus.

Gubbin
Gubbin
1 month ago

Something to be said for keeping it in the (extended) family with GM/Toyota, but I’m going newer/simpler Dodge on the American car, and private-sale Kia over dealer Yota for the import.

Outofstep
Outofstep
1 month ago

I’m not playing by your rules Mr. Tucker! Matrix/Soul for me… And if I’m not playing by your rules then I’m just voting for the Matrix.

Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
1 month ago
Reply to  Outofstep

Mr Anderson …

EastbayLoc
EastbayLoc
1 month ago
Reply to  Outofstep

I know Kung Fu…

IanGTCS
IanGTCS
1 month ago

I voted Dodge + Soul simply because the Kia is a decade newer than that Toyota. Also I have a similar age Soul and it is fine. Dodge over Caddy is simply an age/cost thing for me. It’s a cheap car that I’d probably quickly resell after a good deep clean.

Ideally I’d get both the Kia and Toyota if I was doing a double purchase. I like hatches and have family experience with both vehicles and they are safe choices.

Michael Beranek
Michael Beranek
1 month ago

Gotta go with the Mopar over the Caddy because the age vs. price angle. That Avenger only needs to run for a year or two to be worth the $1,500.
If the hatches were equal the Toyota would win every time, regardless of mileage. But this one’s fatal timing issue dooms it. I don’t like the Soul at all, but at least it isn’t going to grenade on the way home.

Joke #119!
Joke #119!
1 month ago

I have a 2003 Matrix XRS (2ZZ engine) over 230K miles. Runs great! And the storage is awesome. Shoved a 6-ft wine refrigerator in the back, though I had to drive it with the seat all the way forward. Can take 8ft fluorescent tubes home from Home Depot with the back door (and window) shut. A Boxed Weber grill from Costco: easy. Oh, and slept in it overnight at a campsite in Oregon for the 2017 solar eclipse, because it has that awesome flat surface. Hard to replace it when every so often I need that trunk space.

Wally_World_JB
Wally_World_JB
1 month ago

SCOTS! You slipped in a little Chapel Hill band just for Torch, didntja?

I saw them in a New Haven, CT dive bar last fall and it was two straight hours of southern-fried trailer park glory.

Oh, yeah, Caddy+Soul is the only choice here btw.

Nycbjr
Nycbjr
1 month ago

ya’ll who voted Soul yesterday are plain wrong! haha its all good. I went matrix/caddy in protest lol

Freelivin2713
Freelivin2713
1 month ago
Reply to  Nycbjr

Exact same here…I just don’t like the Soul, it’s ugly and basically won’t ever vote for it

StillNotATony
StillNotATony
1 month ago

I voted Dodge and Matrix. If I’m going cheap, I’m going super cheap.

I, too, am protesting the lack of SWG’s New Yorker…

Michael Beranek
Michael Beranek
1 month ago
Reply to  StillNotATony

Yeah, I’d take that over ANY of these.

STEPHEN WALTER GOSSIN
STEPHEN WALTER GOSSIN
1 month ago

Excellent take.

STEPHEN WALTER GOSSIN
STEPHEN WALTER GOSSIN
1 month ago
Reply to  StillNotATony

I will walk with my people. Huzzaah!

A. Barth
A. Barth
1 month ago

Tag-Team Partners

Whoomp! There it is.

I’m not a fan of the Cadillac or the Kia, so that leaves Dodge + Matrix, aka Bullet Time.

IRegertNothing, Esq.
IRegertNothing, Esq.
1 month ago

Every car I voted for last week (though I missed Wednesday) lost. Combine the Matrix with the Caddy so you have a weekend cruiser and a thrifty daily driver to help you afford the gas for said weekend cruiser.

Icouldntfindaclevername
Icouldntfindaclevername
1 month ago

I picked the boat + anchor
Cadillac + Soul

I shouldn’t dis on Kia though. They’ve been pretty dang good to me with their warranty.

Geoff Buchholz
Geoff Buchholz
1 month ago

This was also my combination. The Cadillac-v-Dodge bout is so unfair as to be laughable. Matrix-v-Soul was closer, but still a win for the Kia.

Jeep Liberty, MY LEG!
Jeep Liberty, MY LEG!
1 month ago

No Matrix + Soul combo I vote revolution!

IanGTCS
IanGTCS
1 month ago

That would be my choice too. Both are very adequate appliances.

STEPHEN WALTER GOSSIN
STEPHEN WALTER GOSSIN
1 month ago

Write-in ballot here for the ’93 New Yorker Salon from Monday’s Showdown. I still can’t believe it was beaten so badly by a near 2:1 ratio.

The price is $100 cheaper this week and its wheel covers will not fly off when the brakes get hot (as the Cadillac’s will), so there’s that. Also the ad was updated to include the new catalytic converter that I forgot I installed a few months back.

The Southern Culture On The Skids call is choice. Really enjoyed every competition this week Mark. Superb as always.

Last edited 1 month ago by STEPHEN WALTER GOSSIN
Nycbjr
Nycbjr
1 month ago

I see your write in, and add the veloster as the “fun car”

“New Yorker + Veloster”

STEPHEN WALTER GOSSIN
STEPHEN WALTER GOSSIN
1 month ago
Reply to  Nycbjr

Honestly, that’s exactly what I would pick from this lot; excellent call!

Shooting Brake
Shooting Brake
1 month ago

Throws Life Jacket To Stephen

(because he’s under water on this car!) 😉

STEPHEN WALTER GOSSIN
STEPHEN WALTER GOSSIN
1 month ago
Reply to  Shooting Brake

You are sadly correct! This one, like many other rescues, cost more to save than it apparently can sell for.

It was dinged in the comments for not having better paint after I literally just spent $1400 on fresh paint last month; you can’t win sometimes.

I learned a lot, had a ton of fun over the past 3 years of fixing it and there is officially one more ’93 New Yorker in this world because of my efforts, so I’m ok with that.

Cheers, Shooting Brake!

Shooting Brake
Shooting Brake
1 month ago

You’re doing the Lord’s work Stephen! 🙂

Sensual Bugling Elk
Sensual Bugling Elk
1 month ago

We want to hear the tales of these rescues! I miss your byline around here.

STEPHEN WALTER GOSSIN
STEPHEN WALTER GOSSIN
29 days ago

Thanks a ton for the kind words, my friend. Means a lot.

Things that ain’t easy:

-Pimpin’
-Being green
-Getting published

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