2003 Toyota Matrix XRS from North America


Good reliable car, great on gas


Battery died at 145k.

Changed timing belt at 150k.

Changed original brakes at 135k.

Changed rotors, and replaced brake pads with ceramic ones.

Rattling noise on the right side. I thought this was just me, but reading the reviews, it looks like a common problem.

General Comments:

Great gas mileage. Still runs smooth even at 193k Km.

I guess been lucky with my transmission (knock on wood); so far the 5 speed is still working fine. Lots of elbow room, and have been driving it out of town a lot with no issues so far.

I have a 16 inch winter tire set, as the all season just wouldn't cut it with a Canadian winter. Original all seasons lasted 5 years, which is the average, but got a winter tire set last year, and still using the all seasons in summer. Been rotating tires every 35k km.

All in all, it was a great buy for me.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 6th August, 2011

13th Sep 2014, 06:08

The 2003 Matrix XRS never came with a 5 speed. You said so far the 5 speed was holding up. You sure you even have one?

You said the faults with the car were things like battery, brakes, and tires, which do need to be replaced from time to time. Just saying.

6th Jun 2015, 04:31

I don't remember the Matrix being equipped with a timing belt. I think it's a timing chain, which doesn't need replacement like rubber belts every 60K miles.

2003 Toyota Matrix 4WD 1.8L from North America


I have made the right choice, and would recommend this model to anyone else


Nothing has gone wrong. However, I have personally had 2 visibility issues:

1. The rear window does not come down as low as I'd like; It is hard to see how close the Matrix is to an obstacle behind.

2. With the odometers and temperature reading tucked deep into a hole they are difficult, under certain sun conditions, to read.

General Comments:

The vehicle is friendly and reliable. The seats sit up comfortably, and are easy to get in and out of. The remote door-lock is very convenient.

It would not need to be so tall. I sit rather tall and have much headroom to spare.

I like the under-clearance.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th June, 2009

2003 Toyota Matrix XR 1.8 from North America


2003-2004 5 speed Matrix is bad news!


All manual 2003 and 2004 Matrix's have a bad bearing in the transmission. It will fail! Buyer beware. Do your research.

Toyota will ignore you! They will not help you to fix it.

Repair costs are from 2000-4000 to fix this problem.

General Comments:

I used to love this car... fuel economy was great and the car is great for transporting stuff with the seats down!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 28th April, 2009

10th Sep 2010, 19:14

Thank you. Your comments saved me from buying a used one.

11th Sep 2010, 00:35

This post is right on the money. I have an '04 Matrix 5-speed transmission. The bearings just went out requiring a rebuild @ 98k miles. Cost was pretty reasonable: $1250 including a clutch (http://www.clutchdoctor.com/).

Buyer beware, indeed.

Toyota is ignoring this issue.

2003 Toyota Matrix XR 5 Speed 1.8 from North America


Japanese scrap with North American Quality.. not worth the $$$



The 5 speed transmissions are defective. There is a bad main bearing in them. Typically the transmissions will fail before you hit 120,000 km's. Check out edmunds.com to find out more about people that have had faulty transmissions in this car. The cost to repair it will be anywhere from 2000-5000 dollars.

My transmission went at 120,000 km's.

Ceased front right caliper at 130,000 km's.

Oh and if you are thinking about buying a high mileage Matrix, the odometers are defective and will not go higher than 299,000, so you may be buying a car that has much higher mileage, or a new odometer installed by the dealer with a sticker to say that it was replaced.

General Comments:

The gas mileage was great... after the rebuilt transmission I haven't been able to achieve the same gas mileage that I was getting before the tranny went.

The car has many rattles. I had to remove all of the panels on the car and put weather stripping to stop the rattles... I took the panels off the door and put in weather stripping to stop the rattling when you listen to music. It was so bad that even classical music with no bass made the car rattle.

This is definitely a cheap econo box... cheap cheap cheap... you get what you pay for... my recommendation is not to buy a cheap Toyota... perhaps their higher end cars are better, but they have definitely cut a lot of corners on this car. If you are buying this car, you will pay the typical Japanese premium, but get the standard American cars quality... in other words, you might as well buy a cheaper North American car.

The car is GUTLESS... that being said, the gas mileage is really good... best in class for gas consumption, but at what cost?

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 16th November, 2007