2003 Toyota Matrix Reviews - Page 2 of 6

2003 Toyota Matrix XRS from North America

Model year2003
Year of manufacture2003
First year of ownership2004
Most recent year of ownership2007
Engine and transmission Automatic
Performance marks 5 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.8 / 10
Distance when acquired21000 miles
Most recent distance97000 miles
Previous carChrysler Town and Country

Summary:

Near perfect for my needs and uses

Faults:

The battery quit, abruptly, at about 50,000 miles.

It eats front tires since the accident, when a wild hog ran into me, did $7k damage, and ran off grumbling all the way.

General Comments:

This has been a superb car for me - I use it for a 60 mile daily commute across back-country roads, which means lots of potholes, some dirt and gravel stretches, no traffic and lots of animals to dodge.

I drove it quite aggressively and yet it treated me very well. It handles very well on dirt roads, it feels stable on gravel, it's cheap to keep. It has never been in the shop for anything major, only some preventative maintenance.

I keep the back seats down always to keep the car loaded with various equipment; I have even taken naps back there. I also put a small hitch on it and pull an 8-foot trailer or a 12-foot duck boat on occasion.

It is very comfortable to me because of a knee injury that requires me to sit up, like in a van. I can (and have) driven it 7 hours with only one break - and I am not a young guy anymore!

I'd get another in a flash if I could find power leather seats and some more creature comforts.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th August, 2007

2003 Toyota Matrix from North America

Model year2003
Year of manufacture2002
First year of ownership2004
Most recent year of ownership2007
Engine and transmission Automatic
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 5 / 10
Dealer Service marks 6 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.6 / 10
Distance when acquired18000 miles
Most recent distance24000 miles

Summary:

A no worries vehicle

Faults:

Nothing...aside from me whacking the side mirrors. Paint seems to be very sensitive to scratches.

General Comments:

I just moved from Los Angeles to Washington State in very hot weather. The car hummed along beautifully, handling mountain climbs in 90 degree + weather with ease. Has not missed a beat once hear either. Loading boxes and furniture in the back has been great. A little less room (height wise) than the jeep's back end, but have manged very well.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th August, 2007

2003 Toyota Matrix XR from North America

Model year2003
Year of manufacture2002
First year of ownership2006
Most recent year of ownership2007
Engine and transmission Manual
Performance marks 2 / 10
Reliability marks 1 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 6 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 1 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
3.6 / 10
Distance when acquired90000 kilometres
Most recent distance130000 kilometres
Previous carMazda MX6

Summary:

Suspect reliability

Faults:

The transmission started to go at 125,000 km. This doesn't seem to be a unique problem. See below.

http://townhall-talk.edmunds.com/direct/view/.f0d9b0e/42

General Comments:

I loved this car until it let me down. The manual 5 speed went out at 125,000 km. Very disappointing. $3,000 to replace.

The gas mileage dropped significantly. I once raved about getting 40 MPG on occasion, and now get 30-32 MPG.

It looks like these transmission problems are common on the Matrix and the Corolla. Check the Internet, you will find plenty of people with problems.

The car hydroplanes with the original tires on it. I have switched to a Cooper rain tire, and it is vastly improved. You need winter tires to drive this car in extreme winter conditions.

If you live anywhere with hills, this car is underpowered even with the 5 speed. Driving in Colorado, you will be challenged to keep the car above 60 mph going up hills. That being said, the power is just fine for around the city and driving on flat roads. You can easily maintain 75 mph on the flats.

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

Review Date: 16th August, 2007

2003 Toyota Matrix XR 1.8 from North America

Model year2003
Year of manufacture2003
First year of ownership2007
Most recent year of ownership2007
Engine and transmission 1.8 Automatic
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Dealer Service marks 5 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.0 / 10
Distance when acquired96000 kilometres
Most recent distance96000 kilometres
Previous carHonda Civic

Summary:

Comfortable, reliable, and good on gas!

Faults:

The CD player does not work. Everytime I put a CD in it, it pops out with a "Check CD" error.

General Comments:

My wife and I thought of buying a hatchback for some time. We checked various models from different makes. We finally went for the Matrix. We tested drove three Matrix, the first one was an AWD model, the second was an XRS, and the last one was an XR. We found the AWD a bit too noisy. The XRS had more power, but we didn't want it because of poorer gas consumption.

Here are the pros and cons for our Matrix XR.

The pros:

It's roomy. Flipped down the backseats, the cargo area is quite incredible. The head and leg rooms are very good. Mind you, I am about 6'2" and find it comfortable.

Gas consumption is good. I drive about 65km (mixture of highway and city) a day with the Matrix. Gas consumption works out to be about 7.0L/100km.

Handling is very good. Cornering, picking up speed, stopping and all that are all reasonable. The size of the tires helps.

The features are sufficient. The Matrix comes with three models: base, XR, and XRS. There are also the differences in front wheel and AWD. The XR model has all the essentials, except the ABS, foglights, and sunroof.

The cons:

The dashboard is lit up all the time in red. To some people it may be really stylish, but too many others, it is down right annoying, especially during night time driving. My solution is to adjust the illumination down when I have to drive at night. Reading the dash is also sometimes difficult under strong sun light, especially when the light is coming from the back, and with the sunglasses on.

In general, I would recommend it to my friends, so long as they can stand the red illumination on the dash board.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th June, 2007

Average review marks: 7.1 / 10, based on 17 reviews