2003 Toyota Matrix 1.9 litre from North America


Good fuel economy, but the remaining aspects of the short lived ownership were disappointing.


Replaced the AM/FM/CD player three times in a 7 month duration due to various malfunctions with the CD player.

Had to replace "on board" computer to remedy frequent stalling episodes.

Interior trim is very "unforgiving" as the dash and door trim components are extremely susceptible to scratches. Additionally, the paint on a plastic component wore right off prematurely, and on an other component exhibited unexpected fading.

An unpleasant odor, not unlike the smell of burning rubber, was emmitted from engine during slightly extended periods of high rpm - such as when spinning tires in snow.

General Comments:

I was intrigued with the design concept of this vehicle, (sport utility/station wagon), but I should have heeded my own advice about avoiding the purchase of any vehicle in it's first model year.

Although Toyota has a fairly established record for manufacturing quality vehicles, I suspect that the vehicles built in Japan offer better quality and value.

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

Review Date: 9th April, 2004

18th Sep 2004, 12:16

We have also had to deal with "design flaws", I guess you could call them. Basically, on all of the faux brushed steel plates on the dash and doors, the paint just peeled off! This occurred within 2 months of ownership. The paint on the outside also is chipping off on the hood, doors etc.

Our windows rattle in the doors and don't always roll up into the rubberized channel correctly.

Performance is good except for a weird,burning, sulpherish smell coming from the engine the first 2,000 miles or so.

We don't like the sports package that we got on the vehicle because it makes the car way too low.

Ultimately, we are searching for another car and after spending almost $26,000 on this one I feel ripped off with the resale value.

2003 Toyota Matrix XRS 1.8 Variable Valve Timing from North America


Great car! Fun to Drive. Great Performance and Economy.


Nothing has gone wrong with this car.

General Comments:

This car is a great combination of performance, economy, fun-to-drive characteristics, practicality, and versatility.

It drives like a little sports car. The six speed is terrific.

It gets great gas mileage. Never below the mid 20's, no matter how hard I push it. In the mid 30's on road trips.

The high revving engine gives me the option of driving it like a sedate economy car or a screaming sports model.

The car is absolutely reliable.

My only gripe regards climate control. I am used to the high output heaters associated with SAABs and Volvos, and this one is a bit more anemic. But it has kept me warm, once the car has been running 10 or 15 minutes.

The seats are comfortable, even on 500 and 600 mile trips.

It handles cargo and passengers well. Older folks prize its ease of entry. There is no need to "climb up" to get in, or to "climb down." In that regard, the ease of entry is comparable to a much larger car like a Cadillac DeVille.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st January, 2004

2003 Toyota Matrix XR 4WD 1.8 from North America


You don't need an SUV when you have a Matrix



General Comments:

Model selected, 4 wd, a necessity for us, was said to be a "slow-poke" but such is not the case.

Loads of interior space and accomodates 5 full sized adults easily. More roomy than my Jimmy and runs on 1/2 the fuel.

Only criticisms are lack of cover on passenger's vanity mirror and lack of rear wheel disc brakes, but we'll go along with that as the rest of the car is great.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th July, 2003