15th Jan 2010, 07:11
Okay, when I first read your review, I was pessimistic and frankly did not believe it, as I am looking to purchase a Matrix or Vibe in the near future. I was wrong.
If you're looking for a Focus or Impreza, keep in mind that the 1990-2008 Impreza uses timing belts. Focus uses a 2.3L Duratec, which is thirsty at the higher RPMs.
Thank you for writing this honest review, as most people assume when they hear about Toyota, we all think reliability.
18th Feb 2010, 10:00
I'm very dissatisfied with my 04 Matrix. Just had to replace the manual tran$miles$$ion. Just under $3000. Edmunds even has a web page devoted to that failure. All easy highway miles. In fact I still have the original brake shoes. Also has more squeaks and rattles than I can count. Workmanship is less than my old and reliable 95 Neon. Worst car I ever had.
10th Apr 2011, 14:49
I have a 2004 manual transmission Matrix, and I love this car! No tranny issue with 190 000 km on the counter (knock on wood). Clutch replacement at 183000 km (not so bad I think). All original wheel bearing. Everything is working perfectly.
No rust on this 7-8 year car is very good for a Canadian car (way better than a 4-5 year old Mazda 3 or Civic). Sensibility about rocks in windshield is certainly due to the windshield slope. I'll advise you to never buy a FJ Cruiser, Nissan Cube, Honda Element or any SUV...
I've put a minimum of 50 000 km on the front brakes and they NEVER squeak. Great on gas mileage, peppy engine, very quiet ride, good handling, and the steering is more precise than my friend's 2005 Impreza WRX.
Cheap car to own for me. When I talk to people who own a Matrix or Vibe, they always love their Matrix/Vibe.
7th Jan 2012, 14:52
My sister's 2005 Matrix (in Seattle) is on its third windshield - same symptoms as everyone else's Matrix - long cracks along the bottom that rapidly spread. Certainly seems like a design problem, but I don't see any info on recalls or anything. Definitely a problem with the Matrix though. Expensive.
18th May 2014, 20:40
Thanks for this honest review. I own a '05 Matrix myself, and can barely count the number of repairs I went through in less than 4 years: struts, canister, clutch, bearing, windshield, gas tank, door panel, ball joint, brake drums, battery, wheel nuts, wiper motor and linkage. Same experience concerning the road handling under less than ideal weather (which is quite common where I live - Atlantic Canada) and overall poor driving performance: lack of power and as noisy as hell.
Last week, the transmission failed: $2,700. Altogether, I'm now at about $11k of repairs and maintenance over 4 years ownership; using it from 150,000km to 195,000km.
Quite frankly, I was really not expecting it given the reputation that Toyota seemed to enjoy, and I bitterly regret my choice. Hopefully my next car will prove to be more enjoyable and reliable. For sure, it won't be a Toyota.