2003 Toyota Matrix from North America - Comments

26th Sep 2010, 20:52

The good:

This is my first Toyota. I bought a loaded 'like new' 2003 Matrix XRS in 2003 with 10K miles. The car is stylish, seats are comfortable, interior is roomy & versatile. Good back leg room. Best gas mileage was 35 MPG on the highway. Fun to drive & responsive. Have driven standard transmissions all my life; thought I would like the 6 speed.

The bad:

Driver can't stretch out left leg because of the foot rest; very uncomfortable for long trips. Dislike harsh red dash lights; hard on eyes.

Whoever designed reverse next to 1st should be fired. Reverse 'warning bell' chimes to let driver know they are in reverse, but I have had the chime go off while in 1st gear.

Speaking of 1st gear, it's geared too high; the driver must press on 'touchy' accelerator to go forward, otherwise the car dies. Will not roll forward while slowly releasing clutch.

Rubber trim around doors are cheap and most doors have tears in rubber. Faux silver paint on back door driver side handle is peeling off. No kids to blame for this either.

At 83K miles I had to replace B1S1 Oxygen sensor @ $143. Left inner & outer boots leak & need replacing. At 115K miles found out tensioner (to serpentine belt) also needs replacing.

The ugly:

Have had to replace clutch twice. Once at 63K & again at 112K miles @ around $900 a pop. Including original clutch - this is #3 (in comparison, I had 205K miles on my Honda Civics original clutch when I sold it).

Now, my on board computer has failed at only 117K! It will cost almost $1200 to replace! Chaaa-Ching! What's next? That was the tipping point for me.

I will be hard pressed to buy another Toyota after this most disappointing experience.

13th Mar 2012, 15:02

Other than the onboard computer failure (which is pretty bad and sucks; it came after the warranty), the other repairs are pretty straight on. Replacing the clutch at 60k is usually normal. If you were really fine on the clutch and it went at 60k, maybe that's telling, but usually driving habits put clutches on this path.

Anyone who goes 70-100k+ on their clutch... BRAVO! But I wouldn't call that an ugly break. Also the tensioner replacement seems to be on-point. The driving space is pretty bad, but in terms of performance and maintenance, you had it pretty good.

26th Sep 2013, 10:48

"60K on a clutch is normal"; you can't be serious??

I sent an 86 Volvo 740 to the crusher with rusted floors and 486K km (302K miles) on the original clutch.

I currently have an 89 240 with 270K km (167K miles) and a 90 740 Turbo with 302K km (187K miles) on the original clutches. Both of the current cars were bought used, so I don't how the PO's treated them, as I don't think either will make the 486K km our original car did, but they both have beaten 60K miles.

Other than HP exotics i.e. Ferrari, Lambo; if you kill a clutch in 60K, you should stick to driving an autotragic.

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