23rd Dec 2005, 20:37

In regard to the owner's comment that the Matrix is not exciting enough (e.g., vis-a-vis a Lancer Evo) : I bought a Matrix when I really wanted a Scion xA or a Mini Cooper, both of which are more "exciting." I'm very happy with the Matrix. It's just more practical. And regarding the writer's complaint about structural integrity after a couple of years -- given the beating he admits his Matrix is taking in Mexico, I'm surprised that HE is surprised if the car no longer seems like new. Finally, I think the Evo costs about twice the price of a Matrix, so remember that you get what you pay for. I paid $14k for my Matrix with 5 speed and all power options, and I think it's the best car buy I've ever made. Cheers!

15th Apr 2006, 14:03

This is the original writer again. I must admit I did go a bit far with the Trix vs. Evo comparison, hehehe. The point is, there are similarly practical and more exciting options in its price range. A more down-to-earth example: the Mazda3 hatchback. Here in Mexico, it costs almost exactly the same and has comparable interior space and flexibility, but also a better engine, better handling, better standard equipment, better interior finish and a nicer exterior design. After taking a test drive I can also confirm a VERY important point which has to do with my first complaint: its ergonomic design is much better and includes (THANK GOODNESS!) reach, rake and lumbar adjustment.

It may not be a Toyota, but I'm starting to think Toyota is charging too large a price premium for reliability these days; in my opinion, they overdo the cost cutting and that makes them look under equipped when compared to competitors. More importantly, for someone who visits sites like this one, it is apparent that there are some carmakers (Mazda among them) which are catching up to Toyota in terms of quality and reliability. My financing contract expires this December, and I WILL change Toyota for Mazda.

20th Oct 2006, 11:53

I own a 2003 Matrix XR. The car is bullet proof. over 70,000 miles and the car is still on the original drum brakes on the rear... they need to be replaced now however.

Gas mileage...unbelieveable. I rarely get less than 36 MPG. Have had gas mileage that almost reached 40! I have noticed that my mileage is higher than most peoples... this may be because I only use synthetic oil. I also check and replace the air filter regularily. The car has been abused... driven hard...driven on roads that would normally be considered 4*4 only terrain and it keeps ticking. The matrix has great clearance which allows it to access terrain that would not be accessible with a regular car due to clearance problems. The car sits high which is great for family moms that like the mini vans... storage is fantastic. I love this car!

21st Nov 2006, 12:20

I have been driving my 2003 Matrix XR 5-speed for close to 4 years. I love this car! Most of the issues that I have had are those that are fairly common – paint is lousy, body kit is flimsy and driver’s seat is not the most adjustable/comfortable seat in the world. Other than that this car has been indestructible! I drive about 90 miles r/t every day to work, so the car has 93,000 miles on it and the only service I have done is change the oil about every 7,500 miles (Mobil 1 synthetic), front brake pads (drum pads are still good!), new Iridium plugs at 85,000 miles and had to have some work done on the transmission at about 89,000 miles (this was probably due to the stop and go traffic that I sit in on almost a daily basis). In order to improve stability, I installed a new Progress rear sway bar and a TRD Strut Tower Brace. I also installed a K&N replacement air filter, which gave the car a little more “go” in 4th gear. Oh yeah, and I snipped the wire to disable the Daytime Running Lights. They were causing my headlights to burn out pretty frequently.

I plan on driving this car into the ground, so hopefully I’ll get a few more years out of it!

14th Mar 2007, 09:37

I recently bought a 2007 Matrix XR. I considered the Mazda3 hatchback when I was doing my search. It was a choice between the two. However, the Mazda3 has a poor side-crash rating. If I were to buy the Mazda3 I would have definitely needed the optional curtain airbags which are not widely available. Cars with this feature were $1000 more which, for me, put the Mazda3 out of my price range.

16th Mar 2007, 12:38

If your going to switch from Toyota, do not go Mazda. According to reliability statistics for the years of 2005-2006, Mazda had worse reliability stats than that of Ford or Chevy. Chevy is considered one of the worst manufacturers in regards to reliability, so I think that says something. If your going to make a switch go to Ford or Dodge. The Japanese reliability stereotype has only consistently stayed true with Toyota and Lexus. Where as Honda, Nissan, and Mazda have had more downs than ups.

16th Mar 2007, 15:40

I have not heard that Honda has had any down ups! Maybe the Passport or the SLX, but not any of their cars!! The transmissions were in a select few cars and it does not make them any worse than Toyota. If you are quoting for CR they said that Toyota products and Honda products are the reliable Japanese cars!! Sorry.

27th May 2007, 15:51

I would very much like to see those statistics that place Mazda below GM with regards to reliability. No source, no cred.