2003 Toyota Matrix Base Consumer Reviews | Edmunds
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2003 Toyota Matrix - Consumer Reviews

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2003 Matrix Consumer Reviews

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Hit the jackpot
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By opinroad84
on

Vehicle

2003 Toyota Matrix Fwd 4dr Wagon (1.8L 4cyl 5M)


Review

I bought my Matrix, new, in Sept '02 and since then have only put 52K on it. I have done all of the routine maintenance and have only ever had to replace the serpentine belt a few times and one brake light bulb. This car has been more reliable than I ever could have hoped for. Plus, it has great cargo capacity. I can load it with dozens of bags of mulch, or a week's worth of camping gear. Even my 29 inch mountain bike fits in the back with the seats down. I will admit, on long drives the seating position can become annoying, but bring a small pillow or something and you can go for hours, plus, you won't need to stop for gas often! Avg MPG, 30 in summer, 26 in winter.


Favorite Features

It has a very wide cargo opening when considering the size of the car overall. The rear seats truly fold flat, and the front passenger seat does as well. I love that it sits slightly higher than a typical small car, so I'm not falling into it when I get in, or climbing to get out. It also has rear seat heat/AC floor ducts, which was unusual for this class of car in 2002.


Suggested Improvements

Keep up on the maintenance and this car should easily get 200k miles. Also, if you put low profile tires on the Matrix, you will absolutely notice a loss in ride comfort. Not terrible, but on long trips it can be fatiguing.


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Quite the Warrior
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By jones3kn
on

Vehicle

2003 Toyota Matrix XR Fwd 4dr Wagon (1.8L 4cyl 4A)


Review

My mom and dad bought this car new and when I turned 16 in 2008, they turned it over to me. Before I had it, my brother drove it and got in a wreck with a large SUV and it survived with just a large dent in the front end. Since then, I have put this car through the wringer. I'm a rock climber, so I am constantly travelling and the storage capacity is amazing with the folding back seats. This is my go-to road trip car. It's now 11 years old and I just took it up through the Adirondaks, White Mountains and to Maine and back to Ohio. It has a little over 150K and it's still running strong. I'm actually planning a trip across the country to visit my brother in Portland, OR from Ohio.


Suggested Improvements

The Sport kit is only superficial. I have just about ripped off all of it. All it really did was scrape all the time anyway.


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Toyota matrix XRS
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By codywindham
on

Vehicle

2003 Toyota Matrix XRS Fwd 4dr Wagon (1.8L 4cyl 4A)


Review

I am 16 years old and bought this as my first car. It has 241000 miles on it but it still runs like its new. It has great pickup and great handling and is really fun to drive. It gets decent gas mileage. The only thing I had to do was change the hoses but that is normal with cars with a lot of miles. I highly recommend this car.


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Just a great value vehicle
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By bzzd
on

Vehicle

2003 Toyota Matrix Fwd 4dr Wagon (1.8L 4cyl 5M)


Review

We bought our 2003 Matrix used in 2005. It had just over 20K km on the clock. It now has 260K. It has really been trouble free motoring - replaced 2 wheel bearings otherwise only routine maintenance. It has maintained a very adequate fuel economy. We love this vehicle so much that we are buying a 2013 model with as close as possible the features of our present one. Everything still works fine.


Favorite Features

Spaciousness and comfort. Exterior finish is as good as new even though we live in a very harsh climate.


Suggested Improvements

The instrument dial is hard to read in bright sunlight. Blindspot when reversing. Plastic finish in luggage compartment has proved to be brittle in extreme cold.


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Versatile sporty car 2003 XRS 2wd
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By matthewinaz
on

Vehicle

2003 Toyota Matrix XRS Fwd 4dr Wagon (1.8L 4cyl 4A)


Review

I purchased used from a friend with 90k miles and now has 160k miles and not one problem with it. There is so much room in this car. When it was 150K miles I did preventative maintance on it myself(saves money). Front struts, radiator hoses, spark plugs, all fluids, serpintine belt and tentioner


Favorite Features

My favorite future is the high roof line. Put it next to a camary or accord and the roof is higher. My XRS model is very fast with a red line of 9k with a strong power band. I don't ride it fast at all. Car is very reliable and never has broken down. If anyone is looking for an economical car that will last without problems this is it. I average 28mpg only because it's the sport engine. I did own a 2005 with the base motor and that got 33mpg with the A/C on or off. I can't say how much this car is perfect.


Suggested Improvements

Seat isn't that comfortable. I have no gripes with this car.


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Excellent buy, fine build from Toyota
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By crpbdb
on

Vehicle

2003 Toyota Matrix XR Fwd 4dr Wagon (1.8L 4cyl 5M)


Review

Purchased at 90K, have put about 6k on it since, including several long drive up I-5. Fuel economy is wonderful, I average more like 30 on the street and 32-35 highway. Of course the interior is a little cheap, but its a Toyota, not a Lexus. The clutch is smooth and so is the transmission, no bearing failures here, despite an abusive previous owner. I have had an issue with the driver side window falling down into the channel: a piece of the window sealing rubber had been pinched inside the channel. Toyota replaced it no problems. The storage capacity is where its at; it is a Camry chassis with 3-4x the amount of storage space. Has been a very reliable and economical ride for myself


Favorite Features

Fun car to drive! It doesn't have a lot of oomph during mountain driving, but certainly does the job and great on the street. Easy to park, and handles well. I think the fuel mileage is the real kicker. Im getting better mileage than most cars in its class, no problems.


Suggested Improvements

The interior can get beat up if you abuse it! I've replaced the stereo, and my power window button covers are fairly loose, but Toyota really can't be blamed for this. This is an economy car, if you abuse it and beat up on fragile interior areas they will break.


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Advice
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By ready
on

Vehicle

2003 Toyota Matrix XR AWD 4dr Wagon (1.8L 4cyl 4A)


Review

I am currently dealing with nightmare of the 2003 AWD Matrix. I do have a warranty. I am looking in to my rights under the lemon law. It seems to me that these cars are coming up with the same transmission problems and the transmission is different in the AWD then from other Matrix's that the trans is Faulty. And Toyota should be responsible. If anyone feels the same way or has any advice for me post on this forum ill be looking out. Thank you


Favorite Features

It does haul things really well.


Suggested Improvements

Do not buy a 2003 AWD!


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No problems yet
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Scott
on

Vehicle

2003 Toyota Matrix XRS Fwd 4dr Wagon (1.8L 4cyl 6M)


Review

I bought my car with 85,000 miles on it from the dealership almost 3 years ago. It now has 116,000-17,000 miles on it and i haven't had any issues yet. I keep up with all maintenance. She has never let me down yet, and I have a lot of future plans for her.


Favorite Features

Overall I like just about everything about the car, it is comfortable, drives smoothly. I really like the 8200 rpm limit and the cam change over.


Suggested Improvements

Improve lower end power/ torque (takeoffs) and smoothen out the shifts. It doesn't slip into gear nice and easily, you have to put a little muscle into it.


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Not your parents Toyota
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Last Toyota
on

Vehicle

2003 Toyota Matrix Fwd 4dr Wagon (1.8L 4cyl 5M)


Review

This was our first new car purchase, and given our extensive Toyota experience (5 previous used Toyotas), we were expecting much. The flexibility of a 64/40 fold-flat rear seat with solid plastic cargo liner was outstanding. So too was the fold-forward passenger seats, which extend the size of possible cargo to 8' in length! Unfortunately the other aspects of the car weren't panning out so well. To summarize, performance, economy, fit-and-finish, trouble free driving, and fun to drive quotients were just not living up to the claims. After repeated problems with MAP sensors and various parts breaking repeatedly, if fell out of love. Now 7 years old, I've seen enough of my last Toyota.


Favorite Features

Cargo configuration and interior room are excellent. The split rear folds flat and has included cargo tie-down points. This car can move an incredible amount of stuff.


Suggested Improvements

Poor build quality: Exterior door handles break off regularly (common problem, try a web search). 3 MAP sensors replaced under warranty. Cheap interior trim, painted parts scratch easily, other parts fall off. Stereo died at 3 years. Anemic acceleration with 30% less mileage than claimed.


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fun and practical
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By AJ
on

Vehicle

2003 Toyota Matrix XR Fwd 4dr Wagon (1.8L 4cyl 5M)


Review

Ive had this car for two years now. im pushing 100,000 miles. my dad bought this car and then i bought it from him. we have never had a single mechanical failure. this car has been in 8 accidents and will refuse to be totaled. the best part is the fuel economy mixed with the fun to drive factor. its low to the ground with stiff independent front and rear suspension. its almost too low though. ive scraped on anything from parking blocks to speed bumps. Very fun to drive and very upgradable. it only has 13hp stock but with a little tuning and performance parts it is now pushing an easy 200hp. not good pickup at low end but it makes up for it on the top of the rpm. perfect for a first car


Favorite Features

fun to drive, smooth shifting, cargo space with seats down, very good travel car, nice 17" alloys, gas mileage (29city, 36 hwy), good looking car too


Suggested Improvements

absolutely horrible in the snow, a little too low to the ground, shifter is in a weird spot but got used to it after a while, noisy in cabin, lacks some low end power, leather option would be nice


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