2003 Toyota Matrix Consumer Review: Missed the target, Toyota.

2003 Toyota Matrix - Consumer Review

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323 Total Reviews

XR Wagon (1.8L 4-cyl. AWD 4-speed Automatic)

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Missed the target, Toyota.
By eric on


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


The Matrix and its sister car, the Pontiac Vibe, are based on the Corolla platform. I'll just summarize by saying that this car, in all trims but the XRS, is tragically underpowered, particularly with the automatic, which is the only transmission available with AWD versions. It's very Japanese. Noise, firm seats, terrible steering wheel angle, and abusive ride are the most noticeable detractions from what could have been a nice car. On the positive side, it fits lots of stuff inside, and sees tolerable fuel numbers. Keep in mind, folks, reliability is a part of quality of life. Consider comfort and usability when considering your next vehicle. Or maybe I'm just getting old.

Best Features

110v AC outlet in-dash. Eliminates the need for bringing along an inverter. Downside, it's only two-prong. Otherwise, it's very usable.

Worst Features

The XRS makes lots more power, and for the tiny fuel economy difference, is worth the upgrade. AWD in the snow is a little squirrelly when the car is empty, and can be downright unruly when loaded with people and/or gear. Better proportioning would solve that. Steering needs more assist.
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