We bought or XRS new, fully loaded except for navigation. We have driven our car all over the east coast. It has never left us stranded. My wife usually drives it and baby's it. When I drive it, I drive it like I stole it. Besides replacing the a/c compressor and switch, the only thing we've had trouble with was cheap plastics and the clutch. Our 1st clutch went at 80k miles and is ready to go up again at 166k miles. Will invest in the heavy duty clutch this time. A small oil leak developed at 150k miles on the valve covers. We love our '04 matrix so much we are looking for another "03 to '05 before they're all gone and high mileage.
My wife loves the 6 speed manual tranny. The 6 cd changer stereo sound was nice but now needs speakers. The 110 volt receptacle was awesome for her laptop charging along the foldable front seat for college. The versatile seating arrangements have been awesome for Home Depot runs to throwing my bike in to family vacations up and down the east coast. Moon roof rocks too. Great handling with 17' rims, but the tires get pricey. My son is 13 and wants one for when he starts driving. It's been a great family car. Handled his car seat well. 32 miles per gallon rocket. Added a hitch which was bolt on because Toyota had welded bolts for a hitch already. Use it to move my jet boat around our yard.
Bring back the 6 speed 180hp 1.8 liter motor with a heavier clutch. They improved the front facia which was too low and often scraped up in '05. There were some cheesy plastic parts inside such as panel covers. The liftgate cover eventually fell off. Road noise and a stiff ride was my only complaint. My wife loves the ride and said she loved the sporty stiffness and handling. To each his own. My Dodge Ram has half the mileage of our Matrix and has been in the shop twice if not three times as much.
I purchased this car new with the intent of keeping it a long time with Toyota's reputation. This is the 5th brand new car I have purchased and my first Toyota. It is also my last Toyota. I have never had more problems or put more money into maintaining a car than this one. I just traded this car in with only 83,000 miles on it because I did not want to sink any more repair money into it. Unusual problem areas: neck to gas tank was rusting and would not allow gas cap to seal so car will not pass state emission tests - cost of total repair was over a thousand. Transmission failures after 80k on Matrix (cost over 3k).
The Matrix is fun to drive and offers flexible storage with great gas mileage.
Improved quality! Not only is there poor quality but Toyota refuses to back anything up.
I love the XRS. I actually had a XR and it was a great car too, but I wanted something in a manual. This is a fast little car at approx. 4500 RPM. What is great you dont have to go that high and drive it economically. For a car that is fun, roomy, comfortable, decent MPG, and sporty. Look no further.
Engine, when the car reaches lift it makes some great engine tones. Ergonomic, economic, roomy.
Change the use of premium gas, beeping in reverse, power seats.
Peppy engine but very noisy, I have a 6 speed manual trans and it's very easy to shift. Radio rocks. Common complaint I read is road noise, that is true. Seats are comfortable. Views are good (rear window is small so that is limited) Only thing that needed to be fixed was serpentine belt had to be replaced & belt tensioner had to be replaced. Other than that the car is extremely reliable.
I love the 6-speed manual transmission & this engine. It's very responsive & has a lot of kick to it.
Insulation of some type to dampen the road noise & engine noise. Also factory tires are horrible in the snow. Car is all over the road.