2004 Toyota Matrix Wagon Fwd 4dr Wagon (1.8L 4cyl 4A)
I bought my Matrix used in '08 with 52k. It's currently at 103k and I still haven't had any problems with it, aside from regular maintenance (oil/filter changes, replaced tires/brake pads). It's my first car and I've really enjoyed its mix of practicality, fuel economy, and relative sportiness. That's sportiness relative to a camry or corolla; it's relatively fun to drive around town, but the fun is limited beyond that. I'm a college student, so the flexible cargo area is great for the frequent moves, group trips to the grocery store, and weekend getaways. As far as style, the asymmetrical dash is cool and the exterior is sporty enough (the solar yellow paint helps). It's been a great car.
-30 mpg (avg.)
-Flexible cargo area, with fold flat seats
-The solar yellow paint
-Road noise could be better (by which I obviously mean quieter)
-Power is good in town and adequate on the highway, but not much better than that.
-Handling and ride quality are adequate, but could be improved.
-More standard features. Specifically, rear wipers and automatic side-mirrors, telescoping steering wheel, and more options for driver seat-adjustment. Leather heated seats would be a nice option, too.
My goal is to make it past 300000 miles on this car. I bought it with 144k, and was told by the owner that he had the transmission rebuilt at 100k by Aamco (though they sometimes may stretch the truth with a vehicle's true repair needs). They said the Main drive bearing went out. I put in a new Catalytic converter around 145k, and i've been golden since then until now. It's time for more work on the tranny, but some are telling me its the clutch throw-out bearing (release bearing) and some tell me it's the same issue that this car had at 100k. Regardless, I have loved the car and wouldn't hesitate on getting another. As for now, I'll fix it and go another 100k, Lord willing!
all the Space in the car, my Thule roof rack, 33mpg hwy (29+mpg avg), 208k miles and the engine runs great and the body is still pretty sound!
Fix the Transmission!
People buy Manual Transmissions because they last longer, yet this one doesn't seem to!
I have owned the car and it was a great fun car could ignore the minor problems such as a defective battery in the first week and minor fit and finish problems. After 3 years and 37k my clutch went and looking on the internet I found out that 03 and 04 Matrix have hundreds of reported problems with early failure of transmissions.BTW,many of those posts are on the Edmunds forums Toyota has refused to acknowledge there is a problem Now at 79K I find the clutch and transmission is going All my previous standards have gone over 100k
bought after reviewing all the amazing reliability reports and excellent gas mileage and have not been disappointed. ZERO issues! only changed the oil, flushed other fluids after 4 years and 140,000 miles. You will not find a better value around and quality to go 300,000+ miles
RELIABLE!!! 35 mpg!!! lots of versatile storage space with the 5 door body.
maybe an independent rear suspension for better ride and handling but that is about it
2004 Toyota Matrix Wagon AWD 4dr Wagon (1.8L 4cyl 4A)
The exterior is great, sporty, yet classy (best looking economy hatchback) - that's something many modern models can't get right (even the new matrix). The interior is roomy and tasteful, the only problem is the low quality storage compartment under the shifter, it kept falling out. Auto on/off headlights are a must. Seats could be more comfortable ('01 elantra was very good). This car does not accelerate very fast and has a noisy ride. AWD shines on the snow. If you go over 75 mph, the car starts vibrating and otherwise complaining about the speed (although once you push it over 80 it can be smooth). Handling is fine, suspension too soft for sharp turns. High winds push it around at 75+
auto on/off headlights, folding back seats, gauge cluster
more comfortable seats, replace the storage compartment under the shifter