This is the first Toyota I've ever owned. My husband and I bought this car because we wanted a small, fuel-efficient car to get us around town with the capability of expanding cargo space when needed. Unfortunately, I have been sorely disappointed in some of the features of the car. Within the last two years, both rear door handles have completely broken. The replacement cost for each door handle is $200. The rigid metallic coating of the interior door handles has loosened and actually cut my fingers. Various other compartments (while clever and convenient) have broken or become loose. The bumper pops loose easily and can drag.
The flexibility of cargo space. When the back seats and front passenger seat are folded flat, it has the convenience of a pick-up.
luggage rack, improved quality of materials, better ground clearance
The most elegant looking, economical spacious like a van and the best value for money. Compare the looks with a 40K Lexus RX 330 and compare the storage space after folding seats with an Odyssey. (I own that one too!) My biggest pleasant surprise after 5 yrs of use and fully paid auto loan I have an asset with book value of 11K !!
Good young looks, fuel economy.
They should introduce a 6 cylinder engines in this model and navigation with rear camera monitor.
2004 Toyota Matrix Wagon Fwd 4dr Wagon (1.8L 4cyl 5M)
My 2004 Matrix is only the second car I've owned in 20 years (my 1994 Audi finally died). I was reluctant to "trade down" to a Toyota, but I now have no regrets. This roomy, versatile vehicle is the same size as my little Audi (I measured!), and has a smaller turning radius, too. I have a 5-speed manual transmission that is smooth and fun to use. Driver visibility is fine all around, CD/radio sound system is quite good unless you're traveling at more than 50 MPH, when road noise competes. Cargo/passenger/folding seat options are terrific. Driver seat is very comfortable, even on 4-hour highway trips (can't say the same for the Audi!)I'm averaging 30 mpg on regular fuel.
Body styling, driver visibility, great fuel economy, comfortable seat, peppy little engine/transmission, excellent brakes, versatile interior configuration options for passengers/cargo, outlets to plug in electronic toys, roomy glove box and other little hiding places to stash stuff.
Road noise at higher speeds begs sound insulation in the side doors, which seem flimsy. Starting on wet road surface with manual/clutch transmission is sometimes a wheel- spinning, failure-to-grip-the-road experience.
Electric windows rattle, grind and pop. Dealer could not address problem. Eventually a window fell out. Engine surges while stopped at light or in traffic. Dealer could not address problem. The door handles have a "metallic" finish that peels away. Occupants have cut their fingers on the edge of metal/plastic that was coming away. Eventually got worse to where you could see the white plastic handle underneath so I peeled away the remaining sharp edges and caution occupants. Dealer offered to repair at my expense. Contacted the Toyota Customer Service Experience Center and was referred back to a dealer.
Economy and space.
Sadly, Toyota quality and service is not what it once was. There is room for improvement.
Bought Matrix new. Have 21,000 mi on car today. Mostly city driving with occasional road trip. Beginning to see minor degradation on interior moving parts - the "cheap" is revealing itself. Out-of-control acceleration happened to me 2 times. The accelerator just slams to the floorboard and won't let up. The first time in 70+ mph traffic - the second time 45+ traffic. Terrified me. Panic! Had to yank emergency handle and turn car off. It is a real experience and the dealer can't explain. I think it's a defective chip in the master brain of some cars.
Great 6 CD player. Fun to drive for a grocery cart.
Windshield reflects dash. Weak A/C for size of interior. Loud road noise. Needs stock spoiler on rear for stability on highway/high wind. Lacks body integrity - cheap plastic parts.