2003 Toyota Matrix Consumer Review: Great car except for the trans

2003 Toyota Matrix - Consumer Review

Average Consumer Rating

325 Total Reviews

XR Wagon (1.8L 4-cyl. 5-speed Manual)

Build Quality
Reliability Value
Great car except for the transmission :(
By tuxristo on


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


I have found it to have just enough power, just enough size. I can fit anything in it. It's very comfortable on long trips. The manual transmission makes it nice to drive, since the engine is a bit small, but the great gas mileage more than makes up for it. But I don't trust it. Since the transmission failed at 108,000km with no explanation from Toyota, I am always worried that it will fail again, or that some other bearings will fail and leave me stranded, so for the last six months it's been stressful to take this car on a longer trip. There's nothing worse than not "trusting" your car! All in all, I love my Matrix, but I don't trust it.

Best Features

Nice interior design. Rear hatch window opens separately. Nice and bright headlights. Decent GM stereo. Awesome on gas. All seats fold down with hard plastic on back.

Worst Features

Too much plastic inside. Interior trim paint chips easily. Could use a little more horsepower. The look of the car from the rear, especially without the skirt is a little boring. It seems like the transmission was changed for the 2004, otherwise I'd suggest that as an improvement ;)
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