2003 Toyota Matrix Consumer Review: Hit the jackpot

2003 Toyota Matrix - Consumer Review

Average Consumer Rating

324 Total Reviews

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

6 of 6 people found this review helpful
Hit the jackpot
By opinroad84 on


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


Dec '16. Still running smooth and no issues. Only want to detail the MPG better. Summer 28 city/30-35 highway (loaded), 35-40 highway (one driver/and bag). Winter 25 city/32-40 highway. Admittedly I probably waste gas in winter by warming the car up and defrosting.

June 2016 update:
My Matrix is nearly 14 years old now and shows no signs of rust. In fact, the headlights have just started to fog over a bit. Admittedly, it is parked in a covered garage during weekdays, but the rest of the time it is in the elements in SE Pennsylvania. The factory CD player bit the dust after 14 years and I replaced it with a Bluetooth capable head unit. Still, if you look to buy a used Matrix, do not expect Nav, or bluetooth. There is no touchscreen unless it's an aftermarket unit. There is a lot of road noise at highway speeds too. But, it has yet to require any major repair. Still purrs like a kitten and the 5 spd manual has been bullet proof. I've thought about replacing it for something a bit more comfortable, but with this kind of reliability, fuel mileage and versatility, I simply can't justify the expense. At this rate, I'll be driving it for another 14 years.

I bought my Matrix, new, in Sept '02 and since then have only put 52K on it.
I have done all of the routine maintenance and have only ever had to replace the serpentine belt a few times and one brake light bulb.
This car has been more reliable than I ever could have hoped for.
Plus, it has great cargo capacity.
I can load it with dozens of bags of mulch, or a week's worth of camping gear.
Even my 29 inch mountain bike fits in the back with the seats down (with the front wheel still on!)
I will admit, on long drives the seating position can become annoying, but bring a small pillow or something and you can go for hours, plus, you won't need to stop for gas often!
Avg MPG, 30 in summer, 26 in winter.

Best Features

  • Instrumentation
  • Quality of materials
  • Cargo storage
  • Logic of controls
  • Outward visibility
  • Rain snow traction
  • Headlights
  • Climate control
  • Purchase cost
  • Maintenance cost

Worst Features

Recommend (6) (0)

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