I've now had my Toyota Matrix for 12+ years, after buying it brand new back in the summer of 2005, and it has ended up being one of the best cars I've had yet. It has been very reliable overall, with the usual periodic maintenance you might expect. I've been regular and consistent with changing the oil and fluids approx. every 5,000 miles and I'm sure that has helped. This car has also been very fuel efficient for both highway and city driving. I could often get 300+ miles on a full tank. My only complaint with this car is that it doesn't always have a lot of power or acceleration, but that's the obvious trade off for this type of car. You're not buying a car like this to win any street races. I think the best feature is the amount of cargo space. If you fold down the back seats and the front passenger seat, you can fit an incredible amount of stuff in here. This makes it an ideal car for long road trips or even on moving day. The Toyota Matrix is a solid, dependable, versatile and economical car that, if you take care of it, will serve you well for many years.
I have been a big fan of this car since I bought it new seven years ago. I bought the 5-speed manual base line model. And for the first 100K, the only thing I had to replace were the usual things - tires, battery, brake pads, clutch (in that order). In fact, the clutch didn't start to go until I cleared 110K, and I do a lot of city driving.
In the last six months, the car has just started falling apart. First the clutch, then the parking brake (twice), the struts, the suspension system, the air conditioner is leaking... I've put more money into this car in the last three months than I did the whole rest of the time I've owned it.
Good gas mileage, higher seats than most cars of this class, decent backseat size, incredible cargo capacity, and just awfully dang cute.
I would have put in a better sound system (the factory one is cheap), set the clutch lower (a mechanic can do this for you) and what is up with the hubcap locks?
I lost a hubcap every time I hit a pot hole for the first year, at which point I chucked them all and replaced them with Camry ones.
Also, the ride was never exceptional, although I never considered it a major issue.
2005 Toyota Matrix XR Fwd 4dr Wagon (1.8L 4cyl 5M)
Toyota 5 speed matrix owner--- this car is a great care and i will miss her.This toyota is going on her second transmission at 160k, one trans came with the car the second one came from toyata parts dept new. Toyota says no know problems with 5/speed they must not look online,or why do they stock so many in the wharehouse if there is no problem. I can see clutch problems from many driving styles but the trans imploding and the clutch and p plate and throwout bearing are still fine. Toyota you are on your way to being GM---we do not know anything about your problem. The matrix is a great car buy the automatic-- Toyata will not stand behind the 5/speed Car will go 300k or 3 5/speeds why
Great car-- everything
Build a 5 speed that will not blow-up
Stand behind your product
I bought my 2005 Matrix new and have been pretty satisfied with it. It's comfortable (even for passengers), spacious, reliable, and quite peppy. This car is not 4-wheel drive but it easily climbs dirt roads in the mountains. Probably the only fault with it is it doesn't handle inclement weather well at all (I live in the mountains so this posed a serious problem with the snow). I eventually had to put some sandbags down on the passenger foot areas to provide additional weight. Since my usual passengers are 3 dogs, this hasn't encumbered them but, for older children or adults sitting in the back, this would most likely be quite uncomfortable.