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2003 Toyota Matrix

Overall rating:  Product Rating: 4.5

Reviewed by 62 users

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Swing and a miss

by
Jun 3, 2009 (A Very Helpful review)

Author's Product Rating: 20 Recommended: No 

Pros: Economy and utility for a reasonable price
Cons: Underpowered, cheaply built, uncomfortable to drive, surprising mechanical defects
The Bottom Line: Avoid the 2003 model year, and be cautious about the Matrix in general.  Hopefully Toyota has worked out a lot of the bugs by now.

I purchased a used 2003 Toyota Matrix back in April of 2003 from a local Toyota dealer's used car lot.  At the time, it had roughly 11,000 miles on it.  The previous owner had (accidentally, I assume) left his insurance information in the glove ... read more

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More fun than a bag full of cats!

by
Mar 4, 2007 - Updated Mar 6, 2007 (A Very Helpful review)

Author's Product Rating: 40 Recommended: Yes 

Pros: Fuel efficient; great handling; decent stereo; good cargo space
Cons: Road noise; engine noise; wind noise; short on leg room, especially in the back seat
The Bottom Line: A great, affordable family vehicle that boasts good fuel economy and cargo space.

After several years of valued service, my 1998 Ford ZX2 bit the dust. Yes, it was a sad day indeed -- that car lasted for over 120,000 miles of hard driving and it had been paid off for over five years. Yes, the Escort was too small and had all the ... read more

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Still loving it after 2.5 years

by
Nov 8, 2005 - Updated Apr 19, 2007 (A Very Helpful review)

Author's Product Rating: 50 Recommended: Yes 

Pros: Reliable, utilitarian, great gas mileage, good design, easy-to-use features
Cons: Tiny engine (see "good gas mileage" above). Glove box too small. No place for purse.
The Bottom Line: After 4 years, I have no regrets. I loved it as a young couple with dogs, and I love it as a mom with two small children.

I knew I wanted a "compact wagon" when I went to look at the Matrix. I just hoped it was going to live up to the hype. I knew it was not a performance vehicle (as advertised) unless I upgraded to XRS, but I wanted an automatic this time. The gas mileage ... read more

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dream car giving me a pain in the neck

by
Sep 11, 2005 (A Very Helpful review)

Author's Product Rating: 40 Recommended: Yes 

Pros: appearance, easy driving, spaciousness, price, Toyota service and reliability
Cons: low quality unsupported cheap driver's seat, car feels heavy, bad gas economy, slow acceleration
The Bottom Line: Very modern looking car, appeals to 20-30ish crowd, feminine car with "no balls" which I don't mind, but guys probably will. Very uncomfortable driver's seat.

I am a 20-something year old female, and an owner of 2004 phantom grey Matrix. It is my first car, so when I was buying it, I did not know exactly what to look for in a car. Now I use my Matrix to commute to work 90km one way and then back home. I am a ... read more

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The most versatile vehicle ever?

by
Jul 12, 2005 (A Very Helpful review)

Author's Product Rating: 50 Recommended: Yes 

Pros: - Versatile - 180hp engine - Good gas mileage - Reliable
Cons: - Cheap GM designed interior
The Bottom Line: If you are looking for a versatile and sporty ride then the Toyota Matrix XRS might be for you.

When I was new car shopping I wanted something that I didn't believe existed. I needed a car that would comfortably fit my wife and two kids, needed to be sporty, and could haul stuff. I found all of my requirements in the 2003 Toyota Matrix XRS. I ... read more

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Fun and practical. Cargo, Cargo, Cargo.

by
Sep 23, 2004 (A Very Helpful review)

Author's Product Rating: 50 Recommended: Yes 

Pros: Cargo capacity, MPG, Low Insurance, Fun
Cons: Unattractive and hard to read dashboard
The Bottom Line: Thumbs up, great cargo, low cost, reliable. Same as Pontiac Vibe.

The Matrix is a small and versatile station wagon that handles well, holds lots of cargo, has great reliability, and has a low ownership cost (MPG, maintenance, insurance). I have 33,000 miles on my base model Matrix, this is what I have learned. ... read more

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It will grow on you.

by
Feb 16, 2004 - Updated Mar 25, 2004 (A Very Helpful review)

Author's Product Rating: 40 Recommended: Yes 

Pros: Flip up rear window. Flip down front seat. Cargo room. Easy on the fuel.
Cons: Cheap looking interior-Not VW quality.
The Bottom Line: If you want an SUV but can't afford it, this in the next best thing!

**MARCH 6 2004** Traded this Matrix in for a 04 MATRIX XR with the "B" package and opted for the FWD instead of AWD. Will do another write up in a year or so. Thanks. What's not to like? A crossover SUV that really does it all. Plenty of room for ... read more

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Good car but fit and finish needs help

by
Dec 20, 2003 (A Very Helpful review)

Author's Product Rating: 40 Recommended: Yes 

Pros: Toyota's known reputation for reliability, style, price, cargo space
Cons: fit and finish, although minor, not to Toyota's standard, ABS optional on some models
The Bottom Line: Although fit and finish problems are apparent it is minor when compared to the expected mechanical reliability that should come with any Toyota product. I'd buy Toyota again.

I recently sold my 17 year old Toyota Corolla and it was in mint condition. I still did not have any squeaks or rattles anywhere inside or outside on that vehicle. Needless to say I bought another Toyota product. The XR Matrix in June 2003 (2004 ... read more

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Good car overall, but plenty to improve.

by
Dec 18, 2003 - Updated Sep 8, 2005 (A Very Helpful review)

Author's Product Rating: 40 Recommended: Yes 

Pros: Cargo room, preppy engine, handling, gas mileage, dash design
Cons: Wind/road noise, sound system. Cheap plastics in trunk. driving position. No side support for seat.
The Bottom Line: Matrix Base is a great buy for reliability and performance. Lacking in luxury features. Matrix XR is overpriced.

UPDATE Aug 2005: The car is still running completely fine. No recalls, or any breakdowns. Just want to add the common problems I've encountered or heard from other people COMMON PROBLEMS: 1. Rubber trims around window gets deformed with use. It ... read more

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Toyota Matrix...A very versatile vehicle for a minimal cost.

by
Nov 7, 2003 (A Very Helpful review)

Author's Product Rating: 50 Recommended: Yes 

Pros: Low cost, great gas mileage, looks great inside and out, excellent handling
Cons: availability, engine power, can't get some options without purchasing entire package
The Bottom Line: The Matrix is excellent for anyone who needs a versatile vehicle. It can haul large items, seats 5 people comfortably, gets great gas mileage, and has low initial cost.

First of all, this is my first brand new car, and was well worth the wait. We got the 2003 Toyota Matrix base model with the extra mile package, power windows/locks, key less entry, and VIN etching. It comes stock with CD player. Features: CD playe ... read more

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Toyota does it again... but better!

by
Oct 24, 2003 (A Very Helpful review)

Author's Product Rating: 50 Recommended: Yes 

Pros: Really usable space. Great seating front and rear. Excellent ventilation front and rear windows.
Cons: A little weak in the acceleration... but acceptable for such great fuel mileage.
The Bottom Line: Buy it today. The best value vehicle in its class. A blast to drive.

Wow! I had my first experience with a Matrix a year ago when our friends bought one. They are very "green" and loved the ultra low emission certificate as well as Toyota's rep for reliability. I loved the way it looked and drove. This year we decided t ... read more

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I love the Matrix's versatility

by
Oct 4, 2003 (A Very Helpful review)

Author's Product Rating: 50 Recommended: Yes 

Pros: Cargo space, versatility, good drive
Cons: none that I have found so far
The Bottom Line: I highly recommend the Toyota Matrix because of it's many uses.

We bought our matrix about a year ago and my husband and I have been very happy with the purchase. I like the sporty look of it, both inside and out. Even the air vents are a cool round shape. But most of all, I like the versatility of it. The rea ... read more

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Went looking for a Sporty roomy winter car and we found it.

by
Sep 7, 2003 (A Very Helpful review)

Author's Product Rating: 50 Recommended: Yes 

Pros: Lots of space and backseat feels like a full size car. All Wheel Drive.
Cons: More Power, I wish the 180HP motor was an option with the AWD. 17" Wheels
The Bottom Line: Highly recommend. All wheel drive, Midsize car feel, SUV cargo space. Awesome Styling

Being 6'-7" tall and my wife a petite 5'-4" finding a car that fits both is a challenge. We don't have kids, but we do have big dogs. Are lifestyle is active and we always have had fun cars. Camaro's, mustangs, and covertibles. She has a VW ragtop tha ... read more

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Matrix Vs Protege 5

by
Aug 23, 2003 (A Very Helpful review)

Author's Product Rating: 50 Recommended: Yes 

Pros: Affordable price, Cargo Room, fuel economy,
Cons: Car insurance is expensive for XRS model
The Bottom Line: Don't get the XRS model. It's not worth the price.

Last week when I was the the Toyota dealer, this car caught my sight. It is the 2003 Matrix with fu ... read more

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Neo Save Us From The Matrix!!! Buy a 2004 SCION XB.

by
Aug 14, 2003 (A Very Helpful review)

Author's Product Rating: 40 Recommended: Yes 

Pros: Body Design, Dash Profile, Seat Height, Back seat space
Cons: Lots and Lots of Noise! Driver leg room.
The Bottom Line: It's Loud! Other than that it's an excellent value for the quality and build.

I test drove a Matrix 6sp manual stick shift 2003 with 180 HP engine. This was my second trip to my ... read more

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crossover utility vehicle, or suped up station wagon?

by
Jul 24, 2003 (A Very Helpful review)

Author's Product Rating: 50 Recommended: Yes 

Pros: Toyota (reliable brand of cars) Stylish and modern looking Fast Acceleration Quick Braking
Cons: Gas mileage Low body
The Bottom Line: It's a great car. Runs good, great handling,and safe. And it's a Toyota, a great brand of car. It will give you many years of enjoyment.

I just bought my brand new 2003 Toyota Matrix XR (Black). Well I just bought it last month, an ... read more

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GET ONE IF YOU CAN!

by
Jul 23, 2003 (A Helpful review)

Author's Product Rating: 50 Recommended: Yes 

Pros: sporty, loads of room- enough for 2 kids, huge trunk, great toyota name
Cons: chrome-it can rub off, no pouch for magazines, games,- behind passenger seat
The Bottom Line: If you dont have a bunch to spend and want long term reliability- you have to give the matrix a try!

We traded in our chevy venture van in for the 2003 Matrix XR/sports package, color black.. We love ... read more

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A complete review from experience

by
Jul 7, 2003 (A Very Helpful review)

Author's Product Rating: 50 Recommended: Yes 

Pros: Excellent Quality Construction Very stylish look Roomy Fun to drive
Cons: Odometer only visible to driver Engine may seem noisy to some people
The Bottom Line: I would definitely recommend the Toyota Matrix. The car has great utility, quality, and is fun to drive. This car is excellent for those who do frequent commuting or traveling.

Introduction: I have owned the Toyota Matrix 2003 XR for about 4-5 months now and I am completely s ... read more

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Versatile - A small SUV in a sporty car body

by
Jun 12, 2003 (A Very Helpful review)

Author's Product Rating: 50 Recommended: Yes 

Pros: Versatility, Sporty Handling, Fun
Cons: Poor Rear Views
The Bottom Line: It's not perfect but I'd definitely recommend the Toyota Matrix to anybody looking for a practical vehicle with the flexibility to transport larger cargo whenever necessary. It's a smart choice.

First and foremost, this car is Versatile! It is flexible and gives you room when you need i ... read more

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You've got to get one of these

by
May 23, 2003 (A Helpful review)

Author's Product Rating: 40 Recommended: Yes 

Pros: Coolest thing on the road inside & out. Functional & versatile interior. MPG.
Cons: Driver's seat pins in my legs(6' tall man)Road noise. Faulty cd player
The Bottom Line: This is a great all-around car. I don't care for long distance in it, but love it everywhere else.

While there have been some shortcomings, they all fit in the "CONS" section of the review. I was disappointed in the dealership having to replace the CD player in the first couple of months, but I got over it. It's hard to beat the ... read more

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