2003 Toyota Matrix User Reviews

User Reviews

Displaying 1 - 10 of 29 2003 Toyota Matrix reviews.

Brad writes:
2003 Toyota Matrix 4 Dr XR Wagon Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:
4

Pros

Lots o' room
Fun to toss around
Fairly cool interior
Good gas mileage

Cons

No sports car
It's a hatch
Japanese paint
Plastic scratchable hatch area

35

Conveniently Fun Stuff Hauler — Had it since new, it's gotten me and my associated mass of stuff, military and personal, across Canada, and to 3 different homes. Plus the usual vacation spots with all the camping gear and room left over for friends. For it's rated 135HP, probably only puts that down now that I have a cold air intake and exhaust done, it's got some get up and go, but nothing truly exceptional. Still, the 5MT beats the slushbox anyday.

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Andrew writes:
2003 Toyota Matrix 4 Dr STD AWD Wagon Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:
4

Pros

Fun to drive in the snow (4WD)
Great cargo capacity

Cons

A little underpowered
Ties to GM
Weak in the Fuel Economy department for its size (but hey, it is 4WD, and cars are all about compromise)

45

An Underpowered Subaru Competitor — This car is by no means a bad car, but one of the few things that it has going for it is its 4WD. Most of its other features are pretty standard on a car of its class. Mine is the standard, watered-down breed, and it barely has central locking. I have crank windows as well. Power is decent, I have a feeling the 2WD would be a little bit quicker to accelerate, but this one has the 120-something horses to power four wheels with no option of a manual transmission to make that acceleration even feel any quicker. I also notice a pretty big drop in my miles-per-gallon when I let the revs get up to even 4000 on a regular basis. This car gets 22 on average, and I have been trying extra-hard lately to save gas with prices over $4 now. I have been able to manage 24.5 MPG in a suburban driving situation. I say suburban because most of my driving is a city setting, but it's no 'downtown.' I hit the freeway every now and then, but not as daily commute to work and back, like most who consider their miles 'highway' would. The car's mousy exterior foreshadows Toyota's latest trend of making their cars look like they belong in the Pok√©dex (Yes, we're looking at you, Toyota Yaris.) I can still see the angles from the Celica they were building at the same time, but the styling on this car has become much rounder. It looks youthful. That isn't exactly what this car should look like, in my opinion. I think this car needs an edgier outside to make up for what it lacks under the hood. But at least Toyota aren't trying to hide anything. The car has pretty good interior quality. I read in a review of the Toyota Corolla that the car has a historically 'awkward' seating position, and this Corolla variant is no different. I will be honest, the car feels like you are sitting up quite high for the size of the car. And the seat's limited adjustment is no help to this issue, either. I only have a recline and forward-backward adjust to change my seating position. I don't know what was a normal offering for drivers' seating when this car was new, but I assume most were offered with some kind of height adjustment in the seat. Oh well, what can you ask of a base-model car? I can't speak much to the electrics on the inside of the car because I have none. I do have central locking, but that's due to the dealer alarm that we had the dealer leave on the car when it was purchased. No power windows, just the cranks. I had a friend who had never seen this kind of window before he got in my car. I simply told him it was 'retro' and that he needed to get out more. The radio is a little bit disappointing. This car was a joint effort with General Motors (which spawned the Pontiac Vibe) and it shares a lot of parts. The radio head unit is clearly in GM font, and it is one of my more prominent complaints in the car. It's probably just my unit, but whenever I play a CD and hit the brakes, the CD's rotations cause it to scrape against the innards of the player, making an attractive noise for any passenger that I may have to hear. I usually just scold it and laugh it off, but on the inside I am writing a note to myself never to purchase a car that is the lovechild of a one-night-stand between an American and an Asian. America is not something I want near my Japanese cars in the future. It's a shame the new Vibe is still brothers with the new Matrix. I thought Toyota would learn from that one. I feel like this review has a negative feel about it. I'm not trying to do that, the car is a good one. and I'm not unhappy owning it. My biggest gripe is that mine's not a manual and the car does not even come in a manual transmission. For its price, it offers pretty good value I'd say. It's the only car I've ever personally owned, but I have been in similar cars that seem to give you better value for money. Overall, a good car, though.

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Oliver writes:
2003 Toyota Matrix 4 Dr XR Wagon Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:
3

Pros

low mainteneance

Cons

road noise

45

2003 Toyota Matrix Xr — It is a Toyots so that's a good thing, it is loud on the highway due to no insulation and some parts are real cheap and peeling chipping in the interior, the GM radio is horrible in the 2003 model but improved when they switched to a Toyota radio in newer models.

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Martin writes:
2003 Toyota Matrix 4 Dr XR AWD Wagon Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:
5

Pros

Lots in interior space, all wheel drive security, Toyota brand name and reliability

Cons

Not much horsepower, slow

40

2003 Toyota Matrix Xr Awd Review — Loved this car. A little bit on the slow side due to the weight from the All wheel drive system, an automatic gearbox, and lack of power. Was alot bigger inside that it seemed like from the outside. Another thing that didn't impress me that much was the gas mileage. I only managed to get about 23mpg. Otherwise, the car was pretty much perfect and flawless. I had no mechanical breakdowns or major problems with the car. I do want to add that I did modify the car. Modifications include: Hotchkis Lowering Springs, custom Celica shocks, Bomz Short Ram Air Intake, 6000k HIDs, Gutted Catalytic Converter, N1 Exhaust, JVC Headunit, 17in Reaction Orbits with Bridgestone Potenza G005 and other stuff. Totaling about $5,000 worth of modification and parts.

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Joey writes:
2003 Toyota Matrix 4 Dr XR Wagon Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:
4

Pros

mileage

Cons

not enough power

25

Good Companion Overall. — not enough power for real fun drive. should've gotten the xrs, 5 speed manual. the sound proof is not good enough for good quality audio at high speed. got good mileage 25-31, but should've gotten a Honda, just because.

Primary Use: Commuting to work

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squarenuts writes:
2003 Toyota Matrix 4 Dr STD Wagon Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:
4

Pros

Lots of MPG for a car of this size

Cons

Not a lot of options in the early years

squarenuts
55

Will Keep Until The Wheels Fall Off — Love this car, just wish it was not so loud in the car. With the back seats folded down there is lots of room to move just about anything. Plenty of room for the two dogs we have. Great MPS.

Primary Use: Family transportation

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Sean writes:
2003 Toyota Matrix 4 Dr STD Wagon Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:
4

Pros

Reliability, fold down passenger seat to fit long stuff,

Cons

Not a performance vehicle, doesn't feel very "solid"

355

Good Car, Lasted Me A Long Time 325k Mi, When Sold. — Fun little car. Utility and Toyota reliability. Parts were cheap. Easier to work on if you have small hands. Didn't have much for guts. Fit a nice JL sub with pioneer OEL head unit. Pretty nice acoustics without sound dampening. For utility and economy it was a great car.

Primary Use: Family transportation

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nizzyo writes:
2003 Toyota Matrix 4 Dr STD Wagon Review
Brakes:
Back Seats:
Cargo Capacity:
Daily Commute:
Family Car:
Fuel Economy:
Front Seats:
Handling:
Long Trips:
Maintenance Cost:
Price:
Power:
Reliability:
Ride Comfort:
Safety:
Snow/Ice:
Looks/Style:
Overall:
5

Pros

EXTREMELY reliable.
great on gas.
surprisingly great handling on ice and snow.

Cons

nothing i can think of.

nizzyo
35

Mines Got 300,000 Kms On It!!!!!! — i bought my 2003 toyota matrix off the showroom floor. its great. maintaning the car is too easy. the performance is soo good sometimes i think ive got corvette zr1 engine in it. ive got probably 5 speeding tickets now with my so called (family wagon) ive owned it since 2003 i am the only owner. the milage is at a mouth dropping 300,000km. amazingly i havent replaced much, nothing powertrain wise for sure. i just give it a oil change once in a while, tune it up, slap on some new brakes tires and windshield wipers and im ready to ride! for sure i would recommend this car to anyone and everyone. the other day i raced a nissan gtr r34 fully tuned and i was at most a cars length behind him. i use this car to drive to work and to go on trips with the family or just go out in the city, and at 300,000kms it still hasnt failed me.

Primary Use: Family transportation

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Billw1965 writes:
2003 Toyota Matrix 4 Dr XR Wagon Review
Brakes:
Back Seats:
Cargo Capacity:
Family Car:
Fuel Economy:
Front Seats:
Handling:
Interior Space:
Maintenance Cost:
Parking:
Price:
Power:
Reliability:
Looks/Style:
Overall:
5

Pros

Great mileage and versatility

Cons

No complaints

Billw1965
25

Excellent Commuter — Drives great and excellent designed interior. Fuel efficiency is a huge bonus with the manual transmission. Great handling and power for a 4 cylinder. Negative ground effects in front and rear gives poor clearance. I simply choose to take them off. All in all excellent vehicle!

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Jack writes:
2003 Toyota Matrix 4 Dr STD AWD Wagon Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:
5

Pros

handling, awd, head room, leg room, hidden compartments, safe, low mpg, good factory
sound

Cons

Acceleration

45

Sporty — Great buy , cheap on gas, zips anywhere, can go anywhere all the big SUVs go!

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Displaying 1 - 10 of 29 2003 Toyota Matrix reviews.

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Reviews From Other Years

2011 Toyota Matrix Reviews

Good Product By Annie

Engine way more powerful than the earlier model. Seat covering not meant for family. It get dirty easily. Fuel economy sensibly same as the 2005 model even with bigger engine. Don't like the sound ... Read More

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2010 Toyota Matrix Reviews

Leased For 3 Years, Now Have Owned For 2, And Can't Find Anything New I Like Better. By slyall

I really like this car, and wish Toyota hadn't given up on it. The new Corolla is nice, but with only one engine and no hatchback version, they are missing out on alot of buyers. A new version of th... Read More

A Practical Hatchback By Austin

The Matrix was a great vehicle for a college student. Moving from dorm to dorm, the hard plastic on the rear seatbacks made moving a breeze. Driving dynamics were well-controlled but lacking in exci... Read More

Read all 5 2010 Toyota Matrix reviews

2009 Toyota Matrix Reviews

A Great Dar That Toyota Shouldn't Have Discontinued. By ddfreed

If there had been a little more luxury standard options, it would have been better differentiated from the Yaris and would have been more like a mini Rav4 - which is what I bought it for. I like the c... Read More

Versatile Car For Everyday Driving By ophelious

The Toyota Matrix is a good car for everyday use. Personally, I like the latest (and last) generation for styling (09-up.) It's subjective, but for me the earlier ones aren't quite as sleek and look... Read More

Read all 15 2009 Toyota Matrix reviews

2008 Toyota Matrix Reviews

I Really Enjoy My Matrix By RobertOMalley

I enjoy my Matrix. This is my first car. I am upset that they have decided to discontinue the model. I believe they are making a mistake unless they replace it with something similar. We will see what... Read More

Fun Little Commuter Car By ChappyEight

Drove this car on a daily basis for close to 5 years. It was a wonderful handling car with plenty of room for the family but enough pep to keep me happy. Fuel mileage was about 29MPG overall, which ... Read More

Read all 10 2008 Toyota Matrix reviews

2007 Toyota Matrix Reviews

Very Good By Oregonian

Overalll the Matrix was a good car that served us well for the 7 years we owned it. We had no complaints about it except for road noise. It was easy to drive and park. The mileage was decent. It ... Read More

Versatility Wins On Performance By Denis

Got this car although it was not one of my top choices and I'm glad I got convinced! Best versatility and style in it's class in my opinion. Cheap'esk to drive but offers enough fun even for a Toyota.... Read More

Read all 8 2007 Toyota Matrix reviews

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