2003 Toyota Matrix
1-10 of 23 reviews
Test drive review

A very reliable car for its cost

by from Silver Spring, MD on September 6, 2017

I will start out by saying that I absolutely loved my Toyota Matrix. I bought it after my Chevy cavalier decided to kick the bucket. I spent about 7K on it, but it was, in my opinion, a solid investme...
I will start out by saying that I absolutely loved my Toyota Matrix. I bought it after my Chevy cavalier decided to kick the bucket. I spent about 7K on it, but it was, in my opinion, a solid investment. The car lasted me about 6 years, and it drove up to 176,000 miles until the transmission died. I am a small person, reaching only 4ft. 11inch. in height, so being able to feel comfortable and see over the steering wheel was essential. My matrix was perfect in that respect. The cabin of the car was laid out so that everything I needed was in reaching distance. The bucket seats in the back and front were roomy enough for my taller friends and family, but also comfortable enough for long trips. The material of the seats wore well, and cleaning them was no hassle. Driving the vehicle was easy. I live and commute in a metropolitan area, so aggressive driving is the norm. The car handle well in bumper to bumper traffic, and was able to make u-turns with ease. I did have an issue with speeding up to merge, but with a 4-cylinder vehicle that's always a problem. My matrix was an AWD vehicle, so driving it in the ice and snow was a breeze. This feature really helped me out during a couple snow storms this past year, since I am required to commute to work even in bad weather. The exterior color of my vehicle was silver. This color wore well over the years, especially during some very strong storms where tree branches and debris nicked my car. The scratches and dents were only visible if you looked for them, so my car maintained it's aesthetic even after 6 years. Most of my friends and family could not believe it was a 2003 model and not something newer. My overall experience with this vehicle was great, with some exceptions like not being able to speed up on the highway when needed. I am going to miss my matrix, but I hope this review helps others who are looking!
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Value for the Money
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Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

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Test drive review

Most reliable car I've ever owned

by from Santa Rosa, ca on July 26, 2017

Great on gas, Drove this car everywhere! Put almost 300,000 on it before it got totaled in an accident. Safe, fun car to drive. Seats fold down for extra cargo space, I even hauled lumber in it! Great...
Great on gas, Drove this car everywhere! Put almost 300,000 on it before it got totaled in an accident. Safe, fun car to drive. Seats fold down for extra cargo space, I even hauled lumber in it! Great turning radius, ah I miss this one....been to vegas, Tahoe, loves to travel
Comfort
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Performance
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Transportingfamily

Does recommend this car!!

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Test drive review

My baby!

by from University Heights, OH on July 8, 2017

I bought my Matrix in September of 2002. It was a brand new Toyota Model and I had my heart set on it. It was over my budget but I figured I'd be driving this car for ten years so I went with my hear...
I bought my Matrix in September of 2002. It was a brand new Toyota Model and I had my heart set on it. It was over my budget but I figured I'd be driving this car for ten years so I went with my heart. Loved every minute of the 15 years I had. It needed minimal repairs and served me well. Great gas mileage too. The only fault with it was the exterior flashy bumpers broke easily, I juts took them off, and it handled poor in the snow. Other than that, it was perfect. And zi admit I shed a tear when I traded it in for a new car.
Comfort
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Performance
Reliability

Purchased a new car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

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Test drive review

My Favorite Car!

by from ME on May 15, 2017

My 2003 XRS has been a Godsend!!! At over 200,000 miles she still runs strong. Just recently I replaced the clutch, while with prompt oil changes, the little girl has been reliable, faithful, and ea...
My 2003 XRS has been a Godsend!!! At over 200,000 miles she still runs strong. Just recently I replaced the clutch, while with prompt oil changes, the little girl has been reliable, faithful, and easy to drive. A single comfort failure ( bucket seats common to most small cars) has been my biggest beef, as it added to my back problems during the 80 mile daily commute over 8 years. We are now both old ladies, and since I live near the ocean she has developed rust in the undercarriage. Now retired I drive her less, and I hope we both continue forever!
Comfort
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
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Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

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Test drive review

Best Used Car I Ever - Toyota at its Best

by from Des Moines, Iowa on April 28, 2017

I have had this car for 3 years and it has never given me issues. I was able to afford a newer car and do not need this one. It still runs great (great on gas) and has the advantage of being a car, sm...
I have had this car for 3 years and it has never given me issues. I was able to afford a newer car and do not need this one. It still runs great (great on gas) and has the advantage of being a car, small van, and truck all in one.
Comfort
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Performance
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Transporting family

Does recommend this car!!

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Test drive review

270,000 miles!

by from Boston, MA on March 8, 2015

I just wanted to share with everyone that my 2003 Toyota Matrix XR is still running at almost 270,000 miles! It has been just a wonderful car and I will be driving it down to the dealership next week ...
I just wanted to share with everyone that my 2003 Toyota Matrix XR is still running at almost 270,000 miles! It has been just a wonderful car and I will be driving it down to the dealership next week as I am trading it in for an 2007 Toyota Matrix, since I was so happy with my '03. I just know now that they last forever!! I also knew it was time, because currently, the windshield washer pump is not working (this is bad to be living in Boston with all the snow), the A/C broke years ago, (but I could deal and I was too cheap to fix it), the front body was being held up by duct tape after I hit a raccoon that ran across the highway (so sad), and I have a severe oil leak that just wasn't worth fixing. I also had to get a new catalytic converter at about 250,000 miles. BUT I really did get my money's worth in the end. It was my first car ever, as I got it used when I was 15. Now I am 26. Never had an accident with another car, and I was always good at getting oil changes and keeping up with the maintenance (more now so then when I was a teen), but I will be sad to say goodbye to this great car and happy to be getting another one. OH YEAH, and the best part about it is the room. In college, I used that one car to move my whole dorm room to home and back between summer breaks plenty of times, and now I use it to carry around my band's instruments. It is amazing how much you can fit. Hope this helps some people!
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Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
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Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car!!

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Test drive review

Awesome!

by from on September 9, 2014

The 2003-2007 Toyota Corolla Matrix is an awesome car (On the XR or XRS Trim Models).The car is reliable,quality, and spacious.We had a 2003 Toyota Matrix with the XR trim level.The XR trim level has ...
The 2003-2007 Toyota Corolla Matrix is an awesome car (On the XR or XRS Trim Models).The car is reliable,quality, and spacious.We had a 2003 Toyota Matrix with the XR trim level.The XR trim level has features like 16 in. Alloy Wheels,Fog Lights,Sunroof,Power Door Locks & Windows,color keyed door handles + mirrors and much more! The only thing that sucks about this car is the interior.There is a lot of hard plastic.Those materials remind you that you are in a less expensive car.Overall,I recommend the 2003-2007 Toyota Corolla Matrix XR or XRS trims to anyone.
Comfort
Exterior Styling
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Value for the Money
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Reliability

Purchased a used car

Does recommend this car!!

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Test drive review

manual transmission failure

by from Star, Idaho on April 21, 2014

I had the XR FWD with 5 speed manual. Very slow, but very fun to drive. With sticky tires it handled very well. The engine sounded like it had a bad bearing right from when it was brand new. At just o...
I had the XR FWD with 5 speed manual. Very slow, but very fun to drive. With sticky tires it handled very well. The engine sounded like it had a bad bearing right from when it was brand new. At just over 70,000 miles, the transmission failed catastrophically. The dealer wouldn't help because it was out of warranty. I searched online and discovered I was not alone with an early transmission failure. The dealer confirmed it was the input shaft bearing failure that seemed rather common, but not recognized by Toyota. I was told a new transmission would be $3500 and would likely suffer the same failure.
Comfort
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Interior Design
Value for the Money
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Reliability

Purchased a new car

Uses car for Commuting

Does not recommend this car

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Test drive review

Can't find anything to replace it

by from NW IN on January 7, 2014

Best car I've ever owned. Bought it new in 2003. Had auto vent shades put on right away. Bought new headlights last year since old ones finally were so "aged" it cut my visibility. Car always had awes...
Best car I've ever owned. Bought it new in 2003. Had auto vent shades put on right away. Bought new headlights last year since old ones finally were so "aged" it cut my visibility. Car always had awesome headlights. Great gas mileage. Love the in dash inverter. With over 225,000 miles I thought I might go look for a new car with more luxury. Can't find anything to replace it. Hybrids can't tow because you can't put a hitch where the battery is located. Only 2 things I don't like about the car and never did like---not enough ground clearance (snow in NW IN) and the dash bleeds out (hard to read). All other features are pluses. Love the Moon roof, seating position, controls are sensible and easy to reach. Rear window in the hatch opens which is handy in hauling long 2 x 4's, etc. This car has the best combination of features of any car I've ever driven. Every now and then I go out to look to replace it---can't find anything that would be worth spending for a new car. She still runs great and looks great.
Comfort
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Performance
Reliability

Purchased a new car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

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Test drive review

in love with this car!!!!!!!!

by from Portland Maine on January 3, 2014

Hand down best car ever! Brand new in 03 never given me one problem ever!!!!! I recommended this car to anyone with kids! Ive never been so happy with safety in any car but this one!
Hand down best car ever! Brand new in 03 never given me one problem ever!!!!! I recommended this car to anyone with kids! Ive never been so happy with safety in any car but this one!
Comfort
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Performance
Reliability

Purchased a new car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car!!

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful. Did you?
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Our Expert Review: 2003 Toyota Matrix