2004 Toyota Matrix

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$14,670

starting MSRP

2004 Toyota Matrix

Key specs

Base trim shown

Overview

The good:

  • Interior space
  • Highway stability
  • Toyota's reputation for reliability
  • Frontal crash-test rating
  • Resale value

The bad:

  • Instrument readability
  • Engine and road noise
  • Performance of base engine with automatic

3 trims

Starting msrp listed lowest to highest price

Wondering which trim is right for you?

Our 2004 Toyota Matrix trim comparison will help you decide.

Notable features

  • FWD or AWD
  • Compact sporty wagon body style
  • High-performance XRS model with 180-hp engine
  • Manual or automatic
  • Versatile interior layout

2004 Toyota Matrix review: Our expert's take

Vehicle Overview
Toyota introduced its youth-focused Matrix as an early 2003 model. Described as a crossover utility vehicle, the Japanese automaker says the Matrix combines the functionality of a sport utility vehicle with the image and performance of a sports car, yet it’s as affordable as a subcompact sedan. Pontiac has a related Vibe model.

High headroom and flexible seating positions are among the Matrix’s most notable attributes. Three trim levels are available: Standard, the step-up XR and the high-performance XRS. The Standard and XR models may be equipped with either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. The XRS sport model comes with front-wheel drive only and packs an additional 50 horsepower and a six-speed-manual gearbox.

Toyota released the 2004 Matrix in May 2003 with a choice of new value packages. A Power Package includes remote keyless entry and power windows and locks. An Extra Value Package for the XR adds underbody spoilers, fog lamps, alloy wheels and a moonroof.

Exterior
The Matrix most resembles a small wagon. It is built on a platform similar to the one used for Toyota’s popular Corolla sedan. Toyota says the “edge-web” body panels have sharp surface edges but display rounded weblike contours intended to yield strong, flowing character lines.

Standard tires measure 16 inches in diameter, and the XR and XRS may be equipped with optional 17-inchers. Alloy wheels are optional on the Standard and XR models and standard on the XRS, which also features fog lights, a front spoiler and a rear underbody spoiler.

Interior
The Matrix seats five people. The rear seats fold all the way down. A sliding track in the cargo floor can be adapted to hold various lifestyle accessories. The driver faces deep-set Optitron gauges. A navigation system is optional.

Standard equipment includes air conditioning with air filtration, intermittent wipers and a cargo cover. The XR adds keyless entry, a sport steering wheel, a seat-height adjuster, and power windows, locks and mirrors. Cargo volume with the seats folded down totals 53.2 cubic feet.

Under the Hood
A 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine produces 130 hp in the Standard and XR models and 123 hp in those models when they are equipped with all-wheel drive. Either a four-speed-automatic or five-speed-manual transmission can be installed. Available only with front-wheel drive, the XRS carries a 173-hp version of the 1.8-liter engine and a close-ratio six-speed-manual gearbox. Toyota’s all-wheel-drive system has no center differential but uses a viscous coupling.

Safety
Antilock brakes are standard in the XRS and optional in other front-drive models. Side-impact airbags are optional.

Driving Impressions
The Matrix is well built, nicely designed and stylish, but somewhat on the noisy side. It is quiet enough while cruising, but the 130-hp engine emitted a growly, almost whiny sound during acceleration. Road noise is also noticeable. The base engine in automatic-transmission models isn’t loaded with oomph. Gear changes are noticeable but not bothersome.

The Matrix’s stability is good, and it’s easy to keep this SUV on course. Steering with more precision and less wheel vibration than the Corolla, it still falls short of stimulating, though the XRS is more refined. Front headroom is very good, even in models equipped with a sunroof. The Matrix’s backseat space beats the Corolla’s, and headroom is better than the low roofline suggests.

 

Reported by Jim Flammang  for cars.com;
Posted on 11/5/03

Consumer reviews

Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 4.2
  • Interior design 4.2
  • Performance 4.4
  • Value for the money 4.6
  • Exterior styling 4.4
  • Reliability 4.7

Most recent consumer reviews

5.0

My baby!!!

This is the best car I have ever owned! I used to use her to drive to and from work but now that I am retired I use her for whatever I need. She holds a lot of stuff, especially for her size. The only problem I had go wrong was the clutch in the air conditioner. After a couple of years it was evident, I was not going to be getting rid of this car anytime soon so I got it fixed so I didn't have to sweat any more. That was about 12 years ago. I have done regular oil changes and filter changes. I am not saying she has had no abuse because she survived teaching a new driver and the abuse from a not so careful driver. This car is easy to park and is still super comfortable. I can't tell you how much I love her. I wish I had bought 2 of them!

4.6

Loved this car. Sporty reliable fun maintenance e

My only regret is that they stopped making it. I would have bought another, if I could. I only sold it because I needed an automatic transmission.

4.8

Most Reliable Car I've Owned

This Car was my baby, Beautiful, Excellent conditions, everything work very well, This car is perfect to go to vacation, Beach or whenever, No scratch, No damage

See all 31 consumer reviews

Warranty

New car and Certified Pre-Owned programs by Toyota
Certified Pre-Owned program benefits
Maximum age/mileage
7 years/less than 85,000 miles
Basic warranty terms
12 months/12, 000 miles
Powertrain
7 years/100,000 miles
Dealer certification required
160- or 174-point inspections
Roadside assistance
Yes
View all cpo program details

Have questions about warranties or CPO programs?

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