Getting firsthand information from an actual car owner is one sure way to get an idea of car performance once it leaves the lot. Autobytel features real consumer reviews that give the unbiased experience of a car.
Best Vehicle I've owned so far!
Pros: The look
Cons: NoisyI drive 95% hwy to work, got 33MPG can't beat that!
Cons: Wind noise
Advice: Do not buy this car. It is nothing but problems.I am currently leasing the 2003 Matrix and quite frankly I would never buy another Toyota. Right from the start I got a sludge problem. I kept doing the oil changes every 5,000 miles. At 34,000 miles, engine problems. Toyota would not honor the warranty. They wanted $7,000 to replace the engine. I had the engine overhauled by a local mechanic, he cleaned it up and replaced parts for around $1300 which I was told was cheap. The dashboard is very cheap and the side panels were peeling around 3,000 miles. I am very disappointed with Toyota. I produced the oil change receipts but because they didn't do the oil changes they won't honor it. Toyota should not be rated #1 anymore. They are very dishonest and do not treat the customers fairly. Do NOT buy this car.
Pros: Out side appearance, the dashboard lights and the 6 cd radio/stereo.
Cons: Traction in snow was terrible. Problem with car or tires unknown. Tires also expensive to replace.
Advice: Test drive in snow, if you are in the snow belt, and also note tire prices to replace.Test drive was nice. It was taken, however, in February and it was not snowing.
Pros: I love the 2ZZ-GE engine in the XRS.
Cons: I wish the front end didn't hang so low. I keep scraping the front.
Advice: I would advise going to sites like Autobytel and doing research on whatever car you decide to get.You can't find another car that is this versatile and good looking for the price. I have already moved apartments twice this year and I can't imagine doing it without my Matrix. I even moved a full-sized bed in my Matrix (this was a separate trip, of course). If you can afford it, I would suggest getting the XRS. There's nothing like the feeling of the 'lift' kicking in at 6200 rpm. Also, the XRS has more standard features that are optional on the other models like ABS brakes, fog lights, and 4-wheel disc brakes.
Pros: The fold down seats and added room.
Cons: too low to the ground.
Advice: NoneI enjoyed the test ride and couldn't believe the exras on this car.
Cons: relatively small view out the back
Advice: Don't waste you're money on the XRS (5 lb ft torque more at where in the rev range?)I've had my car just slightly over a year. No problems. 5-speed XR. Shifting must be done deliberately (difficult to shift quickly). Engine is fine although a little gutless if you're caught in the wrong gear. Love the versatility. Extremely easy to get in and out of. Driving position that all the car mags complain about has not been a problem. Everyone asked why such a big car? Hey look at the MPG's. Amused in the manual that they don't show you how to use the jack provided with the car, however it's a standard frame jack. Oil filter difficult to get to. Otherwise, everything looks easy.
Pros: Higher seats
Cons: Little dash rattle over speed bump.
Advice: Great smooth ride. Great cargo room. Not as 'sporty' as they claim. But the gas mileage is top notch.The test drive I had was short. Just around a small block 2 times. So I didn't really get any speed. But steering was stable and nice. A little tight and it handled a few bumps and dips nicely. AS I purchased vehicle and am driving now I do see it pushing for higher speeds. But I was told this just may be engine break in. Will see how it is after I knock a 1000 miles on it.