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.
Pros: Loved the feel, the look, and affordability
Cons: Not having 4wd or awd
Advice: Enjoy!I purchased this vehicle in November. We drove the AlCan this summer. It's very smooth on the highway. I really loved the car. Unfortunately we rolled it, (not the cars fault and everyone walked away unscathed) but now we need a new car. I was hoping to get another matrix only this time we'd get a 4x4 instead. I'm really bummed that the 07 and 08 models don't offer 4x4 or AWD. Now I'm looking for a used 06 model in the 4x4 and they seem hard to come by, maybe because everyone loves them so much.
Pros: The large and flexible storage space.
Cons: Noisy drivetrain and unimpressive acceleration in most circumstances.
Advice: Consider buying either the base or Matrix XR instead of the XRS to avoid buying premium fuel.Overall, the Matrix is a versatile, fun to drive and quality built car. The back seats and the passenger front seat fold completely flat to accomodate all kinds of stuff. The seatbacks are also covered in hard plastic, so it makes cleaning up easy too if you spill something. Even though I have the performance-oriented XRS Matrix, the engine has to be revved pretty high to extract any useable performance. If you are on an open road where it is possible to accelerate past six thousand rpm's, you will notice the extra power of the XRS. Unfortunately, the high-revving nature of the engine is not so pleasant inside the car. The engine tends to be buzzy and the exhaust system noisy for a factory system. In fact, even though I have the JBL audio system, I have to turn the music up pretty loud to listen over the buzziness of the drivetrain sometimes. Also, the reverse beeper is a little annoying, but I believe it only comes with the six speed, which is only available in the XRS. Furthermore, the XRS requires premium fuel, so you may want to look at a base Matrix or an XR because they only require regular grade fuel. On the plus side, there is a lot of flexible room inside. The car appears to be built very well for a relatively inexpensive economy car. I have close to 15,000 miles on mine without any squeaks or rattles. It is comfortable and sits a little higher than your average passenger car. The Matrix also handles very well for a relatively tall front wheel drive vehicle; especially with the optional seventeen inch alloy wheels and tires. The fuel mileage for my XRS has been as advertised at 25 city and 32 highway. The only thing the Matrix would really need to be perfect is a slightly less buzzy powertrain. Even the bigger four cylinder from the Toyota Camry would work better in the Matrix.
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: very functional; good fuel economy
Cons: underbody spoilers aren't necessary and reduce ground clearance; dashboard displays fade in strong sunlight
Advice: the XR seems to be the best value; while we got the AWDMy wife and duaghter call the vehicle 'Snowball', because its Superwhite. It comes eqipped with almost everything we want, and more importantly comes without the things we didn't want. I liked how functional the car is; we have the all-wheel drive capability of a SUV, the room of a station wagon and the fuel economy of a sedan. The looks aren't great, but they grow on you. We would have liked a little more power with the engine, but we understand the necessary trad-off for better milage. The buying experience while not great, was fair.
Pros: Smart Key System
Advice: This is a very smart buyWe LOVE this car. It is sleek, smart and practical.
Pros: MPG, all controls on stearing wheel, maintenance reminder calendar
Cons: Rear window divides and too small rear wiper. Stearing wheel control lights too dim at night
Advice: Go and test drive one. Then realize that rabbit starts and stops must end to maximize mpgI bought my Prius in Jan. 2005 and have almost 20,000 miles on it. It has surpassed my expectations. In warmer weather I average anywhere from 50 to 55mpg and in the colder months around 48mpg. I have passing power even going up steep inclines. You do have to lose the rabbit starts and stops to maximize the gas mileage but it is well worth it. Smooth ride and very quite and quite comfortable. The rear window will take some getting used to. I'm sold and am waiting for the hybrid van line up for my next family vehical purchase.
Pros: MPG, MPG, MPG plus excellent interior space and reasonable pick-up speed
Cons: Interior material (plastic and texture) for dash and doors
Advice: Watch out for tailgaters! Some can't stand seeing a Prius driving in the fast lane @ any speedExcellently designed and built. I believe Toyota has put tremendous amount of effort to insure that the Prius is of the highest quality to eliminate any fear/objection of the hybrid technology from the public. I had some concerns before I bought my Prius about 'false advertisement' on MPG. Now that I had put a few full tanks in my new Prius, I can attest that the car can definitely achieve the 61/55mpg as advertised, or at least be very close to it. For those who got less, I would attribute that to the style of their driving, the speed they need to sustain and the topology they need to drive on. My average is 54.5 mpg, mostly freeway driving at 65-70 mph. I know I can easily get over 60 mpg in city if I drive carefully.