2005 Toyota Matrix - XRS (M6) FWD
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.
2003 Toyota Matrix - Standard (M5) FWD
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.
2006 Toyota Matrix - XR (M5) FWD
Pros: Utility, I haul full 2x4 lumber with the back and front passenger seat down.
Cons: The many many problems
Advice: Do NOT purchase a 2003 model year, Hopefully they have resolved the problems by 2004I am leasing a 2003 XR and the automobile was great for the first 6 months. Then I started noticing some anoyaning features that just keep getting more annoying. for one thing all the plastic on and in the car is so cheap. The black on the radio control buttons are flaking off which looks bad. I was even looking online and I saw a used 2003 matrix that had the same problem. I knew what to look for. Look at the station presets in particular 1 through 6, they seem to flake first. The inside front pasanger door handle started to peal off on the inside where you don't see it, but it actually sliced two of my wifes fingers, Thankfully that was replaced under warranty. Also the Matrix emblem on the back of the car is pealing. The Dashboard does not match up where it meats the A piller, The passanger side headlight does not work sometimes, Turning off and on the car usually corrects it. And the most annoying part is at 37,500 miles the front drivers side break calaper stopped working right, it didn't release all the way and it overheated the roter warping it. Oh, yea and the hood does not seem to be able to support its self by the built in hood keeperupper... Every time I get the oil changed or anything the hood always has a slight bow in it right where it's held open. Thankfully the hood is so flimsy that I can bend it back into shape by just leaning on it. So I would DEFINATLY not reccomend for anyone to get the 2003 model, I can only hope that since this was the first model year they have resolved some or most of these problems later on. Thankfully my lease is up in two months and I can honestly say that my experience with this car is preventing me from getting another toyota for my next vechicle.
2004 Toyota Matrix - XR AWD
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.
2006 Toyota Matrix - XR (M5) FWD
Pros: Value - All the this car for this price? Nowehere else, that's for sure!
Cons: I had to wait for mine. Dealer had NONE on the lot.
Advice: Defintely Drive this car!!! You will like!Only so so comment is the wind noise. Engine noise is not nearly as bad as reported by others (it's quiter than my wifes Corrolla). Handles well, responds nice, rides nice and is plenty roomy inside (I'm a big guy - 6'2' 250 lbs) and I am very comfortable in this car.
2006 Toyota Matrix - XR (M5) FWD
Pros: I really like the remote keyless entry and the power everything.
Cons: The left foot rest for the driver is too close to the brake.
Advice: Buy the Matrix rather than the Pontiac Vibe. The styling is much better.The Matrix I bought rides very smoothly and is very comfortable for a vehicle with so much practicality. My previous vehicle was a Toyota short bed truck and I like the fact that I still sit up higher in the driver's seat than most other passenger cars. The only complaint I have about driving it is that the automatic transmission shifts more loosely than I expected. There is a slight delay in power during the automatic shift from first to second gear. It could be more crisp when shifting. For my purposes, though, it's not really an issue. I bought it because of its storage/hauling ability and the flexibility in the cargo area setup. I love the visibility compared to my truck, which had a cap on it that restricted the visibility.
2004 Toyota Matrix - XR (M5) FWD
Pros: Comfort and space
Cons: Big size almost like a mini-van but not that bad.
Advice: If you like it buy it, you wont regret it and if you buy this car to improve even more your gas mileage align its tires, try to buy a K&N air filter (they are expensive but worth it), and always be on top of your car like with oil changes, tune ups etc.I bought my Toyota Matrix Xr about four months ago. So far I am pleased with its performance in every aspect, I am a big guy that likes sporty looking cars, and finally found the car comfortable enough for me and that looks somewhat sporty. I really can say that I love this car, it is great on gas specially now that gas prices are over the roof, and on the road it performs really well. I would have to say that the rides are smooth, you can barely hear the engine, and when taking curves it handles pretty well as well as bumps it has a great suspension.