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Toyota Matrix



  • In case anyone is thinking of buying one of these critters right now, here's the price and model I just got today.

    Base Matrix (Manual tranny) (2 wheel drive)

    (optional equipment as defined by window sticker)
    All weather guard....$250
    cruise control......$250
    Power windows & locks...$980
    carpet mats......$88

    Total price to me, delivered, including Oregon plates,

    Be aware, I only wanted the rear window wiper option. But was stuck with buying this other stuff cause there isn't a lot to choose from. ( I positively HATE power windows!) Got stuck with Silver color when I wanted Red or White, also.

    Went thru an Auto buyer in Portland, and got the rig inside a week.

    Took her out and about today, and am proud to say; everything seems to be in order and working. So far, so good. :D
  • If it's any consolation, silver is the safest color vehicle to drive according to highway safety studies!
  • nortsr1nortsr1 Posts: 1,060
    I was always under the impression that YELLOW was the safest and easiest to see.
  • petlpetl Posts: 610
    Although silver it is the most popular it is actually the most dangerous colour for a vehicle. Very difficult for some to see. It seems to blend with the road and background. That's why DRL'S are beneficial.
  • The article I read in the Boston Globe indicated that Silver was safest with brown, black, and green among the most dangerous. This Globe article may have been reporting on a study from New Zealand that is described on the following website:

    I also found a link that, among other things, mentions a Swedish study claiming pink is the safest color for a vehicle and black is the most dangerous:
  • I was disappointed too with my Matrix. I was one of the earliest buyer of this car. Bought the 2003 base model in June 2002. I was happy in the beginning. It was my first new car. I was so excited until almost all the problems you mentioned happened to me. I am happy now that I have gotten rid of it. I traded it in with the new 2006 Mazda5. This car is almost exactly look like the Matrix but a little bit bigger, 6 seater (3 rows of 2), sliding rear doors, and handles way lot better. If you want to upgrade your Matrix, this is the perfect one.
  • uj53uj53 Posts: 4
    Can you give me a breakdown on your Matrix ?
    Price--tax---title--license ? Please
  • Get rid of it now if you can before it costs you a ton of money.
    I have had similar problems with my 03 plus a whole host of others.
    I originally bought the car hoping to get great milage. The average with auto trans is 29mpg with a majority of highway miles. Ok so I'll deal with it it's not the mid 30's I was hoping for. First it comes time for tires. I find out these are a special low profile tire that only comes in high performance styles $150 a tire mounted and balanced. "Outch" this is a matirix not a porsche!
    I decide it's time to change the transmission fluid because it is getting dirty looking. I find out the trans. pan gasket/ filter is not available and the fluid is a special Toyota blend at $12 a quart. Again I'll deal with it.
    Now I am coming up on 90K and the check engine light comes on. I take it to Autozone and they tell me that the O2 sensor and the coolant sensor are bad. The O2 sensor is only available at the dealer For the modest price of $140 and autozone has the coolant sensor for only $50. At this time my brakes are starting to squeal telling me I need my second set of brake pads for a meer $50. When I go to install the pads I find the reason for the premature brake wear is the driver side caliper is rusted up another $140.
    So for $380 in parts total I think I have my car back in shape. Mind you this is more than the car payment. Five days later my check engine light comes back on. I have not had the chance to look at it again. I'm sure it'll cost me another $200.

    The car just lacks quality!!! The heater blows lukewarm in the winter and the air blows luke cold in the summer. The position control for the heat is just there for looks as when it is on floor it comes out of the vents and defroster almost as hard and likewise for the other positions.
    Rust is rediculous for a car this new. Around all four door handles there are rust stains and around the rear window there are numerous rust bubbles. I swear on a quiet night you can hear it rusting.

  • petlpetl Posts: 610
    Won't get into specifics. However, I'm confident there are 2 sides to the information that was posted.
  • petlpetl Posts: 610
    Won't get into specifics. However, I'm confident there are 2 sides to the information that was posted. Good luck with your next vehicle.
  • las1las1 Posts: 1
    Hi...I wanted your opinion about my 2003 Toyota Matrix which I purchased in June 2002. I have just over 60K on it and I heard a tapping noise. At 60,500 mi I took it to toyota (after just completing a 60K servicing at another place - not Toyota dealer at 59,000 because the engine light came on) and they said it was my transmission, big time. Because of how unusual this problem was at this mileage, they offered to pay 1/2, but this had nothing to do with the warrantee being so close, because when it was out, it's OUT. They said it would cost $3100. How do they know that's what it will cost? I took it to an independent transmission specialist and he said it is hard to tell what the cost will be until they get in there to see what the extent of the problem is. If it costs less to repair, should I pay less? I am concerned they just came up with that number so that I would pay the bulk of the cost. Should I not expect Toyota to cover it fully? I could have them itemize and set a price to all their work, but how do I know it's legitimate? I feel vulnerable and taken advantage of. Do you have any recommendations? I really want to get rid of this car...I have had Honda's, Subarus, Acuras and VW's and none has caused me this type of problem at so low a mileage. Please advise.
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,666
    I would get to a Toyota dealer immediately, and have them see what's wrong. Then, if it is a transmission, call Toyota (not the dealer) and explain your situation. I bet they cover it. It is very unusual to have a transmission fail in a Toyota. They generally have the best reliability of any make. You are just unlucky!! Even the best sometimes have a problem.
  • path4path4 Posts: 24
    I was just about to complain about its poor MPG before I saw your post. Today, it got 27 mpg for a 300 miles highway trip. Admitted, there were a few miles of stop-and-go traffic and I averaged 78mph, but, 27mpg is not acceptable. Actually, its best observed MPG is 30mpg, so 27 is within normal variance, and is consistent with Spark321 number. Besides its poor mileage, it is very noisey and floaty on highway. It is simply a punishment to drive more than half an hour in this car. I haven't got any mechanical problems. Only the front driver side window can not be closed tighty, which makes a lot of annoying noise on highway. This noise however, is nothing compared with wind noise and engine nosie. I also concur with Spark321 as to what he said about the heater and AC.
  • If you were AVERAGING 78 mph, 27 mpg sounds pretty good. Optimal gas mileage is supposed to be at something like 55-58 mph.
  • 1) Gas mileage: used to be 30ish in city and 35-38 freeway. Recently (post 100,000k hard miles) it had dropped 2-3mpg.
    2) Maintenance: replaced tires (85k) and a CV joint (106k)
    3) I expect at least another 100k miles.
    4) Performance: my base/manual will smoke a 2003 v6/automatic Mustang every time.
    5) After about 300 miles, the seats get somewhat uncomfortable.
    6) Absolutely comfortable. Driven in high winds, 100+ degree temps, -15 degree temps, high winds (hurricane force), jeep trails (did I mention hard miles?), heavy rains (hurricane again) and snowstorm (1-2"/hour in NE Ohio) and have had no problems controlling my 2003 Matrix.
  • I always find it interesting that DRLs are considered a "safety" feature on cars ... and were called "suicide lights" on motorcycles when they came out.... Maybe my motorcycling background is why I _ALWAYS_ turn my headlights (and, therefore, taillights) on when driving.
  • path4path4 Posts: 24
    I see you are very easy to be pleased. I was comparing it with my friend's Buick LaSable, which got 25mpg locally, and another friend's Camery, which ran 35mpg on highway. Personaly, I got 32mpg from a rented Impala for a 1K miles' trip at an average speed of 85mph. All these cars are heavier, much more comfortable and accelerate much faster than the Matrix.

    If you were AVERAGING 78 mph, 27 mpg sounds pretty good. Optimal gas mileage is supposed to be at something like 55-58 mph.
  • Most people say I'm quite the opposite of easy to please....

    My father has a Buick (Century, I believe) with V6 and also has reported some highway trips averaging 35 mpg when wind conditions were favorable (basically no stiff crosswinds). He drives 65-70. Keep in mind that the low-profile sedan has better aerodynamics than the SUV or station wagon shape, so fuel efficiency isn't reduced as much at higher speeds as with cars like the Matrix/Vibe.

    Today's paper had an article about new EPA testing that is supposed to better reflect real-world driving -- hard starts and stops, highway speeds greater than the current 60 mph, etc. Bottom line is that the EPA rating on most vehicles will decline, some being as much as 30 percent lower than today's ratings. Hybrids are supposed to take the biggest hit.
  • mkolmkol Posts: 6
    I finally purchased my Matrix XRS and I am looking for some accessories online(bumper protector, pet screen, wheel locks, etc). So far, I have found to be cheaper. Do you have any other recommendations? Also, they seem to have only up to 2005 model accessories, were there any changes at all at the 2006 model? I highly doubt it, excuse me for my ignorance. :)
    Thanks a lot.
  • I have the same thing happening with my 2004 Matrix. Oil leakage, irritating squeak in the driver's seat and inconsistent "catch" in the starter. The mechanics looked at me like I was crazy when I complained.
    Somehow, it's nice to know I'm not alone.
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