The Matrix offered a lot of room and many of the virtues of an SUV, such as a little higher driving position, easy access, and optional AWD. You'll find a compliant ride, fairly nimble handling, and effective brakes. Notable shortcomings are a flawed driving position and a noisy engine. Overall, the Matrix offered a good and practical alternative to a small SUV. The Pontiac Vibe is essentially the same car.
    Alerts
    There are 8 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

    Road Test Results

    Performance
    Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
    0 to 60 mph 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
    Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
    Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
    Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit.
    Comfort / Convenience
    Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
    Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
    Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
    Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
    Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
    Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.
    Fuel Economy & Emissions
    Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
    CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
    CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
    CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
    Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
    Greenhouse Gas Greenhouse Gas The Greenhouse Gas Rating represents the amount of carbon dioxide the vehicle emits compared to other vehicles of the same model year. This score from the EPA ranges from 1 (worst) to 10 (best).
    NA
    Smog Rating Smog Rating The Smog Rating represents the amount of health-damaging and smog-forming airborne pollutants the vehicle emits compared to other vehicles of the same model year. This score from the EPA ranges from 1 (worst) to 10 (best).
    NA

    Owner Reports

    Worse Better
    Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
    2000
    2001
    2002
    2003
    2004
    NA
    2005
    2006
    2007
    2008
    NA
    2009
    2010
    2011
    NA
    2012
    NA
    2013
    NA
    2014
    2015
    2016
    2017
    2018
    2019
    2020
    2021
    Reliability Trouble Spots
    Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
    Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
    Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
    Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
    Transmission Minor Transmission Minor Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.
    Drive System Drive System Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.
    Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
    2000
    2001
    2002
    2003
    2004
    2005
    2006
    2007
    2008
    2009
    2010
    2011
    NA
    2012
    NA
    2013
    2014
    2015
    2016
    2017
    2018
    2019
    2020
    2021
    Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
    Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
    Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
    Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
    Safety Equipment
    ABS, head protection and side air bags standard from 2009. ESC standard from 2010.
    Road Test

    The Matrix offered a lot of room and many of the virtues of an SUV, such as a little higher driving position, easy access, and optional AWD. You'll find a compliant ride, fairly nimble handling, and effective brakes. Notable shortcomings are a flawed driving position and a noisy engine. Overall, the Matrix offered a good and practical alternative to a small SUV. The Pontiac Vibe is essentially the same car.

    Seating
    2 front, 3 rear
    Drive Wheels
    AWD, Front
    Warranty
    Coverage varies among versions of this vehicle

    In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

    Read more about extended warranties
    Body Styles
    wagon
    Transmissions Available
    • 5-speed Manual
    • 4-speed Automatic
    • 6-speed Manual
    Engines Available
    • 1.8-liter 4 (130 hp)
    • 1.8-liter 4 (180 hp)
    • 1.8-liter 4 (118 hp)

    Owner Reported Trouble Spots

    The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2003 Toyota Matrix owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

    Paint/Trim

    Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

    What Owners Say

    Loose exterior trim or moldings

    "Front bumper fell off on its own"

    Anonymous, (2003 Toyota Matrix XR 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

    "snow dislodges plastic bumpers and side covers from bottom of car"

    Anonymous, NY (2003 Toyota Matrix XR 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

    "Plastic liner of wheel well kept coming loose, popping out of position and rubbing against tire"

    Anonymous, TX (2003 Toyota Matrix XR 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

    "My wife and I had two mishaps with the car years ago, and the repairs are starting to come undone. My wife hit a deer and I backed into a tree. Given the age and miles on the vehicle, I don't think that it's unusual that the repairs are beginning to show wear"

    Donald W., PA (2003 Toyota Matrix XR 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

    "snow and ice dislodge exterior bumper and side panel under door. Not borken or damaged, but come off every year"

    Anonymous, NY (2003 Toyota Matrix XR 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

    "There is a black rubber trim piece that runs along the roof on the right and left sides. One of these has come out of its groove"

    Elizabeth P., TX (2003 Toyota Matrix Standard 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
    Loose interior trim or moldings

    "Hinged storage compartment at center front, in front of the gearshift, detached and won't re-attach. Plastic coating on radio buttons is worn off"

    Anonymous, TX (2003 Toyota Matrix XR 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

    "Power window controls panel on driver side came loose - replaced with module from auto wrecker"

    A L., AB (2003 Toyota Matrix XRS 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

    "left outside mirror noise"

    Anonymous, VT (2003 Toyota Matrix Standard 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

    "Passenger side latch and window assembly became dis-attached from its base"

    Anonymous, NJ (2003 Toyota Matrix XR 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
    Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling)

    "The paint has failed on the Matrix. The hood is covered in spots where the paint came off, letting rust take hold. Much of the vehicle is discolored."

    Anonymous, (2003 Toyota Matrix Standard 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

    "paint on hood, and roof, cracking and rust apparent underneath. coating failure obvious from poor metal preparation"

    Beverly C., NJ (2003 Toyota Matrix XR 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

    "Early on, there were areas of paint that had chipped off my car body"

    Anonymous, TX (2003 Toyota Matrix Standard 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

    "paint has faded and clear coat in departing"

    Patrick C., FL (2003 Toyota Matrix 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

    "Paint on roof, hood have worn thru to the metal and faded on any sun exposed surface. Getting new paint job ASAP"

    Anonymous, CA (2003 Toyota Matrix 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

    "Paint is badly abraded and faded on roof, hood. Can't figure out why"

    Jim G., IN (2003 Toyota Matrix XRS 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

    "Chalking of red paint"

    Anonymous, UT (2003 Toyota Matrix XRS 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

    "Paint on roof is cracking & peeling"

    Dennis O., CA (2003 Toyota Matrix Standard 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

    "Front of hood bad from lovebugs and my fault for not cleaning them off sooner"

    Dorsey B., FL (2003 Toyota Matrix Standard 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

    "The paint is peeling down to the metal. Looks terrible."

    Lynn S., CA (2003 Toyota Matrix XR 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

    "My Matrix has severe pitting in the paint on the hood. It looks like freckles. I have read that Corollas of the same age have the same problem"

    Elizabeth P., TX (2003 Toyota Matrix Standard 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
    Rust

    "The car failed NH safety inspection for server rust in the underbody and rocker panels."

    John C., NH (2003 Toyota Matrix XR 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

    "Drivers side front door rusted through; replaced with door from auto wrecker"

    A L., AB (2003 Toyota Matrix XRS 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

    "under body rust under doors and wheel wells"

    Anonymous, VT (2003 Toyota Matrix Standard 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

    "Not surprisingly, after 15 years and nearly 200,000 miles in a state that salts roads in the winter, the car is showing some rust."

    Anonymous, WI (2003 Toyota Matrix 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

    "The body repair conducted after I backed into a tree is beginning to show signs of wear and is rusting. There is also rust an the sill at the entrance to the drivers side"

    Donald W., PA (2003 Toyota Matrix XR 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

    Body Integrity

    Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

    What Owners Say

    Air or water leaks

    "The moonroof has a slow leak. It has been going on for some time now, but I don't want to spend hundreds of dollars to fix it, so I have been using a damp-rid bag in my car."

    Anonymous, VA (2003 Toyota Matrix XRS 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

    "car has been leaking around driver's side door seal for past several years, and passenger side just began leaking as well"

    Elizabeth P., MA (2003 Toyota Matrix 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

    "after rain at a joint for front door water comes into the passenger seat"

    Patrick C., FL (2003 Toyota Matrix 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

    "We have had an ongoing issue with water leaking from the windows and sunroof of our Matrix. We sent it to Toyota to get it fixed and they repeatedly said they would have to remove the dash (at our expense) to diagnose the problem. Unbelievable!!!"

    Anonymous, OH (2003 Toyota Matrix 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

    "After a heavy rain, I found puddles of water in the right front and rear passenger floorboard areas. Summarizing, I later determined the sunroof was leaking and had to pay several hundred dollars to fix it."

    Patrick B., VA (2003 Toyota Matrix XRS 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

    "The roof drains were blocked by debris and gallons of water poured into the interior"

    Anonymous, GA (2003 Toyota Matrix 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

    "I have a cooling system leak, which needs attention"

    Anonymous, MD (2003 Toyota Matrix XR 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

    "Unexplainable water leak onto front & rear passenger carpets when parked in rain"

    Anonymous, RI (2003 Toyota Matrix XRS 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
    Seals and/or weather-stripping

    "Since I get Krown rust prevention applied every year, it seems to shrink the rubber and cause wind noise around the door seals."

    Anonymous, ON (2003 Toyota Matrix XRS 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

    "The window weather stripping rotted and was replaced"

    Anonymous, GA (2003 Toyota Matrix 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

    "Ceiling leaks over driver and front passenger areas. Very disconcerting and uncomfortable"

    Anonymous, CA (2003 Toyota Matrix XR 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
    Squeaks or rattles

    "The heat shield rusted through and had to be reattached"

    Anonymous, CA (2003 Toyota Matrix 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

    "axle seals rusted in lace, could not be easily fixed. Need transmission involvement to take apart"

    Anonymous, NJ (2003 Toyota Matrix XRS 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

    "Wear and tear Fairly common in a car this old!"

    Anthony L., ON (2003 Toyota Matrix XRS 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
    Wind noise

    "The wheel well liners have been coming loose and braking apart, causing horrible wind noise. I should probably have them all replaced, but I'd rather save my money for the bigger more necessary repairs"

    Anonymous, MN (2003 Toyota Matrix XR 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

    "Sunroof makes noise, unless I actually partially open it"

    Paul F., MA (2003 Toyota Matrix XR 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

    Transmission Major

    Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

    What Owners Say

    Clutch replacement

    "The clutch wore out. It's an old car, so I won't replace it."

    Anonymous, ON (2003 Toyota Matrix Standard 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

    "Clutch has been replaced twice and still is challenging with slippage and burning"

    Anonymous, CO (2003 Toyota Matrix Unsure 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

    "The fact that we were able to drive this car for 15 years before having to replace the clutch is a good thing actually. It has always been a daily driver."

    Anonymous, MA (2003 Toyota Matrix XR 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

    "The vehicle had only 50,000 km on it when the clutch had to be replaced"

    John G., ON (2003 Toyota Matrix Standard 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

    "Had to replace clutch due to clutch slippage during acceleration"

    Anonymous, ON (2003 Toyota Matrix XRS 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

    "I drove the Matrix for quite a long time with a bad clutch because I didn't know the symptoms...then my brother was in town and drove it and told me. Also, I have since learned from the car guys on NPR to never touch the clutch except to shift."

    Nancy B., CA (2003 Toyota Matrix XR 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

    "When I shifted I could feel the the transmission slipping and it did turn out to need a new clutch. This was the second replacement clutch. The original one was replaced around 2012 when the car was 9 years old. So, it didn't seem as though I should have needed a second replacement only 5 years later."

    Mary V., IL (2003 Toyota Matrix XRS 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

    "Original clutch was replaced after about 250K miles."

    Anonymous, CA (2003 Toyota Matrix XRS 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

    "Clutch failed and needed to replace entire clutch - doe seem reasonable on the car with 164000 plus miles"

    Anonymous, NC (2003 Toyota Matrix Standard 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

    "It felt like the clutch was "slipping" intermittently, so I took it to AAMCO and had them do the repair. Something didn't go right or else another issue was triggered or uncovered, so now they're looking at the motor mount, as I write this"

    Anonymous, TX (2003 Toyota Matrix XR 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

    "This was the factory-original clutch. Experienced difficulty shifting and getting the manual transmission into gear (engine would rev but with little power to the drive wheels). On examination by the repair shop, it was determined that the entire clutch needed to be replaced. It was replaced"

    Anonymous, VA (2003 Toyota Matrix XR 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
    Torque converter

    "had to replace"

    Anonymous, OH (2003 Toyota Matrix Standard 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
    Transmission rebuild or replacement

    "Transmission failed. Had to be replaced. Rough shifting"

    Anonymous, CA (2003 Toyota Matrix XRS 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

    "Transmission was replaced 6 months after we purchased it used with 79000 miles on it in 2007"

    Eric W., FL (2003 Toyota Matrix XRS 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

    Engine Minor

    Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

    What Owners Say

    Fuel leaks

    "originally diagnosed as filler pipe leak (because of electronic diagnostic) which had been replaced 4 years earlier. When replacement was to be done, it was the fuel tank not the filler pipe"

    Anonymous, NS (2003 Toyota Matrix XR 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
    Oil leaks

    "At about the 250,000km mark, an oil leak appeared on the upper rear portion of the engine, possibly the timing tensioner seal possibly? Might need to remove engine to access leak-to cost prohibitive. Usually don't need to add oil between changes -so far."

    Anonymous, ON (2003 Toyota Matrix XRS 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

    "Leaking gasket"

    Anonymous, MB (2003 Toyota Matrix XR 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

    "Oil is disappearing, we are still tracking down the cause"

    Anonymous, MT (2003 Toyota Matrix Standard 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

    "Head gasket leaks"

    Anonymous, CA (2003 Toyota Matrix XR 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

    "Drip from engine. I'v had a seal replaced twice - still leaks"

    Anonymous, UT (2003 Toyota Matrix XRS 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

    "Burning some oil now. Plus cover gasket wore out and was leaking and oil was coming out of it"

    Joe M., IA (2003 Toyota Matrix XRS 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

    "Has no current effect on driveability, this old Corolla engine performs better than the new rental I recently used. No leaks outside of vehicle, i.e. on driveway."

    Anonymous, CA (2003 Toyota Matrix Standard 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

    "Slight oil leak from gasket. Not so much of a bro lemme that it needs to be worked on."

    Dorsey B., FL (2003 Toyota Matrix Standard 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

    "Timing chain cover was leaking oil. Needed a new gasket."

    Anonymous, CA (2003 Toyota Matrix XRS 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

    "leaking oil like crazy from oil pan, several hoses and a new seal fixed that right up"

    Amy J., CT (2003 Toyota Matrix Standard 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

    "oil leak on the front of engine it took 3 visits to get it fix dealer was very apologetic it took so many visits to fix and no charge for the last visit the leak was front timming chain cover"

    Anonymous, CT (2003 Toyota Matrix XRS 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

    "Engine gasket seal leaks after 10 years and was replaced. The oil is leaking again 2 years after being fixed"

    Anonymous, GA (2003 Toyota Matrix XRS 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

    Exhaust

    Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

    What Owners Say

    Catalytic converter

    "High mileage on the original exhaust system. Worn-out flex joint, converter efficiency fault codes, fairly new O2 sensors, plan to keep the car"

    Anonymous, KY (2003 Toyota Matrix XR 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

    "It went out but there is no way to tell if it was the converter or the computer"

    John K., OH (2003 Toyota Matrix Standard 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

    "Very expensive repair"

    Paul F., MA (2003 Toyota Matrix XR 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

    "Toyota dealer quoted to replace entire exhaust system including O2 sensors. Local muffler shop did the work for approx. 60% of the Totyota quote after checking O2 sensors to confirm they were functioning properly. Typical Toyota approach"

    Anonymous, AB (2003 Toyota Matrix Standard 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

    "Converter plugs up when it gets hot, making car loose power"

    Bradley W., MB (2003 Toyota Matrix XR 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

    "check engine light came on. code indicated catalytic converter"

    Kenneth D., CT (2003 Toyota Matrix XR 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

    "Check Engine light came on & indicated catalytic converter, but went off a week later. When it came back on I went to get it looked at. Researching the catalytic converter was a challenge, as there are many parts online and it's hard to tell which goes with your car. Had it repaired by AAMCO"

    Anonymous, TX (2003 Toyota Matrix XR 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
    Exhaust leaks

    "Worn-out flex joint between manifold and the converter"

    Anonymous, KY (2003 Toyota Matrix XR 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

    "rotted out"

    Anonymous, GA (2003 Toyota Matrix Standard 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
    Exhaust manifold

    "replaced exhaust manifold due to cracks. 3 months prior ad to replace catalytic converter, sensors and all exhaust piping and muffler"

    Anonymous, WV (2003 Toyota Matrix Standard 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
    Muffler

    "Had to replace the entire exhaust system"

    Anonymous, OH (2003 Toyota Matrix 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
    Pipes

    "needed replacement"

    Anonymous, GA (2003 Toyota Matrix Standard 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

    "Stainless Steel exhaust pipe rusted thru, needed mienke to make the fix ~ $400"

    James B., NY (2003 Toyota Matrix XR 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

    Brakes

    Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

    What Owners Say

    Antilock system (ABS)

    "The rear sensors failed. first diagnosed as front brake problem. Correction required replacement of entire axle"

    Anonymous, NS (2003 Toyota Matrix XR 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

    "ABS sensors are bad. Leaves warning light on dash. After talking to trusted mechanic, decided not to fix -- ABS seems to work okay"

    Anonymous, AZ (2003 Toyota Matrix XR 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
    Calipers

    "Front left caliper completely seized."

    Anonymous, BC (2003 Toyota Matrix Standard 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

    "They are seizing up and need to be replaced"

    Anonymous, CA (2003 Toyota Matrix 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

    "Caliper froze to rotor. Banged on it with hammer and it released. Made a gosh awful noise that scared my wife"

    Anonymous, AZ (2003 Toyota Matrix XR 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
    Normal routine brake wear

    "Brakes were replaced due to normal wear"

    Anonymous, TX (2003 Toyota Matrix XR 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

    "Driving while parking brake is on may be a contributing factor. Isn't there supposed to be a warning light for this?"

    Anonymous, WI (2003 Toyota Matrix Standard 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

    "Difficulty removing seized brake rotors"

    Anonymous, KS (2003 Toyota Matrix XRS 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

    "Front brakes first done at 260000 km Contribute manual transmission and highway driving to brakes lasting so long NB:this is a Canadian car this survey didn’t allow me to pick 2005 Smart as 2006 was first year car sold in USA"

    B M., AB (2003 Toyota Matrix Standard 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
    Premature brake wear

    "Almost every 2 years, need to change pad and calipers"

    Anonymous, QC (2003 Toyota Matrix XRS 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

    "The dealer used the wrong grease and left off one of the luge bolts when they changed the tires. Despite my bringing it back 3 times no fix. Took it to a mechanic who indicated that the assembly was close to catastrophic failure. Tried to warn others"

    Anonymous, IL (2003 Toyota Matrix XRS 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
    Pulsation or vibration

    "Brake fade on hilly highways."

    Anonymous, BC (2003 Toyota Matrix Standard 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

    Body Hardware

    Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

    What Owners Say

    Doors or sliding doors

    "The outside door handle broke into several pieces when I tried to open it. This has now happened to three different doors. They cost $300 each to replace"

    Arlene F., TX (2003 Toyota Matrix Standard 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
    Glass defects

    "front glass windows have rattled in the window channel from day one. brought it in for service and had technician look and "adjust" but problem persists, very annoying when window is partially down, rattles way too much"

    Beverly C., NJ (2003 Toyota Matrix XR 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
    Locks and latches

    "The outside door handles break off. I have had to replace every door handle"

    Anonymous, TX (2003 Toyota Matrix Standard 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

    "Door handles were unpainted plastic. Exposed to sun, the plastic died and broke off"

    Jimmy B., FL (2003 Toyota Matrix Standard 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
    Mirrors

    "both of the interior mirrors broke off with normal usage."

    Anonymous, (2003 Toyota Matrix XR 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
    Sunroof

    "The sun roof started leaking and continues in heavy rains"

    Patrick C., FL (2003 Toyota Matrix XR 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
    Tailgate, hatch or trunk

    "The tailgate struts stopped holding the tailgate up when it was open, first in cold weather and then anytime we opened it. We had the struts replaced and now it works fine."

    Anonymous, WI (2003 Toyota Matrix 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
    Windows

    "power regulator failed"

    Michael C., CA (2003 Toyota Matrix XR 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

    "Both front (driver) and passenger windows had to have extensive repairs. They went "foo track" and stayed partially open twice on both sides at different times. A recall on the problem didn't fix it"

    Anonymous, CA (2003 Toyota Matrix 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

    "windows come off track on front passenger side"

    Anonymous, NY (2003 Toyota Matrix XR 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

    "passenger side window came off tracks. window controls have to be replaced. connector for screws is broken"

    Anonymous, NY (2003 Toyota Matrix XR 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

    Suspension

    Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

    What Owners Say

    Alignment

    "rear could not be aligned because mechanic broke rusty bolt, replacement part expensive and hard to find. He jerry-rigged a repair that prevents rear alignment from being adjusted. Also, in response to the part of your survey on how I spend and s"

    Anonymous, MT (2003 Toyota Matrix Standard 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

    "tires wear unevenly because alignment can only be adjusted in the front (or maybe it is the back) --in any case, not all 4 wheels"

    Nancy B., CA (2003 Toyota Matrix XR 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

    "New shocks require an alignment"

    Michael L., MI (2003 Toyota Matrix XRS 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
    Bushings

    "main bushing in the lower control arms gave out on both sides and both had to be replaced along with tie rod bushings etc"

    Anonymous, CA (2003 Toyota Matrix XR 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

    "Bushings worn out. +200K miles"

    James B., NY (2003 Toyota Matrix XR 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
    Shocks or struts

    "bad road conditions"

    Josephine M., PR (2003 Toyota Matrix XRS 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

    "Replaced original equipment"

    Michael L., MI (2003 Toyota Matrix XRS 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
    Tie rods

    "replacement of lower control arms and tie rod bushings"

    Anonymous, CA (2003 Toyota Matrix XR 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
    Wheel bearings

    "Wheel bearing are making noise when cold, hard to determine which one is bad, even dealer changed wrong bearing before finding right one"

    Bradley W., MB (2003 Toyota Matrix XR 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

    Electric System

    Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

    What Owners Say

    Clock

    "Internal backlight on radio/clock malfunctioned. Dealer quote of $1100 to fix (remove dash to get to radio; send radio unit out for repair. replace). Fixed it myself with $8.00 travel alarm an velcro"

    Anonymous, OH (2003 Toyota Matrix XR 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
    Gauges

    "The backlight for 50% of the dashboard gauges often fails to illuminate. Mechanic was unable to fix"

    Anonymous, SD (2003 Toyota Matrix Standard 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
    Headlights

    "one headlight routinely comes loose from its housing, causing the bulb to rattle and become inoperative"

    Elizabeth P., MA (2003 Toyota Matrix 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

    "Driver's side headlight quit working"

    Nygaard L., CA (2003 Toyota Matrix XRS 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

    "Both 'apparently' extinguished simultaneously. In fact, what probably happened was that one had failed, and I was never aware of it (I rarely drive at night). But when the 2nd failed, and I attempted to drive after dark, neither worked and the car"

    Anonymous, OH (2003 Toyota Matrix XR 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

    "The wiring on the headlights constantly comes loose. This is probably because it is driven on a dirt road daily"

    Yula F., CA (2003 Toyota Matrix XR 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

    Transmission Minor

    Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

    What Owners Say

    Clutch adjustment

    "car would not start. Mechanics first said it was the ignition switch, but car was still starting intermittently. They had to replace the starter"

    Kim H., FL (2003 Toyota Matrix XR 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
    Rough shifting

    "Difficulty engaging gears on one occasion. Checked by a transmission repair shop that found no problem. Believed to be due to overheating after prolonged slow driving up a steep incline requiring multiple gear changes. No problems since"

    G B., BC (2003 Toyota Matrix Standard 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
    Slipping transmission

    "The transmission started making a rattling noise and would not go into reverse. I had to spend $4,000 to replace the transmission"

    Ray B., CA (2003 Toyota Matrix Standard 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

    "Some clutch slippage is beginning. Isn't bad enough to take it in for repair. Unusual because I've driven clutch cars my whole life and haven't had problems appear before 150,000 miles. Will have it looked at soon"

    Anonymous, FL (2003 Toyota Matrix XR 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

    "Started slipping in the last couple of months. Was told by our mechanic it would need total replacement again. We've decided to unload soon"

    Eric W., FL (2003 Toyota Matrix XRS 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

    In-car Electronics

    CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

    What Owners Say

    External music device interface (e.g., smart phone, MP3 player)

    "Would not always come on when car started."

    Anonymous, RI (2003 Toyota Matrix XRS 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
    In-dash navigation system (GPS)

    "I believe that the DVD drive in the GPS system failed. For that or whatever reason, the GPS quit working. Moreover, the radio lost the ability to receive any but very strong signals. I replaced the GPS/Radio system with an aftermarket Radio/CD pla"

    Michael B., TN (2003 Toyota Matrix XRS 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
    Radio

    "When the car is started the radio & clock might or might not come on."

    Anonymous, RI (2003 Toyota Matrix XRS 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

    "Display quit working"

    Anonymous, RI (2003 Toyota Matrix XR 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

    Power Equipment

    Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

    What Owners Say

    Spark plugs or wires failure

    "Can't remember what it's called, but it has something to do with the spark plugs and the fuel system causing the car to accelerate poorly. Still waiting for a friend to repair it for me."

    Crystal C., SC (2003 Toyota Matrix XRS 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
    Starter

    "Starter failed completely. Car had to be towed to Toyota dealer for replacement."

    Anonymous, IL (2003 Toyota Matrix XR 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

    "I'm actually not sure it's the starter; I took it to my mechanic who fixed something that was wrong, but the noise on start-up is still there. So, obviously, something is still wrong!"

    Marie M., MD (2003 Toyota Matrix XRS 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

    Engine Major

    Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

    What Owners Say

    Cylinder head

    "Valves stuck hard open. The problem was caused by inadequate oil flow due a reduction in the size and number of bypass holes in the connecting rod. The problem is well documented on the internet, but takes a while to find. It is the old Corolla engine - mostly good, and later corrected I think"

    Jimmy B., FL (2003 Toyota Matrix Standard 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
    Engine rebuild or replacement

    "engine replacement due to sludge build-up on cam shaft gears due to not changing oil on a proper schedule"

    Anonymous, IN (2003 Toyota Matrix XR 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
    Head gasket

    "Replaced leaking Intake Gasket"

    Anonymous, TX (2003 Toyota Matrix Standard 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

    Climate System

    Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

    What Owners Say

    A/C compressor

    "After a few years of coolant leaks during the winter, that we could resolve and refill in spring, it finally leaked fully out and during Defrost cycles killed the compressor"

    Bryne Z., CO (2003 Toyota Matrix XR 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
    Refrigerant leaks

    "After a few years of coolant leaks during the winter, that we could resolve and refill in spring, it finally leaked fully out and during Defrost cycles killed the compressor"

    Bryne Z., CO (2003 Toyota Matrix XR 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

    "There was a small, slow leak in the A/C system. I chose not to fix it. The cost would be more than $300. Other problems developed that were more costly such as a failing catalytic converter."

    Anonymous, CA (2003 Toyota Matrix XRS 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

    Engine Cooling

    Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

    What Owners Say

    Radiator

    "Radiator simply fell apart at seams"

    Anonymous, NJ (2003 Toyota Matrix XRS 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
    Water pump

    "needed to be replaced."

    Anonymous, CA (2003 Toyota Matrix XRS 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

    Fuel System

    Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

    What Owners Say

    Emission control devices (includes EGR)

    "Catalytic converter needed replacement."

    Anonymous, WI (2003 Toyota Matrix 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

    "Replaced catalyic converter 3 times"

    Anonymous, MS (2003 Toyota Matrix Standard 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

    Drive System

    Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

    What Owners Say

    CV joint

    "Had work done by local mechanic (ex-Toyota). Excellent service and value"

    Anonymous, AB (2003 Toyota Matrix Standard 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
    Electrical failure

    "While having Multiple mechanics troubleshoot the AC system, most thought it was the compressor. It turned out to be the electrical relay to the Compressor that had failed. Once replaced and systems charged the AC has been working well."

    Bryne Z., AL (2003 Toyota Matrix XR 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
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