"We purchased this car used in 2005 with only 20,000 miles on it. Having only ever owned German cars, I was aprehensive to buy a Toyota. But I was sold after shifting into 3rd gear during my test drive! This is hands down the greatest car I've ever owned. We had the 6 speed, and got on average 36 miles to a gallon! Not only does the XRS sport package add a sexy look to the car, but it drives incredibly. Even on long road trips! And the functionality of the rear hatch and flat-fold down backseats is invaluable.
My husband was rear-ended this week by a woman driving 45mph. She didn't attempt to stop and plowed right into him while he sat at a read light. I'm thrilled to say my husband walked away with just whiplash. The car absorbed the impact - it was totaled - but my husband didn't endure a scratch. If I could find another 2003 MATRIX XRS, I'd buy one in a heartbeat! And recommend the car to any driver on the road."
Pros: "Great gas, lots of trunk space and compartments"
Cons: "No arm rest, airbag recall"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I bought this car used in 2008 and have not had any major issues with it. It eats snow for breakfast and the only things I have had done is regular oil changes, new battery three years ago, new tires. I use it mostly for local driving for my job and I did want a Corolla wagon and this works just fine for me. I wish Toyota still made them!
A friend liked mine so much she bought the newest model."
Pros: "Quick, agile, great handling, gas mileage."
Cons: "A bit noisy. No arm rests."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"If they still made them, I'd buy another! Best car I've ever owned. No maintenance issues at all. Fun to drive. Easy on gas (better than 30 mpg on highway and more than 25 around town. Solid car. Can also accommodate 4 people very comfortably and you can pack this car and still have lots of room for passengers."
"It's been to 3 countries, 26 U.S. states with all types of weather and only basic maintenance and a battery replacement at 36k miles under warranty have been done to it. I've been considering going to a newer model with more extras, but just can't see myself without this car.
It's really comfortable front and rear seats, drives through everything, have the sunroof and fog lights so ready for any climate including traction control."
"fun to drive, but could use a bit more legroom for driver. all in all very economical !! more room in rear than it seems, holds a lot of groceries,and luggage. drove 4 people to florida and back very well !!!"
"I had a 96 Chevy 1500 pickup before and I love it but it was not pratical to drive as my daily driver any more. I purchased a 05 matrix xr and have loved this little car ever since i bought it. style wise its ok but functionality is unbeatable. I have a trailer for it and have towed 2,000lbs before with little complaint other than having to take extra time for acceleration and braking which any one who has towed heavy loads before understands. I get around 30 mpg most of the time but on long trips I have gotten up to 37mpg before, when towing 2,000lbs I get around 25mpg. I have done little to no work other than engine oil changes and trans oil changes I change the trans oil every 30,000 miles since I tow with the car. the seating of the car is also great because you sit up like a van or truck not on the ground like a tiny car where you legs are straight out in front of you. I have back and knee problems and this car helps this issue."
"I traded a Subaru Forester for a Matrix because I wanted better gas mileage. I live in a snowy, mountainous area and after buying the Matrix was worried about not having four-wheel drive. I put studded snow tires on it and have had absolutely no trouble, even in the worst snowy and icy conditions. I do as well or better than the big SUVs and pickups. My Matrix consistently gets great mileage (34-35 mpg) and seems to have more room than the Forester. I am very happy with it. Anyone with a SUV that gets bad mileage, consider a Matrix! You'll save a ton of money on this great car.
The only complaint I have is if you put groceries or something on the passenger seat, the seat-belt beeper goes on and won't go off and is extremely annoying. I can solve the problem by buckling the belt behind my stuff, but this really shouldn't happen with objects weighing no more than 10-lbs."
"I bought this car to carry me through grad school. I am an extreme sports enthusiast and I have to say, its a great car to take snowboarding. The back seat folds down and allows me to take 3- 4 people with me all while carrying the boards inside too. Its great on gas, and getting on the highway is never a problem. I LOVE my car!"
"I love this car. I had a full size Dodge 1500 before this and as much as I loved the pick-up, I didn't like the gas mileage. The matrix goes forever for under $30 at the pumps, compared to my pick-up at $70 and half the distance. The matrix can handle a good load with the seats down and I think it is very comfortable. I heard from other reviews that the matrix was gutless up hills, but I have no idea why someone would say that. Mine is an automatic and flies up hills without a problem even with the AC on full. It is very quick and has plenty of power. It looks great and my wife looks hot in it as well! A+ to Toyota on this one."