The 356-mile 2003 Toyota Matrix is ​​an unlikely time capsule

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If you could go back to 2003 and buy a new car, What would that be? You are unexpectedly lucky if your answer is a Toyota Matrix: Although very few of these hatchbacks have been preserved, there is one example that only covered 356 miles currently listed on Cars & Bids.

According to the seller, this Matrix was purchased new by a retired teacher who fell ill shortly after taking delivery. The car would have been parked in an air-conditioned garage for many years and obviously hasn’t been driven much. Fast forward to 2022 and we take a look at what is probably the finest Matrix left. It’s not perfect, there are a few scratches on the front, but otherwise it looks like it did nearly 20 years ago.

What are the chances of finding another first generation Matrix (especially one from the first year of production) in this condition? They were cheap, cheerful hatchbacks that were mass-produced and mass-destroyed; by the time they reached their eighth owner (and/or their 200,000th mile), they tended to look like they had survived”The Walking Dead” and smells like a sarcophagus. This one was spared. Its Cosmic Blue Metallic paint shines, its cloth-wrapped seats are tear-free, and its engine compartment looks exactly like it did in the sales brochures.

Toyota offered three trim levels called base, XR, and XRS, respectively, in the 2003 model year. It’s an entry-level model, so it’s delightfully simple. It has 16-inch steel wheels covered with plastic hubcaps, manual windows and manually adjustable exterior mirrors. It does have air conditioning and cruise control, though, and the original owner paid extra for a four-speed automatic transmission.

Only the premium XRS trim benefited from the 180 horsepower four-cylinder engine. The base and XR variants came with a 1.8-liter four-cylinder that developed 130 horsepower and 126 pound-feet of torque. It spins the front wheels; the original owner apparently didn’t need all-wheel drive.

If Blink-182’s “Take off your pants and jacket” isn’t enough to assuage your early 2000s nostalgia, head over to Cars & Bids and place a bid on this one-way ticket to 2003. currently stands at $7,100 with six days remaining in the seven days auction. As a reminder, the Matrix had a base price of $14,670 in 2003 excluding destination, a sum that represents approximately $23,700 in 2022.

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