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How to tell what model year by looking?

1298 Views 7 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  TRXR4KDS
I'm sure the real Matrix afficianadoes can do this, but are there noticeable differences in Matrix's from one model year to the next? Can you look at a Matrix and know, for certain, what model year it is (assuming "stock", of course)?

I'm just curious if someone has documented this.

I think the fog lights have changes, but I don't know when.
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Fog light located on lower front grill
Brake light enclosure is all red
Front grill is made up of ovale shapes

Fog light located on front bumpers
Brake light enclosure is more chromy
Front grill is made up of little rectangles

Please add to this...
if its a base the 03/04 have diff wheel covers then the 05+ bases, also the head units are diff. the 03/04 have a gm head, the 05+ have the toyota radio
look at the last 8 of the vin (serial number) on the dash in front of the steering wheel
is it is is a 3 it is a 2003 really easy.
If the instrument cluster is plain black and red, then you know you have a 2003. The 2004+ have the nicer looking multicolor cluster (IMHO).
03-04 - lower front lip is painted body color

05+ is dark grey

(i still think toyota copied me on that one...)


Base-No valances or sideskirts, 16" w/ hubs, fogs in the lower grill, grill has ovals, tailights are red and pinkish, instrument gauge is all red, front bumper has 2 rectangular vents on both sides.

Xr-valances are optional, same as all above.

Xrs-valances are standard, and came w/ a limited auto but the rest are manual.

(guage color changes from red in '03's to red and bluish in the 04's+)


Base- Fogs are located more towards the wheels, front grill has more of a vent look, no valances, tailights are clear instead of red, no contour on the front bumper cover('cause i have one)

Xr-same as above but valances are optional(somewhat), may have a countour on front cover(not sure but on the xrs)

Xrs-valances but not sure are standard and has a contour on the front cover and everything else is the same style.
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yellow = 04
lunar mist silver = 03/04
silver streak mica = 05/06/07
speedway blue = 07 (M-Theory only in US, all models in Canada)
metallic sand pearl = 03 (very rare)
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