Toyota Matrix manual transmission

2003 Toyota Matrix w/126,000 miles on it. Manual transmission just died suddenly while on the highway. I hear that this is common. This is not my first manual tranny, and car has been treated well. Web check & call to Toyota toll-free number reveal no recall. Toyota denies any knowledge of such a problem. They foisted me off, “Contact a local dealer for assistance.” I await an estimate from a transmission shop. No longer trust Toyota. Will a rebuild solve this? Or should I seek new tranny? Are replacements any better? Or do they still use same lousy bearings/parts that made the original fail? Besides a new clutch, is there anything else one should repair/replace while car is taken apart? About how much should this cost, at most? Car is otherwise OK, do I repair & hope for another 75k miles, or do I junk the car? A friend suggests a 6-speed tranny. Any advice? Thanks!

“Besides a new clutch, is there anything else one should repair/replace while car is taken apart?”

The engine’s main seal, since it is easily replaced at that point and it is cheap insurance.

Can’t comment on the reliability of that transmission, though. That sucks.

Based on the way manual transmissions work, I can’t see how the whole thing could suddenly just fail. There has to be more clues to get to a reasonable conclusion.

The 2003-2005 Matrix 5-speed has a pretty wide spread problem with weak bearings.
I would look for a 6-speed trans. Stronger and bolts right in.

This place has a good rep:

I would note that Toyota recommends a transmission oil change on this unit every 30k miles.
While that oil change regimen sounds a bit odd to me, there must be a reason for it.
Should I ask if you’ve ever changed the oil at all?

The manual for my 2006 Matrix recommends replacing the trans oil every 30K miles only when towing.
Otherwise it says to only “inspect” it every 30K.

After learning about the problems with the earlier 5-speeds I changed the oil in mine at 21K miles.
It was dark with a metallic sheen. Looked worse than when I changed the oil in my Hondas at 30K.

Thanks, all, for your thoughts. Will inquire about the 6-speed transmission. Will also request to have the main seal changed. And perhaps also the front axle seals? I am not the original owner (I purchased car w/92 k miles on it), but have prior maintenance records and good reason to believe the previous owner (a family friend) took good care of it. I had the transmission fluid checked and changed at about 100,000 miles. I’m fairly anal about maintenance and I do keep track of regular service, including changing engine oil at approp intervals, etc. Your further thoughts/suggestions are most welcome.