2009 Toyota Matrix Hatchback Review | Edmunds.com

2009 Toyota Matrix Hatchback

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Toyota Matrix Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.4 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain All Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 4-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 158 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 20/26 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2009 Toyota Matrix

  • The 2009 Toyota Matrix is a highly practical and refined compact wagon that will appeal to small families. However, even in sporty XRS flavor, its entertainment potential is low.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Smooth and quiet ride, ergonomic cabin layout, adult-friendly backseat, perfectly flat load floor makes it an excellent cargo hauler.

  • Cons

    Mediocre gas mileage with 2.4-liter engine, tepid driving dynamics.

  • What's New for 2009

    Toyota's compact hatchback/wagon is redesigned. The new 2009 Toyota Matrix is the same size as the old one, but a new 2.4-liter engine makes it a better performer and all-wheel drive is once again an option.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (15 total reviews)  |  Write a Review


Great car my awd

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Vehicle: 2009 Toyota Matrix S 4dr Hatchback AWD (2.4L 4cyl 4A)

We purchased our 09 matrix in 2008. At the time living in snowy area we got the awd-s model with the 2.4 litre Camry engine. Traction control on snow/ice fantastic. Not too many other cars can beat it from a light, eccept maybe a sports sedan with a v-8? paint chips easily, seats uncomfortable&blind spots, mileage is o. k. 28-30 mpg on highway. Overall the car is good. 31,000 miles&only oil changes. All 4 tires will need to be replaced soon. Remember, it's awd!




Love my matrix

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Vehicle: 2009 Toyota Matrix S 4dr Hatchback AWD (2.4L 4cyl 4A)

Great performance, so far has been reliable. I've enjoyed driving this car. Handles great. Headrest is very uncomfortable, causes pain in the neck and back. A little hard on fuel. Other than that I would say Matrix is a great car, I have a S AWD.




Problems with the seats

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Vehicle: 2009 Toyota Matrix S 4dr Hatchback AWD (2.4L 4cyl 4A)

2009 Toyota matrix ....Grey interior ....problem with seat staining from getting wet, seats replaced 2 times front and back still having the same problems ....3 water leaks.....replaced the carpets....car still smells mildew...Is this Toyota quality???? Toyota needs to do something!!!!!!! I had a 2005 matrix - good little car, shouldn't have ever traded in.




S awd

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Vehicle: 2009 Toyota Matrix S 4dr Hatchback AWD (2.4L 4cyl 4A)

Driving experience is fun for a crossover AWD vehicle. Ride is fairly smooth and build quality seems good other than a crackle and pop here and there. The car has ample power for a 158 hp 4 cylinder with all wheel drive, especially when driven in 3rd. Has plenty of room in it and versatility. The car has good looks inside and out, and definitely doesn't blend in with the ugly looks of some of it's competitors. The dash layout is very nice and sporty looking, and is easy on the eyes.




Awd lacks good mpg

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Vehicle: 2009 Toyota Matrix S 4dr Hatchback AWD (2.4L 4cyl 4A)

I have had the AWD Matrix since July 2008 and overall, I like the car. The AWD system has been very nice to have this winter, but at a high cost. I am averaging just 22 MPG on the highway, which is lower than expected. Next time i am in the dealership I am going to have them check for problems. Also, on very long drives, the seats can become a bit uncomfortable. When the car is wet, water from the roof spills onto the rear seat when you open the back doors.




Solid little car

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Vehicle: 2009 Toyota Matrix S 4dr Hatchback AWD (2.4L 4cyl 4A)

We bought our Matrix early in January and have already put a few thousand miles on it. the conditions here in Maine have been tough - lots of snow, ice, temperatures down near zero. The Matrix has performed extremely well under all conditions. It is a safe, dependable little car.



Full 2009 Toyota Matrix Review

What's New for 2009

Toyota's compact hatchback/wagon is redesigned. The new 2009 Toyota Matrix is the same size as the old one, but a new 2.4-liter engine makes it a better performer and all-wheel drive is once again an option.

Introduction

Although Toyota has traditionally marketed its Matrix as one of the sporty, fun cars in its lineup, most people have purchased this small wagon/four-door hatchback for a very different reason: practicality. The first-generation Matrix had a backseat large enough to fit three kids or a pair of adults, and its perfectly flat, plastic-coated load floor was suitable for all manner of cargo. Being related to the Corolla sedan also helped, as the Matrix enjoyed above-average fuel economy and a solid reputation for reliability.

You can look forward to more of the same in the fully redesigned 2009 Toyota Matrix. A new, larger engine option should attract the attention of buyers looking for more performance, but otherwise this is the highly rational Toyota Matrix you've always known. As in the past, the front-wheel-drive Matrix is closely related to the Corolla, itself also redesigned this year. The Matrix is 3 inches taller, however, and this provides extra headroom. Toyota will continue to sell a base Matrix with an economical 1.8-liter engine, but the midrange S (replacing last year's XR) and the high-line XRS trim levels get a 2.4-liter engine with significantly more horsepower and torque. In addition, buyers have the option of purchasing all-wheel drive on the S model, which upgrades to an independent double-wishbone rear suspension (from the standard torsion beam) to allow packaging of the AWD system's rear differential. The XRS has an independent rear suspension as well, but in this case, the objective is to improve handling: This sportiest version of the Matrix also has firmer springs and shock absorbers and a front strut tower brace.

In spite of these upgrades, the 2009 Toyota Matrix still isn't as engaging to drive as a Mazda 3 or the recently introduced Mini Cooper Clubman. That's not to say the Matrix isn't a capable small wagon, though. Handling is stable and secure, the ride is quiet and refined and there's ample passing oomph with the larger engine. These attributes, along with its spacious and ergonomic interior design, make it a strong contender against rivals like the Chevrolet HHR, Kia Spectra5/Rondo, Saturn Astra, Subaru Impreza, Volkswagen Rabbit and Toyota's own Scion xB. Among these four-door hatchbacks and wagons, the Rabbit, Impreza and Astra may still prove more appealing to shoppers who like to drive, but for those resolutely focused on practicality, the Matrix is once again a very strong candidate.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2009 Toyota Matrix is a small wagon/five-door hatchback available in three trim levels -- base, S and XRS. All-wheel drive is optional on the midrange S. The base car starts you out with 16-inch steel wheels, air-conditioning, a CD stereo with an auxiliary audio jack, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel and power mirrors. Note that cruise control, keyless entry and power windows and locks are optional on this version of the Matrix. All of the above items are standard on the S, which also provides a rear window wiper, underbody spoilers, an upgraded stereo and a 115-volt utility outlet. The AWD version of the S loses the spoilers, but gains foglights and an independent rear suspension. The top-of-the-line Matrix XRS looks just like the front-drive S model, except for its 18-inch alloy wheels and rear roof spoiler. It also has sport-tuned suspension and steering, upgraded seat fabric and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. A sunroof and an in-dash CD changer are optional across the board. Optional on the S and XRS only are a JBL sound system, satellite radio, a navigation system (with real-time traffic capability) and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.

Powertrains and Performance

On the base Toyota Matrix, you'll find a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 132 horsepower and 128 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed manual transmission is standard and a four-speed automatic is optional. The S and XRS models upgrade to a 2.4-liter engine that makes 158 hp and 162 lb-ft of torque. On the XRS and front-drive S, you can get a five-speed manual or a five-speed automatic. The AWD S comes only with a four-speed automatic.

Equipped with the 1.8-liter engine, the Matrix returns above-average fuel economy -- 26 mpg city and 32 mpg highway with the manual and 25/31 mpg with the automatic. City mileage takes a dive if you opt for the larger engine: Ratings are 21/28 with the manual, 21/29 with the automatic and 20/26 with AWD.

Safety

Every 2009 Toyota Matrix comes with antilock disc brakes, though the S and XRS have larger discs all around. Also standard are front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. Stability control is included on the XRS and optional on the lower trim levels.

Interior Design and Special Features

Inside, the redesigned Matrix looks and feels much like the original car, though obviously updated. It continues to offer a sportier ambience than the Corolla. The driving position is vastly improved in the '09 model, with credit going to the new telescoping steering wheel and increased seat-track travel. The controls are laid out to ergonomic near-perfection. In back, the tall, deep bench is comfortable for children and adults alike, and it folds completely flat in 60/40 sections. The one change that might disappoint some buyers is the deletion of the in-floor, adjustable cargo-track system, which Toyota says most owners weren't using. In its place, you'll find fixed tie-down points and rubber inserts designed to keep cargo from sliding around. There are 19.8 cubic feet of luggage capacity behind the rear seats and a seats-down volume of 61.5 cubes.

Driving Impressions

As you'd expect, the Matrix feels a little pokey accelerating off the line when equipped with the base 1.8-liter engine. However, the engine remains smooth all the way to its power peak, and it's certainly the more frugal option. That said, once you've tried the 2.4-liter engine, it might be hard to go back. Its extra low-end torque makes for a more relaxed driving experience around town and when merging onto the highway. Ride quality is exceptional, and even the sporty XRS would make a quiet and comfortable commuter car. Around corners, the Matrix feels balanced and predictable. It's still not a very exciting car to pilot, though, and the electric-assist steering, while nicely weighted, is low on feedback. The upshot is that the 2009 Toyota Matrix is no Mazda 3 substitute, even in XRS form, but practical-minded consumers will appreciate its high level of refinement.

Talk About The 2009 Matrix

Read more about the 2009 Toyota Matrix

Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 20
  • cty
/
  • 26
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs