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 Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 158 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 21/28 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 (9 total reviews)

1 of 6 people found this review helpful

I hate it i hate

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Toyota Matrix S 4dr Hatchback (2.4L 4cyl 5M)

I swear the thing has damaged my hearing it is so loud. The door seals are one poor design and allow air to whistle and roar through the car. Took it back twice and they replaced the seals with no improvement. Finally ran silicon sealant around behind the seal and that has helped a lot. Tire noise very loud. Loud gear whine at 35 MPH and You can't shift into reverse without double clutching or hammering the stick. Both normal per dealer. Impossible to back up at night. Stupid automatic headlights can not be turned off and backup lights are too weak. Gas mileage is poorer than my Camry with same motor and tank is too small. Max of 300 miles and it's on Empty.




I love my new car

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Vehicle: 2009 Toyota Matrix S 4dr Hatchback (2.4L 4cyl 5M)

I just bought a new Matrix. So far, I love the car. It drives well and with the larger engine, has great pickup. I am a large person, but with the extra headroom in the vehicle, I don't feel cramped. I think this car will meet and exceed my expectations for an economy vehicle.




Overall great, fun car

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Toyota Matrix S 4dr Hatchback (2.4L 4cyl 5M)

I bought this car just before winter and so far I love it. It's so much fun to drive, it's sporty without paying for a sports car. It handles very well in the snow as well. I definitely think it hits bumps pretty hard but that's really my only complaint. It's extremely smooth and easy to shift between gears. I think it's a great car for the money. It's backed by the Toyota reputation!




Reflects the driver...

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Toyota Matrix S 4dr Hatchback (2.4L 4cyl 5M)

Being an Admirer of the Prius and the fact that there's a waiting list for one, I browsed the lot at the dealership I went to and I could not get over the awesome body style and "unusual" paint job (sunburst metallic). The thought of another six year car payment was dreaded but I'd moved from a 30 minute commute to and from work a day to a 65 minute one and I needed better gas mileage and a warranty so I decided to "bite the bullet" and managed to leave with a manual 09 Matrix S. Not for one moment do I regret it!!! The gas mileage is incredible (compared to my 01 Chevy Cavalier), It's very "giddy" in the speed department, Very maneuverable on the road and comfortable to drive...




Vibration issue

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Toyota Matrix S 4dr Hatchback (2.4L 4cyl 5M)

The Matrix has been a fun car to drive and I have enjoyed it greatly over the 2006 Corolla I traded in. I don't enjoy the 35 MPG that I did with the Corolla, but I have been averaging about 27. The car has pep as I easily find myself doing 80 in a 45 without noticing. I have been experiencing a vibration on the light console above the gear selector (Map Console?). The vibrations occur only when the sun is low or set, but will start even on a smooth road. I am chalking it up to thermal expansion of the roof when it is in the sun. Has anyone else experienced this? I can not get Toyota to fix because alas, the service department is not open when it is dark out.




Fun to drive, some utility,

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Toyota Matrix S 4dr Hatchback (2.4L 4cyl 5M)

1800 miles so far. Fun to drive. Feels like a sports car. Great for utility. Only slightly smaller in back than my 4runner. 2.4L engine is great but reduces mpg. I get 30 highway. 35 would be more to my liking. It's worth it to me so far though. 5-speed manual is fun but needs one more gear on the high end. A 6th speed (extra overdrive) is what it really needs. That would gain a few mpg and reduce revs on highway. This engine could handle it. Gas pedal seems to be on wrong angle for me (6' and slim). Right foot hurts if I drive highway too long. Always get a nice greeting when people see it, esp younger. It is a slick looking car. Clutch was jumpy for first 1000 miles, ok now.



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

  • 21
  • cty
/
  • 28
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs