If you had and loved the 2003-2008 Matrix or Vibe, you will most likely be disappointed in the body style that came out in 2009. The hatchback window doesn't open, the larger engine isn't as fuel efficient, and it doesn't have the roof racks. The clutch in my 2009 Matrix is very hard to engage. I had my 2003 Vibe for 7 years and had well over 200,000 miles on it before I totaled it. In my haste to get as close to the same car, I bought the 2009 Matrix. After five months, I'm trying to find a low mileage, pre 2009 Vibe or Matrix and sell the one I have now.
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.
We bought the car because I'd had good luck with my 2003 Camry and because the Matrix has a ton of room for hauling stuff.
Seats fold flat - even the passenger's.
The 2.4 is peppy and the seats are comfortable.
Better door seals.
Better sound insulation.
Some way to override automatic headlights other than leaving the emergency brake on.
Brighter backup lights.
Smaller side mirrors (big blind spot on left makes it hard to see when turning left.)
Better gas mileage.
Tone down the too bright Passenger Security lights.
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.
I love the room with the seats down. The instrumentation is very similar to my last Toyota, I love just being able to find the windshield wipers, cruise control, gas flap opener, etc.
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!
Fun look of the car. Sporty feel while driving.
Bigger fuel tank, I think it's only 12 gallons. I seem to fill up a couple days earlier than with my 13 gallon tank.
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...