I bought my 2008 used in 2010 because it seemed better designed than the new model (ie, better visibility). I added some sun blocking measures to the windows and doors because, even though the higher windshield made for a vast view, it meant the sun was often in my eyes. It has great interior cargo space. I've carried a refrigerator, a couch, even a redwood tree in the back. I've had almost no repair costs, except regular maintenance. My mechanics are impressed. It hugs the road and has sufficient pick-up. I consistently get 29-34 mpg. The ride is comfortable for a small vehicle. It's not smooth and silent like a luxury car or a large SUV, but my passengers and I are always comfortable. I almost bought a friend's Prius a few months ago, but realized I didn't want to give up my Matrix. It now has almost 100K miles and I expect it to last another 100K to 150K like my last Toyota.
2008 Toyota Matrix XR 4dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl 4A)
I was so excited to purchase my 08 Matrix after driving my 01 accord into the ground. At first the new car element was amazing, however after driving it daily for almost a year, I have learned to spite this car. I'm a born and raised yooper girl, so before anyone says anything about my inexperience with driving in poor conditions, wrong. My honda accord drove much better. The wind takes this car into other lanes and into the medians without a second thought. Snow is my worst enemy. Even with good tires and a fresh alignment. The car is light and squirrely, not to mention the road noise is loud. I miss my honda every single day. The gas tank is ridiculously small, although the mileage is good. As long as you dont have to go far. My only other cosmetic complaint is the wiper lever is in a bad spot , and I hit it constantly. But as far as reliability, yes, I trust it through and through, but if you prefer white knuckling your long commutes, or being a butterfly in a hurricane, this is the car for you. Space wise, I love the plastic backs to the seat so my dogs have room in the back. The hatch back is convenient and I love the option to open the glass door or the entire hatch. I love Toyota, but i won't ever buy another matrix. A 4runner is in my future
I'm 6'3" 240lbs and this car fits me very well shockingly. I have Arthritis in my knees so leg room is important for me, the matrix fits me perfect. I needed good gas mileage and storage to take IT equipment to and from clients. The Matrix fit the bill. My only down side I can live with is lack of any power. The 1.8L 1ZZ-FE motor will have to downshift two gears on the highway going up hills. The noise in the cabin on a scale of 1 thru 10 (1 being a Cadillac and 10 being a 747 spooling up), the matrix is a solid 5. Not horrible but definitely no money was invested in sound deadening materials in it. Rip your door panels of and add dynomat. sound insulation (adds weight but turns the car into a solid 2 :)
Mine is the 2008 Matrix Base. I was shocked anti-lock brakes were optional on this year. The ride is nice for the class the car is in. I love it over all.
1) It has adequate acceleration despite having only a 1.8L engine (no cargo/people).
2) Dashboard gauges OK except reading speed gets a little fuzzy when between 60 & 80 (only in increments of 20) so you may have to glance at it more then once (distracting) if you don't want to go over the limit.
3) Location of transmission stick is too close to climate control knobs especially when in park (no hand room)
4) Daylight running headlights (dashboard light) always on which I found annoying/confusing but getting use to. Considering getting it disabled if I go with better bulbs for night driving.
5) Noisy/feel road when driving - tolerable
1. Toyota's reliability despite recent gas pedal recall.
2. Cargo room with seats folded down
3. Decent gas mileage w/ soaring gas prices, getting 29-30 mpg on highway
Suprised that anti-lock brakes was not standard (optional) on 2008 Matrix (base).