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2009 Toyota Matrix Review

The 2009 Toyota Matrix is a practical choice if you’re looking for a no-hassle car that can haul a lot of stuff and tackle winter weather.

Pros & Cons

  • Plenty of cargo space
  • Available all-wheel drive
  • Underpowered base engine




Critics' Rating: 7.3
Performance: 6.8
Interior: 7.6
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.5
Safety: 9.2
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2009 Toyota Matrix Overview

Though the Matrix’s cabin isn’t fancy, it offers a lot of utility. Behind the comfortable rear seats is about 20 cubic feet of cargo space, and that number more than doubles with the rear seats folded. When it was new, the 2009 Toyota Matrix had a low starting price, so it doesn’t have many standard features. The base model comes with air conditioning and a four-speaker stereo with an auxiliary input jack, while available features include power windows and door locks and keyless entry. The base Matrix doesn’t have standard electronic stability control, but it does come with anti-lock brakes. XRS models come with electronic stability control. The Matrix also has available all-wheel drive. 

The 2009 Toyota Matrix has two available engines. Test drivers said the base 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine was slow off the line, but is the best choice if your primary concern is good fuel economy. The 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine has more pep for highway driving, but gets worse fuel economy. Safety ratings for the Matrix are slightly above-average.

See the full 2009 Toyota Matrix specs »

Other Cars to Consider

The 2009 Pontiac Vibe, which was built alongside the Toyota Matrix, is also a practical hatchback with plenty of cabin and cargo space. Although reviewers said the Vibe isn’t very engaging to drive, it does offer all-wheel drive, which will be helpful during harsh weather.

The 2009 Honda Fit is a top-ranked car in the class and outshines the Matrix in most ways. The Fit has one of the most spacious five-seat cabins in the class, and although it has less overall cargo space than the Matrix, the Fit’s interior is more versatile. While the Fit only offers one engine, reviewers called its performance peppy and said it has good cornering abilities. The Fit also has higher safety scores than the Matrix. One of the few things the Matrix has that the Fit doesn’t is all-wheel drive.

Compare the Matrix to the Vibe and Fit »

Best 2009 Compact Cars

  • #1

    2009 Scion xB

    $4,150 - $5,992 AVG. PAID

    You can only compare 3 cars at a time.
  • #2

    2009 Scion tC

    $3,717 - $6,384 AVG. PAID

    You can only compare 3 cars at a time.
  • #14

    2009 Toyota Matrix

    $4,166 - $7,534 AVG. PAID

    You can only compare 3 cars at a time.
See the full 2009 Compact Cars rankings »

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