Toyota Matrix 2009

Toyota Matrix 2009: The Toyota Matrix has constantly been a practical option-- functional and sturdy, however ultimately much less interesting compared to its modish styling recommends. With its 2009 redesign, the hatchback remains true to those roots: A bigger engine raises the performance bar a few notches, however energy is still nitty-gritty. This cars and truck is worth an appearance, but with competitors elbowing in from every side, it doesn't bring as much to the field as it when did.

Toyota Matrix 2009

The Matrix is available in 3 trim levels: the standard Requirement, a better-equipped S and a sportier XRS. All-wheel drive is optional on the Matrix S.The Matrix shares origins with the Toyota Corolla as well as Scion xB, and Pontiac markets an associated hatchback in the Vibe.

I drove a front-wheel-drive Matrix S with a manual transmission.

Exactly how it Steps

Most trim degrees have Toyota's 2.4-liter four-cylinder, which supplies a healthy 158 horsepower. A 132-hp four-cylinder comes just on the base model, as well as handbook or automatic transmissions are offered with either engine. Here's just how the specifications work out:

My test car had the 2.4-liter engine, which supplies enough low-end torque for quick launches from quits. Pedal-down velocity produces mild torque guide, but it never bewilders the driving experience. The five-speed guidebook has a solid, hefty feel. It's just like the transmission in the Mazda3, another favored stick shift of mine, however its tosses really feel a lot more exact than the Mazda. The Matrix's clutch pedal is light sufficient for continual rush-hour use, when the freeway removes, 60-to-70 mph acceleration is convenient in fifth gear and energised in fourth. Some small cars and trucks run out of steam when loaded with individuals, yet even with two grown-up guests in tow, I never felt desiring for even more. Regardless, this engine's power really feels eminently a lot more useful than the initial Matrix's 170-hp, rev-like-hell 1.8-liter's ever did.

During perky driving, acceleration lag ends up being an issue. Stab the gas pedal to match revs as you downshift, and the action can be warm. A minimum of it corresponds, so drivers will certainly learn how to hold your horses-- though patience isn't a coming to be trait in a vehicle with efficiency leanings. A number of today's stick-shift-equipped compacts have the same problem, though that doesn't lessen its annoyance.

I didn't drive the 1.8-liter engine, however I've driven it in the brand-new Corolla as well as it's a smooth, if unexciting, powertrain. The Corolla's four-speed automatic delays a bit in kickdown performance, nevertheless, so if you're acquiring a base Matrix with the automated, see to it to see how it finishes with highway death.

Four-wheel-disc antilock antilock brakes are common; the Matrix S and also XRS have a little larger discs compared to the base model. The pedal feels a little bit mushy in the very first inch or so of traveling; afterwards, its response is solid, and also ABDOMINAL MUSCLE never ever starts too soon.

The base Matrix as well as front-wheel-drive S version have an independent front suspension and semi-independent, torsion beam of light back. The configuration returns fairly strong catching with less body roll than the xB, yet the flight becomes a little bit choppy over rough pavement. Pockets as well as speed bumps generate raw sounds from the back suspension and also periodically a rattle or two from the headliner.

At highway speeds, roadway and also wind sound are significant, yet the engine remains inconspicuous. The steering wheel starts to really feel a bit edgy around 75 miles per hour, yet at slower speeds it preserves a protected, on-center feeling. Turn-in precision is impressive: Being a front-wheel-drive auto, the Matrix tends to understeer throughout tough cornering, but I was shocked by how well it held the line. That accuracy isn't easily obvious at lower speeds, where the wheel transforms easily-- meaning there's a lot of power assist-- and also in some cases feels a bit numb.

The XRS and AWD S trims have a completely independent double-wishbone rear suspension, which likely uses a more refined trip. The XRS includes a strut tower brace under the hood to further handle body roll, and its 18-inch alloy wheels eclipse those on less-expensive trims. My tester featured 16-inch steel wheels.

As a result of a changed steering configuration, the XRS' turning circle is 38.1 feet. Base and S models kip down 36.0 feet, which appears better for a portable vehicle; the AWD S comes in at 36.7 feet.

How it Looks

Toyota didn't reinvent the wheel with this variation; the brand-new face appears like a sensible development from the old design. The lights show up reduced and also leaner, as well as the bumper's chunky flanks appear on the verge of swallowing exactly what exists between. The aggression fits on this automobile, and it births some similarity to Toyota's forthcoming Venza crossover.

Total length has increased by less than an inch, and ride elevation has to do with half an inch lower. Unfortunately, the liftgate no longer integrates the previous model's glass hatch.

Sixteen-inch steel wheels with plastic covers begun the base model as well as Matrix S. For its rate, the S truly should certainly have alloy rims, however they're optional. The XRS has conventional 18-inch alloys.

Cabin Top quality

Real to its roots, the Matrix's cabin has a practical curved, though it really feels extra polished than the also-utilitarian xB's. Though the control panel plastics are difficult to the touch, their high quality is decent, with wraparound appearances that look rich from any range. The evaluates and also stereo controls have first-rate top quality, too, and also panel fit is usually superb.

Maybe because there is a lot noticeable top quality there, the cabin's weaknesses attract attention even more. The climate controls are basic however terribly cumbersome, and also the ceiling is a large canopy of computer mouse hair. Toyota had a chance to leapfrog the competitors with attributes-- and outgrow the old Matrix's standard feeling-- but points like extending sunlight visors, lit up vanity mirrors and also a back center armrest are still lacking. Though unusual in this class, those kind of facilities are starting to appear here and there; the Volkswagen Bunny and also the upcoming Hyundai Elantra Touring have all 3.

The upgraded JBL audio system in my examination vehicle belted out good audio, yet it does not have a USB port for iPod combination, which Toyota claims isn't really also offered as a dealership accessory. Instead you'll need to use a fundamental supporting jack. The xB has an iPod port requirement.

The seats are well-padded, however I thought the textile really felt sandpaper-rough in specific areas. I'm a follower of the furrier stuff in the brand-new Corolla; senior editor David Thomas, on the other hand, liked the Matrix's furniture for its longevity. The Matrix XRS obtains its own sport textile, which we have not checked out.

Roominess & Utility

Toyota claims the seats rest somewhat lower than in the past, but I still found the vehicle driver's seat high for a compact auto. Headroom readies in both rows (I have to do with 6 feet high, and my test auto did not have the optional moonroof). The inboard side of the dashboard, which prolongs downward to incorporate the shifter, encroaches on the driver's legroom. Legroom is better in back.

If agitated utility is your point, the Matrix comes through in spades. The back tons flooring is covered in sturdy plastic, as are the second-row seatbacks. When the seats are folded up, the cargo location becomes a genuine deck. Rubber strips along the flooring keep cargo in place, as well as the majority of trims have a fold-flat front guest seat with a hard plastic backing. Vehicle drivers with considerable amounts of plug-in electronics will certainly appreciate the 115V home electrical outlet that's basic on the S and XRS.


As of this writing, the Insurance coverage Institute for Highway Security has not crash tested the Matrix. Conventional features include all-disc antilock brakes, side-impact airbags for the pole positions and side curtain air bags for both rows. That's a major enhancement over the '08 design, which supplied these functions as options. All 5 seats have head restrictions, and also energetic head restrictions are typical up front. An electronic stability system runs an affordable $250-- contrast that to $450 on the Rabbit, $440 on the Caliber and $650 on the outward bound Matrix. The system is basic on the Matrix XRS.

Latch child-seat supports lie in the outboard back seats. Parents will appreciate the clearly marked top-tether anchors, obtainable by flipping up plastic covers in the cargo floor behind the seat.

Attributes & Rates

Omitting the destination cost, the Matrix begins at $16,190, about the same as the outgoing version equipped with comparable attributes. Major common functions consist of AIR CONDITIONING, a fundamental CD stereo with an accessory audio jack and also power mirrors. Power home windows and also locks with remote entry run $990. For $18,260, the Matrix S consists of those features in addition to the 2.4-liter engine, a back wiper as well as even more. All-wheel drive adds $2,140, but it additionally includes an automatic transmission, which sets you back $1,190 or else.

The Matrix XRS starts at $20,660 and also features 18-inch rims, a sport-tuned suspension as well as a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls. Most of those attributes are optional on lesser trims. Various other options consist of a navigation system, a moonroof and also a costs stereo. Cruise ship control runs $250 on any trim.

Completely filled, expect the Matrix to peak around $24,000.

Matrix out there

I believe the Matrix's most significant limitation will certainly be its rate. For the price of a base design with power accessories and cruise control, several competitors throw in alloy wheels, bigger engines or far better stereos. The Matrix's cargo area compares positively, but the vehicle makes no waves in driving dynamics or cabin quality.

The Matrix might ultimately attract those that require optimum utility in a little plan, as well as its flashy personality might snag a few efficiency addicts. For those who want a grocery-getter with a bit more freight room compared to their last car-- including my grandparents, that own the outward bound Matrix-- there are a great deal of competitors that do it for a great deal much less cash money.

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