2009-2013
2009 Redesign Year
More powerful engines made the Matrix's 2009 redesign feel more eager to drive. We measured an impressive 27 mpg overall from the optional 2.4-liter four-cylinder; all-wheel-drive remained an option.
This tall hatchback has more passenger and cargo space than most competitors, and the high roof eases entry and exit. Folding the rear seats and the front passenger seat lets you haul extra-long cargo. However, the car falls short on refinement, with an unsettled ride on the highway, pronounced wind and engine noise, and a cheap-feeling interior. Hard plastic lining the cargo area lets small items slide around and rear visibility is pinched. The addition of a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel helped the previously awkward driving position, but the wheel doesn't adjust enough to suit everyone. Stability control was standard from 2010 on. 2013 closed out the Matrix.
$8,225 - $9,875
Average Retail Price
RELIABILITY VERDICT
OWNER SATISFACTION
OWNER REPORTED MPG
$7,350 - $8,650
Average Retail Price
RELIABILITY VERDICT
OWNER SATISFACTION
OWNER REPORTED MPG
$6,475 - $7,625
Average Retail Price
RELIABILITY VERDICT
OWNER SATISFACTION
OWNER REPORTED MPG
$5,700 - $6,700
Average Retail Price
RELIABILITY VERDICT
OWNER SATISFACTION
OWNER REPORTED MPG
$5,300 - $6,200
Average Retail Price
RELIABILITY VERDICT
OWNER SATISFACTION
OWNER REPORTED MPG
2003-2008
2003 Redesign Year
Practical and reliable, the Matrix is a Corolla-based small wagon available with either front- or all-wheel drive. Practicality reigns here, with very easy access, a roomy rear seat and a large and flat load floor, once the rear seats are folded.
Performance is modest from the standard 1.8-liter four-cylinder, which drones loudly under acceleration. XRS models use a more powerful engine, but you need to use the six-speed manual transmission to rev the engine hard to wring out its power. Handling is fairly nimble, and the ride is compliant if a little jittery. The optional AWD system works well, but hurts acceleration and fuel economy. Limited left foot room and a long reach to the steering wheel combine to hurt the driving position. Stability control was a rare option through the years.
$4,900 - $5,300
Average Retail Price
RELIABILITY VERDICT
OWNER SATISFACTION
OWNER REPORTED MPG
$4,575 - $4,950
Average Retail Price
RELIABILITY VERDICT
OWNER SATISFACTION
OWNER REPORTED MPG
$4,400 - $5,050
Average Retail Price
RELIABILITY VERDICT
OWNER SATISFACTION
OWNER REPORTED MPG
$4,025 - $4,700
Average Retail Price
RELIABILITY VERDICT
OWNER SATISFACTION
OWNER REPORTED MPG
$3,775 - $4,575
Average Retail Price
RELIABILITY VERDICT
OWNER SATISFACTION
OWNER REPORTED MPG
$3,275 - $4,025
Average Retail Price
RELIABILITY VERDICT
OWNER SATISFACTION
OWNER REPORTED MPG
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