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.
    $11,250 - $12,825
    Average Retail Price
    RELIABILITY VERDICT
    OWNER SATISFACTION
    OWNER REPORTED MPG
    $10,100 - $11,400
    Average Retail Price
    RELIABILITY VERDICT
    OWNER SATISFACTION
    OWNER REPORTED MPG
    $9,100 - $10,175
    Average Retail Price
    RELIABILITY VERDICT
    OWNER SATISFACTION
    OWNER REPORTED MPG
    $8,125 - $9,100
    Average Retail Price
    RELIABILITY VERDICT
    OWNER SATISFACTION
    OWNER REPORTED MPG
    $7,575 - $8,500
    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.
    $7,125 - $7,525
    Average Retail Price
    RELIABILITY VERDICT
    OWNER SATISFACTION
    OWNER REPORTED MPG
    $6,575 - $6,925
    Average Retail Price
    RELIABILITY VERDICT
    OWNER SATISFACTION
    OWNER REPORTED MPG
    $5,600 - $6,225
    Average Retail Price
    RELIABILITY VERDICT
    OWNER SATISFACTION
    OWNER REPORTED MPG
    $4,225 - $4,900
    Average Retail Price
    RELIABILITY VERDICT
    OWNER SATISFACTION
    OWNER REPORTED MPG
    $3,925 - $4,725
    Average Retail Price
    RELIABILITY VERDICT
    OWNER SATISFACTION
    OWNER REPORTED MPG
    $3,325 - $4,175
    Average Retail Price
    RELIABILITY VERDICT
    OWNER SATISFACTION
    OWNER REPORTED MPG
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