Even if it doesn’t overwhelm with performance, the 2008 Toyota Matrix shines when it comes to value, usability, and utility.
Up front, “the driving position is more upright than in a typical compact car,” says ConsumerGuide. They point out “fine headroom, even beneath the sunroof housing.” Kelley Blue Book considers the “seating to be firm and comfortable, with a height-adjustable driver's seat on the XR trim.”
The rear of the Matrix yields exemplary comfort for its class, with “enough headroom and legroom for two large adults,” says ConsumerGuide, also noting the “tall body minimizes stooping on entry/exit.” “The roomy rear seat sits up high, affording passengers more legroom as well as a good view forward,” points out the reviewers at Kelley Blue Book.
The Matrix interior is full of convenient, useful touches, such as a front passenger seat and rear seats that fold flat, plus a tough plastic load floor. That feature, plus “bountiful small-item storage,” gives the Matrix “fine overall space for the exterior size,” according to ConsumerGuide. It all adds up to “a rather roomy 53 cubic feet of cargo area,” by Kelley Blue Book's ruler, with the seats folded, leading Edmunds to declare it “one of the most versatile compact wagons available for transporting both people and cargo.” Ergonomics are generally judged to be good; Consumer Reports deems “Control layout is simple and logical” and praises an interior that is “tightly assembled with sturdy materials nicely in line with prices.”
Cost-cutting is evident, though, and some interior details trouble reviewers. “The engine is noisy at high rpm” and “none too relaxed in typical highway cruising,” complains ConsumerGuide, who also bring to attention “noticeable wind rush and coarse-surface tire thrum.” A few dislike the dashboard instruments set in deep tunnels surrounded by distractingly bright chrome rings, and Kelley Blue Book points out that “the sweeping rear beltline…can hinder a driver's ability to see small objects that may be close to the rear wheels.”