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QUALITY | 8 out of 10
My family of four fit comfortably in the Matrix
Matrix makes good use of its tall design by furnishing generous headroom
Cabin has a utilitarian bent, though it feels more refined than the also-utilitarian xB's
Toyota's trademark high-quality construction and practical layouts are on full display in the 2009 Toyota Corolla Matrix, which rates highly for both passenger and cargo space, as well as overall build quality.
Few five-seat hatchbacks are actually comfortable for five full-size adults, and while squeezing five grown-ups into the 2009 Toyota Matrix is still a stretch, four will fit quite nicely. Cars.com reports that the "front sport seats and a three-person bench seat give the [2009 Toyota] Matrix room for up to five people," and Edmunds confirms that the bench is actually an "adult-friendly backseat."
Reviews read by TheCarConnection.com also appreciate the fact that the seats feature a fold-flat 60/40 split, which makes hauling cargo significantly easier. Up front, ConsumerGuide is pleased to find that the 2009 Toyota Corolla Matrix "makes good use of its tall design by furnishing generous headroom," and the "tilt and telescopic steering column and driver-seat height adjuster are comfort-enhancing standard features." Edmunds agrees with that assessment of the new steering column, reporting "the driving position is vastly improved in the '09 model, with credit going to the new telescoping steering wheel and increased seat-track travel."
Aside from generous passenger accommodations, this Toyota 2009 model benefits from a large and practical cargo area. MotherProof calls the 2009 Toyota Matrix's cargo space "a decent, day-to-day size, and there are grocery hooks in the back" that make running errands significantly easier. ConsumerGuide reviewers also point out that the 2009 Toyota Corolla Matrix's "front passenger seat folds flat on all but the base model for cargo-carrying versatility." In terms of overall space, Edmunds states that "there are 19.8 cubic feet of luggage capacity behind the rear seats and a seats-down volume of 61.5 cubes." The 2009 Toyota Matrix's cabin also offers significant utility, as ConsumerGuide finds that the "interior storage consists of a small glovebox, center console, and door pockets."
The 2009 Toyota Matrix is assembled with obvious precision, but ConsumerGuide notes that "all Matrix models look built to price" with a "notable lack of padded surfaces." ConsumerGuide adds that "few materials feel substantial, and the doors close with a tinny clang." On the positive side, Cars.com finds that the dashboard's "wraparound textures...look rich from any distance," and the "gauges and stereo controls have first-rate quality...and panel fit is generally excellent." Despite some positive reviews of the interior quality, Cars.com feels that the high-quality elements cause "the cabin's weaknesses to stand out even more." Those weaknesses include climate controls that are "awfully clunky, and the ceiling is a vast canopy of mouse fur."
One of the benefits of solid build quality is usually a quiet ride, but it appears as though Toyota has left some of the sound deadening out of the second-generation Toyota 2009 Matrix. ConsumerGuide reviewers report that the "2.4-liter engine is raspy while accelerating," while "wind rush and road noise rise markedly at highway speeds on all models." Cars.com agrees, noting that, "at highway speeds, road and wind noise are considerable, but the engine stays unobtrusive."
The 2009 Toyota Corolla Matrix offers an impressive amount of utility, space, and build quality, but the materials aren't at the same level.