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STYLING | 8 out of 10
The look of the five-door attempts to be sportier and more aggressive
Car and Driver
A sporty hatchback that looks as if some thought actually went into the design
Ergonomic cabin layout
The 2009 Toyota Matrix, which is based largely on the Toyota Corolla, is the first of Toyota's second-generation Matrix models. This Toyota 2009 lineup is restyled and similar to the Pontiac Vibe, which was co-developed with GM, though anyone familiar with the previous Toyota Matrix will instantly recognize the new 2009 Toyota Corolla Matrix.
The exterior of the 2009 Toyota Corolla Matrix is revised, but still quite similar to the old 2008 version. Reviews read by TheCarConnection.com generally approve of the admittedly unorthodox design, which Motor Trend says is "self-described as a 'sport/utility with coupelike design.'" Edmunds simply calls the 2009 Toyota Corolla Matrix a "small wagon/five-door hatchback available in three trim levels—base, S and XRS." MotherProof reviewers are particularly fond of the appearance, musing that the 2009 Toyota Matrix "looks as if some thought actually went into the design." However, not all reviewers are so positive, as Car and Driver feels that "the XRS does look sharper, thanks to the fitment of a strut-tower brace and an independent rear suspension, but somehow the overall look comes off as less interesting than before." Whether or not you approve of the new look, this Toyota 2009 model has a lower, sportier stance than the first-generation model.
The interior of the 2009 Toyota Matrix scores pretty well in terms of styling, with MotherProof claiming that "the Matrix's climate and stereo controls are easy to use" and the same reviewers appreciating that they did not need "to read a 600-page dissertation on how to switch from the radio to the CD player." Edmunds reviewers approve of the "ergonomic cabin layout" that "continues to offer a sportier ambience than the Corolla."
The one major complaint with the 2009 Toyota Matrix's interior design comes from ConsumerGuide, where reviewers find that "indistinct markings on the speedometer sometimes require a second look away from the road," and although "the center portion of the dashboard is canted toward the driver," it is "not enough to prevent outside light from washing out the radio display." On the positive side, ConsumerGuide does acknowledge that this Toyota 2009's "climate controls are large, accessible dials," which prove relatively easy to use.
The 2009 Toyota Corolla Matrix's styling might be more at home in the Scion lineup, but it does give Toyota at least one interesting and relatively sporty-looking model.