2008 Toyota Matrix vs. Its Competition

2008 Toyota Matrix STD
Marty Padgett Marty Padgett Editorial Director

The Matrix remains very attractive for its combination of roomy interior, versatile cargo space, and fuel efficiency, while its city-friendly size broadens its appeal.

Aside from the nearly identical Pontiac Vibe, the Scion xB is another vehicle with trusty Toyota mechanicals; it affords an impressive amount of space, while offering fuel efficiency that’s almost as good as the Vibe and Matrix.

Also, the Kia Spectra5 is an economical five-door hatchback model that’s definitely more fun to drive than the 2008 Toyota Matrix, though it might not be as spacious inside.

The Dodge Caliber is another distinctive-looking possibility; it offers some impressive features, such as tailgate speakers, but it has a rather loud interior and isn’t as comfortable inside.

And if you’re willing to go up a little bit in size, the Subaru Forester might fit your needs.

It’s more of a sport-utility vehicle, but it’s the small SUV with the most carlike driving position, and it’s one of the best-handling and easiest to park among them.

2008 Toyota Matrix STD2008 Toyota MatrixBrowse Used Listings2009 Subaru Forester2009 Subaru ForesterBrowse Used Listings2009 Scion xB 2009 Scion xBBrowse Used Listings2008 Dodge Caliber SE2008 Dodge CaliberBrowse Used Listings
Quick Specs
The 2008 Toyota Matrix still has one of the best combinations of utility and fuel efficiency, though it lags in safety features.
It’s significantly improved this year, but the 2009 Subaru Forester remains a unique all-wheel-drive crossover with less power and fewer features, but better carlike handling, than its competition.
The 2009 Scion xB has polarizing looks, a no-haggle dealer experience, and a long safety features list. It provides good value for those on a budget.
The Caliber has a very practical layout and quite a few innovative features to get excited about, but it's lacking in driving enjoyment or refinement--even compared to its low-priced competition.
MSRP From   
Gas Mileage   
25 MPG City / 33 MPG Hwy19 MPG City / 27 MPG Hwy22 MPG City / 28 MPG Hwy19 MPG City / 29 MPG Hwy
Gas I4Gas Flat 4-CylGas I4Gas I4
EPA Class   
Small Station Wagon4WD Sport UtilitySmall Station WagonMid-size
Style Name   
5-Door Wagon Manual STD (GS)4-Door Manual X5-Door Wagon Manual (Natl)4-Door HB SE FWD
Front Wheel DriveAll Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity   
Passenger Doors   
Body Style   
5 Door Wagon4 Door4 Door WagonHatchback
Manual w/ODManual w/ODManual w/ODManual
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2008 Toyota Matrix vs. 2009 Subaru Forester2008 Toyota Matrix vs. 2009 Scion xB2008 Toyota Matrix vs. 2008 Dodge Caliber