2007 Toyota Matrix Review
The Matrix has a high resale value, as well as an innovative interior with good cargo capabilities. However, its engine is widely seen as underpowered and its gauges can be hard to read.
In 2002, Toyota aimed to create a crossover vehicle that had station wagon utility but the styling to appeal to a younger audience. To do that, they paired with General Motors and the result was the Toyota Matrix and its fraternal twin, the Pontiac Vibe. Now in its fifth model year, reviewers generally say the 2008 Toyota Matrix fits the bill for style and utility. Motor Trend says the Matrix "isn't an SUV, a wagon, or a minivan. It's all three: a role player that plays pickle between the highly configurable Chrysler PT Cruiser and the high-output Subaru [Impreza] WRX. The Matrix is therefore, in many ways, the automotive equivalent of a Swiss Army knife."
However, since the introduction of the Matrix, more car companies are introducing vehicles that blur the lines of wagon, SUV and minivan. "Once considered revolutionary, the Toyota Matrix is now joined by a fleet of competitors attempting to copy the little wagon's combination of versatility and sporty good looks," Kelley Blue Book notes. "Copy-cats may better be able to compete now that Toyota has discontinued the Matrix's high-output 16-valve engine and optional all-wheel drive."
Reviewers say the Matrix is still a viable choice for its value compared to its competitors. U.S. News reviewer Rick Newman acknowledges that the Matrix has "pretty good functionality for the money," while Kelley Blue Book notes that "few rivals can match the Matrix's outstanding quality and customer satisfaction ratings, not to mention its terrific resale value." IntelliChoice has not yet given the 2008 Matrix a rating, but gives the 2007 Toyota Matrix a rating of "excellent" for its predicted five-year total cost of ownership compared to others in its class. Prospective buyers should also note that the Matrix may be discontinued after 2008 in favor of the Toyota Blade, which currently sells in Europe.
As previously mentioned, Toyota stopped offering an all-wheel-drive option for the Matrix this year, and has also dropped the highest-level XRS trim and discontinued the use of its 1.8-liter engine with 170 horsepower. Now, the Matrix is available as a base model or the sportier XR. Both the Matrix and GM's Pontiac Vibe share some styling and mechanics with the Toyota Corolla and Toyota RAV4.