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#19

in 2009 Affordable Small Cars

Avg. Price Paid: $9,287 - $12,032
Original MSRP: $16,290 - $21,950
MPG: 21 City / 28 Hwy
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2009 Toyota Matrix Interior

This interior review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.

There are a few issues with the Toyota Matrix's cabin, but reviewers do say it's an improvement over the previous generation. One thing that has not changed is the cockpit noise, which is described as excessive even for an affordable small car.

  • "The interior has a so-so appearance, but the back seat is roomy, and the cargo area is large." -- Chicago Sun-Times
  • "We loaded our tester with two adults up front and either two or three older children in the rear, depending on the day, and had plenty of room for everyone's luggage in the back - along with three hiking sticks." -- Fort Worth Star-Telegram
  • "My family of four fit comfortably in the Matrix." -- Mother Proof
  • "The Matrix transmits a surprisingly high amount of road and tire noise into the cockpit." -- Kelley Blue Book

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Front Seats

There is no consensus on the Matrix's front row. Writers agree the driver's visibility is good and that the seats are supportive.

  • "Front seats are supportive. However, taller drivers with long legs will wish their seat would slide back farther." -- Chicago Sun-Times
  • "The driving position is vastly improved in the '09 model, with credit going to the new telescoping steering wheel and increased seat-track travel." -- Edmunds
  • "The high front seating position provides excellent visibility." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Matrix makes fine use of its tall design by furnishing generous headroom and chair-high seats that are firm and supportive." -- Consumer Guide

Rear Seats

Like most small cars, the Matrix is not long on rear-seat space or comfort. Most concede children will find the area sufficient, but no more than two adults should try to squeeze in at once. 

  • "In back, the tall, deep bench is comfortable for children and adults alike, and it folds completely flat in 60/40 sections." -- Edmunds
  • "Enough headroom and legroom for two large adults, but knee clearance gets tight with front seatbacks reclined." -- Consumer Guide

Interior Features

A lot of reviewers report the 2009 Matrix misses the mark when it comes to material quality and the placement of gauges. Most of the compliments given to the Matrix are backhanded.

  • "We were hoping for more advanced trip computer information, such as range to empty and current fuel economy. Beyond the AC power outlet, the only gadget in our car was the stereo, and it was the base model for the Matrix." -- CNET 
  • "The steering wheel audio controls are a good idea, but I found them to be poorly placed, because each time I had to blow the horn, I accidentally hit one of the audio controls. At one point, this turned the system on unexpectedly, startling me because the volume was way up." -- Fort Worth Star-Telegram
  • "Though the dashboard plastics are hard to the touch, their quality is respectable, with wraparound textures that look rich from any distance." -- Cars.com

Cargo

The Matrix has one of the largest and easiest-to-load cargo areas of either the small car or hatchback class. There's 48.9 cubic feet of space with the seats down, but reviewers express concern for the scratches your stuff will make on the area's hard plastic floor or your cargo.

  • "You can carry four big people or drop three seats and slide a short board inside; four doors make loading kids, dogs and miscellaneous cargo a cinch." -- New Car Test Drive
  • "If rough-and-tumble utility is your thing, the Matrix comes through in spades. The rear load floor is covered in durable plastic, as are the second-row seatbacks." -- Cars.com
  • "Its plastic floor covering is durable but can scratch cargo. Split rear seatbacks fold flat for added cargo room, and a low, wide hatch opening eases loading and unloading." -- Chicago Sun-Times
  • "While the rear seats fold flat, the seat backs and cargo area are plastered with 'bureaucrat gray' hard plastic, offering less traction than Ron Paul. And how about the scuffs, digs, scrapes, divots, lacerations, and other nasty marks that sliding hard goods will make as they rumba around the cargo area?" -- The Truth About Cars

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