2009 Toyota Matrix

Find Another Toyota Matrix
22 CITY / 29 HWY
Overall Quality
Overall Performance and Design
Predicted Reliability


What Changed for 2009:
  • All-new design, inside and out

  • Two new engines

  • Energy-efficient heating and air-conditioning system

  • New seat design

  • Four-wheel disc brakes
The Matrix is Toyota's compact crossover utility vehicle (CUV), which means it is small on the outside and as roomy as possible on the inside, and while it may look like a mini-SUV, its underpinnings come from the Toyota Corolla sedan and thus it offers car-like dynamics and fuel economy.

The Matrix joined the Toyota lineup as an all-new model for the 2003 model year. For 2009, the Matrix enters its second generation. In other words, once again it is an all-new-from-the-ground-up vehicle with a new and more sporty exterior design, new and enhanced interior features, and even new mechanical components, including two new engines.

While thoroughly updated, the Matrix retains its basic qualities as a compact yet sporty vehicle with 4 doors for personal entry and exit, plus a rear hatch that provides access to the cargo area. As a CUV, the Matrix also offers customers a choice of front- or all-wheel drive (FWD or AWD). The 2009 Toyota Matrix is covered by a 3-year/36,000-mile warranty with a 5-year/50,000-mile warranty on the powertrain.

Model Lineup
For 2009, the Toyota Matrix is available in three trim levels: Standard, S and XRS. Standard equipment includes a tilt and telescoping steering column, height-adjustable driver's seat, rear-window defogger, intermittent windshield wipers, AM/FM/CD audio system with 4 speakers, outside temperature gauge, and 16-inch wheels. The S version adds remote keyless entry, power door locks and windows, cruise control, intermittent rear wiper, AM/FM/CD audio system with 6 speakers, fog lamps, and a front passenger seat that folds flat to expand cargo-carrying capacity. The S version also can be equipped with AWD. The XRS builds on the Standard and S versions with suspension changes that include 18-inch wheels (with computerized, anti-spin Vehicle Stability Control), a 115-volt (AC) power outlet, and a leather-trimmed steering wheel with audio controls and the availability of Bluetooth hands-free cell phone technology.

Options on the 2009 Toyota Matrix include power heated outside mirrors, 17-inch wheels, power moonroof, Sport package, and an upgraded JBL Premium Sound system with a 6-disc CD changer, Bluetooth and satellite radio or an AM/FM/CD system with 6 speakers and DVD navigation as well as real-time XM NavTraffic capability. All audio systems include a universal audio jack port for listening to music stored on a portable digital device.

All Matrix models for 2009 include a back seat with a 60/40 seatback split to provide room for people and varying cargo loads. Rear interior door panels are designed to hold 20-ounce bottles. The cargo area includes four shopping bag hooks as well as four D-rings to secure large cargo. A folding cargo cover is standard equipment. In addition to the shopping bag hooks in the rear of the car, an additional hook is located on the lower front passenger side of the dashboard. Matrix interiors are available in either dark charcoal or a 2-tone dark charcoal and ash gray combination. Exterior colors are Sundance Metallic, Nautical Blue Metallic, Classic Silver Metallic, Blue Streak Metallic and Magnetic Gray Metallic. Those colors coat a new body structure designed to give the Matrix a more sleek and sporty look, more like a long coupe than a wagon, and yet with the same interior space as the first generation offered. The new Matrix is six-tenths of an inch longer than previously, and also sits closer to the ground, enhancing both its appearance and its dynamic capabilities.

Toyota launches its second-generation Matrix with two new engines. The base engine is a 132-hp, 1.8-liter 4-cylinder powerplant rated at 26 mpg city/32 mpg highway when linked to a 5-speed manual transmission and at 25 mpg city/31 mpg highway when connected to an electronically controlled 4-speed automatic gearbox. The engine features Toyota's Dual VVT-I (variable valve timing with intelligence) technology, designed to enhance performance and efficiency by optimizing the timing of the valves that allow the gasoline and air mixture into the cylinders. The engine was designed to reduce weight and internal friction. The 4-speed Super ECT (electronically controlled transmission) gearbox was designed for reduced internal friction and features shift control software to enhance shifts when traveling uphill or downhill.

Also available is a 158-hp, 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine which, while based on a previous powerplant, has all new parts. This engine also was designed with VVT-I technology to allow better fuel efficiency. This engine is available with a 5-speed Super ECT automatic transmission and is rated at 21 mpg city/29 mpg highway. Drivers can manually shift the 5-speed gearbox by using the \"S\" position on the gear selector and then pushing the lever forward or backward as needed.

AWD is available in the Matrix S equipped with the 4-cylilnder engine linked to a 4-speed automatic transmission. The system switches to FWD under braking.

Four-wheel disc brakes with anti-lock technology are standard on the 2009 Toyota Matrix, with larger braking discs on cars equipped with the larger and more powerful 2.4-liter engine. Standard safety equipment includes front and side air bags for the driver and front-seat passenger as well as side-curtain air bags covering all four outboard seating positions. Vehicle stability control is standard on the Matrix XRS model and available as an option on the Matrix and Matrix S models.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) rates the 2009 Toyota Matrix at 5 (out of 5) stars for protecting both the driver and front-seat passenger in a frontal impact. The NHTSA also rates the car at 5 stars for protecting the driver in a side impact and at 4 stars for protecting a rear-seat passenger in a side impact. Further, the NHTSA rates the Matrix at 4 stars for its resistance to rollover. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has not yet tested the 2009 Matrix.

The 2009 Toyota Matrix is equipped with a new, high-efficiency heating and air-conditioning system. Toyota says the system uses larger vents with enhanced directional accuracy and supplies better cooling and heating while using less power. Toyota says a variable compressor conserves energy through a capacity-control system based on heat load and engine speed.

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