Go

2008 Toyota Matrix

Overview
Share this page
Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?

2008 Toyota Matrix Review

By

Once considered revolutionary, the 2008 Toyota Matrix is now joined by a fleet of competitors attempting to copy the little wagon's combination of versatility and sporty good looks. Copy-cats may better be able to compete now that Toyota has simplified the model lineup, but an all-new Matrix is scheduled to debut in 2009, so no one should be resting on any laurels just yet. Despite its age, few rivals can match the Matrix's outstanding quality, customer satisfaction ratings and terrific resale value. Holding strong appeal with teenagers bent on customizing every inch of their cars, the Matrix's radical exterior is complimented by its highly versatile interior, which includes eye-catching glowing red gauges, a hard plastic cargo floor and a 115-volt outlet.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you're on an economy-car budget, but you want something sporty and versatile, the 2008 Toyota Matrix deserves a good long look.

You May Not Like This Car If...

The four-cylinder engine has to rev high to make the most of its power, and some buyers might not be comfortable with that. With last year's removal of its all-wheel-drive option, the Matrix has little advantage over newer, more powerful five-door models such as the Mazda MAZDA3 and Volkswagen Rabbit.

What's New for 2008

The 2008 Matrix carries over largely unchanged.

Driving the Matrix

Driving Impressions The competent 1.8-liter engine can move the Matrix with ease, though you will have to keep the revs high in the rpm band to get the most of the engine's...

power. The standard five-speed manual transmission is the most helpful for this task, although the optional four-speed automatic simplifies the driving. The Matrix's precise steering feel makes it easy to get around curves with confidence and the firm suspension displays good cornering ability without a punishing ride. Interior sound levels are higher than one might expect, but not annoyingly so. Besides, we suspect most younger drivers will never hear the din over the optional JBL Audio system.

115-Volt Outlet
The 115-volt outlet on the XR's dash should be standard in every car.

JBL Audio w/ Kicker Sub Woofer
If you like your music loud and your bass thumping, this system is sure to please.

2008 Toyota Matrix Details
2008 Toyota Matrix photo Interior

Look inside the Matrix and you'll find a detailed interior that blends black cloth, chrome trim rings and brushed aluminum into pure automotive art. Gauges are housed in four deeply-recessed binnacles that are constantly backlit in a deep red glow. You'll find the Matrix's seating to be firm and comfortable, with a height-adjustable driver's seat on the XR trim. The roomy rear seat sits up high, affording passengers more legroom as well as a good view forward. When not loaded with passengers, the Matrix's seats can be folded flat to create a rather roomy 53 cubic feet of cargo area. Laptop junkies will love the two-prong 115-volt outlet standard on the XR.

Exterior

The 2008 Matrix is based on the Corolla platform and shares its chassis and powertrain with the Pontiac Vibe. The Matrix is a bit more futuristic in appearance than the Vibe, with flared ground-effects panels, sweptback headlamps and a narrow rear window. The sweeping rear beltline makes for narrow rear side windows that can hinder a driver's ability to see small objects that may be close to the rear wheels. The large hatchback makes it easy to load the cargo hold and, on the XR trim level, includes a rear wiper/washer. A number of aftermarket parts, both from Toyota and external suppliers, make it easy to customize the Matrix without having to spend a small fortune.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The Matrix includes a 126-horsepower engine, five-speed manual transmission, air conditioning, rear defroster, front and rear cup holders, illuminated entry, dual remote-control mirrors, AM/FM stereo with CD, tilt wheel, tachometer, cargo cover and full wheel covers. The XR adds power mirrors, 115-volt outlet, power windows, power locks, remote keyless entry and a rear wiper/washer.

Optional Equipment

Options include cruise control, Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), front side-impact and front and rear side-curtain airbags, power glass moonroof, four-speed automatic transmission, auto-dimming rearview mirror, alarm, rear wiper/washer, anti-lock brakes (ABS), JBL audio and a number of dealer installed security and protection packages.

Under the Hood

The high-reving four-cylinder is peppy and fuel-efficient -- exactly what most buyers are looking for. Although not big on torque, the 1.8-liter can move the Matrix with ease, so long as the car is not loaded with passengers or climbing steep hills.

1.8-liter in-line 4
126 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
122 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 26/33 (manual), 25/31 (automatic)

Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?

2008 Toyota Matrix Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.8
Out of 10

Based on 551 Ratings for the 2003 - 2008 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.1/10
    Quality
    8.9/10
  • Reliability
    9.3/10
    Performance
    8.7/10
  • Comfort
    8.7/10
    Styling
    8.9/10

Best vehicle ever!

By on Wednesday, August 26, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 275,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Fun sporty car"

Cons: "Not enough trunk space"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I've had this car for almost 2 years now and its it's pretty close to 275,000 miles on it! I've have hardly any problems with it and almost the parts are still originals from the factory."

Great, reliable car; low operating cost, low maint

By on Wednesday, August 12, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 206,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Very reliable, low maintenance, no rust."

Cons: "Dash lites, not the quietest, paint easily chips"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Bought used with 175,000; uses no oil; about 32mpg,28 city; have only had to replace starter; had to replace catalytic converter to pass AZ emissions. Some problems with some dashboard lights (gear shift indicators, radio, heater). Replacement parts are expensive but seldom needed. After most of its life in Minnesota, there is no rust to be seen. Great car. Next car will be another Toyota."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

I would buy this car over and over again

By on Wednesday, August 05, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 165,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I purchased the 2006 Matrix brand new and it's the most reliable car I've ever owned. I put a lot of miles on this baby, but she never disappoints. Just do the normal maintenance and I've haven't had any issues yet. Because of the Matrix I will never buy outside of Toyota again. All the seats can be folded over to transport larger items. Great mileage. Roomy. Versatile. Reliable."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Troublesome indeed

By on Saturday, June 06, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 168,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
5/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Nice size car body"

Cons: "Poor gas mileage"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6

"Don't get me wrong, I love my Matrix. It is my first car but I'm pretty sure getting 4 flat tires in 3 months is not luck. My tires and brake pads have given the worst headache ever. Not to mention 4 months ago my original starter for the car went out had to pay $200 for a new one please new brakes, and 4 new tires. I can fill her up with $35.00 but just driving 15 miles to school and back within a week i'm back on E. I wish I had the upgraded version of the car. I love my matrix and I wouldn't want to trade it for the world I just wish i'd stopping breaking down on me."

7 people out of 14 found this review helpful

A wonderful, reliable vehicle!

By on Tuesday, June 02, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 210,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Reliable. Reliable. Reliable. AWD is outstanding."

Cons: "Ugly. Slightly inconvenient interior controls."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I purchased mine with 160,000 miles, the most I have ever had on a vehicle. Now at 210,000, not sure if it will ever quit! Great gas mileage for an all wheel drive (every tank is 30 mpg - city/highway/doesn't matter). The seats are comfy and the vehicle drives exactly as you would want. The engine gets a bit loud at high revs, but nothing to complain about. Love this car and even though it isn't the best looking, this might have been the best auto purchase I have ever made for value."

11 people out of 18 found this review helpful

Great car for the price!

By on Sunday, May 17, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 106,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "quick-fun car to drive, hauls all sizes of stuff"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"1. great gas mileage 2. back and front passenger seat fold down which is excellent for hauling all size of things! 3. very reliable for a car under $20,000 4. quick, easy to drive, smooth 5. paint still looks great at 106,000 miles"

4 people out of 9 found this review helpful

Share this page
Advertisement
Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?

Advertisement