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2008 Toyota Matrix

$3,359 — $8,979 USED
Hatchback
5 Seats
29 MPG
(Combined)
Key specs of the base trim
 — 
Compare 2 trims

Overview

Is this the car for you?

The Good

  • Interior space
  • Highway stability
  • Toyota reputation for reliability
  • Resale value

The Bad

  • Instrument readability
  • Engine and road noise
  • Engine performance with automatic
2008 Toyota Matrix exterior side view

What to Know

about the 2008 Toyota Matrix
  • Hatchback body style
  • Manual or automatic
  • Versatile interior layout

Our Take

from the Cars.com expert editorial team

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Vehicle Overview
Toyota introduced its youth-focused Matrix as an early 2003 model. Described as a crossover utility vehicle, the Matrix was said to combine the functionality of a sport utility vehicle with the image and performance of a sports car. 2008 marks the last year for the first-generation Matrix; a redesigned second generation will debut for 2009. The 2008 model is unchanged from the 2007 version.

High headroom and flexible seating positions are among the Matrix's notable attributes. Two trim levels are available: base and step-up XR. An electronic stability system and six-CD stereo are among the notable options.


Exterior
The Matrix hatchback is built on a platform similar to the one used for Toyota's popular Corolla sedan. Measuring 171.3 inches long overall, the Matrix has a 102.4-inch wheelbase and stands 61.6 inches tall. Base wheels measure 16 inches in diameter.

Interior
The Matrix seats up to five people. With the rear seats folded, cargo capacity measures 53.2 cubic feet. Standard equipment includes air conditioning, intermittent wipers, a CD player and a tilt steering wheel. The XR adds remote keyless entry, a sport steering wheel, and power windows, locks and mirrors.

Under the Hood
The 1.8-liter four-cylinder produces 126 horsepower. Either a four-speed automatic or five-speed manual transmission can be installed.

Safety
Side-impact and side curtain airbags are optional. Optional antilock brakes are disc/drum. An electronic stability system is also optio...
Vehicle Overview
Toyota introduced its youth-focused Matrix as an early 2003 model. Described as a crossover utility vehicle, the Matrix was said to combine the functionality of a sport utility vehicle with the image and performance of a sports car. 2008 marks the last year for the first-generation Matrix; a redesigned second generation will debut for 2009. The 2008 model is unchanged from the 2007 version.

High headroom and flexible seating positions are among the Matrix's notable attributes. Two trim levels are available: base and step-up XR. An electronic stability system and six-CD stereo are among the notable options.


Exterior
The Matrix hatchback is built on a platform similar to the one used for Toyota's popular Corolla sedan. Measuring 171.3 inches long overall, the Matrix has a 102.4-inch wheelbase and stands 61.6 inches tall. Base wheels measure 16 inches in diameter.

Interior
The Matrix seats up to five people. With the rear seats folded, cargo capacity measures 53.2 cubic feet. Standard equipment includes air conditioning, intermittent wipers, a CD player and a tilt steering wheel. The XR adds remote keyless entry, a sport steering wheel, and power windows, locks and mirrors.

Under the Hood
The 1.8-liter four-cylinder produces 126 horsepower. Either a four-speed automatic or five-speed manual transmission can be installed.

Safety
Side-impact and side curtain airbags are optional. Optional antilock brakes are disc/drum. An electronic stability system is also optional.

Driving Impressions
The Matrix is stylish, well-built and nicely designed, but it's somewhat noisy. It's quiet enough when cruising, but the engine may growl and whine during acceleration. Road noise is also noticeable. The engine teamed with the automatic transmission doesn't have much oomph, either. Automatic-transmission gear changes are noticeable but not bothersome.

Stability is good, and it's easy to keep the Matrix on course. It steers with more precision and less wheel vibration than the Corolla, but still falls short of stimulating.


Consumer Reviews

What drivers are saying

4.6
17 reviews — Read All reviews
Exterior Styling
(4.3)
Performance
(4.4)
Interior Design
(4.2)
Comfort
(4.3)
Reliability
(4.8)
Value For The Money
(4.7)

Read reviews that mention:

(5.0)

Really reliable car. Cheapest maintenance.

by Papa from Fl, Miami on June 27, 2018

Perfect and nice car for it price. Very comfortable and practice. I ride on it about 50000 miles, and do nothing, except cheap maintenance (oil and brake pads change) Very reliable! Drive it with ... Read full review

(5.0)

Extraordinary Versatility and Reliability

by MatrixOwner from Chicago, IL on June 11, 2018

Very generous legroom for passengers riding in the rear seat. Great versatility with rear and front passenger seats folding completely flat providing for good cargo capabilities such as fitting long ... Read full review

Safety

Recalls and crash tests

Recalls

The 2008 Toyota Matrix currently has 5 recalls


Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2008 Toyota Matrix has not been tested.

Latest 2008 Matrix Stories

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The Matrix received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker

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