Toyota Matrix opinions and help!

I’m shopping for a new-ish hatchback and/or Small SUV (of which, there really aren;t any that exist anymore…they keep getting bigger!)…and find myself keep coming back to the Toyota Matrix. Probably an '08. I love Everything about it…it’s reputable company, great reliability, great gas mileage, price is within range, awesome cargo space and features…but the rear-window low visibility Scares me!!! Are there any Matric owners, or test-drivers out there that can guide me as to how big of an issue this really is? If i don;t feel comfortable, do i give up and keep looking, or get the car i want and just be careful and get used to it? Another contender is an older 04 or 05 Toyota Rav4. I’ve also been looking at the Honda Fit, Mazda 3, and Subaru Impreza. Would love any and all feedback…and sorry for the long post.

We have an older 05 RAV which is excellent and am disappointed as well that the smaller SUVs have become so big. The only holdout is the Forester, in the growth category.
As far as the small rear window is concerned, it’s less of an issue if you are really comfortable with your rear view mirrors. Many don’t consider it a big problem on many models. They do have optional rear cameras for some makes; I don’t know how easily a universal model and can be fit to a Matrix. Assume it would…

I too thouught of the rear-facing camera systems. You may want to check into that.

Also, my car has very poor rear visability and I thus always back into parking spaces and into the garage. It’s much safer that way.

I have a 2007 Corolla, and the rear vison with the three headrests in place in the rear is awful, so I just remove them. Nearly all cars have poor rear visibility these days due to the bobbed up trunk and those headrests. I put mine back on when I have backseat passengers.

The Honda Fit has a good size back window; you might try it; it’s a little smaller than the Matrix, but also quite roomy inside and has a good reliability record.

I’ve rented the Pontiac Vibe and Matrix before and never found rear visibility to be an issue. But if you don’t like it, you don’t like the car. If you decide you like the Matrix enough, look at the Pontiac Vibe. Even if Pontiac folds, GM probably won’t and you can get the car repaired at any GM dealer. If there are not Pontiac parts, Toyota parts will fit just fine. But only buy the Vibe if the cost is substantially better than the Matrix.

Newer cars unless made like a truck/SUV have poor rear visibility. I had a family friend go through a long shopping process to find an older Avalon with low mileage due to the same problem. She stated otherwise she was going to buy a truck. My Camry’s rear view is not good. I never had issues with my older cars though.

My suggestion is to rent a Matrix/Vibe for a few days and see if you get used to it, otherwise no point investing money in a car that is going to bother you every time you shift to reverse.

I’ve driven an 03 Vibe 1.8 liter automatic almost 150000 miles and have never had a single thing go wrong with it while getting between 30 and 37 mpg, truly an amazing car. I have never had a problem with visibility in any direction. An 08 Matrix the same vehicle with different sheet metal, but interior and window dimensions are identical. Buy one, with great confidence.

Thanks for the feedback so far, everybody! Good suggestion about renting one to make sure. As of now, i’m leaning towards buying my mom’s 04 Rav4 in order to save some money and for the rare opportunity to drive it back cross-country. Figure even an old Toyota is a good buy, although i am still torn about putting all of that money into NOT a brand new car. ugh. Decisions!!! Keep the opinions coming, though! :slight_smile:

They ride a little stiff, but if you get used to it, you will LOVE the flexible interior. The upright seating in a smallish car with plenty of pep from the Camry 4 and you have a real keeper. Good choice.