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2009 Matrix or 2008 Civic or 2009 Corolla

azr4elazr4el Posts: 2
edited April 2014 in Toyota
I'll be graduating from college in a few months and I'm getting a car as a graduation gift/commuter for work.

I'm trying to decide between the 2009 Matrix and 2008 Civic. I have yet to test drive either, but after doing some research the Civic always seems to be a winner. I like the matrix mainly because of Toyota's reputation and its cargo space for hauling stuff. The Civic definitely seems like the safer, economical car.

I wanted to spring for the Matrix XRS until I found that it would be roughly the same price or more than the Civic Si which killed the deal for me. However the Matrix S seems lacking in MPG versus the Civic or even its other form, the Corolla.

Can anyone vouch for either of these three?:

2009 Toyota Matrix S
2008 Honda Civic LX or EX
2009 Corolla S


  • tarnetttarnett Posts: 7
    Congrats on the Grad present! Either will be dependable and comfortable. I own a 2008 Civic Si Sedan and love it. I have driven the previous generations of the Corolla and Matrix. I can put it best this way: there's a recent Cadillac commercial where a very pretty young lady says "When you turn your car on, does it return the favor?" IMHO the last Toyotas (not including Lexus) capable of that were the Supra and the Celica. The rest of the Toyota line are reliable, quiet, comfortable and last practically forever, but have no charachter. If you want a car that makes you look forward to the next time you need to go to the store, of the 3 you mention I would say the Civic EX. BTW, the EX Coupe has a better suspension package for handling when compared to the EX Sedan, which is more on the comfort side.
  • cz75cz75 Posts: 210
    Another Si sedan owner chiming in in support of the Civic EX, assuming you don't want the Si for some reason. I haven't driven any Toyotas that recently, but they've always struck me as not quite as fun to drive as Hondas and the build quality never seemed any better than Honda. The main thing going for Toyota is that they seem more willing than any other manufacturer to stand behind their vehicles, even when out of warranty.

    On the other hand, if you're looking for safety features and good overall performance in what amounts to a commuter car, perhaps you should look at the Matrix or Corolla XRS models, since these can be optioned with stability control (unlike any non-Si Civic), have four-wheel disc brakes (unlike a non-EX/Si Civic or any other Corolla/Matrix models), have more guts than a non-Si Civic, and allow one to get an automatic transmission, unlike a Civic Si.
  • loudog2loudog2 Posts: 83
    I've never driven the civic. We have a 2009 matrix s awd 2.4l. It is fun to drive. The awd was a must with the Chicago snow storms. The vsc, traction control, tpms, and abs w/ebd are a plus. Fuel economy is not that bad for a awd vehicle. The cargo space comes in handy. But, the final decission is yours. Go with what you want. Buyers regret sucks. Like when I bought my tv. Got the 50 inch, then wished I got the 60 inch. So bottom line get what you want, don't settle for anything. Espeacially with a big purchase like a car. There is nothing wrong with test driving a car a couple times each.
  • I decided on the base model matrix.. I liked the civic but wanted a hatchback and the Honda Fit didn't get as good reviews on the handling.. plus the styling is nicer on the Matrix. I am getting a lot of compliments on the car.

    I am very pleased with my matrix, I wanted to be able to fit a mountain bike in the back (I am short so a roof rack wouldn't work too tell) and the gas mileage is very good. Like how quiet it is. I have the base model, powerful enough.. its a commuter car not a sports car :)
  • I'm trying to make the same decision myself. I have driven both, and a comparable Civic is $4,000 more than the Matrix that I am looking at.

    I find the Matrix is roomier, has a better driving position, and has more standard features than the Civic does. Also, you can add more options to the Matrix where as the Civic is pretty much purely package deals.

    I don't think the reliability ratings for the Matrix are fair, either. When I worked for a rental car company we ran a fleet of 30 Toyota Matrix's. Now, those cars were driven hard. They weren't broken in properly, and I'm sure the customer's mistreated them as badly as we did. I never seen the Matrix on the maintenance line once. Some oil change intervals were as high as 15,000kms and there was no bother from the engine. The rental car company that I worked for didn't start running civic's until the year after I quit, so I'm not sure how they fared.

    But I think you should go for the most value for the dollar.
  • I just traded in my Honda for a toyota. The 2006 Honda Civic was nothing but trouble. I had 33,000 km on the car, took it in for a balancing. Told me I needed new tires on the back. After a bunch of research on this website I found out a lot of civic owners have the same problem. The upper arm control on the rear suspension is coupling the tire so it drags a bit. Honda CANNOT fix this problem even with the arms being replaced. It is a design issue! Honda will not take responsibility for it. They are selling the 07 and 08 models with the same problem. I fish tailed in slightly icy roads and rainy weather conditions. Very scary! How do you fish tail on front wheel drive??? Anyway, traded it on a Toyota Matrix and love the car. Might not be as stylish but I won't get killed in it!
  • Just purchased sorta felt pressured. Was told the base would do good and price had wiggle room compared to the scion xD. Well before I knew it two floor managers were tossing numbers everywhere-claims it will get more mileage than stated (22/29) main thing I was really interested inthe Base plus cruise control. Well never saw the wiggle room ended paying $19800 using the lease to own plan.after 2k down and 2.5k trade-making it almost $24k in 3 yr. will either pay 12800 or refinance. question do they get better mileage than posted and does that sound like a decent price. live in Ohio ps female and they kept asking if husband was involved I should of walked out at that question. Seeems no dealer in Oh will work up a sale price and give you time to either thik about it or compare. Is that asking to much. or did they just see a sucker in me. I do love the car.

  • I'm curious what options did you add that drove the price up to almost 24K? That seems like a steep price to pay.
  • I live in Michigan and you should have been able to buy the sport model outright for less than 24k.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    I believe Usafrosie was saying the cost over the course of the payments, including interest, was almost $24K. The actual price she paid was $19,800 apparently.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • Sorry, guess I misread the post.
  • Take care and enjoy your new car. The whirlwind dizzying sales routines are really something. I had it happen to me in 2001 at a Nissan dealer. Wasn't just two guys, but the whole crew. Honest to God, true story!!! Went for a test drive, then sat down inside. A football game was starting on TV behind me. It was University of Washington against UCLA. Washington was still good in those days, I'm a fan of the team, and I wanted to watch that game. By the time they got done with me, the game was half over. It was Halftime!!! I didn't buy. In my case, after all that, the price they offered was exactly where it should have been, even though I didn't know that until later. They were being coached in the art of car selling by an older salesman/boss, I believe. He was the 'manager', and was sitting not far away. I still remember it, with fondness....
    I didn't buy because the car didn't have a radio. In 2001 I had never had a car with Air Conditioning, Cruise, Power windows and door locks. :blush: So that didn't even register with me. Sitting there, I thought to myself "I don't want to scratch the first new car I've ever bought, putting in a radio".
    The car was a 2001 Nissan Sentra base model, manual tranny. I thought it drove like a dream. Of course, I was stepping out of a 1968 Chevy Impala with 330,000 miles.
    I bought a little Toyota Tacoma base model shortly after that. I'm on my sixth new vehicle now, and have had mixed success with prices I paid. Some great buys, some not so great. All resulted in a new car, and it's been a blast. :)
  • mnfmnf Spokane WaPosts: 405
    Great Story and in site as I also am on my 6th new car since 1998 and it is fun every time. :shades:

    GO COUGS take that APPLE CUP ;)
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