By Eric Yang
on 11.18.08

We Grab The Keys To The 2009 Toyota Matrix And Head To Hoover Dam To Take Photographs. Let Us Tell You Why.

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GP.FEATURE.gifLet us start by telling you a story about a guy who, a few years ago, was relegated to driving a Toyota Matrix for a business trip. The drive was a 6 hour run from Washington D.C. to Boston and the washboard seats, rental-car ride and dismal stereo managed to be utter joys compared to the ultimate mishap: hitting a pothole greeted this poor man with a dashboard that literally fell off. Glove compartment on floor, instrument cluster hanging by wires and an A/C vent in lap. Loads of fun.

Then again, this poor fellow wasn’t driving a 2009 Toyota Matrix. A car, that besides its namesake couldn’t be more different than the aforementioned rental car. We suppose Toyota wasn’t aware of our story when they handed us the keys to copper orange (of course) and blue 2009 Matrix(ices) while we were in Las Vegas for SEMA. A show best described as a car modifier’s mecca.

We decided to take a break from the debauchery and tear down to the Hoover Dam. Why? For some dam pictures and a surprisingly damn fun ride. Read on…

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The oh-nine Matrix has a silhouette somewhat like its predecessor, but shine some light on it and you’ll see an entirely new vehicle. Perhaps one worthy of a spot on the next Transformers, or at least a Michael Bay approved photograph like this one.

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Yes, that’s a navigation system you see. We’re not ashamed to say we used it to get our way to the Hoover Dam from Las Vegas. Notice anything? Yeap, it’s a sharp new dashboard and the best part is its not in our laps.

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Other members of the press ran their Matrix just as hard as we did. That meant little attention to road signs, inspiring tire squeal from a four-cylinder engine that squeezes out nearly 30mpg on the interstate. Yield? Nah.

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You may or may not know about the new thoroughfare and bridge they’re building across Hoover Dam. A truly impressive spectacle and almost surreal in scale.

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Ah look, another freeze frame from Michael Bay’s latest movie.

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We were equipped with automatic and manual 2009 Toyota Matrix(ices) in XRS form. Well appointed, well equipped and far more tossable than we imagined.

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Our final destination, the 2009 1935 Hoover Dam. You might notice the alarming decline in water level of Lake Mead. We know… we want to get into those spillway towers too.

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What do you get when you throw Fender Guitars into a room with a Toyota Matrix? A lot. Here we got to see the Director of Marketing at Fender shredding it out on a custom guitar/Matrix.

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Better yet, Fender and a Toyota at it again (hint: Toyota’s corporate color is red). Like I said, we love a good mash-up…

Here’s what it breaks down to. The 2009 Toyota Matrix is a car we would normally have not taken the time to review or share with the readers of Gear Patrol. Why? Because we don’t think it’s a perfect fit and wasting your time is not our priority.

We stand corrected.

The active lifestyle oriented Matrix is equipped wish a zesty engine that’s ultimately fun to zip around in, it’s torquey and sips on fuel like afternoon tea. You can toss a surprisingly large amount of gear into it (or on top with a roof rack) then feel confident asking three buddies to come along for the ride. The Matrix is available in a variety of forms ranging from manual to all-wheel drive (double sorry Hummer drivers). If you haven’t noticed, smaller cars are making a splash here in the states. This one’s definitely leading Toyota’s charge.

More importantly, you can get it in orange.

Footnote: I’m sure it goes without saying that the original rental Matrix was driven by yours truly.