The Toyota Matrix is based off of the Corolla frame and architecture. The Matrix was first released in 2003 and offers a small hatchback form factor comparable to the Mazda3 or the Pontiac Vibe. In 2009 the Matrix received some much needed updates to its body styling and received some new cosmetic changes on the interior. Powered by a 1.8 liter 4 cylinder engine that offers 158 horsepower this hatchback has plenty of pep in its step. The Matrix is gets good mileage, up to 32 on the highway and is an affordable sport hatchback starting at only $16,700. This car is mostly aimed towards the younger driver, but offers a lot of value for drivers of any age.

There are many different trim levels offered that can add on sports suspension, spoilers and of course a variation of alloy rims. This entry level hatchback offers a lot of style and would be a great car for new drivers. The base price offers a lot of value, but after adding on all the extras this economy car can cost over $20,000.

Body styles: Hatchback
Engines: 1.8L I-4, 2.4L I-4
Transmissions: 5-speed manual, 5-speed automatic, 4-speed automatic
Models: Standard, S, XRS

Following the introduction of the new-generation Matrix for 2009, not much changed for 2010 Toyota Matrix. The biggest news was that all trim levels of the Matrix received stability control and traction control as standard equipment. Otherwise, the same engines and trim levels return: 132-horsepower, 1.8-liter four with a manual or automatic, or 158-horsepower, 2.4-liter four with a choice of three transmissions.

The new styling of the Matrix is more aggressive than the previous generation, but it’s still clearly a Matrix. Sixteen-inch wheels are standard on the base model and S, 18-inch wheels are standard on the XRS.

Air conditioning with filter and 12-volt power port are standard across the 2010 Toyota Matrix lineup. Matrix S models add power door locks and windows; XRS adds unique sport fabric, upgraded audio, XM-ready antenna, and aux jack.

We recently tested the Toyota Matrix XRS with the five-speed manual and 2.4-liter four cylinder engine and it went from 0 to 60 in an impressive 7.3 seconds. In addition, it completed the quarter mile in 15.7 seconds at 88.4 mph. However, the engine is unrefined and buzzy and the overall driving experience is somewhat unengaging. Braking numbers were good — the Matrix stopped from 60 mph in 128 feet.

Dual front airbags, dual front side airbags, and side curtain airbags are standard on the Toyota Matrix. So are stability control, traction control, anti-lock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution and brake assist, and tire-pressure monitoring.

Standard: 25-26 mpg city/31-32 mpg highway
S: 20 mpg city/26 mpg highway
XRS: 21 mpg city/28-29 mpg highway

  • Easy-to-use navigation
  • Good acceleration
  • Pleasant interior

  • Mushy handling
  • Lack of refinement
  • Buzzy engine
  • Wind noise

Average at best

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