The Toyota Matrix hatchback has been discontinued in the U.S. market for the 2014 model year. Toyota cites dwindling demand for the Corolla-based hatch, and says that the company will not sell a new Matrix-like vehicle based on the 2014 Corolla.
The announcement is hardly a surprise. Toyota Matrix sales have been falling for years, leading to rampant speculation that the car would eventually be phased out. Toyota's Bill Fay fueled the fires when he told reporters last December that, "If we don't have the Matrix, it won't be the end of the world." Toyota does not provide separate sales figures for the Matrix and Corolla, but a Toyota spokesman told us that the take rate has "dwindled" in recent years.
The first and second generations of the Toyota Matrix were twinned with the Pontiac Vibe, but Toyota didn't sell the second-gen car (2009 and newer) outside of North America. Not only was the car unpopular, it made little sense to sell a unique model in one region only. Toyota does sell a small hatchback called the Auris in Europe, but there are apparently no plans to bring it to the States.
The 2013 Toyota Matrix offered a 132-hp, 1.8-liter inline-four and a 158-hp, 2.4-liter inline-four engine, with a choice between a five-speed manual and four- or five-speed automatic transmission. Both front- and all-wheel-drive versions were available. Pricing started at $20,085, including an $810 destination fee.
Although it is done here, the Toyota Matrix will be sold for one more year in Canada. A Toyota representative tells us that all-wheel-drive versions of the Matrix are quite popular in Canada, so it makes sense for Toyota to continue selling the car there for 2014.