The Toyota Matrix is a five-door hatchback or what some might consider a “tall wagon” design. It is built on the Corolla’s platform and has been sold stateside since 2003. Its 11-year North American model run, however, is coming to an end as Toyota will no longer offer this vehicle when the all-new for 2014 Toyota Corolla debuts this year.
Toyota Matrix History
Introduced for the 2003 model year, the Toyota Matrix and the similar Pontiac Vibe were built together at the NUMMI automotive plant in California. The last Pontiac Vibe rolled out early in the 2010 model year before the Pontiac brand was canceled. Toyota then moved Matrix production to Canada.
The first generation Toyota Matrix was built from 2003 to 2008 and offered standard and high performance versions of Toyota’s 1.8-liter four cylinder engine. Transmission choices included a five-speed manual and a four-speed automatic.
The second generation Toyota Matrix was built from 2009 to 2013 and brought back the 1.8-liter rated at 132 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 128 foot-pounds of torque at 4,400 rpm. Five-speed manual and four-speed automatic transmissions were offered. A 2.4-liter four cylinder engine was also offered, making 158 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 162 foot-pounds of torque at 4,000 rpm. A five-speed manual was standard, a four-speed automatic was available with the front-wheel drive model and a five-speed automatic was paired with the all-wheel drive edition.
The second-generation Toyota Matrix sits on a 102.4-inch wheelbase. This vehicle is 171.9 inches long, by 69.5 inches wide by 61 inches tall. Its ground clearance measures 5.8 inches (5.3 inches with the AWD model). Front track measures 59.8 inches to 59.9 inches in the rear.
Seating five, the Toyota Matrix offers 94.2 cubic feet of passenger volume. This vehicle has 19.8 cubic feet of standard cargo volume, expandable to 49.4 cubic feet with the rear seat folded down. The Matrix weighs from 2,844 to 3,274 pounds and has a maximum towing capacity of 1,500 pounds.
The Toyota Matrix is outfitted with a 13.2-gallon fuel tank. This model takes regular grade gasoline.
With its smaller engine the Matrix is EPA-rated at 26 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway (manual) or 25 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway (automatic).
With its larger engine the Toyota Matrix is rated as high as 21 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway and as low as 20 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway.
Matrix Model Choices
The Toyota Matrix is available in L and S trim levels. The Matrix L gets the smaller engine and the Matrix S is powered by the larger engine.
All Matrix models are outfitted with multi-reflector halogen headlights and daytime running lights. Fog lights are included with the Matrix S and available in the Matrix L as part of an option package. Color-keyed heated side mirrors, 16-inch steel wheels and a rear-mounted rear window wiper are standard. The Matrix S offers an optional power tilt moonroof and larger, alloy wheels as part of an option package.
Inside, the Toyota Matrix is equipped with climate control, fabric seats, cruise control, a tilt and telescopic steering wheel column, power windows and door locks, a 12-volt outlet, an audio system and Bluetooth connectivity. The Matrix S gains an audio display, interior metallic trim and an available overhead console.
Beyond the Matrix
With the Toyota Matrix out of the picture, customers will have a choice between the Corolla and the RAV4, models that are far more popular than the Matrix ever was. The RAV4, new for 2013, and the Corolla, new for 2014, bring in more model choices, available navigation systems and other features that the Matrix did not offer.
See Also — 2014 Toyota Corolla: Best Bang for the Buck?
Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.