The Toyota Matrix debuted in 2003 as a compact wagon. While this sounds very staid and practical, the Matrix looks more stylish and sporty than other wagons in its class. It aims to please younger buyers, although it proves popular with buyers of all ages due to its large number of desirable features. Based on the Corolla sedan, it provides a very versatile car great for transporting bulky cargo, as well as adult passengers. In essence it feels very much like a small SUV but drives like a compact car. Overall, the Matrix offers an affordable, well-equipped, four-door wagon.
The 2007 Toyota Matrix offers a very spacious cabin. Even taller adults feel comfortable in the back seat. Perhaps one of the best wagons in its class, it uses good-quality materials and offers a good range of features.
In spite of its practicality, it's not the most inspiring car to drive, but it does give a smooth ride and feels comfortable inside.
Body Styles: compact wagon
Engines: 1.8-liter four-cylinder
Transmissions: five-speed manual, four-speed automatic
Models: Toyota Matrix, Toyota Matrix XR
Toyota tried to make earlier models of the Matrix sporty, but the 2007 Toyota Matrix drops the XRS (the sportier version), as well as the all-wheel-drive models.
The exterior of the 2007 Toyota Matrix looks quite distinctive as it appears angular and tall. It mixes a wagon, crossover SUV, and hatchback, and this makes it a very versatile vehicle. The base seems reasonably well-equipped but many features remain optional. If you choose the XR you gain a rear wiper and keyless entry. Optional extras for both trim levels include 16-inch or 17-inch alloy wheels, a moonroof, and an all-weather package.
The XR adds the option of the Matrix M-Theory package which comes with a special exterior paint and includes 17-inch wheels, four-wheel disc brakes, a sport-tuned suspension, and a front strut tower brace.
The interior of the Toyota Matrix looks attractively designed and has a simple, easy-to-use layout. Taller drivers may find the driving position a little awkward, but generally it feels extremely comfortable. Hard plastic coats the main cargo area and proves much easier to clean than carpet. The cargo floor has eight adjustable tie-down hooks and a hidden storage compartment underneath the floor.
The base 2007 Toyota Matrix includes a CD player and air-conditioning, but many other features remain optional. The XR adds power locks and windows, a 115-volt power, outlet and keyless entry. Optional extras for both trims include a moonroof and a premium sound system.
Performance & Handling
The Matrix draws power from a 1.8-liter, four-cylinder engine, which produces 126 hp and 122 lb-ft of torque. It uses a five-speed manual transmission, but a four-speed automatic provides an option.
It's not a particularly sporty car to drive and has only average acceleration, although those with the manual transmission respond a little better, especially when driving up steep hills. The 2007 Toyota Matrix handles reasonably well and should be fine for buyers looking for something suitable for driving around town. It feels very smooth and comfortable to ride in and makes an excellent choice for daily commuting or longer road trips.
ABS provides an optional extra on all wagons, although the M-Theory models feature standard four-wheel disc brakes. Full-length side-curtain airbags and seat-mounted side airbags for front passengers remain optional. Stability control provides an optional extra only available with the XR, and then only on models with an automatic transmission.
In spite of most these features being optional, the 2007 Toyota Matrix fares reasonably well in crash testing, earning the best possible score for driver protection in frontal impacts and a reassuring four stars for front passengers. With outside airbags the Matrix receives three stars for front
EPA Fuel Economy
Toyota Matrix: 25/31 mpg city/highway
Toyota Matrix XR: 25/31 mpg city/highway
- Capacious interior
- Good fuel economy
You Won't Like
- Mediocre performance
- No standard anti-lock brakes or stability control
A good choice for anyone needing to transport large numbers of people or significant amounts of cargo.
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