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2011 Toyota Matrix Review
A popular wagon/hatchback crossover.
Reviewed by Automotive on
The 2011 Toyota Matrix represents one of the first cars on the market to avoid a definitive category. It uniquely combines a hatchback and a wagon. It is a tall, five-door hatchback that offers more interior space than its outward appearance lets on. It comes in two trims: the Matrix Base and the Matrix S. Once you get over the look of the car, you may find a vehicle that offers a pleasant ride, a roomy back seat, and a lot of style.
Engines: 1.8-liter four-cylinder, 2.4-liter four-cylinder
Transmissions: five-speed manual, four-speed automatic
Models: Toyota Matrix, Toyota Matrix S
The Toyota Matrix saw very few changes in 2011. Toyota has discontinued the top-of-the-line XRS model for the 2011 Matrix, which featured sport-tuned suspension and additional optional features. The rest of the trim levels receive more standard equipment, including cruise control, full power accessories, an upgraded stereo system, heated and folding rearview mirrors, redesigned fasciae, and rear-seat heat ducts.
Exterior standard features for the 2011 Toyota Matrix include 16-inch steel wheels, keyless entry, and heated/folding rear-view mirrors. The S trim adds 17-inch wheels and fog lights, and the optional S Premium package adds front and rear underbody spoilers and an ""S"" badge on the grille.
The exterior is sporty and aerodynamic. The wheelbase measures 102.4 inches, and the overall length measures 171.9 inches. The model stands 61 inches tall, making it taller than the average hatchback or wagon. It offers a ground clearance of 5.8 inches, making it easy to enter and exit the vehicle.
The 2011 Toyota Matrix has simple controls, decent materials, and a roomy back seat. The inside offers more space than the exterior indicates, although taller drivers might feel a bit cramped. The instrument panel is easy to read. Some of the plastic parts on the dashboard seem a bit too large, making the dashboard look inflated in places and unattractive as well. The front bucket seats provide comfort, and the center console has an intuitive layout, but appears bland.
The interior standard features for the base model include full power accessories, cruise control, a rear-window defogger, daytime running lights, color-keyed and heated outside rear-view mirrors, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel with audio controls, and a four-speaker sound system with a CD player and auxiliary audio jacks. The S trim adds a folding passenger seat, metallic interior trim, remote keyless entry, fog lights, and a six-speaker sound system with AM/FM radio and a CD/MP3 player.
Performance & Handling
The 2011 Toyota Matrix base model contains a 1.8-liter, four-cylinder engine with 132 horsepower and 128 lb-ft of torque. A five-speed manual transmission comes standard, and four-speed automatic transmission is optional. The Matrix S model has a 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine that produces 158 horsepower and 162 lb-ft of torque. The front-drive S model offers a four-speed automatic transmission as an option, but it comes standard with the five-speed automatic. The all-wheel drive (AWD) S models only come with the automatic transmission.
The Matrix base model comes equipped with a sluggish 1.8-liter engine that accelerates from zero to 60 mph in 8.9 seconds, but it does offer good fuel economy. The S trim has good acceleration, but meager fuel economy, compared to its competitors.
Standard safety features for the 2011 Toyota Matrix include anti-lock disc brakes (ABS) with brake assist, active front-seat head restraints, stability and traction controls, and front-side and full-length side curtain airbags.
Safety features for the Toyota Matrix earn it five out of five stars for frontal collision protection and four out of five stars for side-impact protection in rear-seat side impact collisions. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gives this car the best possible rating of ""Good"" for protection in frontal-offset and side-impact collisions.
EPA Fuel Economy
Toyota Matrix with automatic transmission: 25/31 mpg city/highway
Toyota Matrix S with manual transmission: 21/29 mpg city/highway
Toyota Matrix S with automatic transmission: 20/26 mpg city/highway
Toyota Matrix S with all-wheel drive: 20/26 mpg city/highway
- Good ride
- Roomy back seat
- Easy-to-use controls
- More conventional styling than some of its competitors
You Won't Like
- Meager fuel economy of S engine
- Unattractive interior
- Minimal driver’s seat legroom
- Sluggish acceleration from the 1.8-liter engine
A popular wagon/hatchback crossover.
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