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2010 Toyota Matrix

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2010 Toyota Matrix Review

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The 2010 Toyota Matrix offers a sporty, practical and reasonably priced alternative to either mundane sub-compact cars or bulky crossover SUVs. Released last year as an all-new model, the 2010 Matrix offers more appealing styling, an optional 158-horsepower 2.4-liter engine, crisp steering feel and precise handling. The performance-oriented XRS trim level has returned, as has optional all-wheel drive. As with the previous generation Matrix, there's plenty of room for four adults and the rear seats fold down to create a flat, voluminous cargo area. Main competitors for the Matrix include the new MAZDA3, Chrysler PT Cruiser, Honda Civic and the Matrix' fraternal twins, the Toyota Corolla and the soon-to-be-disappearing Pontiac Vibe, which are all built in the same Canadian factory.

You'll Like This Car If...

Performance-oriented drivers will enjoy the 2010 Toyota Matrix XRS trim level's combination of precise steering feel, sports-tuned suspension and grippy ultra-high-performance all-season tires. Rear seats in all models easily accommodate two adults, or the seats can be folded to provide a large cargo area.

You May Not Like This Car If...

The Matrix transmits a surprisingly high amount of road and tire noise into the cockpit. Two of its tire choices – the high-performance and touring all-season tires – seemed noisier than the ultra-high-performance rubber on the XRS.

What's New for 2010

For 2010, Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) and Traction Control (TRAC) are now standard on all trims.

Driving the Matrix

Driving Impressions Each trim level of the 2010 Toyota Matrix has its own significantly different feel and performance. The base model is focused more on economy and functionality than driving excitement. The...

S trim level, which will be the sales leader, has a slightly more sporty suspension and steering tuning and the 158-horsepower 2.4-liter engine; the handling is responsive and acceleration is decidedly peppy. The XRS is a serious performer with taut, sport-tuned suspension, precise steering and high-performance tires. The electric power steering system allows easy tuning for different levels of steering feel, and also helps performance and fuel economy by dismissing with the traditional engine belt drive and hydraulic pump. Unless you regularly encounter snowy conditions, the 2.4-liter engine does not produce enough power to make the all-wheel-drive option worth the cost and extra weight.

XRS Trim
Sport-tuned suspension, excellent steering feel, grippy 18-inch tires and a 158-horsepower engine turn the 2010 Toyota Matrix XRS into a terrific little car for the enthusiast driver on a budget.

Generous Rear Cargo Space
Fold down the rear seats of the 2010 Toyota Matrix and its flat cargo floor can hold a bunch of camping gear, back-to-college supplies or boxes and books for moving day.

2010 Toyota Matrix Details
2010 Toyota Matrix photo Interior

Despite its sporty exterior, the 2010 Matrix is an extremely practical sub-compact. The rear seats comfortably accommodate two full-sized adults. There's more than plenty of headroom both front and rear and legroom has been increased. The rear seats fold forward to create a flat cargo floor that will swallow large amounts of gear; however, last year's restyling did cut about two cubic feet from the cargo volume. The front passenger's seat folds flat and can be employed as a computer table or to carry longer cargo. The high front seating position provides excellent visibility, and all trim levels have supportive sport seats.

Exterior
2010 Toyota Matrix photo

The original Toyota Matrix reminded some of a miniature minivan or station wagon, which turned off a number of potential buyers. The latest iteration is slightly longer and wider, and Toyota stylists have eliminated the third side window. This styling change significantly expands the C-pillar and wraps the back glass around the sides, delivering a sportier coupe-like appearance. The XRS gets even more aggressive styling, including a front underbody spoiler, a rear roof spoiler and 18-inch aluminum wheels.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2010 Toyota Matrix comes in three trim levels: Base, S and the sporty XRS. All have four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, traction and stability control and front, front-side and full-length side-curtain airbags. The base model has a 132-horsepower 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine, while the S and XRS have a 158-horsepower, 2.4-liter version. The base and S versions have 16-inch steel wheels, the XRS has 18-inch aluminum rims and XRS and S versions have larger front and rear disc brakes. Other standard equipment includes Lexus-style Optitron gauges, an auxiliary input jack and a tilt and telescoping steering wheel. The S and XRS have a 115-volt AC outlet that accepts three-prong plugs.

Optional Equipment

Available on the S and XRS trim levels are a navigation system that's more affordable to fit the Matrix market and a JBL seven-speaker audio system with a six-disc CD changer, although unfortunately you cannot get both together. All-wheel-drive is available, but only on the S model and only with the 2.4-liter engine and four-speed automatic. Optionally available are 16-inch aluminum wheels for the base model and 17-inchers for the S trim, fitted with either touring or high-performance all-season tires.

Under the Hood

Standard on the 2010 Toyota Matrix is a 1.8-liter, 132-horsepower four-cylinder engine, which is available with either a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic transmission. The S and XRS models have a 2.4-liter, 158-horsepower, four-cylinder engine with either a five-speed automatic or a five-speed manual transmission. The 2.4-liter engine employs variable timing on both exhaust and intake valves to produce both responsive acceleration and good fuel economy. All-wheel drive is available only with the S trim level with the automatic transmission. In normal operation, the AWD system sends all the power to the front wheels, but when slip is detected the electronically-controlled center differential diverts up to 45 percent of the torque to the rear. Base and non-AWD S models have a beam rear axle, while the XRS and AWD versions have independent rear suspension.

1.8-liter in-line 4
132 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
128 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 26/32 (manual), 25/31 (automatic)

2.4-liter in-line 4
158 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
162 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/28 (manual), 21/29 (5-speed automatic), 20/26 (4-speed automatic, AWD)

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2010 Toyota Matrix Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.2
Out of 10

Based on 89 Ratings for the 2009 - 2013 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.5/10
    Quality
    8.3/10
  • Reliability
    9.0/10
    Performance
    8.4/10
  • Comfort
    8.3/10
    Styling
    8.4/10

love this car

By on Saturday, June 20, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 70,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
Not Rated
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"This is such a great car, I am very disappointed that Toyota did not continue the model. No maintenance problems at all. Very reliable"

1 person out of 5 found this review helpful

Not good value and poor MPG

By on Wednesday, May 27, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 24,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Very good acceleration and smoothe gear change"

Cons: "Bad fuel consumption, noisy, bad accelerator pedal"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 4

"Bought the Matrix for carrying small loads that are not possible in a regular sedan. Does that well. Fuel consumption is poor, 21 MPG around town and 28 MPG on a run. Great acceleration and smooth gear change, but the auto drops to a lower gear far too quickly - leading to poor fuel consumption. Noisy and not particularly comfortable. Quality of construction is nowhere near as good as our Honda Accord. The accelerator pedal action is poor - almost impossible to achieve a smooth start from a standstill."

6 people out of 9 found this review helpful

Love this car after all these years!

By on Tuesday, April 21, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 89,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Fun to drive, small and can fit anywhere, good MPG"

Cons: "needs more cargo space"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This car has been so good to me. Still runs great, looks great, and has tons of pep. I got it in 2008 but it is an 09. I just had someone complement it the other day when the valet at a restaurant pulled it up for me. It is spunky, great on gas, and has never had any problems."

7 people out of 12 found this review helpful

It is sad Toyota stopped making the Matrix

By on Wednesday, February 18, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 178,045

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Well made, fun to drive, easy to handle"

Cons: "Ruff ride at times"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I have been driving Toyotas for over 20years. Have had 4 4Runners and one Matrix and the Matrix was like having a miniature 4Runner.Great handling car in all weather and esp. in the snow with just front wheel drive! I will probably drive this car till the wheels fall off. Nothing compares to the size and weight this automobile has. Great reliability!"

10 people out of 14 found this review helpful

Reliable, roomy, looks nice,

By on Wednesday, November 05, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 116,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "reliable, rear folding seats, cargo space"

Cons: "wind and cabin noise, blind spots,"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"I like the style of this car inside and out. Looks pretty nice for a Toyota. I have had this car for 2 years and haven't had to do anything except take it in for regular oil change/maintenance. I love the amount of space you get with the rear seats folded flat. The 1.8 L is good on gas but not as good as I expected it to be. It really sucks gas in the winter. The acceleration is acceptable for the size of the car but it is no race car. Not really fun to drive but it gets you from point A to point B. I don't find the seats very comfortable especially on long trips. There is a lot of wind engine tire and cabin noise especially at freeway speeds. There are a couple of blind spots with the rear pillars but you can get around this by adjusting your rear view mirrors. The brakes seem to wear out quickly. This car has a great resale value and costs very little to maintain. Great value for the money and I'm sure it will be good for many miles to come."

22 people out of 28 found this review helpful

I love the car, i dont want to let it go...

By on Friday, October 03, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 143,888

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
10/10

Cons: "small , compact, no luxury, cover material is chea"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I let it go because I got to move. I love this car. It is very fast of accelleration, can run up to 110 not problems.... very smooth and durable."

7 people out of 13 found this review helpful

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