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2013 Toyota Matrix

Overview
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2013 Toyota Matrix Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 5.5

In the 2013 Matrix, Toyota has created a compact wagon that is part economy car, part mini-SUV and part go-kart. The Matrix's tall seating position and available all-wheel drive (AWD) appeal to those who might gravitate toward a small SUV, but can't afford the cost or the fuel. Plus, the Matrix's sporting suspension and low-to-the-ground profile give it a spunky, athletic feel you won't find in many wagons or SUVs. But, the Matrix's age is taking its toll, namely in the noticeable absence of cutting-edge infotainment and audio features. Newer models from Kia, Hyundai, Nissan and Ford are similarly priced and offer far more in the way of power, features and fuel economy.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you're looking for a sporty ride with a strong reputation for quality and reliability, the 2013 Toyota Matrix has a proven history. Available AWD is something you won't find on a Ford Focus, Hyundai Elantra or Nissan Versa.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If your taste in hatchbacks runs toward the fast and furious, you'll be better off in something like a Nissan Juke, Mazda Mazda3 or VW Golf. The Matrix's lack of sophisticated audio and infotainment systems won't sit well with younger buyers.

What's New for 2013

For 2013, the Toyota Matrix L gains cruise control while the S trim gets a new Display Audio system with a 6.1-inch touch screen, Bluetooth and USB/iPod interface.

Driving the Matrix

Driving Impressions The 2013 Toyota Matrix and Matrix S use the same, tightly tuned suspension to deliver direct handling and a fairly comfortable ride. The Matrix's electric-assisted power steering isn't as precise-feeling...

as a traditional hydraulic unit, but it does help the engine conserve power and improve fuel economy. The 132-horsepower engine on the base Matrix hatchback provides adequate power, but the Matrix S's 158-horsepower engine is notably better for merging onto fast-moving freeways while also providing stout off-the-line acceleration. We like the AWD option for those who have to deal with snow on a regular basis but, as the system activates only when sensing wheel slippage, we think it doesn't do much to improve the car's overall handling. If you live someplace that is always sunny and warm, the AWD option probably isn't worth the extra cost or added weight.

DISPLAY AUDIO
With its 6.1-inch touch screen, the new Display Audio provides clear and easy-to-operate functions for the radio, iPod and satellite radio. It also features Bluetooth streaming audio.

GENEROUS REAR CARGO SPACE
Fold down the rear seats of the 2013 Toyota Matrix hatchback, and the flat cargo floor can hold a bunch of camping gear, back-to-college supplies or boxes and books for moving day.

2013 Toyota Matrix Details
Interior

On the utility side, the 2013 Matrix S features a flat-folding front seat for increased cargo space, while both trims include built-in rubber rub strips on the cargo floor and rear seatbacks. Although not cramped, the Matrix hatchback offers front- and rear-seat legroom slightly smaller than the segment leaders, the rear seat being the biggest offender. The Matrix's front seats place their occupants up high, giving the feeling of driving a small SUV.

Exterior

While the EPA may consider the 2013 Toyota Matrix to be a small wagon, we think its racy exterior and aggressive wheels say different. This sporty hatchback features a sharply angled nose, a sweptback beltline and black-out treatment around the rear D-pillar's wraparound glass. Every Matrix includes color-keyed, heated side mirrors, a rear-window wiper and daytime running lights, and the Matrix's design elements make it one of the more youthful Toyota offerings, even outshining some Scion products. On the Matrix S trim, the sporty attitude is taken a step further with an underbody front spoiler, blacked-out rear diffuser, 17-inch alloy wheels and a rear roof spoiler.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2013 Toyota Matrix comes in two trim levels: Matrix and Matrix S. Both have Toyota's very comprehensive Star Safety System that includes Toyota's Smart Stop Technology that cuts engine power if the driver simultaneously presses both the accelerator and brake pedals. All models include power windows, power door locks, heated power exterior mirrors, cruise control and a tilt/telescopic steering wheel. The standard audio system is an AM/FM/CD unit that features four speakers, MP3/WMA playback capability and an auxiliary audio input jack. The Matrix S comes with 17-inch wheels, fog lights, silver interior trim, 6.1-inch Display Audio with six speakers and remote keyless entry.

Optional Equipment

The 2013 Toyota Matrix L hatchback can be equipped with a 4-speed automatic transmission and the Sport package, which adds fog lights and front and rear spoilers. The Matrix S can be had with all-wheel drive, and an enhanced Sport Package (rear roof spoiler and unique 17-inch alloy wheels). A power sunroof is also available on the S.

Under the Hood

Standard on the 2013 Toyota Matrix L is a 1.8-liter 132-horsepower 4-cylinder engine, which is available with either a 5-speed manual or a 4-speed automatic transmission. The Matrix S has a 2.4-liter 158-horsepower 4-cylinder engine with either a 5-speed automatic or a 5-speed manual transmission. AWD is available only on the S and only with the automatic transmission. The 2.4-liter engine employs variable timing on both exhaust and intake valves to optimize responsive acceleration and good fuel economy.

1.8-liter inline-4
132 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
128 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 25/32 mpg (manual), 26/32 mpg (automatic)

2.4-liter inline-4
158 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
162 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/28 mpg (manual), 21/29 mpg (5-speed automatic), 20/26 mpg (4-speed automatic, AWD)

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2013 Toyota Matrix Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.2
Out of 10

Based on 80 Ratings for the 2009 - 2013 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.5/10
    Quality
    8.3/10
  • Reliability
    8.9/10
    Performance
    8.4/10
  • Comfort
    8.2/10
    Styling
    8.3/10

very decent car

By on Wednesday, August 27, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 50,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Fun to drive and reliable"

Cons: "Drivers seat doesn't go back very far"

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

"Bought this car new. It has gotten good gas milage and is very peppy. Gets thru snow well and handles good. Sport pkg is great but ride is a little rough. Carries a lot lots of room No mechanical problems."

Love my baby!

By on Friday, August 15, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 72,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
Not Rated
Styling
8/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "reliable, great gas mileage, comfortable, spaceous"

Cons: "hard to find replacement cup holder dividers"

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

"I personally love this car. It's served me well on road trips all up and down the east coast. It's easy with dogs and it holds a LOT more than you would expect. The only issue is it isn't the quietest car on the highway. We're 72k miles in and I would say we really haven't had any issues, knock on wood! The only thing I dislike is the color of the radio system. It's an ugly orangey yellow! Oh yeah, car is awesome on gas mileage. I average about 350-400 miles on 10-10.5 gallons of gas! Oh one more issue! My brother threw out the cup holder plastic divider piece and finding a replacement online is impossible! Don't lose it! I'm sure dealers will charge a bunch."

3 people out of 6 found this review helpful

A great, reliable and good looking car

By on Friday, August 01, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 185,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Fun to drive, economical, reliable, roomy"

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

"I have a long commute and have driven across the country once in this car. Despite all the miles I have put on it, this car has never let me down. It is reliable to the letter! I get about 33 miles a gallon on the highway so it is pretty economical with fuel also. It is also really roomy, particularly when the back seats are folded down."

3 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Amazing vehical!

By on Friday, May 30, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 159,500

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Great price, Style, Gas"

Cons: "none!"

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

"I got this car after my Camry had a recal a few years back. I absolutly love my car! the gas milage is great and the safty of the Matrix is excellent!"

10 people out of 13 found this review helpful

Perfect for Me

By on Friday, November 08, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 26,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Great looking car; comfortable driving"

Cons: "Some visibility issues; noisy driving"

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

"I really love this car!! Traded in a van for this Matrix. Now that I am used to the change in size of vehicle, I love the control of this car. Kind of noisy to drive, but I really feel good driving it."

9 people out of 11 found this review helpful

Great Headroom, Style, but read further...

By on Thursday, October 31, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 43,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Roomy, Stylish, good MPG, low maintenance costs."

Cons: "Noisy, harsh riding and poor visibility."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6

"Exotic styling. However, this causes difficult blind spots on either side of front windshield and to rear view. Ride is harsh, you will feel every road defect. Handling and braking are quite good. Acceleration isn't very strong, but capable in most traffic. Average around 28 MPG all around. Interior noise level is very high on highway, difficult to converse normally. The access and head room are great. The rear hatch and fold flat rear seats really makes this car a versatile hauler. The radio has too much bass, treble can't be turned up high enough to compensate."

5 people out of 7 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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