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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 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 4 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!"

9 people out of 13 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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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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