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New coupe-like styling better fits the youthful, sporty appeal of the 2009 Matrix. Standard is a new 1.8-liter, 132-horsepower four-cylinder engine, which is up by six horsepower over the previous powerplant. Upper trim levels have a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 158 horsepower. The XRS and the S with all-wheel drive have independent rear suspension.
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.