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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.
Once considered revolutionary, the Toyota Matrix is now joined by a fleet of competitors attempting to copy the little wagon's combination of versatility and sporty good looks. Copy-cats may better be able to compete now that Toyota has discontinued the Matrix's high-output 16-valve engine and optional all-wheel drive. Then again, few rivals can match the Matrix's outstanding quality and customer satisfaction ratings, not to mention its terrific resale value. Holding strong appeal with teenagers bent on customizing every inch of their cars, the Matrix's radical exterior is complimented by its highly versatile interior, which includes eye-catching glowing red gauges, a hard plastic cargo floor and a 115-volt outlet.