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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.
Favorite Features

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
8.1
Out of 10

Based on 76 Ratings for the 2009 - 2013 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.5/10
    Quality
    8.2/10
  • Reliability
    8.8/10
    Performance
    8.4/10
  • Comfort
    8.2/10
    Styling
    8.3/10

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."

6 people out of 7 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."

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Good little car

By on Friday, August 09, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 53,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
6/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
5/10

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

"Great gas milage, handles well, not bad to look at and reasonable room. Greatest weakness is just a little cheap"

5 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Very Disappointed in Toyota and I've owned many.

By on Thursday, July 18, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,752

10 3.0
overall rating 3 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
3/10
Value
3/10
Reliability
3/10
Quality
3/10
Performance
3/10
Styling
3/10
Comfort
3/10

Pros: "Fun to drive, but not on highway."

Cons: "Loud road noise, iPod connectivity doesn't work."

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

"Bought 1 month ago prior to vacation. Loud tire noise on highway, rough ride. Despite having the upgraded 6 speaker radio, iPod connection doesn't work. Something in the back bangs when going over road bumps or highway road joints. Haven't found out what yet. Drive position is comfortable to drive for distance, but the road noise, banging in back on every bump or road joint doesn't make for a good experience. Had it in the shop twice before going on vacation to have them fix the iPod connection problem -- 3 1/2 hours of driving on trip, iPod quit. I'd tried undercoating to try to help silence the loud road noise but that didn't do much. Vacation was good despite loud bumpy road noise driving to and from. Wish I'd never bought a Matrix."

8 people out of 11 found this review helpful

Very happy

By on Sunday, July 07, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 69,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "good value, fun to drive, fuel efficient"

Cons: "not enough space for car seats"

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

"This car has given me no trouble other than required mantainance and is very fun to drive. I love the fold down seats so I can items from the home store transported with ease. Overall great car!"

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Great car, it's like a Corolla wagon

By on Saturday, June 22, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 30,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Handling, braking, sporty looking, roominess, safe"

Cons: "a loose plastic panel, vanity mirror cover problem"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I like the car. I had to find a car to replace my 18 year old sports car, and I knew it would be a big adjustment to go from an 8 cylinder luxury car to something with a smaller engine and in theory, not as luxurious. I chose the correct car for the adjustment. I really tried hard not to like the car, but I really like it. It has very good "get up and go" for when you need to get onto a busy freeway or for passing someone. I like how it handles. The AWD on wet, sometimes a few inches of water covered roads plus the stability/traction control were options I'm glad this car has. Some people may not feel the amount of gas it uses justifies the option, but it does for me when it comes to safety since I'm in a very wet climate. I think it gets good gas mileage, but I had a V8 so I'm probably not the best judge of that. I'm sure there are cars that get better mileage, but for the options and features that this car has, you'd probably have to pay a lot more in a small SUV or other wagon. Now the best part, it's a small wagon! I never thought I'd be excited to own a "station wagon", but it's really nice. The seats lay all the way down flat and you can put pretty much anything back there. Even dogs and stuff you have to buy for everyday life. It has little hooks to hook grocery bags to so that your stuff doesn't go rolling everywhere (genius!) and it even has a place to tie bigger things down if you move the removable carpet/mat. I love having a 4 door again, I'd forgotten how much I like them. Only a couple of bugaboos that you'll keep hearing over and over: Road noise. Yes, it's there, sort of like how it is in most cars this style (or even in small trucks), but it doesn't bother me because my husband is always playing music so loudly, I can barely hear anything unless I'm by myself, then I notice it. But I don't find it annoying. Some people may not like it. Also, my driver side vanity mirror cover won't close. It's a little sliding piece of plastic that won't slide back. It's not something you can see unless you're driving and want to look in the vanity mirror. It's just an uncovered mirror now. And, since I bought it used, there's a piece of plastic that keeps coming loose (easily snapped back into place) between the front door/back door and the frame. Hard to describe the location, but it's right under where the seat belt joins to the car frame. I'm sure if I took the time to jiggle it into place properly or see if it needs to be screwed in or something, it's just not that big of a deal and I'm always in a hurry so if it happens to pop out, I just pop it back into place. Like I said, I bought it used, so it's probably something the former driver banged out of place and never got screwed back in. Anways, I like the car. If you are looking for value for the money, roominess without owning a larger car for your family, dogs, etc this car will be great for you. It's comfortable, the dashboard and all the features look great, it handles like a dream. The steering and braking on this car are above average. And wait til you have to park in a crowded parking lot! It's so great for tight spaces and getting in and out of crowded lots without hassle. I love having a smaller vehicle."

6 people out of 6 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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