2010 Toyota Matrix Hatchback Review | Edmunds.com

2010 Toyota Matrix Hatchback

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Toyota Matrix Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.4 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 158 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 21/29 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2010 Toyota Matrix

  • The 2010 Toyota Matrix is a practical and stylish compact wagon that should please economical shoppers who value functionality over performance.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Pleasant ride, intuitive controls, roomy backseat, flat load floor facilitates cargo carrying, good fuel economy with 1.8-liter engine.

  • Cons

    Unremarkable fuel economy with 2.4-liter engine, 1.8-liter engine unavailable on higher trim levels.

  • What's New for 2010

    After a redesign last year, the 2010 Toyota Matrix is unchanged except for the notable addition of standard stability control.

Full 2010 Toyota Matrix Review

What's New for 2010

After a redesign last year, the 2010 Toyota Matrix is unchanged except for the notable addition of standard stability control.


The Corolla-based 2010 Toyota Matrix hatchback reminds us that the folks at Toyota can still make a darned good small car when they put their minds to it. We've been underwhelmed by the latest Corolla, to put it mildly, but its Matrix cousin is a thoroughly competent effort. It's certainly no hot rod, but we're pretty sure most compact hatchback or wagon buyers care more about practicality than performance. And for them, the 2010 Matrix is one of the most compelling choices in this segment.

In many ways, the Matrix is like Corolla version 2.0. Its sheet metal is far more stylish, its 3 extra inches of height boost passenger space, and its convenient hatchback/wagon design means you can haul a lot of stuff. This cargo-carrying capacity is one of the Matrix's biggest draws -- with 61.5 cubic feet of space, this modestly sized Toyota can haul nearly as much as some compact SUVs. Yet its fuel economy with the base 1.8-liter engine is still quite good at 28 mpg combined. The Matrix costs a grand or two more than the Corolla, but its verve and versatility make it well worth the extra coin.

Unfortunately, the economical 1.8-liter engine is only available on the base model. If you want the additional feature content of the S or XRS model, a larger 2.4-liter engine is mandatory. The 2.4 engine adds some punch, but fuel economy drops to 24 mpg combined. All-wheel drive is optional on the S model, dropping fuel economy to 22 mpg. Notably, both the S AWD and XRS models feature a more advanced independent double-wishbone rear suspension in place of the standard torsion-beam setup, moderately improving the Matrix's handling behavior.

Of course, the Matrix is no Mazda 3 when the going gets twisty. But that hasn't kept myriad Matrix owners from driving home with smiles on their faces, and we expect this trend to continue. There's a reason Europeans love hatchbacks and wagons: They drive like cars and haul like SUVs. Americans now have many such models available to them, including the aforementioned Mazda 3 (all-new this year), the all-wheel-drive Subaru Impreza, the impressive Hyundai Elantra Touring, the premium-built Volkswagen Rabbit and even Toyota's own Scion xB. Each of these cars has its own particular set of merits, but for a compact hatchback offering practicality and style in equal measures, the 2010 Toyota Matrix stands tall.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2010 Toyota Matrix is a compact hatchback available in three trim levels: base, S and XRS. All-wheel drive is optional on the midrange S. The base car features 16-inch steel wheels, power mirrors, air-conditioning, a CD stereo with an auxiliary audio jack, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel and a fold-flat front passenger seat. Cruise control, keyless entry and power windows and locks are optional on this version of the Matrix but standard on the S, which also adds a rear window wiper, underbody spoilers, an upgraded stereo and a 115-volt utility outlet. The all-wheel-drive version of the S loses the spoilers, but it gains foglights and an independent rear suspension. The top-of-the-line Matrix XRS tacks on 18-inch alloy wheels, a rear roof spoiler, sport-tuned suspension and steering, upgraded seat fabric and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.

A sunroof and an in-dash CD changer are optional across the board. Optional on the S and XRS only are a JBL sound system, satellite radio, a navigation system with real-time traffic, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.

Powertrains and Performance

On the base front-wheel-drive Toyota Matrix, you'll find a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 132 horsepower and 128 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed manual transmission is standard, and a four-speed automatic is optional. Matrix S and XRS models upgrade to a 2.4-liter engine that makes 158 hp and 162 lb-ft of torque, as well as an optional five-speed automatic alongside the standard five-speed manual. The AWD S comes only with the four-speed automatic.

Equipped with the 1.8-liter engine, the Matrix returns above-average fuel economy -- 26 mpg city/32 mpg highway and 28 mpg combined with the manual, according to the EPA, while the four-speed auto yields 25/31/28. City mileage takes a dive if you opt for the larger engine: Ratings are 21/28/24 mpg with the manual, 21/29/24 mpg with the automatic and 20/26/22 mpg with AWD.


The 2010 Toyota Matrix comes standard with stability control and antilock disc brakes, with the S and XRS boasting larger discs all around. Also standard are front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. In government crash testing, the Matrix scored a perfect five stars for frontal and front-seat side impacts, dropping to four stars for rear-seat side impacts. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the Matrix its highest rating of "Good" in both frontal-offset and side impact crash testing.

Interior Design and Special Features

Inside, the Matrix has a significantly edgier ambience than the Corolla. If you think this compact sedan's interior lacks flair, the Matrix is the antidote. A telescoping steering wheel and ample seat-track travel allow drivers of all sizes to get comfortable, and the controls are both intuitive and attractive. In back, the tall, deep bench is inviting for children and adults alike, and it folds completely flat in 60/40 sections. Fixed tie-down points and rubber inserts help keep cargo from sliding around. There are 19.8 cubic feet of luggage capacity behind the rear seats and an impressive 61.5 cubes with the seats folded flat (note that this figure also likely takes into account the folded front passenger seat).

Driving Impressions

The base Matrix accelerates sluggishly off the line with its 1.8-liter engine, but its admirable fuel economy will redeem it in the eyes of many shoppers. The 2.4-liter engine in the S and XRS is the opposite -- power is ample, but fuel economy is just OK. The ride is smooth and well-insulated. The 2010 Toyota Matrix may not be the sportiest economy hatchback, but its refinement is laudable.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Mid-pack, but reliable

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Vehicle: 2010 Toyota Matrix 4dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl 4A)

Toyota reliability, but that's about it. Average car with overly sensitive pedals and average appearance. The inside space is used effectively, standard materials for the price point, but the overall design isn't for me personally. No issues in two years/45,000km. Don't enjoy driving it too much, but it is certainly functional, with lots of hatchback space for groceries, a large dog - whatever you need. Gas consumption leaves a lot to be desired; even by 2010 model year standards it was decidedly average. Not great fan of the seats. Interior space, reliability, solid build, functionality are good. Drive enjoyability, consumption, appearance are bad. Could to better, could do worse

Awful gas mileage

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Toyota Matrix S 4dr Hatchback AWD (2.4L 4cyl 4A)

I've owned; Honda CRV - the Honda got much better gas mileage, Nissan Pathfinder V6 - comparable gas mileage, Saturn VUE AWD V6 - Saturn had much better gas mileage ... Do not consider this vehicle.

3 of 7 people found this review helpful

Where mediocrity held sway

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Vehicle: 2010 Toyota Matrix S 4dr Hatchback AWD (2.4L 4cyl 4A)

The second generation of the Toyota Matrix features instantly noticeable larger exterior dimensions, with predictable design cues derivative from the previous model. The interior is all Pontiac (as the Matrix shares a platform with the Vibe) and at a total loss for any real style. The driver's view offers a landscape of unbalanced, drab plastic shapes with chunky knobs and no real aesthetic appeal. Although the build quality seems solid, the lack of inspired design renders the interior joy-less. The blind spot created by the large C-pillar, combined an awkward angle and size of the third window makes the car very hard to see out of at the rear. Fuel economy on the 2.4 has been disappointing.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

Scared to drive this car

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Vehicle: 2010 Toyota Matrix S 4dr Hatchback (2.4L 4cyl 5A)

I feel like I paid way too much for the 2010 Matix S which has basic insides- no bells or whisles- blah. The car sounds like its dragging, the tires already are worn before 15,000 miles and hear the problem doesnt go away. Blind spots, drivers head rest is a blind spot and and eye sore and its not comfortable. I use it for work and back. I dont want to take it on long trips for its uncomfortable. Telescope steering wheel means 1/2 in closer to the engine, thats already in your lap.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Very average

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Vehicle: 2010 Toyota Matrix 4dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl 5M)

I bought a 2010 Matrix 5 speed manual base model at the beginning of 2010. This is a functional car that is very average. I found a few significant drawbacks too, primarily in poor design and build but also in very poor visibility. I think there are better cars available in this category and wouldn't buy the Matrix again. PROS: roomy interior, great fuel economy, reasonable cost CONS: very poor visibility(huge pillars, small raised rear window), water drips from roof onto seats when doors open, cheap interior feel, doors sound 'tinny', matte finish dashboard collects scuffs when you touch it and has rough seams, clunky manual transmission and hard to shift into reverse

Sadly disappointed with 2010 matrix

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Vehicle: 2010 Toyota Matrix S 4dr Hatchback AWD (2.4L 4cyl 4A)

Pros: Cute, fun to drive, cool interior controls. Rear bumper can take an impact without breaking. Cons: Terrible. 14 city/ 23 hwy. I've been told to wait until I hit 20,000 miles for it to break in by the toyota dealership. Not okay with me. The car rattles like crazy the second I go above 55mph. The radio volume is no longer speed sensitive. It stopped after about 6 months. Isn't starting properly - I have to hold key for about 5 seconds before it kicks on, otherwise it dies. Just started yesterday. Cloth seats got stained the first day because a bottle of water spilled... no joke. The seats absorb everything. Back seatbelts are made for children. No adult is comfortable.

Talk About The 2010 Matrix

2010 Toyota Matrix Discussions See all Started By

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Gas Mileage


  • 21
  • cty
  • 29
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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