2011 Toyota Matrix Hatchback Review | Edmunds.com

2011 Toyota Matrix Hatchback

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Toyota Matrix Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 1.8 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 4-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 132 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 25/32 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2011 Toyota Matrix

  • Though overshadowed by more distinctively styled competitors, the 2011 Toyota Matrix continues to provide plenty of practicality and comfort.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Pleasant ride; intuitive controls; roomy backseat; flat load floor.

  • Cons

    Disappointing fuel economy with S engine; tall drivers might feel cramped.

  • What's New for 2011

    Toyota has discontinued the top-of-the-line XRS model for 2011 Matrix, along with its sport-tuned suspension and additional optional features. The remaining trim levels gain more standard equipment, including cruise control, full power accessories, heated and folding rearview mirrors and rear-seat heat ducts.

Full 2011 Toyota Matrix Review

What's New for 2011

Toyota has discontinued the top-of-the-line XRS model for 2011 Matrix, along with its sport-tuned suspension and additional optional features. The remaining trim levels gain more standard equipment, including cruise control, full power accessories, heated and folding rearview mirrors and rear-seat heat ducts.

Introduction

There have been a number of tweener cars that have hit the market within the past few years. That's not to say they're Justin Bieber enthusiasts with their fingers and eyes glued to a smartphone. These are cars that don't easily fall to definition, existing somewhere between a hatchback, a wagon and a crossover. The Toyota Matrix was one of the very first of these 'tween cars and continues to be one of the more desirable.

The 2011 Toyota Matrix stacks up against a rather odd clique of 'tweens. The Chevy HHR looks like a miniaturized version of a Truman-era Suburban; the Kia Soul looks like a roller skate; the Nissan Cube is, well, you know, a cube; and the Scion xB is styled after a box. It's truly a segment that caters to those with quirky design tastes. Yet it also boasts entries with an impressive amount of cargo and passenger space relative to their exterior footprints, so there's a practical side to them as well. For consumers more interested in practicality than attitude, the Matrix should have definite appeal with its more conventional styling.

Another benefit is that the Matrix boasts rock-solid mechanicals from the Toyota Corolla. With the available 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, acceleration is brisk for this class, and the Matrix is also available with all-wheel drive. Unfortunately, neither the 2.4-liter engine nor the base 1.8-liter is especially fuel-efficient given their output.

Of course, since the 2011 Toyota Matrix is a 'tween, there are more vehicles to consider than just its oddball brethren. Among hatchbacks, there's the versatile 2011 Honda Fit, the upscale 2011 Mazda 3 and the dynamic 2014 Nissan Juke. The 2011 VW Jetta Sportwagen is a top wagon alternative. Then there are several inexpensive compact crossovers like the Hyundai Tucson and 2011 Kia Sportage. But for those who like the idea of a car that does a little bit of everything well (without looking weird while doing it), the Toyota Matrix is an excellent choice.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2011 Toyota Matrix is a five-passenger wagon/hatchback available in base and S trim levels.

The base Matrix comes standard with 16-inch steel wheels, full power accessories, keyless entry, heated and folding rearview mirrors, cruise control, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel with audio controls, and a four-speaker sound system with a CD player and an auxiliary audio jack. The Matrix S adds foglamps, a fold-flat passenger seat and a six-speaker sound system.

The S Premium package adds a more powerful engine, a sunroof, Bluetooth phone and streaming audio connectivity, and an upgraded six-speaker sound system with an iPod/USB audio interface. The Sport package available on both trims adds front and rear underbody spoilers and a snazzy S badge, along with foglamps for the base model and 17-inch alloy wheels for the S.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2011 Toyota Matrix comes standard with front-wheel drive, while the S can be equipped with all-wheel drive. The base Toyota Matrix is powered by a 1.8-liter four-cylinder good for 132 horsepower and 128 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed manual transmission is standard and a four-speed automatic is optional. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 25 mpg city/31 mpg highway and 28 mpg combined with the automatic and 26/32/28 with the manual.

The Matrix S gets a 2.4-liter four-cylinder that produces 158 hp and 162 lb-ft of torque. Front-drive models get a standard five-speed manual or optional five-speed automatic. A four-speed automatic is standard with AWD.

In Edmunds performance testing of the mechanically identical and now discontinued Pontiac Vibe, a 0-60-mph run took 8.9 seconds with the five-speed auto. A front-wheel-drive Matrix S with the automatic returns an estimated 21/29/24 (21/28/24 with the manual), while an AWD Matrix S returns 20/26/22. These estimates are disappointing given the fuel economy of some crossover SUVs.

Safety

The 2011 Toyota Matrix comes standard with stability and traction control, antilock disc brakes, brake assist, active front head restraints, front side airbags and side curtain airbags.

The Matrix has not been rated using the government's new, more strenuous 2011 crash-testing procedures. Its 2010 ratings (which aren't comparable to 2011 tests) saw it earning 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 cabin, the Matrix has a significantly edgier ambience than other Toyotas, but doesn't go quite as far as the funky cabins found in the Scion xB or Nissan Cube. This could certainly be a good thing for many buyers, but either way, it's backed up by simple controls and decent materials.

Also bound to be a good thing is the Matrix's generous cargo capacity. There are 19.8 cubic feet of luggage capacity behind the rear seats and a maximum 61.5 cubic feet if you include the space provided by the fold-flat front passenger seat. For rear passengers, a tall, deep bench seat is inviting for children and adults alike. Like most small Toyotas, taller drivers may be a bit squished behind the wheel, but those of average height should be fine.

Driving Impressions

The base Matrix accelerates sluggishly off the line with its 1.8-liter engine, but its fuel economy will redeem it in the eyes of many shoppers. The 2.4-liter engine in the S is the opposite: Power is ample, but fuel economy is disappointing. In either case, the ride is smooth and well-insulated. The 2011 Toyota Matrix might not be the sportiest economy hatchback (especially now that the sport-tuned XRS is gone), but its refinement is laudable.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews


1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Toyota does it again!

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Toyota Matrix S 4dr Hatchback (2.4L 4cyl 5M)

Nice updated styling. XRS model 5-Speed manual (Canadian) with a 158hp 2.4 liter 16-valve VVT-i engine used in the Camry, Venza, RAV4 and Scion xB/ tC. Pretty peppy and good fuel economy. Our last long trip averaged 570kms (354mi) to a tankful of 89 oc gas (87 recommended). Simple interior trim with lots of plastic, but well put together. XRS Body kit/ Rear spoiler gives bit of a performance look, but not too overpowering. Flat fold-down rear seats and folding front passenger seat for larger cargo items. 18-inch rims gives a stiffer ride, but not jarring. Radio with AM/FM/CD/Sirius XM / USB/iPod functions. 115V and 12V power taps are a good touch. ABS/TCS/EBA safety features standard.



25 of 194 people found this review helpful

Toyota matrix still moving forward!

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Toyota Matrix S 4dr Hatchback AWD (2.4L 4cyl 4A)

Neat exterior design, but could use the upper rear spoiler like the 2010 Matrix XRS model before it. But vehicle is still rather stylish! AWD S model definitely has the upgraded 2.4 liter power of the previous Matrix XRS, the Scion XB and the previous Toyota Camry models. With 16-Valve/Dual VVT-i & 4 cyl in-line type auto transmission. Common features that are now standard with almost all of the new Toyota's are traction control, vehicle stabilizer control, ABS, EBT, & smart stop technology braking system.



Talk About The 2011 Matrix

2011 Toyota Matrix Discussions See all Started By

capeprius
capeprius
08-12-2013
I own a 2011 Prius with 195/65/15 on factory rims.  The tires are bald and I can swap with a 2010 Matrix with 205/55/16 on steel wheels and new tires...


chris379
chris379
12-03-2013
2009 Matrix...


airline
airline
10-18-2012
I wish to pay. I looked very hard at the Toyota Matrix and Scion XB, or as I like to call it, the X Box. The current production Matrix seems smaller in the back (with seats folded down) as compared t...



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