5 of 10 people found this review helpful
Where mediocrity held sway
By wpsjesse on
Vehicle2010 Toyota Matrix S 4dr Hatchback AWD (2.4L 4cyl 4A)
ReviewThe 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.
Best FeaturesThe flat-folding cargo area is fairly spacious and features an excellent hard plastic surface, with rubberized strips running it's length to help keep your items where you put them. This makes it a great service vehicle, and a great place to put your dog without worrying about your K-9, or other species of pal wrecking your interior... although in the Matrix they really can't do it much more damage than Toyota did. The car is unremarkable while driving on the highway or in traffic, but there's nothing wrong with adequate here. The turning radius of my AWD 2.4 model is tight and makes the car easy to maneuver in small spaces, provided you can see in the direction you want to move.
Worst FeaturesA fresh-sheet for the Matrix, or bring in a new Model. Pontiac is no longer building cars, so the Matrix's future seems quite unknown. The power-trains are outdated, the slip-then-grip AWD and electronic traction and stability control render the car slightly unpredictable when active under acceleration. As the car sorts out the grip and moves power around to it's chosen corner, the allocation of power causes the car to lurch and twist as it accelerates. A little more style to the exterior, a lot more style to the interior, and add a more efficient drivetrain and a simply better AWD system... You do partner with Subaru. My 2011 5-door Impreza is a superior car inside, technically, and out.
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