2010 Toyota Matrix Review

Used Matrix for sale
List Price Estimate:$3,831 - $6,353
See All Cars For Sale
Toyota Matrix model years
cash graphic with confetti

Get More For Your Trade-In

2010 Toyota Matrix appraisal values can range from $2,203 - $5,378.
Find out what your car is really worth in minutes.
See your car's value

Edmunds' Expert Review

  • Pleasant ride, intuitive controls, roomy backseat, flat load floor facilitates cargo carrying, good fuel economy with 1.8-liter engine.
  • Unremarkable fuel economy with 2.4-liter engine, 1.8-liter engine unavailable on higher trim levels.

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

Vehicle overview

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.

2010 Toyota Matrix models

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.

Latest Toyota News from Edmunds
Watch Review
2022 Toyota Tundra First Look | Toyota's Full-Size Pickup Gets a Redesign | Price, Updates & More

2010 Highlights

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

Performance & mpg

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.

Safety

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.

Driving

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.

Interior

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).


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2010 Toyota Matrix.

Trending topics in reviews

Most helpful consumer reviews

4.88 out of 5 stars
Fun Little Car
Happy Owner,03/23/2010
4dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl 4A)
This is a peppy little car that's not so little. Lot's of room for kids, groceries, or whatever you need to haul around. It's fun to drive, has a great safety rating and it doesn't look like a "mom" vehicle. Tint the windows and even the base model is quite sporty looking.
5 out of 5 stars
"YOTA" BABY
Crystal Krysztofik,02/29/2020
S 4dr Hatchback AWD (2.4L 4cyl 4A)
I love my "Yota". She handles like a dream, cheap to fix, goes everywhere, great on gas and I can haul a lot or a little. I love feeling Sporty but casual at the same time. I live a mile off the main road and actually 1/2 a mile on a snowmobile trail or Class 4 road and my girl gets me up and down in all types of weather. Here in Vermont we have 5 seasons Winter, Spring, Mud, Summer, and Fall and she makes it every time. This is my first time owning a Toyota and I LOVE IT!! Thank you so much for creating the best little car ever.
4.75 out of 5 stars
Awesome SUV alternative coming from Jeep
Anonymous,12/06/2010
S 4dr Hatchback AWD (2.4L 4cyl 4A)
I have been driving small to mid size SUV from Nissan, Toyota, and Jeep brand. However gas was just killing my wallet driving SUV. So i sold my gas guzzler to get a new car and I got the 2010 Toyota Matrix S AWD with sports pkg and alloy wheels. On conservative driving i get a combined MPG of 24, and on aggressive driving i get around 21 which are within spec. Lots of power with the 2.4 L engine with VVT-i system just like the lexus with torque on demand without lag. Powerband is most part linear with lots more room to go up. Reliability has been good with steep discounts and complimentary free maintenance given by the dealer for 2 years. This car definitely saving me money
4.38 out of 5 stars
Nice car but some safety issues
totafan,03/28/2011
S 4dr Hatchback (2.4L 4cyl 5A)
This Matrix XR is being driven by a pair of 60plussers involved with elderly care thus requiring transporting elderly person plus wheelchair. This works well due to the relatively high cargo floor and hatchback.

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Good
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Acceptable
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2010 Toyota Matrix

Used 2010 Toyota Matrix Overview

The Used 2010 Toyota Matrix is offered in the following submodels: Matrix Hatchback. Available styles include 4dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl 4A), S 4dr Hatchback (2.4L 4cyl 5A), XRS 4dr Hatchback (2.4L 4cyl 5A), S 4dr Hatchback (2.4L 4cyl 5M), S 4dr Hatchback AWD (2.4L 4cyl 4A), XRS 4dr Hatchback (2.4L 4cyl 5M), and 4dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl 5M). Pre-owned Toyota Matrix models are available with a 1.8 L-liter gas engine or a 2.4 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 158 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2010 Toyota Matrix comes with front wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 4-speed automatic, 5-speed shiftable automatic. The Used 2010 Toyota Matrix comes with a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. basic warranty, a 2 yr./ 25000 mi. roadside warranty, and a 5 yr./ 60000 mi. powertrain warranty.

What's a good price on a Used 2010 Toyota Matrix?

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2010 Toyota Matrixes are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2010 Toyota Matrix for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2010 Toyota Matrix.

Can't find a used 2010 Toyota Matrixs you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Toyota Matrix for sale - 10 great deals out of 19 listings starting at $24,627.

Find a used Toyota for sale - 9 great deals out of 24 listings starting at $23,015.

Find a used certified pre-owned Toyota Matrix for sale - 11 great deals out of 22 listings starting at $18,088.

Find a used certified pre-owned Toyota for sale - 5 great deals out of 13 listings starting at $21,740.

Should I lease or buy a 2010 Toyota Matrix?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Toyota lease specials
Check out Toyota Matrix lease specials