Nice updated styling. XRS model 5-Speed manual (Canadian) with a 158hp 2.4 liter 16-valve VVT-i engine as 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.
**Update - Apr 2016:** The XRS is still going strong. At 70,000kms, the engine has signs of oil burning as oil was missing about 500ml / 0.5 quart- on the last oil change. No lack of power since we first got the car. Fuel mileage seems to be the same, although I find I get better mileage by using higher octane fuel. Engine sounds and performs better on synthetic oil vs ordinary dino oil. (I just get whatever is on sale). Fit and finish (as compared to my old 2001 Corolla S-5M) is not very good. Lots of creaks and groans inside the cabin. Toyota seems to have cheapened out on the interior as some parts do not mate well- Dash and A Pillars seems to rub and has loose-sounding clicking noise, especially when cold. Noticing LOTS of road noise. Switched from the stock 18" XRS rims with performance tires to a stock Lexus IS 17" rims with all season tires and ride and road noise had improved but not tremendously or as good as the older Toyota. You can notice the absence of noise dampening when at highway speeds or when driving during rain as water puddle splashes into the wheel-wells are startlingly LOUD. You can also hear the stereo on moderate volumes from the outside, again, comparing this to old Corolla. An incessant creak and clicking when cornering at normal speeds as if the driver seat is loose and did not 'lock' on, no matter which position you select. This apparently is a known issue. Dealer did not assist here even with an Extended Warranty so I can attribute it to Toyota cheapening out on their seat supplier. Rear hatch damper (shock) has prematurely failed. No longer goes up fully, needs to be pushed further up to avoid hitting your head on the edge. Interior gadgetry seems to be flaky and sometimes non-existent. USB / AUX inputs sometimes work, most of time it doesn't. Factory deck with XM stereo did not last very long as it started to lose volumes on certain channels. Will keep this car until it falls apart, maybe the next 10yrs. Mechanically this should be as good as any Toyota. It's an updated Corolla with additional gadgets and nannies, but I'm afraid to say, I'm driving a 'thinner' car as compared to old one.
**Update - Mar 2017:** The XRS still drives tight at 88,500kms (approx 54,900mi). The nagging bits like the creaking dash / A-Pillar still occurs at cold temps. Seats still click when cornering. I noticed upon cleaning the car that the interior part of the Moonroof Frame has rusted. I'm not talking rust spots, but flaking-off rust. The frame is disintegrating. Somehow it accumulates water / moisture and perhaps not manufactured with durability in mind. Again, this can be attributed to Toyota's parts suppliers. This issue was brought to the attention of the Service advisor who stated my Extended Warranty had expired by a month and I have to pay $700 to have the Moonroof assembly replaced. This a known issue as reflected on Toyota owner forums and also stated verbally by the unnamed Service Advisor. USB / Aux ports stopped working with the Factory Stereo, so with that goes the existence of the steering wheel controls. Rear Brake rotors need to be replaced soon as shown by wear. Surprisingly premature as this is a manual transmission car and brakes are not used as much unless on stop and go traffic. The niceties of the new car has worn off and the only likeable thing right now is the good power-to-weight ratio of this particular model (XRS 2.4). Fuel Economy seems to be getting a little bit better.
**Update - Oct 2017:** Car just had the 96,000km service. Brakes were checked and front rotors were replaced to get rid of a groaning noise when slow braking. Had a near collision where an older couple went thru a red light and i slammed on the brakes. The EBD worked fine and stopped short of a bad collision. Car is paid off so I'm not too worried about the small niggles anymore. Any chance i can and i open it up on curves and on-ramps. So far no creaks or suspension rattles, knock on wood. Engine still runs great and no weird noises. I'm doing the motor a favour by changing the oil every 5,000 to 6,000kms as opposed to the factory recommended 8,000km oil change interval and using synthetic only. Overall the car still feels tight and engine still responsive.
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.
All Wheel Drive system.
AM/FM/CD/MP3/WMA Player with 6-speakers.
Integrated Fog Lamps.
Anti-Theft system with Engine Immobilizer.
Daytime running lamps.
In-key Remote Keyless Entry system.
6-Way Adjustable Driver Seat.
4-Way Adjustable Fold Flat Front Passenger Seat.
60/40 Split Fold-Down Rear Seat.
Power Door locks.
Cargo Area Tonneau Cover.
Tire Pressure Monitor System like most of the new Toyota's/Scion's and Lexus's the last few years.
Barely any Blind-Spots hampering driver vision.
With the technology that Toyota has developed, the company could probably up the EPA fuel economy.
Up the 2.4 Liter to maybe a 2.5 or 2.6 Liter.
Up the horsepower from 158 to a little more 166HP with definitely a little more torque, behind it.
The company has definitely done this with little bigger Toyota's like the Rav-4, Camry and the FJ Cruiser.
This vehicle is set on the Corolla framework, which has been the smaller mainstay for Toyota in the U.S.A. for quite some time.
A very very successful product here for a long time. It has proven itself, just as the Camry has.
Time to continue to move forward even more Toyota and not let Honda, Nissan, Kia, and Hyundai out-do the small car.