Used 2012 Toyota Matrix

2012 Toyota Matrix
List price range
2012 Toyota Matrix


  • Pleasant ride
  • intuitive controls
  • roomy backseat
  • flat load floor
  • available all-wheel drive.


  • Disappointing fuel economy
  • Bluetooth and USB are not available on base model
  • tall drivers might feel cramped.
Toyota Matrix years

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Edmunds' Expert Review

Though it offers plenty of practicality and comfort, the 2012 Toyota Matrix has been overshadowed by newer competing hatchbacks.

vehicle overview

Despite a refresh last year and continued focus on practicality and comfort, the desirability the Toyota Matrix once enjoyed is beginning to wane. For about a decade, the Matrix has been a convincingly sporty, reasonably fuel-efficient four-door hatchback with the promise of Toyota reliability. It still meets most of those criteria, but newer and more efficient competitors have improved on the Matrix formula.

The 2012 Toyota Matrix still has a lot going for it, however. Since the sportiest XRS version was retired a few years ago, the Matrix has taken on a more domesticated role. What remains is a mechanically sound, versatile, large-volume hatchback based on the architecture of the ubiquitous Toyota Corolla. That means a smooth engine and a comfortable ride. Inside, there's a respectable amount of cargo capacity behind the rear seats, yet folding both the second row as well as the front passenger seat down expands that capacity with a truly flat floor to near-compact SUV dimensions. You can also get all-wheel drive, something not commonly offered for this segment.

The main issue we have with the 2012 Toyota Matrix is that other, small-on-the-outside but large-on-the-inside hatchbacks have debuted the past few years, and most outdo the Matrix in one or more areas. The Honda Fit is the versatility champ, while the Ford Focus hatchback is more upscale and enjoyable to drive. You might also want to look at the redesigned Subaru Impreza for its all-wheel drive or the Kia Forte hatchback for its impressive feature content. The Matrix might have been a pioneer, but these days we think most shoppers will be happier with one of its more up-to-date rivals.

2012 Toyota Matrix configurations

The 2012 Toyota Matrix is a five-passenger wagon/hatchback available in L and S trim levels.

The Matrix L comes standard with 16-inch steel wheels, full power accessories, heated mirrors, cruise control, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel 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, metallic interior trim, a six-speaker sound system and a 115-volt power outlet.

The S Premium package adds a sunroof, Bluetooth (with audio streaming) and an upgraded audio system with iPod/USB interface and satellite radio. The Sport package, available on both L and S 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.

2012 Highlights

The 2012 Toyota Matrix is essentially unchanged.

Performance & mpg

The 2012 Toyota Matrix comes standard with front-wheel drive, while the S can be additionally equipped with all-wheel drive. The Matrix L is powered by a 1.8-liter four-cylinder that's 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/32 mpg highway and 28 mpg combined with the automatic and 26/32/29 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. 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 larger, more powerful crossover SUVs.


The 2012 Toyota Matrix comes standard with stability and traction control, antilock disc brakes, active front head restraints, front-side airbags and side curtain airbags. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the Matrix its highest rating of "Good" in both frontal-offset and side-impact crash testing.


The base 2012 Toyota Matrix accelerates sluggishly off the line with its 1.8-liter engine, but its fuel economy might 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.


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 Nissan Cube or Scion xB. This could certainly be a good thing for many buyers, but either way, it's backed up by simple controls and decent materials.

The Toyota Matrix is endowed with 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 (49.4 cubes if you don't). For rear passengers, a tall, deep bench seat is inviting for children and adults alike. As with most small Toyotas, taller drivers may be a bit squished behind the wheel, but those of average height should be fine.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2012 Toyota Matrix.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

I like it.
2012 Matrix 4speed auto/1.8L bought new. Logged 1,600miles and so far and I like it. Ride is firm but pleasant. If tires are over-inflated, the ride can be harsh Excellent cargo room with the rear seats folded down. Decent acceleration, smooth, stable and quieter than I expected on the freeway. The steering does not provide as much road feel as I would like but it's quite acceptable. On 1st tank of gas I got 28.7 MPG (US) [8.2 L/100Km] driving around the 'burbs'. I noticed an occasional buzzing sound from the interior trim close to the passenger A-pillar. This is only complaint I have so far. With the cooler fall weather, the sound is hardly noticeable Would buy again.
Maybe not too Thrilling but does the job
Purchase my Matrix in May . Have about 2000km on it now . I am uninspired.... no excitement with this car . I am not saying I am disapointed with the car it seems big enough , sturdy enough, the milage is no screaming hell but acceptable consider i used to drive a one ton ford 5.4l truck. The car is eaisy for large people to get into including the back seat the roof racks haul alot of weight but sit to far back on the car to be really use full you will have a hard time puting on a ski box on the roof with stock racks. Lacks adjustment on the intermittent wipers (no settable delay feature). Interior color is light grey and stains with a touch
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Features & Specs

25 city / 32 hwy
Seats 5
4-speed automatic
132 hp @ 6000 rpm
20 city / 26 hwy
Seats 5
4-speed automatic
158 hp @ 6000 rpm
21 city / 29 hwy
Seats 5
5-speed shiftable automatic
158 hp @ 6000 rpm
21 city / 28 hwy
Seats 5
5-speed manual
158 hp @ 6000 rpm
See all Used 2012 Toyota Matrix features & specs


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover13.6%
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 2012 Toyota Matrix
Used 2012 Toyota Matrix Overview

The Used 2012 Toyota Matrix is offered in the following submodels: Matrix Hatchback. Available styles include L 4dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl 4A), S 4dr Hatchback AWD (2.4L 4cyl 4A), S 4dr Hatchback (2.4L 4cyl 5A), S 4dr Hatchback (2.4L 4cyl 5M), and L 4dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl 5M).

What's a good price on a Used 2012 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 2012 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) 2012 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 Carfax and Autocheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2012 Toyota Matrix.

Can't find a used 2012 Toyota Matrixs you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Toyota Matrix for sale - 6 great deals out of 6 listings starting at $21,770.

Find a used Toyota for sale - 12 great deals out of 14 listings starting at $10,028.

Find a used certified pre-owned Toyota Matrix for sale - 2 great deals out of 20 listings starting at $17,600.

Find a used certified pre-owned Toyota for sale - 11 great deals out of 16 listings starting at $16,022.

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Should I lease or buy a 2012 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