2013 Toyota Matrix Preview

Jeff Youngs | May 28, 2013
FAST FACTS
  • 2013 model receives new sound system
  • Compact hatchback offers choice of two engines
  • 6.1-inch touch-screen display now standard on upper trim level
  • Front-wheel and all-wheel drive (FWD and AWD) are available

Introduction

The Toyota Matrix is a 5-passenger compact hatchback wagon, in effect the hatchback version of the Toyota Corolla. The Matrix underwent a considerable design refresh for the 2011 model year, and has hardly changed since then, except for an upgraded audio system introduced for 2013. According to Toyota, the Matrix has sport-coupe-inspired styling cues and a sporty, dynamic shape that includes rounded rear windows and continuous character lines that run from the front grille to the A-pillar. Competitors include the Honda Fit, Ford Focus, Chevrolet Cruze, Mazda 3, Hyundai Elantra, and other budget-priced compact cars. The Matrix is available in two trim levels: base L and the sportier S.

Exterior Features

The 2013 Toyota Matrix is offered in a choice of white, silver, grey, black, green, blue, or red. Color availability may vary according to trim level. Standard equipment includes heated outside mirrors and 16-inch steel wheels. The S trim level adds fog lights, optional moonroof, and optional 17-inch alloy wheels.

Interior Features

Standard interior features on the Toyota Matrix include seating for five, cloth upholstery in light or dark grey, power windows, air conditioning, cruise control, cloth upholstery, height-adjustable driver's seat, 60/40 folding rear seats, a front passenger seat that can fold flat, tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, USB port with iPod connectivity and control, 4-speaker audio system with CD player and auxiliary audio jack, and Bluetooth phone connectivity. Also standard is a cargo-area folding tonneau cover. The S trim level upgrades the cloth upholstery and the interior trim, and adds a new premium audio system that features a 6.1-inch touch-screen display. Cargo capacity is 19.8 cubic feet behind the rear seats, or 49.4 cubic feet with the rear seats folded down.

Optional Features

The Moonroof package includes a power tilt/slide moonroof with sliding sunshade, and an overhead console with map lights and sunglass storage, 17- or 18-inch wheels, and other enhancements. Available accessories include a security system, alloy wheel locks, body side moldings, paint protection film, rear spoiler, door edge guards, rear bumper protector, ashtray, doorsill enhancements, remote ignition, and cargo organizers.

Under the Hood

The Toyota Matrix L is fitted with a 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine rated at 132 horsepower and 128 lb.-ft. of torque. Standard is a 5-speed manual transmission; a 4-speed automatic transmission is optional. The L employs FWD. The Matrix S steps up to a 2.4-liter, 158-horsepower 4-cylinder engine that produces 162 lb.-ft. of torque. Front-wheel-drive S models come with a 5-speed manual transmission, or an optional 5-speed automatic; AWD with a 4-speed automatic transmission is available on the S.

Fuel Economy

EPA fuel-economy estimates for the 2013 Toyota Matrix are:

  • Matrix with 1.8-liter engine and manual transmission: 26/32/29 mpg (city/highway/combined)
  • Matrix with 1.8-liter engine and automatic transmission: 25/32/28 mpg
  • Matrix with 2.4-liter engine, FWD, and manual transmission: 21/28/24 mpg
  • Matrix with 2.4-liter engine, FWD, and automatic transmission: 21/29/24 mpg
  • Matrix with 2.4-liter engine and AWD: 20/26/22 mpg

Safety

Standard safety features on the 2013 Toyota Matrix include stability and traction control, front-seat side air bags, and side curtain air bags.

In government crash tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the Matrix received 4 (out of 5) stars for rollover protection. In tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the Toyota Matrix received a "Good" rating--the Institute's highest--for frontal-offset and side-impact protection, and an "Acceptable" rating for rear-impact protection.
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