2012 Toyota Matrix S AWD Review: Powertrain
What’s New for 2012:
- No changes
How Does It Go
Toyota provides two different engines in the 2012 Matrix. The Matrix L is equipped with a 132-horsepower, 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine driving the front wheels through a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission.
We tested the Matrix S, which boasts 158 horsepower thanks to its larger 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine. A manual gearbox is standard on this model, too, with a five-speed automatic optional. Our test car also had AWD with active torque distribution, paired exclusively with a four-speed automatic.
So equipped, the EPA expects the Matrix S AWD to get 20 mpg in the city, 26 mpg on the highway, and 22 mpg in combined driving. That’s awful. Combine these ratings with a 13.2-gallon fuel tank, and you’re going to find that the Matrix never met a gas station that it didn’t like. We averaged 23.9 mpg on our first tank, almost all of that travel conducted on L.A.’s freeway grid.
Compare the Toyota’s thirst for fuel with, say, the new Impreza hatchback, which is rated to get 27 mpg in the city, 36 mpg on the highway, and 30 mpg in combined driving, and you might wonder how Toyota sells any Matrix models at all.