If you're looking for a compact car that is big on interior volume, then the new 2010 Toyota Matrix is well worth the look. Slated as a compact wagon, the Matrix might be cross-shopped against smaller hatchbacks and other small station wagons. Given this crossover appeal, the vehicle has enjoyed a fair amount of sales success. Keep reading to learn about the specs, features and benefits of the new Toyota Matrix:
New 2010 Toyota Matrix Styling
With a conservative, yet attractive approach to styling, the Matrix slots well into the Toyota lineup. The angular hatchback body style exudes a hint of sports-appeal, while the rounded windows help soften the vehicle's aggressiveness.
The smart exterior design translates to a large and open interior environment. Compared to other compact cars, the Matrix does a good job of making room for rear seat passengers. While squeezing three adults into the backseat might be reserved for short trips only, two adults should find reasonable comfort even during longer trips. Front seat passengers will benefit from excellent window visibility and a good seating position.
The Matrix also shines in terms of cargo room. A maximum of 48.9 cubic feet makes it one of the most cargo-friendly vehicles in its class.
In terms of interior quality, the Matrix is merely average. Many hard plastics are incorporated to help keep down price. However, the fit and finish is certainly not unappealing, and should meet the needs of most budget-conscious drivers. Standard features for the Matrix are good considering the price, and include air conditioning, power mirrors, fold-flat front passenger seat and a stereo system with CD player and MP3 input.
2010 Toyota Matrix Performance
The Toyota Matrix earns high marks for offering some of the best fuel efficiency in its class. The base 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine earns an estimated 26 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway (28 mpg combined). Choose an automatic transmission over the base manual, and those figures will drop slightly.
If fuel efficiency isn't your main concern, then the available 132 horsepower on the base engine may feel a little underpowered for you. For a boost in performance, consider upgrading to the 158-horsepower 2.4-liter engine. It earns a maximum of 21 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway (24 mpg combined).
Regardless of which engine you choose, the Matrix isn't exactly the most exhilarating ride in its class. If you prefer a little power in your compact, then consider test-driving the Mazda MAZDA3 or Honda Fit.
New 2010 Toyota Matrix Safety
The Toyota Matrix performs well in crash tests, with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) awarding a best-possible rating of "Good" in all tested categories. Standard safety features for the wagon include six airbags, antilock brakes and stability control.
New 2010 Toyota Matrix Pricing
Starting price for the Matrix comes in at $16,700. This figure comes in on the lower end of the spectrum compared to other compact wagons. However, if you don't quite need all the interior volume offered by the Matrix, then you might be able to save a few bucks by choosing a slightly smaller hatchback. Or, you can find similar practicality and interior volume in the Hyundai Elantra Touring. Other models worth considering include the Volkswagen Golf and new Ford Fiesta.