Toyota continues its lineup renewal with an early reveal of the details behind the 2011 Toyota Matrix. The compact Toyota Matrix hatchback is scheduled to make its public debut at the Chicago Auto Show this week, and while the vehicle is still very similar to the 2010 model there have been some upgrades made to a few of its features.
Of greatest interest to buyers of the entry-level edition of the 2011 Toyota Matrix is the fact that the vehicle's standard equipment list has been expanded to include a wider range of features. All versions of the vehicle now feature power windows, cruise control and power door locks, which were optional on last year's base Matrix. Also along for the ride is an all-weather package (heated side mirrors and a rear window wiper) and a CD player with MP3 capability. Toyota has replaced the hatchback's steering wheel with a sportier model for 2011, and the Matrix offers tilt and telescoping adjustments to go with it. The vehicle's cloth upholstery has also been swapped out for a new design that can be had in one of two different color schemes.
The Matrix S remains largely the same as it did for 2010, and the trim level features keyless entry, a fold-flat front passenger seat and the option of the Sport Package, which dresses up the vehicle's exterior with a body kit and more attractive alloy wheels. The 2011 Toyota Matrix S can also be ordered with a Premium Package that adds a moonroof, an upgraded stereo system and Bluetooth connectivity. Both the Matrix and the Matrix S benefit from the addition of Toyota's Smart Stop brake-override system that reduces engine power should the brake pedal be depressed at the same time as the gas pedal.
The 2011 Toyota Matrix starts out with a 1.8-liter, four-cylinder engine under the hood. Good for 132 horsepower and 128 lb-ft of torque, the unit returns fuel mileage of 25 miles per gallon in city driving and 32 miles per gallon during highway cruising when matched with its standard five-speed manual transmission. A four-speed automatic is also available, and this gearbox adds a single mile per gallon to the hatchback's city measure.
Stepping up to the Matrix S introduces a 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine that generates 158 ponies and 162 lb-ft of twist. Also available with all-wheel drive, the standard Matrix S sees its fuel economy rated at 21 miles per gallon around town and 28 miles per gallon when equipped with a five-speed manual tranny. A five-speed automatic can be selected as an option on front-wheel drive editions of the Matrix S, while all-wheel drive models are restricted to a four-speed auto. Fuel mileage for the 2011 Toyota Matrix S AWD is surprisingly similar to that of the front-wheel drive Matrix S, showing as 20 miles per gallon in the city and 26 miles per gallon on the highway.