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2013 Toyota Matrix Review

The 2013 Toyota Matrix salvages a midpack ranking on the strength of good safety and reliability ratings. It features poor overall performance for the class and a low-rent, somewhat cramped interior. 

Pros & Cons

  • Good reliability
  • Solid safety scores for class
  • Unimpressive base engine
  • Drab interior quality
  • Few standard and available features
  • Rough ride

New for 2013

  • Bluetooth and USB port made standard
  • Touch-screen audio display available
  • Last model year of production




Critics' Rating: 6.7
Performance: 6.6
Interior: 6.9
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.2
Safety: 9.5
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2013 Toyota Matrix Overview

Is the 2013 Toyota Matrix a Good Used Car?

With its solid reliability and safety ratings, a used 2013 Toyota Matrix could be a good choice for a basic car to get you from point A to point B. However, its unimpressive engines, dull handling, and harsh ride quality should deter buyers who prioritize performance. Low-rent cabin materials and a lack of legroom make the Matrix a disappointing compact car.

Used 2013 Toyota Matrix Performance and Interior

The 2013 Toyota Matrix features one of two four-cylinder engines: a 1.8-liter that produces 132 horsepower, or a 2.4-liter that puts out 158 horsepower. A five-speed manual transmission and front-wheel drive are standard; a four-speed automatic transmission is available. The 2.4-liter model has available all-wheel drive and an available five-speed automatic transmission. Fuel economy ranges from an EPA-estimated 26 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway down to 20/26 mpg city/highway. 

The base model Matrix L's standard engine is sluggish in most situations. The larger four-cylinder available in the Matrix S model delivers good acceleration from a stop, though critics are split on how it fares after that. Some say power wanes as you speed up, while others think it stays strong for merging onto highways or passing at high speeds. The Matrix also has numb steering, noticeable body lean in turns, and a harsh and bouncy ride quality.   

Read more about Matrix performance »

The Toyota Matrix hatchback seats five on spartan accommodations. All models have cloth seats. Neither leather nor power front seats are available. Both rows are a little short on legroom, but headroom and seat comfort are adequate in all positions. The fold-flat rear seats feature two sets of lower anchors and three top tether anchors for securing child safety seats.

Standard features in the Toyota Matrix L include a USB port, Bluetooth, and a six-speaker stereo. Available features include a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a moonroof, remote start, and a 6.1-inch touch screen with an easy-to-use interface. Unfortunately, the Matrix suffers from lackluster build quality and many hard interior surfaces.

Read more about Matrix interior »

Used 2013 Toyota Matrix Prices

Average prices for a used 2013 Toyota Matrix range from around $10,400 for a manual, front-wheel-drive base model up to about $12,200 for an automatic, all-wheel-drive S trim. Your exact price will depend on the car's mileage, features, and condition.

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We Did the Research for You: 56 Reviews Analyzed

We analyzed 56 Toyota Matrix reviews – along with safety and reliability ratings, cost of ownership estimates, and more – to help you decide if the 2013 Matrix is the right used car for you.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News & World Report has been ranking and reviewing cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our editorial team has more than 75 years of combined experience in the auto industry. To ensure our reviews are unbiased, we don't accept expensive gifts or incentives from car companies, and a third party handles our advertising.

How Reliable Is the 2013 Toyota Matrix?

J.D. Power gives the 2013 Matrix a reliability rating of four out of five, which is an above-average score for the industry. Still, some compact cars earn higher scores.

See Matrix reliability scores »

How Safe Is the Matrix?

The 2013 Matrix was only sparingly crash tested. It earned four out of five stars in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s rollover test. The Matrix also received the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's highest score of Good in the moderate overlap front and side impact tests, and an Acceptable rating in rear crash protection. There are no driver assistance features available in the Matrix.

See Matrix safety scores »

Is the 2013 Matrix the Best Model Year to Buy?

The 2013 Toyota Matrix is the last model year of the car's second and final generation, which began with the 2009 model year. Though you'll probably see a price drop when shopping for older models, the 2013 version is a better bet. Bluetooth and a USB port were made standard for this model year, and a touch-screen audio display is available.

Compare the 2011, 2012, and 2013 Matrix »

Which Used Toyota Matrix Is Right for Me?

The 2013 Toyota Matrix hatchback is available in L and S trims. Go with a Toyota Matrix S and its more potent engine, which comes with a touch-screen display. Some models will also have a moonroof or all-wheel drive.

You may also want to consider a certified pre-owned Matrix. Toyota provides a one-year/12,000-mile limited warranty on all of its certified pre-owned vehicles, and it extends the original new-car powertrain warranty to seven years or 100,000 miles. Each CPO Toyota must pass a 160-point inspection. Additional benefits like towing and roadside assistance may be available, so read the Toyota warranty page carefully. The model's original sale date determines whether it is eligible for the CPO program.

Read more about certified pre-owned vehicles »
Read more about the Toyota certified pre-owned program »

2013 Toyota Matrix and Other Cars to Consider

Which Is Better: 2013 Toyota Matrix or 2013 Toyota Corolla?

The 2013 Toyota Corolla features a perfect reliability score, which makes it a marginally better car than its in-house rival. The Corolla's only engine choice is the same as the Matrix's base offering, and it feels severely underpowered. Both cars have dull handling, but the Corolla manages an OK ride quality. Inside, these Toyotas suffer from an outdated design and cheap-feeling materials. The hatchback Matrix will give you more cargo space than the Corolla, which is one of its few advantages.

Which Is Better: 2013 Toyota Matrix or 2013 Subaru Impreza?

The 2013 Subaru Impreza has one of the worst reliability ratings in the class, but that's its only true downside relative to the Matrix. The Impreza comes standard with all-wheel drive and has engaging handling. Its base engine has adequate power on par with the Matrix's 2.4-liter engine, but Impreza WRX and STI performance models feature a muscular 265-horsepower turbocharged motor. Inside, the Impreza has a spacious back seat and a generally upscale atmosphere. It also offers features not found in the Matrix, like leather and heated seats, navigation, and a rearview camera. Unless you're alarmed by the Impreza's poor reliability, pick it over the Matrix.

Compare the Matrix, Corolla, and Impreza »

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