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2010 Toyota Matrix Review

In addition to its strong safety scores, the 2010 Toyota Matrix has a lot of cargo space and available all-wheel drive, making it a good choice for shoppers needing a practical small car.

Pros & Cons

  • Available all-wheel drive
  • Comfortable second-row seats
  • Good safety scores
  • Worse gas mileage than competitors




Critics' Rating: 6.9
Performance: 6.9
Interior: 7.6
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.3
Safety: 9.5
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2010 Toyota Matrix Overview

If you’re looking for a small used car with a comfortable second row, lots of cargo space and all-wheel drive, you should take a look at the 2010 Toyota Matrix. It has a whopping 19.8 cubic feet of cargo space, and that’s before you fold down the second-row seats. When you do that, cargo room more than doubles.

The Matrix is one of the few cars in the class to offer all-wheel drive. All-wheel drive only comes with the S model, which has a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine. Test drivers said the engine is plenty powerful, but fuel economy ratings with that drivetrain are pretty low for the class. The base Matrix has a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine, and while this engine isn’t as powerful, car reviewers said it works for drivers who need a good commuter car. Fuel economy with this engine and the manual transmission is an EPA-estimated 26/32 mpg city/highway.

The base Toyota Matrix has standard air conditioning and a four-speaker stereo with an auxiliary input jack, which is typical for the class. Higher trims and option packages add features like power windows and door locks, cruise control, keyless entry, navigation, an upgraded stereo with MP3 playback capability, satellite radio and Bluetooth. The base model has a lot more standard safety features than its competitors, including electronic stability control. The Matrix also has good crash test scores.

If you want a small car with lots of cargo space and safety features and available all-wheel drive, the 2010 Toyota Matrix deserves a thorough look. However, its cheap cabin materials mean that the Matrix lacks the interior refinement of some higher ranking used small cars.

See the full 2010 Toyota Matrix specs»

Other Cars to Consider

As one of the larger models in the class, the Matrix may not be the right fit for everyone. The 2010 Scion xD is significantly smaller, but by downsizing, you’ll trade space for more tech features, like a Pioneer stereo with a USB port. The xD’s list of standard safety features is comparable to the Matrix’s, but its safety scores aren’t as good.

The 2010 Volkswagen Golf trounces the Matrix when it comes to performance and is considered one of the most fun-to-drive models in the class. The base Golf’s fuel economy ratings aren’t the highest, but the Golf TDI has a diesel engine that gets great fuel economy. Although the Golf is smaller than the Matrix, reviewers said it still has comfortable front seats and fits two people comfortably in the rear row, though you can squeeze three in. It also has plenty of cargo space with the rear seats up, though it doesn’t offer nearly as much as the Matrix.

Compare the Matrix to the xD and Golf »  


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