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2012 Toyota Matrix Review

The 2012 Toyota Matrix is one of the few hatchbacks available with all-wheel drive, but some reviewers said that other hatchbacks are more fun to drive.

Pros & Cons

  • Good cargo space
  • Not as fuel-efficient as some rivals




Critics' Rating: 6.9
Performance: 6.7
Interior: 7.1
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.3
Safety: 9.5
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2012 Toyota Matrix Overview

The 2012 Matrix has two four-cylinder engine choices, and of the two, critics felt that the more powerful variant is the better choice. They said that the more powerful engine provides more punch for merging onto the highway and passing maneuvers. A five-speed manual transmission is offered with either engine. A four-speed automatic transmission is available with the less powerful engine, while the more powerful engine gets a five speed automatic. All-wheel drive is only available with the more powerful engine. The Matrix achieves up to 26/32 mpg city/highway, which is a bit low for the class. Some reviewers wrote that the Matrix’s all-wheel drive doesn’t do much to improve handling, but it’s fine for aiding traction on wet and slippery roads. Generally, auto reviewers weren’t that impressed with the Matrix’s handling.

Some reviewers said the Matrix’s cabin materials are of good quality, while others didn’t think quality is up to snuff. Few test drivers commented on the Matrix’s seats, but those that did said that the back seat offers adequate legroom for most adults. The base Matrix comes standard with a four-speaker stereo with an auxiliary input jack. Available features include a six-speaker stereo, Bluetooth, a USB port and a power sunroof. With the rear seats folded, the Matrix can carry up to 49.4 cubic feet of cargo, which is fairly good for the class, but not class-leading.

See the full 2012 Toyota Matrix specs »

Other Cars to Consider

The 2012 Subaru Impreza comes standard with all-wheel drive, which is unavailable on many cars in the segment. The Impreza has a better fuel economy estimate, and reviewers were impressed with the Impreza’s simple, yet high-quality, interior.

The highly-ranked 2012 Ford Focus is one of the most entertaining cars to drive in the segment, according to reviewers. Reviewers liked its high-quality interior materials.

Compare the Matrix, Impreza and Focus »


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