2013 Toyota Matrix Review

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Consumer Reviews
2 Reviews
2017
The Car Connection
2017
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Bengt Halvorson Bengt Halvorson Deputy Editor

With the frugality of a Corolla and hatchback versatility, the 2013 Toyota Matrix delivers on practicality but falls short if you expect a hot hatch.

Compared to sedans, hatchbacks tend not only to be a bit more versatile, but also sportier, and that's exactly the tack that the 2013 Toyota Matrix takes. Appealing to a somewhat younger, more active crowd, the Matrix delivers with more functionality than a small sedan, but from behind the wheel it's not quite as sporty as the design hints.

The Toyota Matrix stands out for its sporty silhouette, rakish roofline, and a handsome, somewhat aggressive stance. The roof is almost coupe-like, and there are just a few hints of utility vehicles—around the rear fascia—but otherwise it's a good-looking hatchback. Inside, it's a little less contemporary, although the chunky instrument-panel layout has a certain keep-it-simple charm.

The Matrix model lineup consists of base and S models, with base models getting a 132-horsepower, 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine and S models stepping up to a 158-hp, 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine. We think most shoppers will be happy with the 1.8-liter, as the 2.4-liter is quite a bit thirstier—especially in all-wheel-drive (S AWD) form. The five-speed manual is enjoyable with with either engine, but the available automatic has only four speeds with the smaller engine (or with S AWD models), making it sluggish at times. Gas mileage is disappointing, given Toyota's experience with high-mileage hybrids; the Matrix gets just 32 mpg highway, at best.

The 2013 Toyota Matrix gets a lot of kudos for day-to-day practicality, but it falls a bit short in comfort and refinement. It's configured like a classic small hatchback, with the rear seatbacks folding fully flat. However the front seats are a little too short and flat for all-day comfort for taller or larger drivers, and while ride comfort is decent, too much road noise enters the cabin.

The Matrix gets top 'good' ratings from the IIHS in frontal and side impact, as well as rear impact. Safety features are respectable but not standout in any way; front side and side-curtain airbags are included, as are anti-lock brakes and electronic stability control, on all 2013 Matrix models.

Pricing for the Matrix is a bit higher than the Corolla, but standard equipment is higher too, with this stylish hatchback aiming to offer just a little bit more than basic transportation. And as such, its standard feature set is good, although there simply aren't many option possibilities.

For 2013, Toyota has introduced new audio systems, including a six-speaker system with satellite radio, iPod connectivity, and Bluetooth hands-free calling and audio streaming included on the base model. Upscale S models include a system with a 6.1-inch touch screen, and on the S model, a Sport Package is available, and it adds 17-inch alloy wheels, a rear spoiler, and body skirting.

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July 4, 2015
For 2013 Toyota Matrix

I would buy a new one if they still made it.

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I love my Matrix. Its cool, its blue, it can seat 5 adults, carry lumber or a surfboard. Seats fold down, and I have actually been able to sleep in it. I wish they still made em, because I would be ready for a... + More »
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June 25, 2015
For 2013 Toyota Matrix

Economical sporty car aat good price

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Our Matrix is a neat little car with good handling.
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October 20, 2016
2012 Toyota Matrix 5-Door Wagon Automatic S FWD (Natl)

Sold as a touring model but do not believe it for a second it is not capable

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I purchased my matrix to be an adventure touring car to haul two people bikes kyaks' roof box for skis and travel extended distances . It is a Canadian package sold as a touring model . It has the factory roof... + More »
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April 6, 2016
2012 Toyota Matrix 5-Door Wagon Automatic L FWD (SE)

Gooc car ,but the 1.8 L realy doesn't anny power for the hyway, just 5o comute from point a to point b around town, it's ok

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IT'S A REALY GOOD CAR, BUT I JUST CAN'T LIVE WHIT THE 1.8L. IT SRARES MY ON THE HYWAY WHEN YOU NEED TO PAST AN OTHER VEHICULE YOU ALMOST NEED AN APPOINTMENT AND I FIND IT DANGERUS.AND THAT WHIL MAKE ME GET... + More »
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April 20, 2015
For 2011 Toyota Matrix

Very good, reliable and versatile vehicle.

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Bought this FWD model new from a dealer. A bit disappointed in its fuel economy (posted fuel economy numbers for new cars in Canada are fictitious) but the vehicle has performed well in every other respect. It... + More »
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December 6, 2015
For 2009 Toyota Matrix

Big disappointment

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I owned 2005 matrix and I thought the thing was bulletproof. Foolishly upgraded to a 2009 and I've been kicking myself ever cents. I have owned six Toyotas in my life. Two I hung onto for 10 years each.do I... + More »
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August 1, 2015
2009 Toyota Matrix 5-Door Wagon Manual FWD (Natl)

suited our needs easy to get into

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disappointed with quality. Back wheels had to be hammered off to change wheels. this was at the dealer and said was normal. Back brakes needed changing at 40M km then front brakes at 50M km. After brake change... + More »
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July 6, 2016
2007 Toyota Matrix 5-Door Wagon Manual STD (Natl)

Economical and reliable

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Aside from the original battery which died after 36 months, this car has been trouble free since we got it in March 2007. While aceleration is not it's biggest asset, it can hold its own. It's very nimble and... + More »
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November 14, 2016
2005 Toyota Matrix 5-Door Wagon STD Automatic (SE)

I love my matrix, and have over 180,000 miles on it.

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My matrix was great when I worked in home health care and when I needed to transport things like a dresser for the furniture business I started in retirement. It was perfect for the grandchildren as they grew... + More »
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November 13, 2015
For 2004 Toyota Matrix

I wish they still made them with a few improvements: side airbags, automatic, and all-wheel drive.

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I opted to buy this car because of its "green" rating. It has been and continues to be a great investment. Over the years though, I've gotten tired of shifting. And, I worry about not having side airbags. I... + More »
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