Whether it's aerodynamics, weight, or gear ratios, the 2012 Matrix doesn't get gas mileage ratings that are all that impressive.
Fuel economy ranges from 26 mpg city, 32 highway for the base model with the manual down to 21/28 for the 2.4-liter version. A five-speed automatic is now available in the S model and boosts its rating to 21/29. And since the all-wheel-drive model makes do with a four-speed automatic, it achieves just 20 mpg city, 26 highway.
Even considering the Matrix's most economical trims, its mileage is far below the 40 mpg that's quickly becoming the gold standard for this size of car. And it's far below Toyota's own hybrids like the Prius—and the soon-to-arrive Prius C.