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STYLING | 8 out of 10
Aesthetically, the Matrix has very little Corolla left in its wedge-shape profile and tall, narrow stance.
a towering edifice of a dashboard, trimmed with swaths of gray metallic plastic that stretch upward along both sides of the gauge cluster to end in sharp points that emphasize the control panel’s height
a tall yet compact wagon, with a dash of sporty style thrown in to give this practical vehicle some "cool" factor
Last year the Matrix was up for a mid-cycle refresh, but it amounted to some very minor appearance and trim changes.
While Toyota had pitched the Matrix as more of a crossover in its first generation, the current Matrix has a lower sportier stance that's not all that much different from the Corolla from the front. Yet the Matrix's rather high-shouldered sides and prominent, thick rear pillar five it a very different look from all other angles—in short, with hints of utility-vehicle cues, plus an almost coupe-like roofline.
Inside, the instrument panel is a little swoopier and sportier in appearance, with large rotary controls for climate control. The middle portion of the dash is canted slightly toward the driver, qualifying it as a little sportier than the related Corolla, but otherwise trims and details feel quite plain overall.
The 2012 Toyota Matrix has a sporty exterior, but its interior is basic small-car material.