With its recent redesign, as an early 2009 model, the Matrix was given a lower, sportier stance, yet similar proportions to the previous version. Overall, it flows a little more, thanks to a more contoured roofline and a number of sculpted details.
Most reviewers approve of the look, which Motor Trend says is "self-described as a 'sport/utility with coupelike design.'" MotherProof reviewers are also fond of the appearance, commenting that it "looks as if some thought actually went into the design." Car and Driver doesn't like the Matrix's design as much, remarking that "the XRS does look sharper, thanks to the fitment of a strut-tower brace and an independent rear suspension, but somehow the overall look comes off as less interesting than before."
The seating position of the 2010 Toyota Matrix is a little lower, and interior styling gets more matte-metallic trim, though the overall effect is simple and unmistakably Toyota. The interior scores pretty well with reviewers. Edmunds approves of the "ergonomic cabin layout" that "continues to offer a sportier ambience than the Corolla," while MotherProof approves of the simple instrument panel layout. On the positive side, ConsumerGuide likes the "large, accessible dials" for the climate control.
ConsumerGuide voices one criticism with the interior design, warning that "indistinct markings on the speedometer sometimes require a second look away from the road," and although "the center portion of the dashboard is canted toward the driver," it is "not enough to prevent outside light from washing out the radio display."