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2013 Toyota Matrix Comfort & Quality

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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.

As for the seats themselves, they're a little less supportive than most would probably prefer. And with short, flat cushions, they simply lack the support that taller or larger owners will expect for a long day of driving. But there's enough adjustability between the seats and the tilt/telescopic steering wheel for most to get comfortable for the commute, or shorter trips.

Interior refinement and cabin trims leave a lot to be desired, but the 2013 Matrix has it covered for functionality, with a useful, versatile layout.

In back, there are officially three places but you'll find just enough space for a couple of average-sized adults—again, if the need is just getting across town. Cargo space is great, with those rear seatbacks easily flipping forward, freeing up seating space for an especially large load of groceries, or a small piece of furniture.

Compared to other small, somewhat sporty hatchbacks, the Matrix rides well, although road noise can be an issue and the coarse engine note carries into the cabin under acceleration or even higher-speed cruising, erasing any impressions of refinement.

Interior materials are simple and chunky, and our guess is that you're either going to love them or hate them; with hard, matte-metallic plastic across much of the dash and drab plastics otherwise, it's far from upscale or luxurious. On the flip side, we think that the chunky, driver-centric control layout has a keep-it-simple charm of its own.

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