2012 Toyota Matrix vs. Its Competition

2011 Toyota Matrix
Bengt Halvorson Bengt Halvorson Senior Editor

Just a few years ago, the Matrix was one of the only hatchback designs on the market, but times have changed.

The all-new Ford Focus is offered as a five-door hatchback, and it's more enjoyable to drive and has a more lavish interior than the Toyota.

Otherwise, the Kia Forte5 is sporty, well-equipped, and a strong value.

Hyundai's Elantra Touring, which is based on the previous-generation Elantra sedan, is also a good value and handles better than the Matrix.

The Honda Fit is quite a bit smaller on the outside, yet its interior is quite a bit more usable and versatile than that of the Matrix--especially considering its trick 'Magic Seat' arrangement and low cargo floor.

Toyota has quite a bit of competition from its own vehicles, too, from the somewhat smaller Yaris, and from Toyota's own Prius and new Prius v; the Prius itself doesn't cost all that much more, yet it has much higher gas mileage.

2011 Toyota Matrix2012 Toyota Matrix
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2012 Ford Focus2012 Ford Focus
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2012 Honda Fit 5dr HB Auto Angular Front Exterior View2012 Honda Fit
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2012 Kia Forte 5-Door 5dr HB EX Angular Front Exterior View2012 Kia Forte
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2012 Mazda MAZDA3 with SkyActiv2012 Mazda MAZDA3
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Quick Specs
The 2012 Toyota Matrix combines the frugality of the best-selling Corolla with a little more sportiness and versatility--but it still comes up a bit short in features.
With the 2012 Focus, Ford shows that small cars don't have to feel so banal, with charismatic compacts that are more satisfying to drive, more luxurious, and better-equipped.
The 2012 Honda Fit is peppy and fun to drive, and its interior is incredibly space-efficient; but some might be turned off by its rather utilitarian look.
The 2012 Kia Forte family of vehicles manages to feel more eager, comfortable, and sophisticated than its sticker price might suggest.
With its new Skyactive powertrains, the 2012 Mazda3 is the eco-conscious choice that sure doesn't drive like one.
MSRP From    
Gas Mileage    
20 MPG City / 32 MPG Hwy26 MPG City / 38 MPG Hwy27 MPG City / 35 MPG Hwy22 MPG City / 36 MPG Hwy18 MPG City / 40 MPG Hwy
Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4
EPA Class    
Small Station WagonCompactSmall Station WagonCompact CarsCompact
Style Name    
5-Door Wagon Manual L FWD (Natl)4-Door Sedan S5-Door HB Manual4-Door Sedan Manual LX4-Door Sedan Manual i SV
Front Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity    
Passenger Doors    
Body Style    
5 Door Wagon4 Door Sedan5 Door Hatchback4 Door Sedan4 Door Sedan
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2012 Toyota Matrix vs. 2012 Ford Focus2012 Toyota Matrix vs. 2012 Honda Fit2012 Toyota Matrix vs. 2012 Kia Forte2012 Toyota Matrix vs. 2012 Mazda MAZDA3