2011 Toyota Matrix Overview
The 2011 Toyota Matrix comes back with a few changes to its winning combination of hatchback utility and great fuel economy.
Changes for the 2011 Matrix consist of a new standard wheel design, a few interior changes, and a new standard brake override system. The XRS trim has been cut for this year and the Matrix adds on more standard features to the base and S trims.
The Matrix shares a platform with the compact Corolla and retains its sporty and youthful hatchback look. Under the hood, you get your choice of two engines depending on trim level. Base trim models get a 132-horsepower, 1.8-liter four-cylinder mated to a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission. Opting for the higher S trim gets you a 158-horsepower, 2.4-liter four-cylinder that comes with the same five-speed manual, or a five-speed automatic. Front-wheel drive comes standard but the S trim is available with all-wheel-drive (AWD is only available with the four-speed automatic).
Fuel economy is a big selling point on the 2011 Matrix – it’s a car that you can actually fit things in that still returns pretty good gas mileage. Base models get 25-26 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway and S models with the more powerful engine get slightly lower numbers, at 21 mpg in the city and 28-29 mpg on the highway (those numbers fall to 20/26 respectively with AWD equipped). The Matrix competes against other compact, sporty hatchbacks like the Mazda Mazda3, Hyundai Elantra Touring, and Ford Focus.
Inside, the Matrix gets new seat fabric, metal accents on the vents, and a new sporty flat bottom steering wheel. The standard features list has been expanded for 2011 and now includes the all-weather package, power windows and locks, powered and heated side mirrors, auxiliary audio input jack, air conditioning, and an engine immobilizer. Jumping up to the S trim adds remote keyless entry, an upgraded stereo, and a 115-volt power outlet.
Safety features include six standard airbags, front active headrests, and vehicle stability control. New for this year is the previously mentioned brake override system which prevents unintended acceleration.
The sporty and youthful 2011 Toyota Matrix remains a practical choice as well, with its great fuel economy and extra standard features.