The Matrix is Toyota's answer to the working professional that likes to seek adventure on the weekends. When it was introduced in 2003, the Matrix was one of the first vehicles known as Crossovers that combine the storage requirements of a van or SUV, with the handling and speed of a sedan. For 2007 the Matrix remains largely unchanged from its first model featuring minor improvements across the board. The 2006 Matrix had a sporty XRS model, and All Wheel Drive options available, but both of those are dropped for 2007. Trimming down the model lineup leaves the base model, and a slightly upgraded XR model. Built upon the Corolla base the Matrix is jointly developed with General Motors who offers an almost identical vehicle in the Pontiac Vibe.
The disappearance of the XRS model for 2007 leaves only one engine type available. Both the base and XR Matrix trims are powered by a 1.8 liter four cylinder engine that produces 126 horsepower. A 5 speed manual transmission comes standard with a 4-speed automatic available as an option.
With its wagon-esque design the Matrix contains more storage room than a standard sedan, but less than a full-sized SUV or van. With the 60/40 split rear seats folded to a completely flat surface the interior cargo space extends from 15 cubic feet to 53 cubic feet. The passenger seat folds flat as well, though at a raised height, which increases storage space even more and allows the Matrix to accommodate objects up to 8 feet in length. Due to the height of the Matrix the seats have been designed to offer a more upright position similar to larger vehicles. Toyota has also incorporated various storage options to aid in carrying various sized items around. Cargo nets, folding hooks, and an extra "hidden" storage compartment in the trunk all come standard.
Base ($15,410) - 16 inch steel wheels, two 12V power outlets, a 4 speaker CD stereo sound system, front driver and passenger airbags.
XR ($16,890) - adds an extra 115V power outlet which is enough to power a Laptop, optional 17 inch allow wheels.
Anti-Lock Brakes with electronic force distribution, as well as side curtain airbags are optional on both the Base and XR models.
No data is available for the Matrix, or Pontiac Vibe
National Highway Safety Traffic Association (NHTSA)
Front crash driver's side - 5 stars
Front crash passenger's side - 4 stars
Side crash front seat - 3 stars
Side crash rear seat - 4 stars