Toyota Matrix

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Toyota Matrix
2009 Toyota Matrix S -- NHTSA.jpg
Overview
Manufacturer Toyota Motor Corporation
Also called Toyota Corolla Matrix
Pontiac Vibe
Production 2002–2014
Model years 2003–2013 (USA)
2003-2014 (Canada)
Assembly Cambridge, Ontario, Canada (TMMC)
Body and chassis
Class Compact car
Body style 5-door hatchback
Layout Front engine, front wheel drive / all wheel drive
Related Toyota Corolla
Lexus CT

The Toyota Matrix, officially referred to as the Toyota Corolla Matrix, is a compact hatchback manufactured by Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada in Cambridge, Ontario and derived from the Toyota Corolla. Introduced in 2002 as a 2003 model, the Matrix is the result of a joint venture between Toyota and General Motors, with the GM version being the Pontiac Vibe, which was assembled by New United Motor Manufacturing, Inc. (NUMMI) in Fremont, California.[1]

Officially sold in the United States, Canada, and Mexico, the Matrix is considered to be the sporty hatchback counterpart of the North American Corolla and is counted as a variant of it in Toyota's sales figures.[2]

Identical mechanically, and nearly as much internally, the Matrix and Vibe are clothed in different sheetmetal designed by their respective brands. Both vehicles are narrow, yet tall station wagons styled in a quasi-SUV fashion (called a crossover utility vehicle or "CUV" by Toyota) and marketed to a fairly youthful market segment.[3] This type of car is also commonly referred to as a sport wagon.

First sold in February 2002,[4] the Matrix saw a minor facelift for the 2005 model year, and was redesigned completely in 2009, following the new tenth generation Corolla.


First generation (E130; 2003–2008)[edit]

First generation
Toyota Matrix -- 07-09-2009.jpg
Overview
Production February 2002 – February 2008
Model years 2003–2008
Powertrain
Engine 1,794 cc (1.794 L; 109.5 cu in) 1ZZ-FE I4
123–130 hp (92–97 kW)[5]
1,796 cc (1.796 L; 109.6 cu in) 2ZZ-GE I4
164–180 hp (122–134 kW)[5]
Transmission 4-speed automatic[5]
5-speed C59 manual[5]
6-speed C60 manual[5]
Dimensions
Wheelbase 102.4 in (2,601 mm)[5]
Length 171.3 in (4,351 mm)[5]
Width 69.9 in (1,775 mm)[5]
Height 61.0 in (1,549 mm)[5]

The Matrix was first introduced in the 2003 model year and based on the Toyota Corolla platform.[4] Relatively unchanged in 2004, a facelift for 2005 brought minor revisions to the exterior – mainly revised styling to the front fascia due to complaints of rubbing the ground on the previous incarnation and replacing the red lenses on the taillamps with clear ones.[6][7] Also, the center instrument panel was slightly redesigned and featured a Toyota head unit in place of the previous GM-sourced radio.[7]

Two 1.8 L four-cylinder engines were offered in the Matrix: the 1ZZ-FE used in the Corolla, which originally made 130 horsepower (97 kW) in 2003 through 2005 models, but was reduced to 126 horsepower (94 kW) in 2006,[8] and the performance-oriented 2ZZ-GE taken from the Toyota Celica GT-S,[5] which produced 164 horsepower (122 kW) (previously 180 horsepower (130 kW) in 2003, 173 hp (129 kW) in 2004,[9] and 170 horsepower (130 kW) in 2005).[10] The 2006 drop in power was due to new testing standards, and not a change in the engine's actual performance.[8]

In late 2006, Toyota discontinued use of the 2ZZ-GE engine and dropped the XRS from the Matrix lineup to be temporarily replaced by the M-Theory edition. Like each year of the XRS model, the M-Theory was a limited production run of 2500 cars.[11] All wheel drive was also available from 2003–2006 when coupled to the 1ZZ engine and automatic transmission, but was dropped at the same time as the XRS.[11]

Models[edit]

Standard (2003–2008)[edit]

2005–2008 Toyota Matrix Standard

Starting out at US$14,670 in 2003, the no-frills base model came with few options. While it did have standard air conditioning, it left out features like color-keyed mirrors and door handles, blacked out window frames, and power windows, locks, and mirrors. Alloy wheels, a body kit, and rear window wiper were also stricken from the options list by Toyota, forcing buyers to go with an XR or XRS model if they wished to have these features, as well as six-way adjustable seats and variable intermittent windshield wipers.[citation needed] However, one option the base model could be had with was AWD for an additional $1,465 (although the actual increase was $2,445, since AWD only came with an automatic transmission). Adding AWD brought the car's curb weight of 2,679 lb (1,215 kg) up to 2,943 lb (1,335 kg) and decreased power by 7 hp (5 kW) and 7 lb·ft (9 N·m).[12][13] In 2004, the price of a base model remained unchanged, but by the last year of production, 2008, it had risen to $15,510.[14]

XR (2003–2008)[edit]

2003–2004 Toyota Matrix XR

The Matrix's mid-grade trim level, the XR was designed to combine the cheapness of the base model with the looks and features of the XRS. By checking this option on the order sheet, customers received standard features like color-matched mirrors and door handles, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and a panic button on the key fob. Options now available included a sunroof, body kit, and 16-inch (410 mm) alloy wheels. A 2003 XR started at US$16,180 and 2,701 lb (1,225 kg), but when equipped with AWD cost at least $18,445 (only $305 less than an XRS) and weighed in at 2,965 lb (1,345 kg).[13] Like the base model, the XR's AWD engine was detuned. Again, the car's price for its sophomore year stayed the same, but in the four years after that, it rose to $16,990.[15]

XRS (2003–2006)[edit]

2004 Toyota Matrix XRS with TRD grille

For US$18,750, the top-of-the-line model came standard with four-wheel disc brakes and six speakers. Also included on all XRSes were anti-lock brakes with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution, 16-inch alloy wheels, and cruise control. In 2003, 17-inch wheels could be had, but only on cars without a sunroof. An option combining 17-inch (430 mm) wheels and a sunroof became available the second year of production. In 2005, an XRS started out at $18,850, and for its last year, it went for at least $19,250.[16]

The pièce de résistance, however, was Toyota's high-tech 2ZZ-GE engine – the Matrix's namesake because of the metal matrix composite (MMC) used to line the cylinder walls. Displacing 1,796 cc (1.796 L; 109.6 cu in), or 109.6 cubic inches, it produced 180 hp (134 kW) and 130 lb·ft (176 N·m) – a rare 100 horsepower-per-liter. While its 11.5:1 compression ratio was a large factor in its performance, what set the engine apart was its ability to alter timing and valve lift through Toyota's VVTL-i. Because it could manipulate its valvetrain, the 2ZZ was capable of reaching 8500 rpm. Despite the technology, however, the engine's high compression necessitates "premium" gasoline (91 octane or above in the (R+M)/2 scale). With the exception of an available automatic in 2003, a six-speed manual transmission has been the only option for the XRS.[5] A Transitional Low Emission Vehicle (TLEV) its first year of production,[17] the 2ZZ was retrofitted in 2004 with a smog pump and reclassified as an Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV).[18]

A testament to Toyota's engineering, the Matrix was able to come to a full stop from 60 mph (97 km/h) in only 114 feet (35 m).[5] On a skidpad, the car achieved .83 g, only .03 g less than the Celica GTS, during testing by Motor Trend and Sport Compact Car.[19][20] Due to being front wheel drive, the XRS has a weight distribution of 59/41 (front/rear), which may result in understeer when driven hard. It weighs in at a relatively light 2,800 lb (1,300 kg).[5][13]

M-Theory (2007)[edit]

Not a trim level, the M-Theory edition was a 2007-only[21] appearance package with an exclusive "Speedway Blue" color. For US$1,500, a customer got 17-inch Caldina wheels, a chrome exhaust tip, a numbered plaque (1 of 2500), four wheel disc brakes, and a spoiler. To improve handling, a "sport tuned suspension" and strut tower brace were included.[22]

Interior[edit]

2004 XRS dashboard
Interior with seats folded.

One of the Matrix's unique design features is its interior, particularly the rear 60/40 seats and cargo area. Made with rigid plastic backs, the rear seats fold flat, creating a 53.2 cu ft (1.51 m3) cargo area. In a practicality test, Motor Trend was able to haul more cargo in the Matrix than in a Subaru WRX wagon with 61.1 cu ft (1.73 m3) of space.[5] In addition to the eight tie-downs in the back for attaching the included cargo nets and tonneau cover, the seats and rear floor have integrated rails for installing extra tie-downs.[5][19]

Up front, the passenger seat also folds flat, accommodating long items like surf boards or allowing drivers to use the tray in its back to hold items like a laptop computer. An electronic device can be charged with the 115 volt/100 watt power inverter(US models only).[23] The first year of production (2003), the instrument cluster was completely red.[4] However, the next year, Toyota made the numbers white while keeping the rest of the gauges red.[6] When the car was updated in 2005, a digital clock was added to the radio bezel.[7]

Crash testing[edit]

NHTSA crash test ratings (2003):[24]

  • Frontal Crash Test – Driver: 5/5 stars
  • Frontal Crash Test – Passenger: 5/5 stars
  • Side Impact Rating – 5/5 stars
  • Side Impact Rating – Rear: 4/5 stars
  • Rollover Rating: 4/5 stars

Recalls[edit]

In May 2008, Toyota issued a recall for 2003 and 2004 model year Corollas and Matrixes. The recall notice cites two bolts in each of the front doors as potentially causing the window to come off the track and break. This recall only applies to models equipped with power windows.[25] General Motors issued a recall for the same problem on 2003 and 2004 Pontiac Vibes with power windows at the same time.[26]

On August 26, 2010, Toyota issued a recall for 2005 to 2008 model year Corollas and Matrixes, equipped with the 1ZZ-FE engine and two-wheel drive. The recall notices states that an improperly manufactured Engine Control Module (ECM) can develop a crack in its circuitry, potentially causing the "Check Engine" light to illuminate, harsh shifting, and stalling and/or failure of the engine to start.[27]

Second generation (E140; 2009–2014)[edit]

Second generation
2nd Toyota Matrix -- 12-26-2009.jpg
Overview
Production February 2008–2014
Model years
  • 2009–2013 (USA)
  • 2009-2014 (Canada)
Assembly Cambridge, Ontario, Canada (TMMC)
Powertrain
Engine 1,797 cc (1.797 L; 109.7 cu in) 2ZR-FE I4
132 hp (98 kW)[28]
2,362 cc (2.362 L; 144.1 cu in) 2AZ-FE I4
158 hp (118 kW)[28]
Transmission 4-speed automatic[28]
5-speed automatic[28]
5-speed manual[28]
Dimensions
Wheelbase 102.4 in (2,601 mm)[28]
Length 173.0 in (4,394 mm)[28]
AWD: 171.9 in (4,366 mm)[28]
Width 69.5 in (1,765 mm)[28]
Height 61.0 in (1,549 mm)
XRS & AWD: 61.4 in (1,560 mm)[28]

Initially rumored by Toyota and auto news media as a Matrix replacement named the Blade,[29] the second generation Matrix was unveiled on October 31, 2007, at the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show in Las Vegas, and was first available at dealerships in February 2008, as a 2009 model.[30] The Matrix' Pontiac Vibe sibling was also upgraded, although production of that model ended at the end of 2009 since the Pontiac brand was being retired.

In the United States, three trim grades (Standard [base], S, and XRS) are offered,[28] as well as two inline-four engines: a 1,797 cc (1.797 L; 109.7 cu in) 2ZR-FE for the base model (chassis code ZRE142) and a 2,362 cc (2.362 L; 144.1 cu in) 2AZ-FE for the S and XRS grades. The former is offered with either a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission, while the larger engine is equipped with either a manual or automatic five-speed transmission.[28] In addition, the S grade can be equipped with a four-speed automatic and all-wheel drive.[31]

2011 Toyota Matrix XR AWD

Canadian buyers are offered four trim levels: a 1.8 L-powered base model and the XR, AWD, and XRS models with a 2.4 liter engine.[32][33]

This Toyota Matrix generation marks it the first time it is sold in Mexico. The Toyota Matrix comes only in two trim levels to Mexico: Base and XR.

For the 2011 model year, the Matrix received redesigned exterior and interior elements, including front and rear fascias, wheels, and seat fabrics.[34]

Models[edit]

Toyota Matrix XRS

Beginning in 2008, Toyota began offering different trim levels in the United States and Canada. The XR trim and AWD option became exclusive for Canada, and the S model was released only in the U.S. All vehicles have an independent front suspension with MacPherson struts,[28] but only XRS models and cars equipped with all-wheel drive and 158 horsepower, feature an independent rear suspension using double wishbones instead of a semi-independent torsion beam.[28][35] The 2009 models have less interior space than the preceding years, with a total of 48.9 cu ft (1.38 m3) compared to the original 53.2 cu ft (1.51 m3).[28]

The XRS grade was dropped from the U.S. lineup for the 2011 model year.

Safety[edit]

All models come standard with side torso airbags, side curtain airbags, anti-lock braking and electronic brakeforce distribution.[36] For the 2010 model the previously optional Vehicle Stability Control and traction control systems became standard.[37]

Toyota's Smart Stop Technology was added to the Matrix for the 2011 model year.

The Matrix is rated "Good" in both frontal and side Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) crash tests.[38][39]

NHTSA crash test ratings (2009):[40]

  • Frontal Crash Test – Driver: 5/5 stars
  • Frontal Crash Test – Passenger: 5/5 stars
  • Side Impact Rating – Driver: 5/5 stars
  • Side Impact Rating – Passenger: 4/5 stars
  • Rollover Rating: 4/5 stars


Recalls[edit]

The 2009 to 2010 model year Toyota Matrix (and its Pontiac Vibe relative) are subject to the 2009–2011 Toyota vehicle recalls regarding floor mat and accelerator pedal replacement.[41]

On October 10, 2012, Toyota issued a recall for 2009 model year Corolla and Matrix, along with 10 other models. The recall notices states that improperly lubricated driver's side power window master switch may develop a “notchy” or sticky feel, and that improper aftermarket lubrication may present a fire hazard. The repair involves lubricating the switch assembly with a special fluorine grease.[42]

Partial discontinuation[edit]

On August 5, 2013, Toyota announced that it will end production of the Matrix for the US market after the 2013 Model Year due to declining sales. There are no plans to replace it with another vehicle, leaving this segment void for the time being.[43] The Canadian market is unaffected at the moment; 2014 models are being assembled in Cambridge, Ontario by Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada.[citation needed]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]