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2011 Toyota Matrix

Day by Day Review: 2011 Toyota Matrix toyota auto articles daily car reviews
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It seems as though every year I at least one week behind the wheel of a Toyota Matrix. It probably seems like that, because it’s true. Every year, Toyota sends the Matrix for me to test, but it is unfortunate that not many changes are made to it from year to year. Mainly for my own personal sanity, as it sure is difficult to write about a vehicle over and over again if it remains the same, but also for Toyota, from my vantage point the Matrix is getting a little “old.”

For 2011, Toyota has updated some of the standard features on the Matrix. For example, it now comes with the Star safety system, which means all Matrixes are now equipped with stability control and traction control as standard. They have also added a sporty flat bottom steering wheel with audio controls as standard trim. But where they giveth they also taketh away by removing the standard tonneau cover (a huge hatchback no-no in my books) and the driver’s seatback pocket is also gone.

Day by Day Review: 2011 Toyota Matrix toyota auto articles daily car reviews
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The convenience package now adds cruise control to the package contents. But new for 2011 is the “S” package, denoted by an “S” badge on the tailgate. Also in this $6,405 (!) package are 17-inch alloy wheels, a roof-mounted rear spoiler, fog lamps, power moonroof, six speakers, integrated XM satellite radio, USB audio input, Bluetooth handsfree and a sport grille.

On top of the aformentioned package, my tester is equipped with the optional four-speed automatic, another sign that the Matrix is due for some updating. This brings the price from its starting point of $16,715 to just over $24,000, a considerable jump for a few options that are becoming more and more standard these days.

But the Matrix is still one of few “wagons” available on the market at a reasonable price, and still offers the versatility that buyers are looking for, so let’s give it its fair chance this week and see how it compares to the new generation of compact cars.

2011 Toyota Matrix
MSRP as tested (excluding destination): $24,130

For more information on Toyota and the Matrix visit Toyota Canada




About James Bergeron

James Bergeron is an Ottawa-based automotive journalist. He is also a member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC).