2007 Toyota Matrix Expert Review

You'll Like The 2007 Toyota Matrix If...

If you're on an economy-car budget, but you want something sporty and versatile, the Matrix deserves a good long look.

You May Not Like The 2007 Toyota Matrix If...

The four-cylinder engine has to rev high to make the most of its power, and some buyers might not be comfortable with that. With the loss of all-wheel drive, the Matrix has little advantage over newer, more powerful five-door models such as the Mazda Mazda3 and Volkswagen Rabbit.

What's New

The sporty XRS trim has been discontinued, as has the all-wheel-drive option.

Interior Features

Look inside the Matrix and you'll find a detailed interior that blends black cloth, chrome trim rings and brushed aluminum into pure automotive art. Gauges are housed in four deeply-recessed binnacles that are constantly backlit in a deep red glow. You'll find the Matrix's seating to be firm and comfortable, with a height-adjustable driver's seat on the XR trim. The roomy rear seat sits up high, affording passengers more legroom as well as a good view forward. When not loaded with passengers, the Matrix's seats can be folded flat to create a rather roomy 53 cubic feet of cargo area. Laptop junkies will love the two-prong 115-volt outlet standard on the XR.

Exterior Features

The Matrix is based on the Corolla platform and shares its chassis and powertrain with the Pontiac Vibe. The Matrix is a bit more futuristic in appearance than the Vibe, with flared ground effects panels, sweptback headlamps and a narrow rear window. The sweeping rear beltline makes for narrow rear side windows that can hinder a driver's ability to see small objects that may be close to the rear wheels. The large hatchback makes it easy to load the cargo hold and, on the XR trim level, includes a rear wiper/washer. A number of aftermarket parts, both from Toyota and external suppliers, make it easy to customize the Matrix without having to spend a small fortune.

Driving Impressions

The competent 1.8-liter engine can move the Matrix with ease, though you will have to keep the revs high in the rpm band to get the most of the engine's power. The standard five-speed manual transmission is the most helpful for this task, though you can opt for the four-speed automatic if you're not enamored with rowing your own gears.

The Matrix's precise steering feel makes it easy to get around curves with confidence, and the firm suspension displays good cornering ability without a punishing ride. Interior sound levels are higher than one might expect, but not annoyingly so. Besides, we suspect most younger drivers will never hear the din over the optional JBL Audio system.

Pricing Notes

The Matrix has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $15,880 with the five-speed manual and $16,680 with the four-speed automatic. The sporty XR model is $17,360 with the manual and $18,140 with the automatic. A look at the Fair Purchase Price shows the typical transaction price paid for the Matrix in your area, so be sure to check it out before you begin negotiations. The Matrix may not cost much, but it's worth its weight in gold when it comes to resale, holding better than 64 percent of its value at 24 months and close to 50 percent at 48 months.

Notable Equipment

The Matrix includes a 126-horsepower engine, five-speed manual transmission, air conditioning, rear defroster, front and rear cup holders, illuminated entry, dual remote control mirrors, AM/FM stereo with CD, tilt wheel, tachometer, cargo cover and full wheel covers. The XR adds power mirrors, 115-volt outlet, power windows, power locks, remote keyless entry and a rear wiper/washer.

Notable Options

Options include cruise control, Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), front side-impact airbags, power glass moonroof, four-speed automatic transmission, auto-dimming rearview mirror, alarm, rear wiper/washer, anti-lock brakes (ABS), JBL audio and a number of dealer installed security and protection packages.

Favorite Features

115-Volt Outlet

The 115-volt outlet on the XR's dash should be standard in every car.

JBL Audio w/ Kicker Sub Woofer

If you like your music loud and your bass thumping, this system is sure to please.

Under the Hood

The high-reving four-cylinder is peppy and fuel-efficient - exactly what most buyers are looking for. Although not big on torque, the 1.8-liter can move the Matrix with ease, so long as the car is not loaded with passengers or climbing steep hills.

1.8-liter in-line 4

126 horsepower @ 6000 rpm

122 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4200 rpm

EPA city/highway fuel economy: 30/36 (manual), 29/34 (automatic)

Editors' Notes

Once considered revolutionary, the Toyota Matrix is now joined by a fleet of competitors attempting to copy the little wagon's combination of versatility and sporty good looks. Copy-cats may better be able to compete now that Toyota has discontinued the Matrix's high-output 16-valve engine and optional all-wheel drive. Then again, few rivals can match the Matrix's outstanding quality and customer satisfaction ratings, not to mention its terrific resale value. Holding strong appeal with teenagers bent on customizing every inch of their cars, the Matrix's radical exterior is complimented by its highly versatile interior, which includes eye-catching glowing red gauges, a hard plastic cargo floor and a 115-volt outlet.

Road Test Video Reviews

2007 Toyota Matrix Owner Reviews

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Get one if you can! Toyota Matrixes are the best!!

2007 Toyota Matrix Base

I would be totally satisfied if I had to own a Toyota Matrix for the rest of my life. Our red 2007 model has proven to be a reliable and really spacious car. (Dare I say even bigger inside than some SUVs?! I'm convinced of that since it's managed to hold a chaise lounge.). Back seats fold forward and whenever that happens I can feel a bit like a magician doing some kind of impossible trick because of how much stuff we manage to fit inside! We've taken our Matrix on many road trips and it's carried a lot of weight in the process. Thankfully it has been easy to strap on a roof bag when needed or a big ol' Christmas tree on top! Gas mileage is also good. Our matrix has been a great family car too. The back seats have fit well with our car seats. The *only* complaint I would have is that the maintenance light will go off/on randomly, with no repair being needed. Aside from that, we enjoy it very much and can't help but recommend it to others. I'm hoping that newer models of the Matrix will come into existence so that when the time comes to say goodbye to our current one we'll have the newer one to look forward to!

- Amie M

Small car with loads of storage space and great gas mileage.

2007 Toyota Matrix

For someone who loves traveling this car is pretty great. The passenger and back seats fold down completely flat. Leaving plenty of room and for camping gear hiking equipment etc.. Also for someone who owns two dogs I am able to fit a medium size crate into the car as well. Since its a Toyota the vehicle will last a very long time and it's amazing on gas. I get about 33 miles to the gallon maybe more maybe less depending on city or highway. Which in turn helps me save money on gas. Since I live where it snows a lot and the vehicle is 2 wheel drive I have yet to have a problem. This tiny car packs a good punch throughout the winter which is great. Especially coming from a SUV to this I would choose this car over an SUV. The cons to the vehicle is that I do not have a roof rack so I can't fit a kayaked etc. unless I buy special equipment for it. I have the basic model so I don't have cruise control which can be a pain on the long drives. But overall if your someone who wants a car with loads of room options and wants to save money on gas without changing your active lifestyle this car is for you.

- Hannah S

Sporty, spacious hatchback that needs "accessorizing".

2007 Toyota Matrix

This is my second Toyota matrix, but without the bells and whistles of the 2003 version I had, it is not as worth it. I love the car, but wish it had a more powerful engine. I find the interior to be pretty standard but extremely spacious, which is a huge plus. Unfortunately, it is the little details like storage compartments and device compatibility that made my previous car a favorite. Also, the rims/tires seem to get pretty banged up pretty easily. I have had numerous issues with cracks and dents that have needed repairing.

- Anna M

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