2011 Toyota Matrix at the Chicago Auto Show

  • Competes with: Hyundai Elantra Touring, Mazda3 hatchback, Subaru Impreza  
  • Looks like: Not much has changed since 2010  
  • Drivetrain: 132-hp, 1.8-liter four-cylinder or 158-hp, 2.4-liter four-cylinder; five-speed manual transmission; four- and five-speed automatic transmissions  
  • Hits dealerships: Spring 2011 

The Toyota Corolla received a mild refresh for the model year, so it’s not surprising to see the 2011 Toyota “Corolla” Matrix getting the same treatment.

For the 2011 model year, the Matrix gets slight aesthetic upgrades to the exterior and interior, as well as some wholesale reshuffling of trims and standard features.

Let’s start off with what hasn’t changed — the powertrains. The Matrix still comes with a standard 132-horsepower, 1.8-liter four-cylinder mated either to a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission. S trim vehicles still come with a 158-hp, 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine with either the same manual or a five-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is optional on the S trim. Gas mileage is rated the same at a maximum 26/32 mpg city/highway.

There are very few physical changes to the Matrix’s exterior. The S trim gets new front and rear bumper designs (that’s the one in the photos), that feature underbody spoilers. The base Matrix has new steel wheel designs, and there are new 17-inch alloys available on the Matrix S.

The interior on all Matrix models receives a few more enhancements than the exterior, but the updates are subtle. There’s a new LED gauge cluster, a metal-plated garnish outlining the air vents, a new radio unit and new seat fabric. There’s also a new flat-bottom steering wheel, the same one on the Corolla and the Scion tC.

The 2011 Matrix loses a trim — there’s just the base and S, no more XRS — and there are more standard features, but at an extra cost. The Matrix comes standard with an all-weather package, power windows with driver-side auto down, power door locks, cruise control, color-keyed power heated side mirrors, daytime running lights, auxiliary audio jack, CD/radio with automatic sound leveling, air conditioning, folding tonneau cover and an engine immobilizer.

A brake override system was added to the list of safety features this year; it wasn’t available on the 2010 model.

A lot of features in the 2011 Matrix are new to the standard roster, and the base starting price, $18,545, reflects the increased cost of those features; the 2010 Matrix started at $16,700.

Overall, Toyota says prices increased anywhere from $505 for the S all-wheel-drive model to $1,875 for the base trim with an automatic. T

he Matrix will arrive at Toyota dealerships this spring. More pricing info is included below.

2011 Toyota Corolla Matrix Price (2010 Price)  

  • Base with manual transmission: $18,545 ($16,700)  
  • Base with automatic: $19,385 ($17,510) 
  • S with manual: $19,265 ($18,610) 
  • S with automatic: $20,455 ($19,800)  
  • S all-wheel drive with automatic: $21,415 ($20,910) 
  • XRS: deleted ($20,920) 
  • Destination: $760 (same)

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