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#18

in 2011 Affordable Small Cars

Avg. Price Paid: $12,316 - $14,192
Original MSRP: $18,845 - $21,715
MPG: 26 City / 32 Hwy
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Used Car: 2011 Toyota Matrix Review

Review Last Updated: 7/23/12

The 2011 Toyota Matrix is fuel-efficient and utilitarian, but reviewers said it can’t top its competitors because its performance is underwhelming, and it doesn’t offer nearly as much cargo space.

The 2011 Toyota Matrix is ranked:

If you’re looking for a small used car that offers a roomy back seat and a large cargo hold, the Toyota Matrix sets itself apart from many 2011 small cars. The trade-off, however, is that when it was new, reviewers said that taller drivers might feel cramped behind the wheel, but those of average height should be just fine. The Matrix’s 19.8 cubic feet of cargo space rivals what you’d find in a 2011 Ford Taurus.

The Matrix comes with more standard features than some competitors. The base model carries standard air conditioning, cruise control, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, keyless entry, power windows and door locks and a four-speaker stereo with an auxiliary jack. For more tech features, choose the S trim. Look for models with an available premium package that adds satellite radio, Bluetooth and a USB port with iPod connectivity.

There are two four-cylinder engines and available all-wheel drive. The base Matrix gets a 1.8-liter engine, and although reviewers said it isn’t the quickest, this engine gets up to 26/32 mpg city/highway, which is average for the class. The S trim is available with all-wheel drive and features a more powerful 2.4-liter engine.

The 2011 Matrix also has an above-average reliability rating, which means that it’s a smart pick since the Matrix may cost you less in repairs than many competing 2011 small cars.

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Other Cars to Consider

The 2011 Honda Fit does everything the Matrix can do. It has comfortable seating, as well as one of the largest cargo areas in the class. The Fit’s versatile interior can also adjust to accommodate different types and sizes of cargo. Both the Matrix and Fit have similar fuel economy ratings and a strong list of standard safety features, but the Honda Fit gets higher reliability and safety scores.

If you’re looking for a small used car that’s fun to drive, the 2011 Mazda3 is considered one of the best-performing cars in the class. You can buy a sedan or hatchback version, but if you need good cargo room, choose the hatchback. Both the Matrix and the Mazda3 earn similar safety scores, however, the Mazda3 can’t match the Matrix’s great reliability score.

Compare the Matrix to the Fit and Mazda3 »

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