October 1, 2007 – Torrance, CA - The Toyota Corolla Matrix crossover utility vehicle (CUV) has become a major influence on modern compact car design, blending sporty styling with five-door practicality and high fuel efficiency. The 2008 Matrix has an estimated EPA mileage ratings as high as 26 mpg city and 33 mpg highway in models with the five-speed manual transmission.
Matrix is available in two model grades – Standard, and the XR with enhanced content. The Matrix has been especially successful at reaching younger buyers because it provides such a compelling value in a spirited and uniquely styled package. At the same time, versatility and excellent fuel efficiency have made Matrix popular with buyers of all ages.
Toyota designed the Matrix at Calty Design Research, its design studio in Newport Beach, Calif. "Edge-web" detailing blends sharply creased surfaces with rounded web-like contours to create strong, flowing character lines. The three-window profile gives the driver excellent outward visibility. The sporty, upscale interior is highlighted by an instrument panel featuring Optitron gauges set in cylindrical, chrome-rimmed housings.
"Because it is based on the Corolla platform, Matrix gives the customer the peace of mind of driving one of the world's most reliable and durable vehicles," said Jim Lentz, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. executive vice president. "Cutting edge in form and style, Matrix is also aimed at keeping with the Toyota tradition of value and low cost of ownership."
Versatility and Room Without Bulk
The Matrix offers the utility of a small SUV, including ample room for five, with high seating points providing easy access and a command view of the road. All grades include a driver's seat with height adjustment. The rear seat provides a generous 36.3 inches of legroom, which is on par with many midsize cars.
For cargo carrying, Matrix provides 21.8 cubic feet of room behind the rear
seat which expands to a maximum of 53.2 cubic feet with the standard 60/40 split rear seatbacks folded down. The high roofline of the Matrix makes it easy to carry large, bulky items.
The load floor is perfectly flat and has a durable, washable surface. Eight tie-down hooks and two cargo nets are standard equipment, and customers can outfit Matrix with available accessories, including a cargo mat, and even a pet screen. Toyota dealers offer an accessory roof rack and rear bumper step cover.
The front passenger seatback folds down, to either serve as a table for other passengers or enable the Matrix to carry long objects. Adding to the versatility, the rear glass hatch can open separately using a dash-mounted release or the keyless entry remote control on models so equipped.
Safety and Security
Passive safety technology in the Matrix includes advanced deployment front airbags, pretensioners and force limiters for the front seatbelts and side-impact door beams. Front seat side airbags and side curtain airbags are available as an option. An anti-lock brake system (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) can be added as an option.
When equipped with the optional automatic transmission, Matrix models offer an optional Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) system with Traction Control. The VSC system helps maintain direction during cornering by manipulating engine torque and individual wheel-braking influence when it detects tire slippage. The VSC option includes a traction control function that helps reduce tire slippage during acceleration.
Brake Assist, also included with the VSC option, is designed to determine if the driver is attempting emergency braking and, if the driver has not stepped firmly enough on the brake pedal to engage the anti-lock brake system (ABS), Brake Assist supplements the applied braking power until the driver releases pedal pressure.
All Matrix models feature a tire pressure monitoring system with a dashboard monitor light. For security, all models also feature an anti-theft engine immobilizer. The rear seat is equipped with three top-tether child restraint system attachment points and the Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH) uniform child restraint anchorage system.
Models with power door locks (standard on XR) and the automatic transmission feature a shift-linked system that locks the doors automatically when the transmission is shifted into Drive and the car is driven a short distance. The system unlocks the doors when the shifter is placed in Park and the ignition is switched off.
Matrix models are powered by a dual overhead-cam (DOHC) 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 126 horsepower at 6,000 RPM and 122 lb.-ft. of peak torque at 4,200 RPM. Toyota's Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i) optimizes power delivery throughout the engine speed range. The engine produces at least 90-percent of its peak torque from just 2,000 RPM to the 6,000 RPM redline, giving the Matrix especially good low- and mid-range response.
With the available four-speed electronic automatic transmission, the Matrix models have an EPA city/highway estimated mileage ratings of 25/31 MPG. The Matrix is equipped with standard P205/55 R16 tires. Both grades offer optional 16-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, and the XR grade further offers optional 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels.
Toyota Value and Peace of Mind
Generous standard equipment for Matrix includes air conditioning with a cabin air filter; an AM/FM/CD sound system with four speakers; a three-spoke tilt steering wheel; height adjustable driver's seat; intermittent wipers, a digital clock and a digital outside temperature gauge. The XR grade adds power mirrors, power windows and door locks; a leather-wrapped steering wheel; remote keyless entry; variable intermittent wipers and an intermittent rear window wiper.
The XR offers an optional JBL premium AM/FM stereo with in-dash 6-disc changer. The Matrix Standard model can be equipped with many optional features from the XR grade, individually or in packages.
Toyota's 36-month/36,000-mile basic new-vehicle limited warranty applies to all components other than normal wear and maintenance items. Additional 60-month warranties cover the powertrain for 60 months/60,000 miles and corrosion perforation for 60 months with no mileage limitation.