All-New 2009 Toyota Matrix Redesigned for Improved Performance, Utility

January 25, 2008 - Torrance, CA - The Toyota Corolla Matrix, the sporty five-door vehicle that helped redefine the concept of a crossover vehicle, has been redesigned for the 2009 model year to offer performance that matters for driver enjoyment.

Development of the 2009 Matrix focused on greater exterior coupe-like styling with enhanced interior utility and improved dynamic performance. The result is a package that has a wider, lower stance than the current model, but maintains interior space.

The 2009 Matrix offers the choice of two different engines, a five-speed manual transmission, and either four- or five-speed automatic transmissions.

Matrix will be available in three grades – Standard, S and the XRS. And this year Matrix once again offers the option of all-wheel drive (AWD) with the S grade.

In developing the 2009 Matrix, the body structure goals included creation of a coupe-like exterior while maintaining interior utility and increased rigidity with reduced vibration and noise – all without any major change to the package size. The result is a sporty, dynamic shape that contains room for five people to ride in comfort.

To achieve that, engineers and designers produced a vehicle that is 0.6 inches longer than the previous version, and about a half-inch lower in height. As a result of significant changes to the Matrix's profile, the theme is flowing and dynamic. The design expresses a low center of gravity, and coupe-like style with a fun-to-drive image. From the rear, the Matrix has rounded rear windows and continuous character lines that run from the front grille to the A-pillar. The S and XRS models integrate a front underbody spoiler with a large mesh fog lamp bezel and rear underbody spoiler. A rear deck spoiler is standard for all XRS models.

Topping off the new exterior design are five new colors – Sundance Metallic, Nautical Blue Metallic, Classic Silver Metallic, Blue Streak Metallic and Magnetic Gray Metallic.

The Matrix interior is completely redesigned to enhance driving enjoyment, comfort and utility.

Seats have been redesigned to accommodate the vehicle's new lower profile while maintaining the expected high comfort levels, and seat position were lowered slightly to maintain appropriate headroom. As a result, cabin space remains equal to that of the previous Matrix.

The interior's focal point, the instrument panel and center cluster, were designed to create the sensation of a cockpit.

The optitron gauges in the instrument panel feature bright white lighting and red needles. A large round speedometer is mounted in the center, with a tachometer to the left of that. To the right of the speedometer there's a combination gauge that includes a fuel indicator, an engine temperature indicator, and an LCD display that combines an outside temp indicator and an odometer/trip meter.

A new three-spoke steering wheel enhances the rest of the new Matrix interior. XRS models come standard with a leather-trimmed steering wheel that also includes spoke-mounted audio controls and hands-free Bluetooth® capability when equipped.

The driver and front passenger are treated to comfortable new sport seats, with standard seat-mounted side airbags. A fold-down seatback table is available for the front passenger's seat, enhancing interior utility on S and XRS. A movable and removable cup support element for the front center console helps provide versatile storage area and convenience. The cup holder area can be used as a tray when the divider is removed.

For rear-seat passengers, expanded front-to-back couple distance helps to provide additional room and comfort. A folding seat with a 60/40 split includes a middle-seat headrest for the fifth passenger.

Throughout the interior, designers supplied multiple storage spaces with a total capacity of more than 14 liters. They also provided a coin box on the driver side and a convenient shopping-bag hook on the lower front passenger side instrument panel. Meanwhile, front and rear doors contain pockets that each hold a 20-ounce plastic bottle.

The rear cargo area is equipped with four shopping bag hooks on the upper area of its side panels, two per side, and four D-rings in the floor for cargo and luggage tie-down convenience. A folding tonneau cover is standard and helps keep items placed in the cargo area out of sight.

Other detailed touches include rubber mats that were added to all trays and a glove box that was designed to conceal any inner metal parts when the glove box's door is opened.

The Matrix is equipped with a new, high-efficiency air-conditioning system with larger vents for directional accuracy and offers reduced power consumption and improved heating and cooling. It uses a variable compressor to conserve energy through optimum compressor capacity control that is based on heat load and engine speed.

Several different audio systems are available in the 2009 Matrix. The Standard Matrix comes equipped with an AM/FM/CD four-speaker system. Also available are an AM/FM/six-disc CD six-speaker system; an AM/FM/six-disc CD JBL Premium Sound system with XM® satellite, Bluetooth® and nine speakers in seven locations; and an AM/FM/CD with six-speaker system with DVD navigation with XM® NavTraffic capability.

No matter which audio system is selected, Matrix is equipped with a tone-control memory feature for storing sound settings for each separate mode. It also is equipped with Toyota's Automatic Sound Levelizer (ASL) to automatically control the audio level in relation to vehicle speed.

All systems are equipped with a universal audio jack port that allows users to listen to their portable music collection through the Matrix's speakers. Each system also includes enlarged speaker diameters to significantly improve sound quality. Available sound systems include a wide variety of speaker possibilities, including a 7.8-inch woofer in the far right-rear panel, six-inch full-range speakers in all four doors, 6.7-inch front-door woofer, and 2.6-inch mid-range “squawkers.”

The interior of the 2009 Matrix is available in two color schemes – all dark charcoal or a combination of dark charcoal and ash gray.

Engines and Transmissions
The 2009 Matrix is offered with two, new efficient engines, each of which is matched to an electronically controlled automatic transmission.

The 16-valve, 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine displaces 1,798 cc or 109.7 ci, and produces 132 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 128 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,400 rpm. This engine uses a compression ratio of 10:1 and is undersquare, with a 3.16-inch bore and a 3.48-inch stroke.

One of the engine's most important features is its use of Dual VVT-i (Variable Valve Timing with intelligence) on both the intake and exhaust camshafts that helps it achieve outstanding performance and economy.

Dual VVT-i continually alters the phase of each camshaft by operating the oil-control valve and controlling oil pressure on the advance/retard chamber of the VVT-i cam pulley through signals from the engine control computer. The result is optimized valve timing, contributing to higher output and increased efficiency.

Other improvements, such as thinner, low-tension piston rings and roller rocker arms, substantially reduce friction. Additionally, valve-train components are downsized to provide a very compact valve layout; diagonal squish combustion chambers are used for excellent combustion efficiency, and oil jets help keep the pistons cool.

The modifications result in an engine that is light, compact, and, for its size and weight, very quiet and very powerful. Estimated EPA fuel economy ratings are 26/32 city/highway mpg for manual transmission models and 25/31 for the automatic transmission model powered by a 1.8-liter engine.

A four-speed Super ECT (Electronically Controlled Transmission) automatic is paired with the 1.8-liter engine. It is light, compact and smooth-shifting, thanks to meticulously controlled oil pressures, and uses the latest low-friction technology. Its torque converter uses flex lockup for enhanced fuel efficiency.
This transmission employs an uphill/downhill shift control that selects the proper gear for conditions, and helps provide moderate engine braking during downhill driving.

For those who crave just a bit more horsepower and torque, the Matrix offers a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, a development of an earlier powerplant. Every engine part was changed and friction was reduced in all areas of the engine for improved output and efficiency. NVH performance was also enhanced. The engine control system was changed to provide additional early catalyst warmth for improved exhaust emissions performance.

The available 16-valve DOHC 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine uses VVT-i, which adjusts the intake camshaft. With a bore of 3.48 inches and a stroke of 3.78 inches, it too is undersquare. It displaces 2,362 cc or 144.1 ci and operates with a 9.8:1 compression ratio to produce 158 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 162 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,000 rpm.

Features include enhanced bore circularity for reduced friction, a block reinforced for additional rigidity, new, lighter-weight pistons and new piston shape, with an optimized skirt for reduced friction. This engine also uses a balance shaft for vibration suppression, and oil jets to help piston cooling.

Matrix models powered by the 2.4-liter engine with five-speed automatic transmission have estimated EPA fuel economy of 21/29 city/highway mpg.

The 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine transmits its power through a five-speed automatic transmission. This also is a Super ECT that is light and compact, and uses a highly efficient superflow torque converter.

This transmission can be shifted sequentially by moving the shift lever to the left from its “D” position into its “S” position, and then pushing forward for upshifts and back for downshifts.

Like the four-speed transmission, the five-speed transmission uses a torque converter with flex lockup for increased fuel efficiency. It also has an uphill/downhill shift control to help ensure proper uphill or downhill gear selection, and to provide moderate engine braking on downhill inclines.

The AWD Matrix S is equipped with the 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine and the Super ECT 4-speed transmission.

The AWD system uses active torque control, which detects available traction based on signals sent from the anti-lock brake system (ABS) sensors on each wheel to the ECU, and then distributes appropriate amount of torque to each wheel. The system is front-wheel-drive-based and distributes torque to the rear wheels through an electromagnetic coupler only when needed. To ensure ABS and vehicle stability control (VSC) with TRAC and off switch functionality, the system automatically disengages AWD while braking.

Like that of the Corolla, the 2009 Matrix chassis begins with a very stiff, rigid body structure that relies on high tensile-strength steels, gussets and crossmembers for its strength, rigidity and light weight.

To this is mounted a compact, rigid MacPherson strut front suspension with an anti-roll bar. Strut components include carefully tuned coil springs, shock absorbers and lower bushings.

The two types are double wishbone with coil-over shock unit, and torsion beam with anti-roll bars. Both have been optimized to deliver excellent control and riding comfort.

Four-wheel disc brakes are standard on Matrix. The 1.8-liter engine is equipped with vented front 10.8-inch discs and 10.2-inch solid discs in the rear. Vehicles equipped with the 2.4-liter engine feature 11.7-inch vented discs in front and 11-inch solid discs in the rear: AWD comes with 11.1-inch solid rear discs. Parking brake is via a standard drum brake built into the rear rotors.

The Matrix's base wheel is a 16-inch steel unit with a six-spoke full wheel cover. A distinctive 17-inch five-spoke aluminum wheel is available for the S grade, and an 18-inch aluminum alloy wheel with a twin five-spoke design is standard for the XRS grade.

Throughout the development of the new Matrix design, much work was done on impact absorption. Engineers began by creating a light, rigid body through the use of high-strength steel and advanced computer design. The strong, light, durable body that resulted uses a unique design that helps suppress cabin deformation. The structure disperses collision energy to help ensure effective impact absorption in the front, rear and side. Deformation of the passenger cabin is held to a minimum due to the impact energy distribution design and high-strength steel used in the body.

Dual-stage SRS airbags are now standard for the driver and front passenger. The system has an occupant detection system designed to detect a passenger's presence in the front passenger seat: The system also determines whether the passenger is an adult or a child. Front seat-mounted side airbags and side curtain airbags are also standard. Front active headrests are standard on all Matrix models.
The seatbelts feature a three-point Emergency Locking Retractor (ELR) with a pretensioner and dual-stage force limiter for the driver, and a three-point automatic locking retractor (ALR) with ELR and a pretensioner for the front passenger. All rear seatbelts are three-point units with ALR and ELR.

ABS with Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD) is also standard. VSC with TRAC and off switch is standard on XRS and available as an option on all other models. VSC automatically adjusts engine output and the vehicle's braking force at each wheel when the vehicle experiences a loss of traction during cornering.

Standard Equipment
Form, fun and functionality is in abundance with an array of standard convenience features across all three grades. Base equipment on the Standard Matrix includes P205/55 R16 tires with full wheel covers, power color-keyed outside rearview mirrors, power steering, tilt and telescopic steering wheel, daytime running lights, heavy duty rear window defogger, intermittent windshield wipers, 12-volt power outlet, four cupholders, front center console box and an engine immobilizer.

The S grade adds standard power door locks and windows with one-touch down driver-side, 115-volt power outlet, cruise control, intermittent rear window wiper, fold-flat front passenger seat, remote keyless entry, AM/FM/CD with MP3 capability and six speakers, front and rear underbody spoilers and fog lamps.

In addition to these features, the XRS grade features standard P215/45 R18 tires on 18-inch alloy wheels, sport strut tower brace, VSC with TRAC and off switch, and a three-spoke leather-trimmed steering wheel with audio steering wheel controls.

In addition to the array of standard equipment, an impressive list of optional comfort and utility features are available to further enhance the Matrix driving experience. Available options on the Standard Matrix include P205/55 R16 tires mounted to 16-inch alloy wheels, power heated outside rearview mirror, intermittent rear window wiper, cruise control, power door locks, power windows, and remote keyless entry.

The S grade also offers P215/45 R17 tires with 17-inch alloy wheels, tilt and slide power moonroof and electrochromic rear view mirror. The S grade all-wheel-drive Matrix also offers a Sport package that includes front and rear underbody spoilers and fog lamps.

Toyota's 36-month/36,000 mile 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 and corrosion perforation for 60 months with no mileage limitations.