It is a compact hatchback sold in United States, Canada and Mexico, often referred to as Toyota Corolla Matrix. It is produced by the Toyota Motor Corporation in its Canadian facility. The Toyota Matrix is regarded as the sporty equivalent of the North American Corolla and also considered as its variant in Toyota’s sales lineup.
The Matrix is in fact a Toyota version of a joint venture between Toyota and General Motors, while the GM version is Pontiac Vibe. The GM version was assembled by the New United Manufacturing, Inc (NUMMI) in Fremont, California. There is however, third version as well that was also assembled at NUMMI and offered in Japan as Toyota Voltz between 2002 and 2004. Voltz was pretty similar to Vibe in its exterior looks, yet it was sold under Toyota. Total of 2000 units of Voltz were produced before the company discontinued it.
Both Matrix and Vibe are mechanically identical and there are many similarities in interior as well. Despite this fact, both the models receive a different sheetmetal design depending on their relevant brands. Although, both Matrix and Vibe are narrow, they are still tall station wagons designed in a quasi-SUV fashion, typically called a crossover utility or CUV by Toyota. These vehicles are popular with the young consumers and are popularly known as sport wagon.
The first production unit of Matrix was introduced in 2002. In 2005, a facelift model was released with some minor changes. However, it was completely redesigned for the 2007 model year.
First Generation (E130; 2003–2008)
Based on the Toyota Corolla platform, the first generation Mark X was launched in 2003. The facelift model of Mark X was released in 2005 with some minor changes.
The models from 2003 to 2005 came with two 1.8-L 1ZZ-FE 4-cylinder engines, previously used in the Corolla, producing 130 hp (97 kW). The 2006 model received a 2ZZ-GE engine previously used in Toyota Celica GT-S with an output of 126 hp (94 kW).
The first generation Matrix lineup includes several different models including Standard (2003–2008); XR (2003–2008); XRS (2003–2006) and M-Theory (2007).
The 2ZZ-GE engine was dropped from the lineup and also the XRS version was also discontinued in 2006 and replaced by the M-Theory edition in 2007. The production of the M-Theory edition was restricted to 2500 units a year like that of XRS.
Second Generation (E140; 2009–Present)
The second generation Matrix was unveiled by the company at the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show in Las Vegas on October 31, 2007. However, it went on sale in February 2008 as 2009 model year.
In the American market, the second generation Matrix was offered in three trims and two I4 engines. The three trim levels include Standard or base, S and XRS versions. The Standard model (ZRE142 chassis code) is offered with a 1,797 cc (1.797 L; 109.7 cu in) 2ZR-FE, while the S and XRS versions are offered with a 2,362 cc (2.362 L; 144.1 cu in) 2AZ-FE. The 2ZR-FE model is mated to a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission and the 2AZ-FE models come with either a 5-speed manual or 5-speed automatic transmission.
Apart from this, a 4-speed automatic and 4-wheel drive are offered as an option with S model version.