One day, CelloMom found Mrs. S., also a fabulous teacher, with whom our eldest graduated, putting her groceries into their car, a Toyota Matrix. "CelloMom!" she said. We got to talking and CelloMom asked if it was allowed to take a peek into the car, to see if a cello would fit in the cargo space. "Why don't you take it for a spin?" she offered.
The Matrix is based on the popular Toyota Corolla which, like many other cars in the US, has grown wider and longer over the years. But the Matrix has grown mostly in height: while not the full height of an SUV, its seats are higher than in a Corolla, easy to get into without climbing up or sinking down, and affording a better view of the road.
Mr. S. likes the fun instrument panel, and finds that with its front wheel drive it's very good to handle in the snow. Really the only complaint is that the raised back (and therefore smaller rear window) makes it difficult to see where you're going when backing up, or parking.
This car is pretty zippy: putting your foot down, especially from a standstill, makes it jump forward, meaning that its 132 horsepower, 1.8L engine is probably well oversized for its weight. It's built more lightly than a comparably-sized car of German extraction like an Opel Zafira, where you really have to haul at the doors to close them.take light and air away from the children on the back seat?
corroborated by real life users. And since Europeans are less worried about rollover issues they can afford to put a huge window in the roof - nice for those more northerly places with only a little sun!
Toyota Matrix / Toyota Verso
|MSRP||$ 18,845||€ 24,640 ($31,500)|
|(Cars are Cheap in the US)|
|City/Hwy quoted||25 / 32 mpg||5.8 / 8.6 L/100km|
|Avg. quoted||6.8L/100km (35 mpg)|
|Avg. actual||30 mpg||35 mpg|
1.8L 4-cyl VVT-i
|Power||132HP @6000rpm||132HP @ 6400rpm|
|Gears||5-spd manual||6-spd manual|
|Fuel||unleaded gasoline||Euro unleaded|
|Width, mm(in)||69.5in||1790mm (70.4in)|
|Height, mm(in)||61.0in||1620mm (63.8in)|
|Weight, kg(lbs)||2844 lbs||1395 kg (3075 lbs)|
|Trunk volume, liters(cuft)||19.8 / 49.4 cuft|
|Turning radius, m(ft)||36.0 ft||10.8m (35.4)|
|Top speed, kph(mph)||185 kph (115mph)|