Toyota Launches Refreshed 2011 Matrix in Chicago

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Although the Toyota Matrix hasn’t been the most popular car on the US market, this hasn’t stopped the company’s engineers and designers from trying to improve the formula. Just like the facelifted 2011 Corolla, the changes made to the updated model that made its debut at the Chicago Auto Show are mostly cosmetic and trim-related.

The sporty five-door models feature new standard wheels, interior design features, the Toyota Care complimentary maintenance plan, and standard Smart Stop Technology. The same 1.8-liter and 2.4-liter powerplants remain in place under the hood, as does the old four-speed automatic transmission.

The exterior of the car sports supple changes, including rounded rear windows and, in the case of the Matrix S, all-new front and rear bumpers, integrated front and rear underbody spoilers and a large mesh front fog light bezel. The color range includes a new Spruce Mica color, joining the car’s existing palate.

2011 models are only available in two trim levels, base and S, and are powered by either a 132-horsepower 1.8-liter or 158-horsepower 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine. All-wheel drive is available on the car as an optional extra for the the Matrix S when paired with the 2.4-liter engine.

Standard equipment on the Matrix grade includes an all-weather package, power windows with driver's side auto down and retained power features, power door locks, cruise control, color-keyed power heated rearview mirrors, tilt and telescopic steering wheel, heavy duty rear window defogger, AM/FM/CD audio with four speakers with MP3/WMA playback capability, auxiliary audio jack and auto sound leveling (ASL), intermittent rear window wiper, 12-volt power outlet, front center-console box and an engine immobilizer.

The Matrix S trim level adds metallic interior trim, a 115-volt power outlet, integrated fog lamps, fold-flat front passenger seat, remote keyless entry, AM/FM/CD with MP3 capability and six speakers with MP3/WMA playback capability.

Pricing information has not yet been released, but we can expect the the base model to start at about $17,000.
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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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