2007 Matrix Loses AWD, Gains Special Edition


When the Toyota Matrix and its Pontiac Vibe step-brother debuted they represented a major step toward breaking Americans’ aversion to compact hatchbacks. Now the 4-year-old Matrix and Vibe are trying to keep up with a lot of new competition from Dodge, Jeep, Mazda and even Chevy. For 2007, Toyota has decided to discontinue the all-wheel-drive version of the Matrix and the more-powerful Matrix XRS.

Instead, buyers can get either the standard Matrix ($15,260) or the XR ($17,570). A new M-theory package, shown here, costs $1,500 and adds plenty of exterior doo-dads, four-wheel disc brakes, a strut brace and a sport-tuned suspension. Only 2,500 M-theory special editions are available and add no additional power over the 126 hp from the standard and XR editions. With no high-powered or AWD models to make them competitive, it looks like the run is over for the Matrix and Vibe as segment-leading models.

[Source: Toyota]

By David Thomas | August 2, 2006 | Comments (6)


Almost everyone who drove the XRS agreed that the "higher powered" engine really wasn't worth it. It was so peaky, you had to practically redline it all the time to see any benefits. And you got to pay a bunch extra for it, too!

That's why Toyota modified that engine before it went into the Corolla XRS. 10hp was shaved off in exchange for giving it a wider powerband.

Canceling a model that didn't live up its billing can't be a bad thing. Improving it would be better, though.

The fact that fuel economy is gaining importance with the Amercian buyer is something else to consider, too.


Three years ago I bought a Pontiac Vibe as it was $1800 less (w/ incentives) than the Matrix and can say it is one hell of a car. I just gas and go. I now see why Jap cars are so superior to American cars. Only issues to date have been minor and related to the Pontiac interior. Dealer service was fine, but I love the fact that I have the bullet proof Toyota drive train.
I too test drove the XRS and was not impressed with the additional horse power. My Vibe was 16k out the door with an automatic. I couldn't be more pleased.


Are you guys saying that the toyota matix isnt a good buy? I'm planning on getting one within the month. please advice.


The Matrix still is a great car, its just that the XRS model wasn't that sporty, and now, the AWD model is discontinued, so that might matter to some car buyers... if you just need a car for basic transport, the Matrix is a mighty fine choice.


I thought the Vibe was built in American factory not Numi(?). Platform sharing is common among some manfacturers - Chrysler, Mitsu, Hyundai. I think the Vibe has actually sold better than the Matrix. Additional I don't really think the matrix was the right vehicle to attracted the sporty car buy. Looks can be gotten anywhere. I am surprised Toyota hadn't killed the Matrix off more, I seen tons more Vibes than Matrix. The one point the article does have right is that the Vibe and Matrix are in a crowded mini station wagon type field and probabily definitely need an update.


I own a 2009 Matrix XRS and love the extra hp.
My brother has the 1.8 Corola and its slooooww.. I put an aftermarket intake on my car. it sounds awesome. Now im saving up for a full exhaust :O)
Shes gunna be beast.
i love my toyota matrix XRS

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