Car Reviews Used Cars

The Corolla vs The Corolla Matrix – What is the difference?

By Daisy Emah-Emah Updated: 07/26/2022 Posted: 09/21/2021

Hands down, Toyota vehicles have been outstanding over the years with great innovations that keep fans hooked with every new vehicle or model launched. 


The low price point with impressive functionality and reliability is a good selling point for the Toyota brand coupled with the availability of cheap parts and skilled labor, it’s no wonder, Toyota’s are very visible on the roads and in personal garages.


But hands down, the Corolla and the Matrix are the two most prominent, consistent, and performing models in the Toyota line up of vehicles


Their introduction of the Toyota Corolla and Matrix came with impressive fuel economy and resale value.


There is usually debate on Toyota’s Corolla and Matrix – if they are one and the same car. Although both cars have quite a number of similarities, there are also few differences. 


The Matrix is the hatchback version of the Corolla with more cargo space than the Corolla. 


They both have the same engine, both are practical, reliable, have good value, easy to maintain and their fuel economy is top-notch. 


Let’s go into deeper specs for these cars to help you understand their similarities and differences better.


The Corolla Matrix (2009-2013)

The Matrix was officially named, Toyota Corolla Matrix which gave off the vibe that it was similar to the Corolla in a lot of ways. The major change is that the Matrix is a hatchback with an SUV-like cargo capacity, which can carry up to 5 passengers with lots of cargo space. 


It is a Corolla-based wagon that comes with either an all-wheel-drive or front-wheel-drive. They are reliable, practical, and smaller than the Corolla. 

The Matrix has about 50 cubic feet of cargo room between both its generations which is about 16 cubic feet more trunk space than the Corolla. Its interior also is more spacious than the Corolla. The front seats which are upright offer good visibility and easy entry or exit. 


The hatchback has more passenger and cargo space, with a high roof that eases entry and exit. Matrix seats can fold completely flat 


It is affordable with good pricing options. It has an option to display audio with a 6.1-inch touch screen, remote engine starter, and an auto-dimming mirror.  Like most Toyota models, it has an awesome gas mileage of between 20-26 mpg/city and 26-32 mpg/highway.  


The Matrix offers two choices of engines, 1.8-liter and 2.4-liter available with an all-wheel drive. It can run up to 0-60 in 90 seconds and get up to 135hp at 6,000 RPM and the Standard version was built with front-wheel independent suspension with a semi-independent torsion beam in the rear. 


Matrix owners can upgrade their cars with various performance accessories such as brake pads, strut brakes, and air filters. Matrix cars offer a firmer ride and sharper handling than the Corolla. 


The Pure Corolla (2010-2014)

The Corolla on the other hand is one of the best-selling cars in the world. Appealing to drivers because of its sleek style and reliability. It is a fuel-efficient sedan with a lower stance and curvier body – which makes it harder to get in and out. 


It is a 3-seater vehicle with a length of 4,540mm, a width of 1,705mm, and a wheelbase of 2,600mm. The seats are uniformly good but the trunk is small – 13.1 cubic feet compared to the Matrix. 


It has 48 mpg for the hybrid version and 32 mpg overall. Comes with a powerful 169-hp, 2.0-liter four-cylinder which comes with higher trim lines on the hatchback. It has a touchscreen infotainment system and connectivity. For LE trims and above, it comes with automatic climate control.

Corolla offers a 139-hp inline-4 aimed at fuel economy and a 169-hp inline-4 paired to a sport-tuned suspension. 


The base engine has a Continuous Variable Transmission (CVT), which is likely more popular than the larger engine – a more powerful engine can be doubled with a 6-speed manual transmission. 


All Corollas come with extensive safety features. These features include active lane control, adaptive cruise control, and forward-collision warnings. They are also equipped with power features, Android  Auto compatibility, Bluetooth with audio streaming, etc. 


Further Reading

  1. 5 Used Cars to Buy Under $10,000
  2. 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee Review
  3. Used Lexus for Sale: 10 Reasons Why You Should Buy One
  4. How to Save Money While Driving your Car


Which Is Best For Me?!

Both cars are great savers on fuel and have good resale value. They offer different options to suit different people. While the Corolla is much smaller with less cargo space, the Matrix has more cargo space and legroom. 


In a nutshell, in terms of performance, they are almost the same but in terms of cargo space and legroom, that’s where the difference is. If you don’t require much space, the choice to make is obvious.


Well, the Toyota Matrix was discontinued in 2013 in the US market due to dwindling sales and in 2014 in Canada. Toyota continued to sell hatchbacks through the Scion brand in North America. In 2017 the Corolla IM replaced the Matrix as the new Corolla hatchback. If you are trying to get a very recent Matrix and can’t seem to find it, now you know what to look for…


How Can I Get It?

Whatever your preference, you can purchase either the  Matrix or Corolla with a lot more options making your choice from our wholesale vehicle inventory of over 150k vehicles… simply sign up for FREE to get started! 


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