The Toyota Matrix will pass silently into the ether next year, just as the new Corolla hatchback takes its place in 2014. This was confirmed to me by an internal memo sent to dealers last week.
That will neither come as a shock nor much of a disappointment for many, as the compact’s sales have slid downwards ever since 2009–now accounting for only 0.2 percent of Toyota’s sales in the compact segment.
According to Car and Driver, the Matrix was something of a success in its first four years on the market, starting 2002. It sold over 55,000 units each year before averaging 47,000 through 2008.
The global financial crisis hit everyone hard back in 2009 but Matrix sales never really picked up, and last year the model sold only 4,325 units, sealing its fate.
Matrix fans will be glad to know the model will soldier on in Canada (where it’s also built) but in the U.S. its death coincides with next year’s launch of a new Corolla.
In recent years the car’s economy has been off the pace too. Back in 2002 a combined figure of 28 mpg for the 1.8-liter variant looked quite impressive–not so today with just 29 mpg for the same version a decade later.
The Corolla should improve on these figures by a useful amount, but a select few may still miss the Matrix’s simplicity and good range of engines and transmissions, including an all-wheel-drive option.