Having only sold 4,300 Matrixes in the 2012 model year, Toyota has decided to ax its compact 5 door.
The Matrix was a fair-priced car that never quite found its niche. I was puzzled at the announcement myself. I was not even aware Toyota was still making the Matrix. It was like Toyota gave up on the Matrix years ago, but just didn’t have the heart to pull the plug. Toyota sales staff reported that customers mostly bought matrixes after deeming the Corolla as “too small.”
Toyota still has other compacts on the market, the Prius C, which does very well. Toyota’s Scion brand is continuing to sell its XD, which is a slightly smaller 5 door compact.
When it was initially released, most people viewed the Matrix as a Corolla with a different name. Toyota plans to correct this mistake, announcing plans to possibly make a 5 door version of the Corolla.
I would really like to see Toyota re-badge the Matrix as a Corolla Wagon. All you wagon fans don’t get in line yet though, Toyotas plan is a shorter version of the Matrix. If Toyota was smart they would cancel the Yaris and offer this new Corolla as both a 3 door and 5 door.
Regardless of what they end up doing, this is a good move for Toyota. Toyota sold over 400 thousand Corollas in 2012. The Corolla name and reputation can sell more vehicles, whether or not it is advertised. Is Toyota setting up to fight the unstoppable Honda Fit? Will Honda fight back and reintroduce the Civic Hatchback? Stay tuned.