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The Toyota Matrix is a fun, hip-looking car for those who don’t quite need a small SUV crossover and are happy instead with the practicality of a compact hatchback or wagon. If you’re curious about what a Matrix costs to insure, enter your zip code where indicated to get insurance quotes from top car insurance companies.
First, though, why not spend a few moments reading ahead to learn more about the Toyota Matrix, from features and safety equipment to general insurance costs. You’ll be in a better position to make the best decision about owning and insuring this compact and practical vehicle from Toyota.
Setting a Trend in Small Cars
The Toyota Matrix was a trend-setter when it came out in 2003. In an era when crossover vehicles were emerging to combine elements of tried-and-true transportation genres, the Matrix was designed to be a cross between a compact hatchback and wagon, but with a taller, more SUV-crossover-like profile. To add to the mix, it is based on the Toyota Corolla sedan, and also represents a joint venture with General Motors, whose now-discontinued Pontiac Vibe was its platform-mate.
Since it first appeared, the Matrix has received mixed reviews that generally applaud its practical, versatile styling while faulting a small engine and bland driving experience. This has been mitigated in some trim levels over the years by including sport features and larger engine options; however, some reviewers then fault the higher trim models for less-than-stellar fuel economy of the kind many expect to find in a hatchback. With so many elements coming together in a single vehicle, it may simply be too difficult to satisfy everyone across the board. For example, while one reviewer may like the Matrix’s greater power compared to, say, the Honda Fit, another may fault its comparably poorer mileage or less flexible cargo space.
With two engines, manual and automatic transmissions and optional all-wheel drive available which increases road-worthiness at a cost to fuel-efficiency, it may be a good strategy for you to ignore the reviews until you drive a Matrix yourself. Only then can you know if its particular marriage of different genres offers you what you’re looking for. As a Toyota, its reliability and resale value are stellar. For 2011, the well-known sudden-acceleration defect found in recent Toyota models has been corrected, and the newest models, starting at $18,545, feature updated interior styling, technology features and extra packages to add some sparkle to this practical compact vehicle.
The Toyota Matrix: Safety Features and Crash Ratings
The Matrix has a full array of safety features one would expect from Toyota. Its Star Safety System is a multi-faceted design package including Vehicle Stability Control, Active Traction Control, four-wheel anti-lock brakes, Electronic Brakeforce Distribution and Brake Assist. The Matrix has front and side airbags for driver and front passenger seats as well as side curtain airbags for front and rear seats. Active front headrests, three-point seat belts throughout and front seat belt pre-tensioners with force limiters and adjustable shoulder anchors are also standard, as is tire pressure monitoring, front and rear crumple zones, LATCH child safety seat tethers, engine immobilizer and emergency locking retractors for all seats, childproof rear door locks, side-impact door beams, an energy-absorbing steering column and crash-protective construction throughout.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the federal government’s overseer of car safety standards, has awarded recent Matrix model years high marks for safety in crash evaluations. The 2009-2010 years received the top five-star rating in front driver and passenger crashes and side driver impact, as well as four out of five stars for side passenger and rollover crashes. The NHTSA has introduced stricter standards for 2011 and have thus far awarded the 2011 Matrix four out of five stars for rollover.
The insurance industry’s own evaluations performed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safey awarded the 2009 and 2010 Matrix its top grade for front- and side-impact crashes and its second-highest for rear-impact crashes.
How much is car insurance for a Toyota Matrix?
Small cars are sometimes a little more expensive to insure than vehicles like a family minivan or sedan. This is true of the Toyota Matrix up to a point, yet the Matrix is still cheaper to insure than many sportier small cars because it has strong practical elements and less horsepower, and thus a more conservative typical driver, in the view of the insurance industry. The national average cost to insure a typical driver with a Toyota Matrix is in the range of $1400 to $1600 annually depending on trim level. As a comparison, some minivans and affordable family crossovers can average $1100 to $1300 annually to insure, whereas some sports cars and roadsters can exceed $2000 per year to insure. Compared with its closest competitors, the Matrix is more expensive to insure than some like the Hyundai Elantra Touring, while it is less expensive than others such as the Jetta SportWagen.
These averages tell only part of the story, however. Your age, gender, credit score, driving record, annual mileage and location are just some of the factors that influence insurance quotes you personally will be offered. Some of these can have a huge effect; for example, an older Vermont driver with no moving violations can expect to pay less than $900 annually, whereas a young driver in Michigan may pay $3000 for the same policy.
You can take matters into your own hands by shopping the highly competitive car insurance market for the best quote available to you. Begin the process right now – enter your zip code and save money!