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Replacement for Matrix

I have a 2005 Toyota Matrix and am very satisfied with it. I noticed that Toyota has discontinued the Matrix line. So when the time come to replace it, I’m going to be searching for a car that has the features I especially like about it. These are not the features that the carmakers advertise or that Consumer Reports and other services rate, but rather the ones that I treasure. So where can I turn to find out which station wagons or small SUVs have –
rear seats that fold down for a truly FLAT rear area
hard surface for the rear area (not carpeted)
at least six feet of rear area with seats folded down (I want the option to sleep in it)
an inverter for 120 V AD on the dashboard

I’m not really looking for suggestions of specific models currently available, since I won’t be ready to replace the Matrix for some time. What I’m hoping for is some idea of how to find these features when the time comes.

Thanks all!

Check sites like,, and They may have the information in the specifications section or their evaluation narrative.

It won’t be easy, as those feature were unusual, especially the hard plastic instead of carpeting. Few rear seats fold truly flat, and you only read about that in reviews. I’m afraid there is no easy way of finding features like that except by reading reviews.

If it makes you feel better, usually when they do a redesign on most models, a lot of those features go away. Seems like market research tells rwhat the majority of costumers want and that dictates the design. For example the RAV4 had to get of the spare in the back and also has no more V6 option. I am guessing the CRV was selling better and Toyota decided to follow suite.

On a different note, the Matrix is the Corolla hatch in other countries and I have heard rumors that this might be the case for US too. It might have to do with the worldwide Corolla sales numbers more than anything else.

I suspect both changes to the RAV4 were to up their CAFE. The spare on the rear door was aerodynamically unwise. They sold very few of the V6 version and it was a drag on the CAFE. Since their competitors don’t offer a V6, either, they probably don’t think they’ll lose many sales. We’re going to see fewer cars with optional larger engines. You can already see that at Audi, where you can’t get a V6 on an A4, where it used to be standard. VW seems to be betting heavily on smaller engines.

Toyota has mentioned bringing in what they call the Corolla (5dr) or the Auris depending on which market overseas. More like a VW Golf or Focus 5dr than the wagons style of the Matrix. Subaru’s might fit most of your desires but you’d have to check one out in person.

“We’re going to see fewer cars with optional larger engines.”

Reminds me of when Oldsmobile’s entire lineup was V8s.