by cadyn on Jul 17, 2013 Vehicle: 2006 Toyota Matrix XR 4dr Wagon (1.8L 4cyl 4A)
I bought by 2006 Matrix XR new and have loved every day of owning it. I've never had any mechanical problems, just kept up with regular oil changes (full synthetic) religiously and regular maintenance. Had a main computer issue in 2008/9, but was covered under warranty and was replaced. Fairly inexpensive upkeep. Excellent cargo space, much bigger inside than it seems! I've been able to fit bicycles, chairs, tables... (not all at once of course). Great for road trips, averages almost 30 mpg highway. Could have better lumbar support. Not great pickup when accelerating uphill, but no complaints. I love this car and am so sad to have to trade it in for an AWD vehicle for my mountainous terrain!
by dkadwell on May 6, 2011 Vehicle: 2006 Toyota Matrix XR 4dr Wagon (1.8L 4cyl 5M)
We bought this car in 2007 with 6000 miles already on it. We were replacing our Hyundai Elantra which gave us nothing but problems. We love this car. It folds down flat very easily and we have hauled everything in it from trees to our daughter's complete nursery. We love it. It have never once given us an
issue. It is a little tight with car seats, but still works for us at this point in our lives. It gets about 32/33 mpg city and closer to 36/37 highway. It has been great in these rising gas prices. We have about 104k miles on it and it is still running strong! Highly recommend this car if you want a little more than Sedan but don't don't need more than 5 seats!
by acf on Jul 21, 2010 Vehicle: 2006 Toyota Matrix XR 4dr Wagon (1.8L 4cyl 5M)
Bought new to replace a 1992 Tercel and accommodating a rear facing car seat. Bought the 5-speed because the automatic seemed sluggish. Back area is great for a dog. The performance of the front wheel drive (even with snow tires) is not stellar. I now live at the top of a hill in upstate NY and wish I bought the AWD. Great commuter car which gets > 30mpg on the highway. Comfortable enough for long trips. I would buy another (albeit in AWD).
by Landric on Apr 25, 2010 Vehicle: 2006 Toyota Matrix 4dr Wagon (1.8L 4cyl 4A)
I bought this car new in 06. I traded my 02 Mazda Protege ES in on it when the Mazda had 115000 miles (trouble free). I got the automatic because I was living in a high traffic volume area where its less fun to drive a manual. I got the base model with power windows and locks, keyless entry, cruise, etc. Its a great looking car with lots of interior space and a mostly well thought out interior. Ride is smooth, nice driving position, clear gauges, etc. I'm at 90k now & I need to trade it on a minivan because I can't fit a rear facing child seat behind me & still have enough space to drive (twins!). The throttle body went at 70K (covered by extended warranty) and the CD died at 80k.
by dangading on Feb 3, 2010 Vehicle: 2006 Toyota Matrix 4dr Wagon (1.8L 4cyl 5M)
I've had my Matrix going on 4 years now and although it's been really great, I have recently run into a couple of problems. For 1, it hasn't had hub caps for years! They fall off too easily. After reading this, I'm sure you'll see plenty of non xr models with no hubs. Also, the accelerators are cableless and if something goes wrong with it, you have to replace the whole system ($1000 for the part). Why not use cables? At least you can afford to fix it when it fails! Seems like planned obselescence to me.
by flmthgrl on Jan 10, 2010 Vehicle: 2006 Toyota Matrix XR 4dr Wagon AWD (1.8L 4cyl 4A)
Great little car, handles well in snow. fun to drive, but can be a bit of a noisy ride. Wish AWD version got better mileage. Even though this car is small, it is very adaptable with fold-down seats, hatchback etc.
There are no major changes to this year's Toyota wagon, although new SAE testing procedures have resulted in lower horsepower ratings.
The Toyota Matrix is based on the Corolla platform. The goal of the car is to offer the interior functionality and flexibility usually associated with larger vehicles but in a compact package. It's part of a growing list of sporty and affordable five-door hatchbacks/wagons. Unlike previous Toyota wagon variants, the Matrix stands tall -- 5 inches taller than the Corolla -- and this gives the cabin a spacious feel, not unlike the PT Cruiser. This also allows it to accommodate adults comfortably in the backseat. On the outside, the Toyota Matrix has a more angular front fascia, including its own grille, headlights and taillights. And while the Corolla has a traditional, smooth-bodied profile, the Matrix benefits from an artisan's chisel, as a gentle valley breaks up the tall body side with an S-shaped character line flowing below it.
In lieu of a wagonizing cargo box, designers gave the Matrix an abridged rear, such that it is essentially a hatchback and isn't likely to turn away younger buyers. The Toyota Matrix is more practical than most of its larger-capacity peers. Its backseat offers enough room for adults to get comfortable, while its durable plastic cargo floor offers adjustable tie-down points for securing all manner of bulky and/or messy cargo. What's more, both the rear seats and the front-passenger seat fold perfectly flat to allow owners to transport items up to 8 feet in length. We're convinced that the 2006 Toyota Matrix would be a satisfying choice for many people -- it rides comfortably; it handles capably enough; it has plenty of room in the backseat for your friends (or your kids); and it provides a lot of flexibility for those whose interests require a lot of equipment. The Matrix is about getting your friends and cargo to your destination with minimal hassle, discomfort and expense along the way and perhaps enjoying a tailgate party once you get there.
No Video Content
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The Toyota Matrix is available in three trim levels: base, XR and XRS. Base-level cars have the necessities such as air conditioning and a CD player, but most of the worthwhile features are optional. Go with the XR or XRS to get standard power locks and windows, keyless entry and a rear wiper. Other options include 16- or 17-inch aluminum alloy wheels, an all-weather package, a DVD-based navigation system, a power moonroof and two different premium sound systems.
Powertrains and Performance
The Toyota Matrix comes with a 1.8-liter, four-cylinder engine. Buyers of the base and XR are offered a choice of either front-wheel drive or full-time all-wheel drive. With front-wheel drive, the engine makes 126 horsepower and 122 lb-ft of torque. All-wheel-drive models make less power (118 hp) due to different exhaust routing. A four-speed automatic is the only transmission available with AWD, while front-drive cars can also be ordered with a five-speed manual. The front-drive XRS is the sportiest trim. It comes standard with a 164-hp version of the 1.8-liter engine, four-wheel disc brakes and a six-speed manual transmission; no automatic is available.
Antilock brakes are standard on the Matrix XRS and all-wheel-drive models, and optional on front-drive base and XR models. Seat-mounted side airbags for front occupants and full-length side curtain airbags are optional across the line. Stability control is another worthwhile option. In NHTSA crash testing, the Toyota Matrix earned five stars (the best score possible) for driver protection in frontal impacts and four stars for the front passenger. For side impacts, it received three stars for front-passenger protection and four stars for rear-passenger protection.
Interior Design and Special Features
For cargo, the Toyota Matrix is very similar to a compact SUV. The tailgate opens upward, and the rear glass can be raised independently. The main cargo area and rear seatbacks are unapologetically coated in hard plastic, the idea being that it's a lot easier to clean dirt and mud off one long expanse of plastic than out of matted carpet. A special cargo-floor track features eight adjustable tie-down hooks. Underneath the floor is a hidden storage compartment. The 60/40-split rear seats can be folded flat, thereby expanding cargo room to 53.2 cubic feet. The front-passenger seat also folds forward, allowing items more than 8 feet long to be carried with the tailgate closed.
Despite Toyota's claims, the Matrix isn't particularly sporty. With the base and XR cars, acceleration is only average. AWD-equipped cars come off as particularly taxed because of their extra weight and obligatory automatic transmissions. Even the Matrix XRS with its 164-hp engine isn't particularly rewarding as most of its power is made in the high reaches of the rev range. Handling, too, is modest. The Matrix's ride quality, however, is smooth and comfortable.
† Edmunds.com received the highest numerical score in the proprietary J.D. Power 2014 Third-Party Automotive Website Evaluation Study℠. Results based on responses from 3,381 responses, measuring 14 companies and measures third-party automotive website usefulness among new and used vehicle shoppers. Proprietary study results are based on experiences and perceptions of owners surveyed from January 2014. Your experiences may vary. Visit jdpower.com.