2006 Toyota Matrix Wagon Review | Edmunds.com

2006 Toyota Matrix Wagon

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Toyota Matrix Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 1.8 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 126 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 26/33 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2006 Toyota Matrix

  • Versatile and affordable, the 2006 Toyota Matrix is one of the best compact wagons for hauling people and cargo in its price class.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Versatile cargo area, roomy rear seats, good gas mileage, generous standard equipment list, availability of all-wheel drive and stability control.

  • Cons

    Modest torque output, less fun to drive than its styling suggests.

  • What's New for 2006

    There are no major changes to this year's Toyota wagon, although new SAE testing procedures have resulted in lower horsepower ratings.

Gas Mileage


  • 26
  • cty
  • 33
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

I hate hub caps

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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.

In the matrix

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Vehicle: 2006 Toyota Matrix 4dr Wagon (1.8L 4cyl 5M)

I love this car. For a 4 cylinder this car is smashing!! For some reason this car just likes to go fast. Got a speeding ticket doing 97 mph :0 & no the paint did not peel off while I was re-entering the atmosphere. Steep upgrades not a problem just flip the OverDrive button and you're climbing!! I keep up with regular oil changes & maintenance to keep my baby running smooth.

2006 matrix 5spd

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Vehicle: 2006 Toyota Matrix 4dr Wagon (1.8L 4cyl 5M)

I truly expected more out of this 18,000 dollar vehicle. It is very roomy, good on gas and is a pretty color. That is about all I can say. I have had no major problems with it. The stereo sounds terrible. And the hydraulics that open the hatch don't work well. I have to push it up. I really expected more out of this Toyota. I also have to mention it runs like a car that is 6 or 8 years old. It idles very hard and rough for only having like 11,000 miles on it. Not what I expected!

Seems to have been an

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Vehicle: 2006 Toyota Matrix 4dr Wagon (1.8L 4cyl 5M)

Well with almost 16k on it now we haven't had one single problem! At first I thought my wife was crazy for wanting a 5 speed, but then I drove the Matrix. I love the intial acceleration that the manual offers. I leave all of those big gas hog SUVs sitting at the stop light and pass them again sitting at the gas pumps! We are averaging high 30s overall. On a long trip you can get over 40 mpg if you set the cruise at 70 mph. I plan on driving this thing well over 200k so I use synthetic motor oil and change every 5k when the maint. light comes on. I also installed a k&n filter which gives me a little more HP! Go Toyota!

Dead spot

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Vehicle: 2006 Toyota Matrix 4dr Wagon (1.8L 4cyl 5M)

I really like most things about this car. It fits my need for comfort, space, versatility, and mileage. However, the clutch to acceleration from first gear bogs down unless I really rev the RPMs. I have been put in some dangerous positions due to this.

A roomy car with a

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Toyota Matrix 4dr Wagon (1.8L 4cyl 5M)

The car is very roomy, has a good ride, good pickup, but the engine groans when shifting into higher gears.


Full 2006 Toyota Matrix Review

What's New for 2006

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.

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.

Driving Impressions

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.


Talk About The 2006 Matrix

2006 Toyota Matrix Discussions See all Started By

I recently purchased a 2006 matrix and was told that it was not an AWD. The vin# appears to be that of an AWD, per insurance. How can I verify if the car is FWD or AWD?...

Recently bought a Toyota Certified 2006 Matrix XR with 19K miles. What has been your experience with this vehicle's reliability. Certified vehicles offer a seemingly great ext war covering the car w...

I have a new 2006 Matrix (automatic) and 4 times the car has shifted from drive to 2nd gear on its own. Has anyone ever experienced this. The dealer thinks I'm nuts!...

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