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.
Styling, driving position, and lots of cargo space. I can fit my dresser in the back with the rear seats folded. The car has a smooth ride, and has been pretty reliable. Overall a good buy and very functional, if not exceptional, car.
Gas mileage was OK, but not fantastic. Average about 30 on the highway (sometimes a little better) and low 20's in town. I expected better from a 1.8 liter 4 cyl. Lack of safety features on the base model (ABS, side airbags). Not nearly as fun to drive as styling suggests, and the hubcaps go MIA.
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.
good gas mileage and I can fit my drumset with ease.
hub caps that stay on and accelerator system that doesn't cost an arm and a leg to fix.
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.
cup holders, fold down rear seats, outlets. very roomy for a small car.
strengthen windshield, cut down on noise, automatic seats, retractable antenna, improve rear visibility
I have enjoyed driving and owning this Matrix as my driving needs are constantly evolving. It handles the highway and the city with a flexible response, plus it averages nothing less than 30mpg in mixed driving conditions. It has good room for 4 large adults and with the seats folded down, it can haul 30 cases of beer. Having driven it in the snow and bad weather, it never fails or complains.
The car is rock solid at 80mph at 3k rpm and I like the headroom too. I also like the good gas mileage and the spacious feel it has.
More comfortable driving seats, like those in BMW or Saab. Also, 20 to 30 more horses under the hood would help too.
I have a manual XR & it easily gets 34 mpg city & 41 + on hwy. With the back seats down, it sure can haul a lot of stuff. I think this car is under-rated. I've not had a lick of major trouble, just usual mtce & oil changes, etc.