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2006 Toyota Matrix Review
An affordable and versatile compact wagon.
Reviewed by Automotive on
The 2006 Toyota Matrix is based off the Corolla platform and strives to offer the utmost in interior flexibility and functionality. The Matrix is part of a long and growing list of affordable sporty five-door wagons/hatchbacks. In place of the wagon-like cargo box, the Toyota designers made the Matrix with an abridged rear that is essentially the same as a hatchback, which will attract many younger buyers. The Toyota Matrix is a lot more practical than its peers. The cabin has an amazingly spacious feel and stands taller than others by about 5 inches.
The rear seating, along with the front seat of the passenger, folds perfectly flat and allows hauling items of up to eight feet long. Not only is the 2006 Toyota Matrix great for cargo with the included tie-downs, but also has enough rear backseat room for adults to ride comfortably.
With a very comfortable ride, beautiful additions to the appearance, and enough space to haul kids and equipment, the 2006 Toyota Matrix has most features that will suit shoppers. All of the benefits at a really affordable price point are indicative that Toyota has a winner in the lineup.
Engines: 1.8-liter four- cylinder
Transmissions: four-speed automatic, six-speed manual, five-speed manual
Models: Matrix, Matrix XR, Matrix XRS
The Toyota Matrix wagon receives no major changes this year; however, new procedures in testing lower horsepower ratings.
The 2008 Toyota Matrix comes in three trim models: base, XR, and XRS. Standard wheels on the base model and XR are steel 16-inch, whereas aluminum alloy wheels come in 16- or 17-inch sizes. The power moonroof can also be added to enhance the exterior of the Matrix, along with a choice of five different colors. The Toyota Matrix has a similar interior to compact SUVs that have a tailgate that opens upward. The glass on the rear can be independently raised.
The Matrix's rear seatbacks and main cargo area are covered with hard plastic so that mud or dirt do not stain the surface. The plastic is much easier to clean with a soft cloth and warm, soapy water. There is also a hidden compartment for storing items under the floor. The rear seats have a 60/40 split that allows it to be folded for more storage capacity of 53.2 cubic feet. Large equipment is not a problem either since the passenger-front seat folds to expand storage to accommodate eight feet long items.
Standard features that are included on the Matrix base models are common things like air-conditioning. The XRS or XR have power windows and locks, rear wiper, and keyless entry. There are several options to include, like a power moonroof, navigation system that is DVD-based, two separate premium sound systems, and an all-weather package.
Performance & Handling
The 2006 Toyota Matrix has the 1.8-liter, four-cylinder engine and can be chosen with the all-wheel drive full-time or front-wheel drive, according to preference. The models with the FWD produce 126 horsepower and 122 lb-ft of torque, and the AWD has a bit less power with 118 hp. Automatic four-speed transmission is standard with the AWD, and the front-drive models can request a manual five-speed, if desired. The Matrix front-drive XRS seems to be the sportiest choice, as it comes with a variant of the 1.8-liter that produces 164-hp, manual six-speed transmission, disc brakes, and four-wheel. There is no option for an automatic on this model.
Toyota Matrix XRS with AWD models have standard anti-lock brakes, which are optional on the XR and base models. Optional for all models are side airbags, full-length curtain airbags, and stability control. In the NHTSA crash test, the Matrix received the best possible score of five stars for driver protection and four stars for passenger protection. Side impacts netted them three stars.
EPA Fuel Economy
Matrix XR: 26/33 mpg city/highway
Matrix XRS: 26/33 mpg city/highway
- Spacious rear seats
- Generous standard features
- Roomy cargo area
- Available stability control and all-wheel drive
- Average fuel economy
You Won't Like
- Torque output is modest
- Styling suggests more fun than it really is
An affordable and versatile compact wagon.
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