2006 Toyota Matrix

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$2,108–$10,460 Inventory Prices
Key Specs
Our Take
Overview
Photos
Reviews
Safety & Recalls
Warranty & CPO
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Key Specs

of the 2006 Toyota Matrix. Base trim shown.

  • Body Type:
  • Combined MPG:
    28-33 Combined MPG
  • Engine:
    126-hp, 1.8-liter I-4 (regular gas)
  • Drivetrain:
    Front-wheel Drive
  • Transmission:
    5-speed manual w/OD
  • View more specs

Our Take

From the Cars.com Vehicle Test Team

The Good

  • Interior space
  • Highway stability
  • Toyota reputation for reliability
  • Resale value

The Bad

  • Instrument readability
  • Engine and road noise
  • Performance of base engine with automatic

Notable Features of the 2006 Toyota Matrix

  • FWD or AWD
  • Hatchback body style
  • High-performance XRS model
  • Manual or automatic
  • Versatile interior layout

2006 Toyota Matrix Overview

By Cars.com Editors
Vehicle Overview
Toyota introduced its youth-focused Matrix as an early 2003 model. Described as a crossover utility vehicle, the Matrix is said to combine the functionality of a sport utility vehicle with the image and performance of a sports car, yet it's as affordable as a compact sedan. Pontiac markets a related Vibe model.

High headroom and flexible seating positions are among the Matrix's notable attributes. Three trim levels are available: base, step-up XR and high-performance XRS. Base and XR models can be equipped with either front- or all-wheel drive. The XRS comes only with front-wheel drive and packs additional power and a six-speed-manual gearbox.

Freshened styling and handling upgrades marked the 2005 models, and Vehicle Stability Control became optional on base and XR models with the automatic transmission. For 2006, a JBL premium stereo with an in-dash six-CD changer is optional in XR models. Engine outputs have been revised in accordance with new testing standards developed by the Society of Automotive Engineers.


Exterior
The Matrix hatchback is built on a platform similar to the one used for Toyota's popular Corolla sedan. Measuring 171.3 inches long overall, the Matrix has a 102.4-inch wheelbase and stands 61.6 inches tall. Base wheels measure 16 inches in diameter, but the XR and XRS can be equipped with 17-inch tires. Alloy wheels are standard on the XRS, which also features fog lights, side rocker panels, a front spoiler and a rear underbody sp...
Vehicle Overview
Toyota introduced its youth-focused Matrix as an early 2003 model. Described as a crossover utility vehicle, the Matrix is said to combine the functionality of a sport utility vehicle with the image and performance of a sports car, yet it's as affordable as a compact sedan. Pontiac markets a related Vibe model.

High headroom and flexible seating positions are among the Matrix's notable attributes. Three trim levels are available: base, step-up XR and high-performance XRS. Base and XR models can be equipped with either front- or all-wheel drive. The XRS comes only with front-wheel drive and packs additional power and a six-speed-manual gearbox.

Freshened styling and handling upgrades marked the 2005 models, and Vehicle Stability Control became optional on base and XR models with the automatic transmission. For 2006, a JBL premium stereo with an in-dash six-CD changer is optional in XR models. Engine outputs have been revised in accordance with new testing standards developed by the Society of Automotive Engineers.


Exterior
The Matrix hatchback is built on a platform similar to the one used for Toyota's popular Corolla sedan. Measuring 171.3 inches long overall, the Matrix has a 102.4-inch wheelbase and stands 61.6 inches tall. Base wheels measure 16 inches in diameter, but the XR and XRS can be equipped with 17-inch tires. Alloy wheels are standard on the XRS, which also features fog lights, side rocker panels, a front spoiler and a rear underbody spoiler.

Interior
The Matrix seats up to five people. With the rear seats folded, cargo capacity measures 53.2 cubic feet. Standard equipment includes air conditioning, intermittent wipers, a CD player and a tilt steering wheel. The XR adds remote keyless entry, a sport steering wheel, driver's seat height adjustment, and power windows, locks and mirrors.

Under the Hood
Under the new SAE measurement system, the 1.8-liter four-cylinder in front-drive base and XR models produces 126 horsepower (118 hp with all-wheel drive). Either a four-speed-automatic or five-speed-manual transmission can be installed in front-drive base and XR models, but all-wheel-drive versions come only with the automatic. The all-wheel-drive system has no center differential but uses a viscous coupling.

The XRS carries a 164-hp, 1.8-liter four-cylinder and is available only in front-drive form. The performance-focused XRS has a close-ratio six-speed-manual gearbox.


Safety
Antilock brakes are optional in front-drive base and XR models and standard in other Matrix models. Side-impact and side curtain-type airbags are optional.

Driving Impressions
The Matrix is stylish, well built and nicely designed, but it's somewhat noisy. It's quiet enough when cruising, but the engine in non-XRS models may growl and whine during acceleration. Road noise is also noticeable. The base engine teamed with the automatic transmission doesn't have much oomph, either. Automatic-transmission gear changes are noticeable but not bothersome.

Stability is good, and it's easy to keep the Matrix on course. Steering with more precision and less wheel vibration than the Corolla, it still falls short of stimulating, though the XRS is more refined.



Latest 2006 Matrix Stories

What Drivers Are Saying

Exterior Styling
(4.5)
Performance
(4.4)
Interior Design
(4.4)
Comfort
(4.4)
Reliability
(4.6)
Value For The Money
(4.8)

Latest Reviews

(4.0)

lowest mileage

by Linda from Brooklyn, NY on December 6, 2017

This car met my needs. It runs 15mph city to 33 mpg highway, repair and mileage history available. Clean, comfortable. Read full review

(4.0)

Great car. Fast, Reliable, Handles excellently

by Pianodude01 from pasadena, Maryland on September 3, 2017

This car is my favorite. It's comfortable and simple, it's sporty and spacious. The car is fast compared to others of it's style. it can handle being driven hard. my only complaint is the plastic ... Read full review

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2006 Toyota Matrix currently has 7 recalls

Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2006 Toyota Matrix has not been tested.

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The Matrix received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker