2006 Toyota Matrix

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$15,260

starting MSRP

2006 Toyota Matrix

Key specs

Base trim shown

Overview

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

3 trims

Starting msrp listed lowest to highest price

Wondering which trim is right for you?

Our 2006 Toyota Matrix trim comparison will help you decide.

Notable features

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

2006 Toyota Matrix review: Our expert's take

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.

Consumer reviews

Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 4.5
  • Interior design 4.5
  • Performance 4.5
  • Value for the money 4.8
  • Exterior styling 4.5
  • Reliability 4.6

Most recent consumer reviews

5.0

We have loved this car.

This is really a great car and has served us so well. We were going to drive it until it died (a long way off) but got a deal on a family member's car that I could not pass up. The car has a huge cargo area with the seats folded flat. It has great visibility and is a pleasure to drive. Reliable and in excellent condition. I have service records from Day 1 of owning it.

4.7

Very Reliable Car

This car meets all of my needs. It is great for transporting large items and/or going on roadtrips. It is very reliable and has not failed me once. It is worth every penny

4.9

Most reliable car I have owned

This was last year of AWD in a Matrix. I was able to drive through 9-11” of snow to get to work. The transmission went out and repair shop quoted $4500 to repair . I donated the car and proceeds went to Iowa Public Radio. Have to admit I shed a few tears when she hauled away.

See all 38 consumer reviews

Warranty

New car and Certified Pre-Owned programs by Toyota
Certified Pre-Owned program benefits
Maximum age/mileage
7 years/less than 85,000 miles
Basic warranty terms
12 months/12, 000 miles
Powertrain
7 years/100,000 miles
Dealer certification required
160- or 174-point inspections
Roadside assistance
Yes
View all cpo program details

Have questions about warranties or CPO programs?

Compare the competitors

2007

Pontiac Vibe

$16,760

starting MSRP

2009

Toyota Yaris

$12,205

starting MSRP

2005

Toyota Corolla

$13,780

starting MSRP

See all 2006 Toyota Matrix articles