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2006 Toyota Matrix Hatchback

5dr Wgn XR Manual (Natl)

Starting at | Starting at 30 MPG City - 36 MPG Highway

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  • $16,740 original MSRP
Printable Version

2006 Toyota Matrix Hatchback

Printable Version

2006 Toyota Matrix Hatchback

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2006 Toyota Matrix

Source: New Car Test Drive

 

Overview
The Toyota Matrix combines the style and fun of a sport coupe with the utility of a small sport utility at the price of a compact. Matrix was designed for people who want a vehicle with a sporty image and high functionality.

The Matrix offers peppy acceleration, particularly around town. It corners nicely yet offers a smooth, comfortable ride. It's practical, with a big cargo area that can be expanded by folding down the rear seats. And it's stylish.

While the high-performance XRS model has drawn some attention with its high-revving 164-horsepower engine, we preferred the 126-horsepower models for their more relaxed, more pleasant demeanor. Most popular is the mid-grade Matrix XR. (Note that horsepower numbers are lower for 2006 models due to a change in how power is calculated. Performance of the engines remains unchanged from 2005 models.)

Matrix is based on the Toyota Corolla and is built in California at a plant jointly owned with General Motors. Matrix was introduced as a 2003 model and it has proven to be a popular vehicle. It shares much in common with the Pontiac Vibe.


Model Lineup
Toyota Matrix is available in three trim lines: the standard Matrix, XR, and XRS. Front-wheel-drive (2WD) and all-wheel-drive (AWD) versions are available along with a choice of two engines: Matrix and Matrix XR are powered by a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 126 horsepower (123 horsepower with four-wheel drive). Matrix XRS is a high-performance model powered by a 164-horsepower version of the 1.8-liter engine.

The base Matrix ($15,110) comes standard with a five-speed manual transmission, but it's also available with an automatic ($15,910) or all-wheel-drive automatic ($17,645). Air conditioning and an AM/FM radio with CD player come standard along with newly added features including a lever-type seat-height adjuster, sliding sun visor, UV cut glass, and a new audio head unit design with a separate clock display. A Power Package ($510) adds power windows, power door locks, and remote keyless entry.

Matrix XR ($16,590) adds anti-lock brakes (ABS) with electronic brake-force distribution (EBD), power door locks, power windows, and the remote key fob as well as a rear window wiper. It's also available with the automatic ($17,420) or all-wheel drive and automatic ($18,985). Extra Value Package 1 ($270) includes cruise control, fog lamps, and front and rear spoilers. Extra Value Package 2 ($880) adds 16-inch alloy wheels and power moonroof. A JBL premium sound system ($600) with an in-dash 6-disc CD changer is a new option for 2006 Matrix XR models.

Matrix XRS ($19,100) is available only with front-wheel drive and a six-speed manual transmission. It comes with 16-inch alloy wheels. XRS gets four-wheel disc brakes, preferable to the rear drum brakes found on the other models and is equipped with ABS and EBD. JBL audio with CD is optional. Sounds like alphabet soup.

Safety is enhanced by ordering optional side curtain and seat-mounted side-impact airbags ($645). The available Vehicle Stability Control ($650) virtually eliminates skidding. Optional anti-lock brakes ($390) with electronic brake-force distribution can help the driver maintain steering control in an emergency braking situation.

       

Walkaround
The Toyota Matrix shares much in common with the Pontiac Vibe. GM and Toyota developed the vehicles jointly, saving money for both companies and allowing each to offer the vehicles at an affordable price. Matrix and Vibe do not look alike, however, as their styling was designed independently by Toyota and Pontiac. Both are based on the same platform as the Toyota Corolla. That's good because the Corolla is an excellent compact and has good bones, but the Matrix is radically different in appearance and differs in demeanor from the Corolla.

The Matrix is 3 inches taller but 8 inches shorter in length than a Corolla. It uses the same wheelbase but a wider track. These dimensions give the Matrix a unique stance. It reminds us somewhat of the Ford Focus hatchback, which is slightly smaller. It is also similar in size to the Chrysler PT Cruiser, although the Matrix has slightly less interior storage capacity due to its lower roofline.

And it's that roofline that draws the eye. In a reverse wedge shape, the roof slopes down at the back while the belt line along the lower edge of the side windows slopes up, creating a sleek wedge shape to the windows.

The tailgate opens as a liftgate, similar to that of an SUV or minivan, and the frameless backlight (rear window) can be opened separately for quick access.

The front of the Matrix has a purposeful looking nose with a relatively high hood line accentuated by a big grille. Engine cooling is achieved through a large aperture under the front bumper which features two small foglights.

A wide track, along with generous tires fill the wheel wells nicely, helping give the Matrix an aggressive look. New wheel covers on the XR grade add to the sporty theme. All in all it's a car that looks substantial despite its relatively small size.

Last year (2005) the Matrix was revise with a new front bumper and grille that convey a more aggressive appearance. Clear lens combination tail lamps provide a sportier appearance.

 

Interior Features
Sitting in a Toyota Matrix is somewhat like sitting in an SUV, with upright seating and a commanding view of the road ahead.

The driver will find that the cockpit is unlike that of other Toyota cars. It's all but identical to the Pontiac Vibe, even down to the American Delco radio.

Four pods in front of the steering wheel house deeply set gauges. The gauges glow red at all times, even during the daytime, as insufficient ambient light reaches them. Chrome rims accentuate each pod. Plastic trim designed to look like brushed aluminum surrounds the switches on the dashboard and adorns the door panels. The combined radio and CD player sits directly to the right of the instrument pod, with the heating and ventilation controls immediately below.

The shifter is just a few inches from the steering wheel, conveniently located more than a foot off the floor in a position that's become fashionable in high-performance rally cars as well as the Lexus RX luxury crossover SUV.

There's 15 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats. The rear seat is split 60/40 and pressing a button flips each seatback down to provide a completely flat floor capable of holding 53 cubic feet of cargo. The cargo floor is finished in a hard ribbed plastic designed to offer easy cleanup. Set something there and there's a good chance it'll slide around underway. A carpeted cargo mat is available that does a much better job of keeping cargo from sliding around. The cargo floor features four slots that contain movable hooks that can be used to tie down goods. There are several other tie-downs positioned along the sides. Storage compartments and cargo nets provide owners with maximum utility. All of this makes the interior as versatile as any station wagon and better than most SUVs. Even the front passenger seat can be folded down to provide another flat surface for storage, albeit at a higher level than the rest of the floor.

With its high roofline, the Matrix offers plenty of headroom for tall drivers and passengers. Shorter passengers sitting in the rear seats might find the view slightly claustrophobic due to the small side windows.

One cool feature is the available 115-volt power outlet located in the front dashboard alongside a regular 12-volt outlet. It's a low-power AC plug suitable for powering a laptop computer, but it isn't capable of running power tools.

 

Driving Impressions
Despite its boxy looks there is no denying that the Toyota Matrix is a sporty car. Part of the equation is that it weighs less than 3,000 pounds.

The standard engine only delivers 126 horsepower, but it revs nicely. And for those who enjoy shifting a lot, it's fun to drive when equipped with the manual transmission. Shifting the manual transmission is smooth and easy. Although it might at first appear that the upright seating position and the high-mounted gearshift would take some getting used to, this is not the case. Equipped with the five-speed manual, the Matrix with the standard engine gets an EPA-estimated 29/35 mpg City/Highway.

Even with the automatic transmission the Matrix feels peppy around town. The engine is buzzy, which will appeal to younger buyers but might become a little annoying to older people. The Matrix with the automatic gets an EPA-rated 28/34 mpg.

Steering is precise. And though the center of gravity is relatively high, the Matrix doesn't lean much in corners. The brakes are effective as well. All in all, it feels like a sporty compact car. That's not surprising as it uses many components straight from the sporty Toyota Celica.

The XRS with the 164-horsepower engine offers better acceleration performance, but you have to be willing to work the six-speed manual. The power increase comes from improved breathing by using Toyota's variable-valve timing and lift setup. At low revs the engine delivers no more performance than the standard 126-horsepower engine. The real power comes into play between 6000 and 8400 rpm, so you need to keep it wound up in the upper part of the rev range to tap into its performance. The six-speed gearbox comes from the Celica complete with the same gear ratios. However, the Matrix uses taller tires than the Celica effectively giving it taller gears. So you need to wind it up before shifting into the next gear to enjoy good acceleration performance. We quickly grew tired of the high-revving engine, however. We found that the XRS was not nearly as pleasant as the XR. The 126-horsepower engine seems a better match for the Matrix than the high-strung 164-horsepower engine. Matrix XRS is rated 25/32 mpg.

All-wheel-drive Matrix models offer superior traction on snow, ice and on slippery pavement. Though peppy, they aren't as sporty as the two-wheel-drive models. Part of that is packaging. All-wheel drive is only available with an automatic transmission and the standard engine. Another part of it is the power-to-weight ratio. With more weight (185 pounds) and slightly less power than the front-drive models (123 horsepower vs. 128), plus the friction from the all-wheel-drive system, the AWD models do not accelerate as quickly. They're still peppy, though. Fuel economy suffers as well. The Matrix XR AWD automatic is rated 26/31 mpg. The AWD models do comply with LEV-II evaporative emissions, however.

 

Summary
Toyota Matrix is a sporty wagon that offers utility and style at an affordable price. We prefer the base and XR models to the XRS, which features a more powerful engine with a peaky powerband.

NewCarTestDrive.com correspondent John Rettie is based in Santa Barbara, California.

 

Model Line Overview

Model lineup: Toyota Matrix ($15,110); automatic ($15,910); AWD AT ($17,645); XR ($16,590); XR AT ($17,420); XR AWD AT ($18,985); XRS ($19,100)
Engines: 126-hp 1.8-liter dohc 16v inline-4; 164-hp 1.8-liter dohc 16v inline-4
Transmissions: 5-speed manual; 4-speed automatic; 6-speed manual
Safety equipment (standard): dual front airbags
Safety equipment (optional): curtain side airbags and seat-mounted side-impact airbags; ABS, EBD; all-wheel drive
Basic warranty: 3 years/36,000 miles
Assembled in: Cambridge, Ontario, Canada

Specifications As Tested

Model tested (MSRP): Toyota Matrix XR AWD automatic ($18,985)
Standard equipment: air conditioning w filter, AM/FM/CD with four speakers, power windows, power mirrors, power door locks, tilt steering column, power steering, intermittent wipers, remote keyless entry with remote tailgate release, 115-volt power outlet, 60/40 split rear seats, outside temperature gauge, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, cargo nets and track system with tie-down hooks, rear-window defogger with timer, tonneau cover
Options as tested (MSRP): curtain airbags and side-impact airbags ($645); Extra Value Package 2 ($880) includes 16-in aluminum wheels w P205/55R16 tires, power sunroof, cruise control, fog lamps, front and rear spoilers; AM/FM/6CD w 6 speakers ($240)
Destination charge: 540
Gas guzzler tax:  
Price as tested (MSRP): 20050
Layout: four-wheel drive
Engine: 1.8-liter dohc 16v inline-4
Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 123 @ 6000
Torque (lb.-ft. @ rpm): 122 @ 4200
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
EPA fuel economy, city/hwy: 26/31
Wheelbase: 102.4
Length/width/height: 171.3/69.5/60.6
Track, f/r: 59.6/59.1
Turning circle: 35.5
Seating capacity: 5
Head/hip/leg room, f: 40.6/51.7/41.8
Head/hip/leg room, m:  
Head/hip/leg room, r: 39.8/47.8/36.3
Trunk volume: 53.2
Payload:  
Towing capacity: 1500
Suspension, f: independent
Suspension, r: independent
Ground clearance: 5.9
Curb weight: 2943
Tires: P205/55R16
Brakes, f/r: disc/drum w ABS, EBD
Fuel capacity: 11.9

Unless otherwise indicated, specifications refer to test vehicle.
All prices are manufacturer's suggested retail prices (MSRP) effective as of 2005-08-09 00:00:00.0 .
Prices do not include manufacturer's destination and delivery charges. N/A: Information not available or not applicable.
Manufacturer Info Sources: 1-800-GO TOYOTA - www.toyota.com


Copyright © 1994-2003 New Car Test Drive, Inc.

Printable Version

2006 Toyota Matrix Hatchback

Safety Ratings help

What do the Safety Ratings mean?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) performs independent crash testing of new vehicles and then assigns them a score based on their performance. The overall crash test rating is based on how a vehicle performs in the following tests:

Driver Crash Grade:

Measures the chance of a serious injury to a crash test dummy that is placed in a driver's seat and driven into a fixed barrier at 35 MPH. A five-star rating means there is 10 percent or less chance of injury.

Passenger Crash Grade:

Similar to the driver crash grade, only now the focus is on the passenger.

Rollover Resistance:

Simulates an emergency lane change to measure the likelihood of a vehicle rolling over. A five-star rating means there is 10 percent or less risk of rollover.

Side Impact Crash Test - Front:

Focuses on the front side of a vehicle. It simulates crashes that can occur in intersections by striking a 3,015-pound weight against the side of a vehicle at 38.5 MPH. A five-star rating means there is 5 percent or less chance of injury.

Side Impact Crash Test - Rear:

Similar to the front side impact test only now the focus is on the rear passenger.

Driver Crash Grade
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Passenger Crash Grade
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Rollover Resistance
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Side Impact Crash Test - Front
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Side Impact Crash Test - Rear
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Safety Features & Equipment

Braking & Traction

4-Wheel ABS Opt

Passenger Restraint

Driver Air Bag Std
Passenger Air Bag Std
Side Air Bag Opt
Side Head Air Bag Opt
Child Safety Locks Std

Road Visibility

Daytime Running Lights Std
Fog Lamps Opt
Intermittent Wipers Std
Variable Inter. Wipers Std

Security

Alarm Opt
Anti-theft System Opt
Printable Version

2006 Toyota Matrix Hatchback

Toyota Certified Pre-Owned Warranty  help
Certified Pre-Owned Warranty
To be eligible for Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) status, vehicles generally must be recent models with relatively low mileage. CPO vehicles must also pass a detailed inspection, outlined by the manufacturer, which is measured by the number of inspected points.
Warranty coverage can vary from one manufacturer to the next. While most certified pre-owned programs transfer and extend the existing new car warranty terms, others offer a warranty that simply represents an additional year and mileage value. Always check with the manufacturer for the specific warranties they offer.
Common features and benefits of Certified Pre-Owned warranties include:
Age/Mileage Eligibility
To even be considered for certification, a car must be a recent model year and have limited mileage. The exact requirements are established by individual manufacturers.
Lease Term Certified
Some manufacturers offer certified pre-owned cars for lease. The length of the lease is often shorter than a new car lease, but it will cost you less.
Point Inspection
These inspections entail a comprehensive vehicle test to ensure that all parts are in excellent working order. The point inspection list is simply a numbered list of exactly what parts of the car are examined. While many inspections range from a 70- to 150-point checklist, most are very similar and are performed using strict guidelines. Ask your local dealer about specific details.
Return/Exchange Program
Some manufacturers offer a very limited return or exchange period. Find out if you will get the sales tax and licensing/registration fees back should you return or exchange the car.
Roadside Assistance
Most certified pre-owned programs offer free roadside service in case your car breaks down while still under warranty.
Special Financing
Reduced-rate loans are available through many certified pre-owned programs. Manufacturer-backed inspections and warranties help eliminate the risks involved with buying pre-owned, so buyers who qualify can take advantage of the great offers.
Transferable Warranty
When a new car warranty transfers with the certification of the car and remains eligible for the next owner, it is known as a transferable warranty. Once the original transferable warranty expires, an extended warranty takes effect.
Warranty Deductible
This is the amount for which you are responsible when repair work is performed under the warranty. Some manufacturers require a deductible while others don't, so always ask.

----------------
12-month/12,000-mile Comprehensive Warranty*

7-year/100,000-mile Limited Powertrain Warranty**

1-year of Roadside Assistance***

160-Point Quality Assurance Inspection

CARFAX® Vehicle History ReportTM****

Certified customers are eligible for standard new car financing rates*****

*Whichever comes first from date of Toyota Certified Used Vehicle purchase. The Comprehensive Warranty covers any repair or replacement of components which fail under normal use due to defect in materials or workmanship. (Program not available in Puerto Rico and Hawaii.)

**Whichever comes first from original date of first use when sold as new. See your Toyota Certified Used Vehicles dealer for warranty details. Program not available in Puerto Rico and Hawaii. For AL, FL, GA, NC & SC, warranty coverage differs in the following ways: 7-year or 100,000-mile Toyota Certified Limited Powertrain Warranty coverage begins on January 1st of the vehicle's model year and zero (0) odometer miles and expires at the earlier of seven years or 100,000 odometer miles.

***From date of Toyota Certified Used Vehicle purchase. Covers most services, including flat tires, lockout service, jump starts, fuel delivery up to 3 gallons and towing for mechanical breakdown or collision recovery to the nearest Toyota dealership. Services provided exclude any parts required. Coverage not available in Mexico. See Certified Warranty Supplement for warranty details.

****Beginning December 1, 2005 CARFAX® Vehicle History ReportsTM are a required part of every Toyota Certified Used Vehicle. See your local dealer for details.

*****Rates mentioned are for standard new car rates, and do not include new car specials or subvented rates. Not all buyers will qualify. Financing available through Toyota Financial Services for qualified buyers only.
Age/Mileage Eligibility 7 years / 85,000
Lease Term Certified Yes
Point Inspection All TCUV vehicles must pass a comprehensive checklist that includes a 160-point inspection. This way you can rest assured that your pre-owned Toyota is in perfect condition. To see full inspection list visit http://www.toyotacertified.com/inspection.html
Return/Exchange Program No
Roadside Assistance 1-year of Roadside Assistance from date of TCUV purchase.
Transferrable Warranty Yes
Warranty Deductible $50

Learn more about certified pre-owned vehicles

Printable Version

2006 Toyota Matrix Hatchback

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