Toyota Matrix 2003 - 2008 review

What to look for when buying a used Toyota Matrix:

First, check the history records to find out if there were any reported accidents in the past.
Check the oil level; a low oil level could be an indication that the engine consumes oil. Watch out for engine noises. If the engine makes a loud rattling noise or there is a smoke from the exhaust when the engine is started, avoid the car. During the test drive, watch out for noises from a manual transmission; there are plenty of complaints about manual transmission problems. Read our used car buyer's checklist with photos for more tips. Before buying, have the car inspected by a mechanic of your choice.

How often should you change your oil? Toyota recommends changing your oil every 5000 miles or 6 months, whichever comes first. If you want to keep your engine in good shape longer and given that it's quite common for the 1.8L engine to consume some oil, we recommend changing your oil every 3,500-4,000 miles. It's also a good idea to check the engine oil level regularly. SAE 5W-30 is the recommended oil viscosity.
A cabin filter needs to be replaced every 24 months or 20,000 miles.
What is the recommended interval to change automatic transmission fluid? Automatic transmission fluid should be checked regularly and changed when dirty. See how to check automatic transmission fluid.
Toyota Matrix is a lightweight car; if you want better traction on snowy roads, consider installing winter tires.
More on maintenance:

10 tips how to keep your car running longer and
save money on car repairs How to extend the life
of your car »
Simple car maintenance tips Easy car maintenance
checklist with photos »

Toyota Matrix common problems: A bad drive belt tensioner can cause squealing and/or rattling noise coming from the engine compartment. The recommended repair involves replacing the drive belt tensioner with an updated part.
A leaking intake manifold gasket or contaminated air flow sensor can cause the Check Engine light to come on with the code P0171.
There is a number of reports about problems with a manual transmission due to a faulty bearing.
Harsh shift condition with the MIL light ON and the code P2716: recommended repair involves replacing the ECM (engine computer) with an updated part.
There was also a recall for a faulty ECM in 2005-2008 Toyota Matrix.

Safety Recalls - NHTSA - check for recalls.
Transport Canada - Road Safety Recalls - check for recalls in Canada.
Toyota Owners - search an owner's manual online, how-to videos, maintenance schedule.

Toyota Matrix short specifications (2006 model)

Overall length:
Overall width:
Overall height:   
-with 16" Alloy:
-with 17" Alloy:

171.3 (4350 mm)
69.9 (1775 mm)

60.6 (1540 mm)
61.0 (1550 mm)
102.4 (2600 mm)

Turning circle:

35.5 ft (10.8 m)

Seating Capacity:


Cargo volume:
behind rear seats:
with rear seats folded

21.8 cu. ft (617 liters)
53.2 cu, ft (1506 liters)

Matrix Standard / XR:

Matrix XRS:

1.8-liter, 4-cylinder, in-line twin-cam, 16-valve
DOHC with VVT-i, aluminum alloy block and head; model 1ZZ-FE
126/118 hp @ 6,000 rpm (2WD/4WD)
122/115 lb-ft @ 4,200 rpm (2WD/4WD)

1.8-liter, 4-cylinder, in-line twin-cam, 16-valve
DOHC with VVTL-i, aluminum alloy block and head
164 hp @ 7,600 rpm, 125 lb-ft @ 4,400 rpm

EPA Fuel Economy (US mpg, L/100 km):
Matrix Standard / XR 2WD Manual:

Matrix Standard / XR 2WD Automatic:

Matrix Standard / XR 4WD:

Matrix XRS 6-speed Manual:

city: 30 mpg (7.8 L/100 km)
hwy: 36 mpg (6.5 L/100 km)

city: 28 mpg (8.4 L/100 km)
hwy: 34 mpg (6.9 L/100 km)

city: 26 mpg (9.0 L/100 km)
hwy: 31 mpg (7.6 L/100 km)

city: 25 mpg (9.4 L/100 km)
hwy: 32 mpg (7.4 L/100 km)

Recommended Fuel:
Matrix Standard / XR:
Matrix XRS:

87-octane unleaded
91-octane unleaded

Fuel Tank Capacity:

13.2 US gal or 50 liters (4WD: 11.9 US gal or 45 liters)

Engine Oil capacity:
Oil change with filter:
1.8L 4−cylinder (1ZZ−FE) engine:
1.8L 4−cylinder (2ZZ−FE) engine:

4.4 quart (4.2 liters)
4.7 quart (4.4 liters)