AOR Matrix Series IV: Review
Compact, convenient and of quality construction, the new Australian Off Road Matrix Series IV is everything you need and more.
Australian Off Road’s revamped Matrix is roomier and more efficient than previous models, albeit at a price that nudges six figures before you explore the options. Nonetheless, other players have proven it’s viable, and the Matrix Series IV is different to its predecessor in so many ways it almost justifies a new model name, rather than a numerical update.
DESIGN & CONSTRUCTION
Apart from establishing a family connection with the Aurora, the new aerodynamic nose and the relocation of the twin 4.5kg gas cylinders to a locker beneath the cooktop have increased both boot and interior space without adding to the overall length or weight. But this redistribution of mass has also impacted on virtually every panel except the roof.
The body has been repositioned on a 50kg lighter chassis, which Steve says is stiffer than that of the Matrix Series III. This is thanks to a new, 15mm thick, single piece fibreglass floor weighing just 4.7kg per square metre that is bonded to the chassis, the upper body panels and the ply interior cabinetry.
The new chassis also allows the van’s black water tank and twin 140L water tanks either side of the axle line to be positioned in a way that maintains 190kg on the ball, whether they’re full or empty. A further 60L pure water tank and pump, and a grey water tank are optional.
And when they are full, the Matrix still has a further 310kg payload available for all the things you might want to take on a remote area trip.
Run a tape measure over the new Matrix and it will confirm what your eyes might not immediately see. It’s different.
Outside, the central entry door is 50mm wider and is fitted with a new lower-hinged, removable flap that locks onto the body to prevent the entry of water and dust through the door’s compulsory lower gas venting.
Inside, internal length has increased by 1.7m by pushing the north-south queen bed further into the nose. This, in turn, has allowed the van’s two-seater dinette table to be lengthened and its legroom increased.
With a Tare weight of 1820kg and its supple twin trailing arm independent suspension, damped by twin EFS telescopic shock absorbers per wheel, the van tows lithely behind any mid-to-large 4WD and, with an overall body width of just 1.95m, will follow one into very rough terrain. The only other thing to keep in mind is its height – at 2.78m it could be a barrier when entering thick scrub.
The Matrix Series IV on review – the first built – was also fitted with an Enerdrive Lithium Power Plant, consisting of a 200Ah lithium battery, a DC-DC charger and a 1000W inverter. The system delivers the equivalent power of two 120Ah AGM batteries, yet occupies only two-thirds the space and weighs between 25-30 per cent less, at around 30kg. The setup is purported to recover faster than a conventional solution, maximising the output from the Matrix’s twin 150W roof-mounted solar panels.
The model on review also featured the new Dometic Sapphire modular air-conditioner, which is mounted under the bed in one of the two right-hand side lockers and delivers cool air via three outlets. A standard Sirocco 12V wall-mounted fan will suffice for cooling when you’re away from a 240V power source. A Webasto diesel space heater is standard – something that I, as a Victorian, welcome.
HITS & MISSES
- Compact size
- Practical and very useable layout
- High quality construction and finish
I would have liked...
- One of my own!
AOR SERIES IV MATRIX SPECS
Weights and measures
- Overall length 6.9m (22ft 8in)
- External body length 5.45m (17ft 10in)
- External body width 1.95m (6ft 5in)
- Travel height 2.78m (9ft 1in)
- Internal height 2.0m (6ft 6in)
- Tare 1820kg
- ATM 2400kg
- Ball weight 190kg
- Frame Fibreglass composite
- Cladding Lightweight fibreglass with insulated walls and roof
- Chassis High-tensile steel, laminated and powder coated
- Suspension AOR independent trailing arm suspension with twin EFS offroad shock absorbers per wheel
- Brakes 12in offroad electric
- Wheels/tyres 17in offroad steel wheels with 265/70-17 tyres
- Water 2x140L (fresh); 110L (black)
- Battery 1x200Ah lithium
- Solar 2x150W
- Air-conditioner Truma Saphir
- Gas 2x4.5kg
- Sway control Optional
- Cooking SMEV three-burner gas cooktop
- Fridge EvaKool 110L, 12V compressor
- Microwave Optional
- Toilet Marine-type macerator
- Shower Full-height one-piece moulded fibreglass with combined toilet
- Lighting LED
- Hot water 14L Truma gas
- Enerdrive Lithium Power Plant; alloy wheels
Price as shown
- $104,500 (on-road, Qld) (base price, $99,990)
The full test appears in Caravan World #539 July 2015. Subscribe today for the latest caravan reviews and news every month!