I love my Matrix and it is fun to drive. My son who is 19 was really impressed with the way it looks and drives, which surprised me. I didn't think it would be sporty enough for him. Handles great in the snow and rain. Visibility could be better as sometimes it is difficult to see something that is at the front/side of the vehicle when driving. But overall It's great to drive. Reliaiblity is A1.
Love the AWD. A sunroof is a must. Lots of cargo room. Like how it's not as low as a car but not as high a an SUV.
Improve visibility on the drivers side. Can't get mist off the windows when rolling down. Could use a quieter ride in the back. (But who cares, I ride in the front).
'Trixes are bomb-proof! I'm the kind of driver who doesn't go particularly fast, but doesn't brake for anything, either. This car has taken three years of continous punishment: every corner taken at the traction limit, hundreds of handbrake turns, about three months of serious gravel driving, 8in deep potholes every day, many track days, being half-sunk in waste water (this is Mexico City, you know)... all without a glitch. Minor rattles in the dash, the standard battery lacks capacity, and that's it. A very capable little car when pushed (can consistently beat Megane RSs in the hands of a good driver), even with an auto transmission. Overall, a great car.
-Seriously sturdy and reliable. -Great cargo capacity. -Factory Bridgestone Turanza ER30s are very, very grippy (treadwear 140!), help set some great track times.
-Ergonomic design is awful. If you adjust the seating position so you can correctly hold the wheel, you'll get sore shins in seconds. Needs wheel reach adjustment, and lumbar support. -Engine is just a bit underpowered. Tuning it for 10 extra HP would do wonders. -Folding mirrors!
2004 Toyota Matrix Wagon Fwd 4dr Wagon (1.8L 4cyl 5M)
I bought this car in 2003 (2004 model) and now have 76000 miles on it! Not a single problem! I have a manuel transmission and it is so much fun to drive. It's young and stylish and I wouldn't trade it for any other car :)
This is the perfect car for us. Great mileage (25-27 city, 32-37 hwy). This looks small on the outside but is laid out great very efficient and feels very roomy. This car hold TONS of stuff (4 adults, 3 day camping gear (firewood included), surfboards on top and bikes on the back) and still got 34+ mpg on the trip! The 110v plug is awesome, didn't need to buy a car charger for cell phone or iPod. The most car for the money, imo. Would buy again in a heartbeat. Owned for over 2 years now still runs like new.
Sunroof, roomy, 110v outlet, CD/tape player, sound, storage. Controls and instrumentation panel are laid out wonderfuly.
Fullsized spare tire, front ground effects are a little low to the ground (will scrape on ground in/out of steep driveways). Manual isn't as smooth as I thought it should be, not bad, but not the best. Would also like radio controls on steering wheel.
2004 Toyota Matrix Wagon AWD 4dr Wagon (1.8L 4cyl 4A)
This is the smallest car I have owned and it is great! Gas mileage, fit into the garage, parking spaces, maneuverability and comfort, are all advantages I have not experienced with larger autos. The color is solar yellow and easy to spot on a parking lot! There is plenty of room for my friends as passengers and with the adjustable bucket seat, they can be comfortable too.
Size is just right, overall. Lots of room for carrying all my dog and I need. Dependable, comfortable, easy to drive, and color, solar yellow, is perfect for the audacious little car.
Less wind noise, more tint in glass (I had mine tinted at the dealership even after ordering max tint) and better cargo cover would be my suggestions.