When we were looking to buy, we had a few primary concerns: cargo space, being able to park it in NYC, mileage, price, and of course safety. We're thrilled with the Matrix because it's delivered on all fronts. Playing in a band, I need to haul alot of equipment around with me- it has more than enough space and the plastic cargo area is durable and eases loading in/out. It's shorter (though taller and wider) than the Corolla, and parking even in tight spots has been a breeze. the MPG has been at around 28-32, depending on where i'm driving (city or hwy), and this will go up over the next year or two. i paid 15,000 for it, which i was happy with! and it's gotten great safety ratings!
Ergonimcal interior design, high placement of the manual shift (closer to the steering wheel). plenty of cargo space compared to most hatchbacks. Plastic cargo area. overall economy of the vehicle. better than average factory stereo. VERY good pickup and handling for a small car!
A less wimpy horn. better placement of the coin holder (it's under the parking brake, which is hard to reach). more adjustible drivers side seating. a less flimsy trunk cover. I HATE plastic bumpers- at least have an option of a real bumper that doesn't break or chip if someone bumps you lightly.
2005 Toyota Matrix XR Fwd 4dr Wagon (1.8L 4cyl 4A)
This car is a LOT of fun to drive. The ride is a little more stiff than the Camry and it's a little louder. The guages are extremely easy to see even in direct sunlight and are very well thought out. All of the controls are within easy reach and make sense where they are placed. The driver's seat has a height adjustment so my wife (on the short side) can see out just as well as I can when she lifts it up. Our 3 kids fit in the back without any problems and my 10 year old still has plenty of leg room and room to grow even when I have the seat as far back as I need it. The seats folding and creating a flat loading space is great, durable and easy to clean.
Gas mileage (avg. 30 so far). Flat-folding rear seats. Sporty look and feel.
Make 4-wheel disc brakes and option for the XR too, not just the XRS.
My husband and I were looking at this car to save us with gas prices today. After years of luxury SUVs, we were looking for something simple and efficient. When we went to test drive it, we were purely expecting it to be just adequate. We were so wrong. We loved it! It is quiet and despite being a small engine, it has great drive and pick-up. We have two small children and there is plenty of room even with an adult and two car seats in the back seat. We are so pleased and highly recommend this car to anyone!!!
gas mileage, comfort, compact yet with plenty of space