This vehicle replaced a 2005 Toyota Corolla, The Corolla was nearly a perfect vehicle. The Matrix isn't even close to the quality or integrity of the Corolla. The interior plastic is of very poor quality and appearance. The gas mileage as far, far less than the Corolla. It's hard to believe the Matrix is a Toyota. I am not at all pleased with the Matrix. This vehicle has caused me to substantially lower my opinion of Toyota.
Sitting position. Reliability. Easy to read and use instrument panel. Easy to enter and exit vehicle.
Better sound system, higher quality plastics in the interior, and better gas mileage without any loss of power.
Style finally grew on me (been looking at it for 3 years)- I was waiting for a Corolla station wagon - to no avail. I love the tight handling. Love the access to the controls. Very accessible for passengers and cargo (love the small liftback door). Well accessorized. Red instruments are difficult to read (I am a little color blind).
Hatch back, tight handling, gas mileage, moon-roof, 6-CD changer.
Make the dash controls visible (the red is terrible - may try to open the speedo and paint the needle white).. Have a REAL spare tire (PLEASE)!!
I've had it for a year and a half and it has been great, especially in the winter time. In the snow, I rarely spin my tires on a steep driveway or at a stop sign on an incline. The car has great control overall. I've never felt safer in a car before. My passengers feel safe too. I recently heard this car gets the highest marks for side-impact collision. I'd believe it! You just feel taken care of inside. The only downer is that I have to replace a rear hub bearing now not even at 100,000. That was unexpected and will be pricey. Rumors of a previous recall for this model are out there, but who knows. And no warranty will cover it now. You may want to research that issue.
The AWD!! I also like the softer seats in the XR, 6-disc changer & great speakers, handy lights on the rear-view mirror, different cubbies in the front and rear, post-factory remote starter, dark blue exterior, headlamps, & the way the doors feel when I shut them. They just feel like quality.
Remote starter, more get-up-and-go, a sun or moon roof
2005 Toyota Matrix Wagon Fwd 4dr Wagon (1.8L 4cyl 5M)
I bought my 2005 Matrix new and have been pretty satisfied with it.
It's comfortable (even for passengers), spacious, reliable, and quite peppy.
This car is not 4-wheel drive but it easily climbs dirt roads in the mountains.
Probably the only fault with it is it doesn't handle inclement weather well at all (I live in the mountains so this posed a serious problem with the snow).
I eventually had to put some sandbags down on the passenger foot areas to provide additional weight.
Since my usual passengers are 3 dogs, this hasn't encumbered them but, for older children or adults sitting in the back, this would most likely be quite uncomfortable.
† Edmunds.com received the highest numerical score in the proprietary J.D. Power 2014 Third-Party Automotive Website Evaluation Study℠. Results based on responses from 3,381 responses, measuring 14 companies and measures third-party automotive website usefulness among new and used vehicle shoppers. Proprietary study results are based on experiences and perceptions of owners surveyed from January 2014. Your experiences may vary. Visit jdpower.com.