2005 Toyota Matrix XR Fwd 4dr Wagon (1.8L 4cyl 4A)
I love this car. We downsized from a Grand Caravan (talk about a lemon!!) and had the requirements of high gas mileage and serious reliability with enough cargo room to carry a labrador... this car fits the bill for sure! Two months later and I love it. It handles well (helped me lose the minivan-mom image), has gotten 29 mpg the last two tanks (combined driving but mostly city) and with the Toyota name on the back I know it will satisfy my need to not dump money into expensive repairs. The cargo area is all plastic, which works great with the dog and my husband wishes he could pull the super-comfy seats out of my Matrix for his Scion XB.
Body and dash styling, comfy seats, sits higher than the typical car. Gas mileage is great. Zippy around town. Fog lamps are handy in mountain or remote driving at night. Light- sensored headlights. Rear hatch glass opens.
Stock stereo somewhat pathetic. Rear seats sit so low my kids can't see out. Engine lacks power with A/C on (but a good sacrifice for the gas mileage). No standard ABS other than XRS model.