BUY IT ! We have owned ours since new. 38k now, avg 28 to 30mpg depends on city/hwy. Maint costs? Oil and regular sched. maint. is the only $$ we've spent. The Matrix is well built, dependable as a Toyota is supposed to be. Drives like a little sports car. Absolutely loves snow and adverse roads. Ease of getting into and out of the Matrix are among the #1 reasons we chose ours. Handy instrument arrangements and excellent visibility for lane changes. There are a number who say the little Matrix is terribly underpowered, well - we think not. How often do we need to exceed 75 mph ? Do we need to accelerate to fwy speeds quickly? Yup - and the Matrix gets that done with ease.
Ease of entry and exit for us humans. Hatchback is excellent for groceries. Fuel economy is VERY good. Quick, sports car feel and handling with zippy throttle response. Nice looking ground effects really help the sports car look. All wheel drive is BEST money spent for us.
If possible, just a little more travel with the adjustable steering wheel.