I purchased a 2007 Matrix XR at the end of August. I wanted a car with a reliable reputation and ABS that went a bit beyond the Corolla that has been in the family for the last 5 years without any problems. I carefully read all reviews and find the car (to date) worth the investment. The fold down seats in the back are an advantage when the extra space is needed. Gas mileage (open road -36/37 mpg); city and open road about 27) is very good. I recently had the opportunity to drive my sons 2000 BMW 320i. I found the Matrix to be better handling; of course he can get to 40 mph or more in a 35 mph zone faster.
Gas mileage and handling with wide profile tires are among my favorite features. Also, the height of the driver's seat provides a positive SUV feel. Storage space is a plus along with the braking and air system. All Matrix owners I have encountered say the car is great.
Wind noise reduction with the moon roof open on the highway needs attention. A redesigned dash board would add class to the car. A rattle from the moon roof inside cover needs attention when the car goes for service. Overall, to date, I am satisfied with the Matrix.