I needed the most fuel efficient car I could find that could still carry a bunch of stuff. There were some good hybrid options, but they were too pricey and I'm unsure about the battery technology. So, I checked out the Matrix, Fit, and Mazda 3. They are all good cars that would have worked, but I went with the Matrix because I got a pretty good price, got a long warranty, and it had all the features I needed. Had a little more space than the Fit and was more comfortable in the driving position. I was also hoping to have something very reliable, and Toyota along with the Corolla this is based on, seemed perfect. 23,000 miles in it still seems like the right choice.
Can fit a lot of stuff in it. Seats fold down flat. Comfortable for a small car. 27mpg 65/35 city/hwy. Less if more city, can push 30 if more hwy. Did a 1,200 mile trip and kept the cruise at 66 as much a possible and got over 35mpg! Been reliable so far.
The complaints I've seen are true. Engine is coarse and the cabin is a bit loud, but doesn't bother me. Got a few rattles in the plastic interior. The plastic on the inside of the doors, and the back seats when folded down, scratch easily and show it. Stereo is ok sounding at best.