I used to own a Chevy Blazer that was lucky to make 11 miles to the gallon at sale. Now I have a highly responsive 2.4L 2009 Toyota Matrix S Auto. I'm liking the option of shifting manual, especially when shifting down. It's a smooth ride on smooth pavement, but hit a bump and the whole car jumps (ka-wump). Hit some ice recently and the car kept going, ABS worked, tires didn't. At least I didn't spin around like the guy in front of me. Like a controlled slip. I recommend practicing driving on ice away from traffic first. Bottom line, not thrilled, would trade it in if I could find something better without paying more after trade-in. Would probably keep it if it never snowed.
2.4L engine performance, shift option, power lock options (with help from dealer to get doors to stay locked when parking), storage nooks, flat folding back seats, mp3 plug in, places to hook up dog harnesses under pop outs.
Cheap seats, a back seat bent a tad when folded down with a little weight on it. No full rug offered for 2009, had to make my own. Gas mileage: 21 mpg city in summer, 17 mpg in winter. Tires not great in winter. Driver's right upper heater pitiful in all modes but one (icon one). More FM presets.
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