As a previous Matrix owner I had certain expectations for the new model. My previous was a 2005 XR, my new model is the larger motor S with a 5 speed auto. The new model has much better pickup and feels more confident on the road. The downside to this is the fuel economy is lackluster. My best mileage when all highway miles was just at 30 mpg. My old matrix I averaged 30 overall with a lot of city driving, and had more than a few 36 mpg tanks. So far after only 5800 miles I've averaged 23 mpg with this car. For comparison, my old V6 Oldsmobile Alero got better mileage. I'm very disappointed in the fuel economy of the larger engine, I keep my tires inflated properly and drive conservatively.
The engine has much better acceleration than previous model. That is mostly from the larger engine.
Address the fuel economy of the 5 speed automatic with the 2.4 liter engine. I've been getting worse overall (and highway) mileage that I received on my 2001 V6 Oldsmobile Alero.