Highly Recommend the Matrix
By Brian on
2009 Toyota Matrix 4dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl 5M)
We got this as a combination commuter and cargo hauler (for small jobs for catering & food business, deliveries). We use it in place of the van when appropriate. The back seats fold down COMPLETELY flat, allowing for secure storage w/o spilling sauces, etc. There is an incredible amount of interior space, especially given it's relatively small exterior size. The car (base model 1.8L) has plenty of power. No need to get the larger engine unless you like to really zip around. We get around 28 mpg (city/hwy. combined), much better than 14 mpg for the van.
Turns very tight. Easy to drive, with all the ammenities we need. Easy to get into and out of (doors open in a way so you don't have to lift feet to get out). Cargo area and flat rear seats in down position make this a great cargo carrier. Very adequate performance, easy to park in city, good mpg.
Arm rests on doors are not positioned well, making it hard to rest left arm while driving. Center console is too far back, which is also poor for resting arm (guess my arms get tired). Maybe this just takes some getting used to. It would be nice if they offered leather interior.