I love my Matrix. I've owned it for over a year now and it's been pleasant the whole time. It drives well and handles sporty which I love! However, when it rains, I do tend to slide around on corners or when accelerating. It is a Toyota though so reliability and maintenance are always top notch. It is decently quick in the performance department and does great with gas if that's your thing. Cargo/storage space is fantastic, it rivals most SUVs. The Matrix has folding seats and tons of little hidden compartments to store stuff. The overall visibility is fantastic too! Some complaints I have are with the seats and ride quality. The seats can be a little stiff and can hurt your back after a while so if you have a bad back, I'd suggest getting an aftermarket seat attachment or pillow to fit your needs. The ride quality is rough too. You will feel the smallest bumps but again, this car was designed to be sporty so that is to be expected. All in all, this is a fantastic little car. Great for new drivers or people who want something inexpensive but with a lot of cargo room.
This car has everything you could ask for in the way of room,economy ease of handling and style. Does all you could ask for in an economical mid-size vehicle and then some. We have owned it 13 years and has been trouble-free with only normal wear such as brakes, tires and normal maintenance. Great mid-size car as long as you don't take it to the drag strip. You won't win the blue ribbon, but you won't be last either.
The ride quality of this car makes a person feel as if he's being kicked in the rear end even on the smallest bumps. I think You'd get a jolt just running over a dime. The clutch is absolutely the worst I've ever driven, and I've driven manual transmissions of all sorts for more than 45 years. The shifter is notchy and imprecise, and with 6 speeds, some of them are not really needed and just make the poor clutch that much more noticeable. In addition, it appears that the body is put together with plastic pins instead of screws and bolts. The front valance hangs too low and can hit even the smallest curbs. (Mine was already damaged by a previous owner.) Driver's seat is uncomfortable due to excessive lumbar support and the aforementioned jolts from the suspension. Other plastic items are the cheap door handles, both interior and exterior (I guarantee they'll need replacement sooner than you'd like). I can't wait to get rid of this pile of garbage. My son's early Kia was actually better built.
I have owned my XRS since new and love this car! It carries an amazing amount of stuff, and handles very well for a fairly tall vehicle. Gas mileage is above average (about 24 city/28 hwy) and repair costs have been very low.
2003 Toyota Matrix Wagon Fwd 4dr Wagon (1.8L 4cyl 5M)
Let me start by saying I am not gentle with anything I own. I picked this car up with 180,000 miles for $2500 and it had not been taken care of. I learned how to drive stick on it and took it everywhere from the lower Sierra Nevada mountain range on trails where you need a 4x4, to out in the mohave desert where I jumed it so high I ripped the wheel wells out when I landed. It does not quit! The AC has always blown cold and the only thing that I've ever done is give it an oil change, new tires, and a new clutch (that last one was my fault). Now sadly, just short of 200,000 miles the transmission has given out and it is on its way to the junk yard. But it has seen and done more than most trucks ever will and it has never left me stranded no matter where I go. The only thing that could be better is it has a little road noise and it doesn't shift very smooth, plus you have to put the clutch to the floor to shift. Mabey that's just mine but either way I am more than pleased with this car.