I have had my Matrix for 6 years in March 2011. I bought it specifically for the all-wheel drive needed for New England winters. The Matrix never gets stuck in the snow, though the standard tires are slippery and you have to drive slowly to keep from skidding in turns, and make sure not to stop too suddenly. It's possible getting standard all-season tires instead of the sportier ones will remedy that. I LOVE driving my Matrix on beaches, sand dunes, and any off-roading I can get. It's so much fun! It holds its own with any 4X4 truck for any typical rugged fun. I just got into an accident in snow on an unplowed road, at a sharp curve, doing down a steep hill. My Matrix kept me safe and sound!
I switched from SUVs to this car for fuel economy. It is fun to drive, but repairs are costly. Air conditioner repair was over $1000 and the brake rotors warped at 39000 miles -another $550. Toyota acknowledges no responsibility. This is my last Toyota.
I bought this car for my wife and bought a second for my son. Both cars have the craftsmanship that you expect from Toyota.The interior is much roomier than you would expect from a car that is built on Corolla specs. With the seats folded down, my son can easily fit his road bike inside without removing the front tire. The vehicle gets very good gas mileage (recently on a highway trip we got 32 mpg). Many people stop us and ask about the car, and we always give rave reviews.