No fun to drive! Plenty peppy for 4 cyl, but handling isn't fun. I got the base model which was a mistake--it didn't have basic safety like ABS or side curtain airbags. It's super cute on the outside, has good room in the backseat. Front cup holders are too skinny for most drinks.
I bought by 2006 Matrix XR new and have loved every day of owning it. I've never had any mechanical problems, just kept up with regular oil changes (full synthetic) religiously and regular maintenance. Had a main computer issue in 2008/9, but was covered under warranty and was replaced. Fairly inexpensive upkeep. Excellent cargo space, much bigger inside than it seems! I've been able to fit bicycles, chairs, tables... (not all at once of course). Great for road trips, averages almost 30 mpg highway. Could have better lumbar support. Not great pickup when accelerating uphill, but no complaints. I love this car and am so sad to have to trade it in for an AWD vehicle for my mountainous terrain!
This is my wife's car and she loves it. It is great around town, nimble, solid. She picked it mainly because of the hatchback and fold flat rear seats which are very nice. Great for golf clubs. Now has 25K miles and we did have a check engine light that required replacement of an oxygen sensor under warranty. One thing that I consider a defect was the factory tires. The front left tire wore on one side enough to require replacement after only 15K miles!!! Of course they wouldn't honor anything since they were not rotated every 5K miles. Replaced all 4 tires and had the front end aligned and it was very close to in specs so don't know what caused the tire wear.
We bought this car in 2007 with 6000 miles already on it. We were replacing our Hyundai Elantra which gave us nothing but problems. We love this car. It folds down flat very easily and we have hauled everything in it from trees to our daughter's complete nursery. We love it. It have never once given us an issue. It is a little tight with car seats, but still works for us at this point in our lives. It gets about 32/33 mpg city and closer to 36/37 highway. It has been great in these rising gas prices. We have about 104k miles on it and it is still running strong! Highly recommend this car if you want a little more than Sedan but don't don't need more than 5 seats!