Driven it for 2 weeks and it's OK so far.
1) It has adequate acceleration despite having only a 1.8L engine (no cargo/people).
2) Dashboard gauges OK except reading speed gets a little fuzzy when between 60 & 80 (only in increments of 20) so you may have to glance at it more then once (distracting) if you don't want to go over the limit.
3) Location of transmission stick is too close to climate control knobs especially when in park (no hand room)
4) Daylight running headlights (dashboard light) always on which I found annoying/confusing but getting use to. Considering getting it disabled if I go with better bulbs for night driving.
5) Noisy/feel road when driving - tolerable
We bought our Matrix because my wife fell in love with the design. After test driving it, we were sold on the leg and headroom. It was sluggish getting onto the freeway, so i went down to the local auto parts store and got a K&N air filter and it made an extreme difference. It has immediate acceleration and getting on the freeway is not a problem whatsoever! We are getting 35 MPG and it runs like a Toyota should. I would Highly recommend the K&N Air Filter! It makes a BIG difference.
Bought car with 20K in june 09 now has 85K february 10 car has been reliable and good for delivery purposes, not comfortable to ride in at all would not buy another, goes through brakes more than average vehicle, think next time i will go back to honda. this car stinks in the snow so don't buy if you have to climb hills
I'm 6'3" 240lbs and this car fits me very well shockingly. I have Arthritis in my knees so leg room is important for me, the matrix fits me perfect. I needed good gas mileage and storage to take IT equipment to and from clients. The Matrix fit the bill. My only down side I can live with is lack of any power. The 1.8L 1ZZ-FE motor will have to downshift two gears on the highway going up hills. The noise in the cabin on a scale of 1 thru 10 (1 being a Cadillac and 10 being a 747 spooling up), the matrix is a solid 5. Not horrible but definitely no money was invested in sound deadening materials in it. Rip your door panels of and add dynomat. sound insulation (adds weight but turns the car into a solid 2 :)
Mine is the 2008 Matrix Base. I was shocked anti-lock brakes were optional on this year. The ride is nice for the class the car is in. I love it over all.