The most noticeable feature was the excellent headroom and legroom of course.
Rear seats can easily be folded up for extra space.
The car has very good acceleration on the first two gears despite the fact that I was staying below 3000rpm and 80kph for the break-in. Remarkable for a diesel.
After breaching the break-in period, I began to high-rev and found the car reaching the 0-100km/h mark in 12-14 seconds. I feel that the car could do better so we'll see.
So far, 150km/h was the fastest I've reached and easily if I may add. It's possible to go head to head and overtake 1.6 sedans except for the 1.6+ BMW variety.
The Matrix is powerful for its size. There is a steep area in my city (Marikina) called "Tumana" and it could easily climb through even with passengers and airconditioning using the third gear.
On flat surfaces, the Matrix could run from a standstill by using the second gear, bypassing the first.
Air Conditioning is very good and versatile with its thermostat. The windows get misty whenever you dial the thermostat to the left and you could warm yourselves up when you dial to the right.
Suspension feels good albeit soft. It could handle Philippine roads (bumpy, uneven and too many potholes) well, but it exhibits evident, though tolerable, body-roll when cornering.
My matrix came with a Sony MP3 player. Very nice audio quality, but speakers need some bass boost.
The fuel consumption is great. I went on a round trip to Laoag, Ilocos Norte and I found the Matrix consuming at least 19+km/l on the highway and 13+km/l on traffic. Very useful on rush hours.
Stock tires are noisy especially on asphalt and gravel.
Forget and ditch the 1.6 gas Hyundai Matrix. This diesel version with the Variable-Geometry-Turbo is the real deal.