Reliable, but cheap car
Two window runners deformed - replaced under warranty.
Drive belts squeaking during winter - warranty.
Radio stopped working - warranty.
Handling - The handling score I'll give this car is average. Obviously, Toyota put little engineering effort to make this car sporty. The tail tends to roll a lot during cornering. The handling works, but by no means very enjoyable. On the plus side, the front-rear balance feels pretty good.
Seats quality are pretty low end. The rear seats get deformed from repeated laying flat and carrying stuffs in the trunk. The rear seatbelts latch fell through the gap in the seats and never see the light of day since.
Rear trunk is covered in plastic. No other cars have this "cheapness" as far as I know. All hatch backs have cloth covering. Plastic cleans easily, but no help if it scratches up quickly.
Sound proofing is also quite bad, noisy when driving on the freeway. The engine is well-admitted as more noisy than the rest.
I test drove the Corolla, and my opinion is Corolla is overall better made than Matrix.
Reliability is great.
Amongst all these complaints, I am satisfied because I paid 13.5k for base, 5spd, power. I will feel bad for those who paid upper of 15k for this car.
I may consider buying used Mazda3 next. If their reliability holds up.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know
Review Date: 27th October, 2005