This Matrix is a very good all-around vehicle. It offers:
- Good space for 4 people (5 in a pinch).
- Very good fuel economy (I monitor every tank-full, and get about 42 miles/gal (imperial) in urban/suburban driving).
- Very handy, with split folding rear seats, and the hatchback, it can swallow a lot of 'stuff'.
- Very reliable; virtually no problems in 5 years.
- It handles quite well for a 'tall sedan.'
As with most Japanese cars, the seats are not comfortable. The cushions are too short for me, and the back lacks lumbar support-- I bought a set of Obusforme cushions, and solved the problem that manufacturers ought to fix at the design stage!
The engine is smooth and free-revving, but slim on low-end torque. Once you get it over 3000 rpm, it starts to pull energetically, but of course, starts to get noisy. At cruising speeds it's pretty quiet.
It's annoying that I had to buy the most expensive model package just to get ABS brakes; but I believe it is now standard in the later Matrix models.