The driver seat is up high, which some people prefer.
ONLY the driver can see the dashboard, which is covered with ugly "cups". I personally hate it.
The dash is not well designed at all. Older cars were much better thought out in this respect. For example, the RPM gauge is uncomfortable to look at and the space between the rev's is too narrow which is also connected to the touchy throttle that makes it hard not to over-rev the car before you feel it's alive. I personally think that this gives you pretty much no control at all.
The ride is choppy.
Visibility is bad, although there are much worse cars in this respect.
The clutch is very numb, very light, and the shifter is very notchy and unpleasant. I have driven many manual transmission cars. This by far is the worst designed one. I don't think anyone who knows anything about driving would disagree. My advice is go for automatic if you want to buy a Matrix.
This is my parent's family car, I have owned many older cars and I strongly believe they were all better designed than this one including a 1986 BMW 325E, 1989 Honda Civic, 1988 Mazda MX-6, 1994 Volkswagen Jetta and 1988 Acura Integra.
I also dislike the body style of the car and hate how it looks.
Other than these characteristics, the car has not had any issues and I think like other Toyotas it is built to last. Only time can tell.
It seems like a good family vehicle, but it's definitely not sporty or fun to drive.
It's comfortable for passengers on long trips, front and back. It feels roomy and easy to sit in.
The dealer service has always been good.