We just hit our 1 yr anniversary with our 2007 Matrix XR. I agree about some of the quirky accessory issues like the power window/door lock buttons and the cup holders.
However, we bought this as an alternative to a SUV/CUV and it has proved to be worth every penny. With the back seats down it holds a tremendous amount of stuff, and front seat and rear passenger seat room is better then in many large SUV's. Its much better on gas then most SUV/CUV's (however not as good as the Manufacturer posted ratings).
In over 14,000kms of driving the only service has been an oil and filter change - you can't get much better then this for service costs.
I'll take its little aesthetic problems - its reliable and inexpensive to run.
Yea sometimes auto manufacturers in general cheap out on the tires because they are one the first things to go under normal wear and tear. We opted for the B package which gave us Bridgestones. I tow a utility trailer sometimes and have not had any problems. This car replaced a pickup and I have no regrets going with this option.
I would recommend this car to anyone as it is very practical and economical.
I have a Vibe, virtually the same as the Matrix with the factory Goodyears and I have yet to spin the tires during acceleration.
Maybe because I drive like an adult.
I totally agree with the front tire spin problem, after changing tires on my 2007 matrix (205/55/16) to an all-season cooper, it's still a problem. The matrix has a lousy positive-traction drive-train, it is slow to engage after the wheels start to slip.
I don't know if the wide tires (205/55/16) are also part of the problem, they hydroplane sooner and are a joke in the snow. I've driven many front wheel drive cars and have never experienced anything as bad as the matrix with respect to front wheel slip. Even on upgrades at a stoplight on dry pavement, a sharp left or right turn causes this thing to slip. If 195's fit this wheel, I may try to get them to see if it helps, although I suspect the drive-train is the problem. Also I'm no hot rodder, I usually get close to 40 MPG because I drive so slow, which if the only the drive-train was better, would make this a decent car.