This car is the best of both worlds between a truck and sedan, with plenty of storage space for larger more cumbersome items, and tons of room even for very tall or large passengers, even in the back seat.
We bought our daughter a Toyota Matrix in 2003 and it has never been in the shop expect for recommended maintenance. She made 3 trips to Texas (1000 mi. each) without a glitch and the gas mileage is great. The reason I decided to buy a Matrix 2008 is that you sit up somewhat higher than in a sedan; when I turn to get out of the car, my knees are at 90 degrees so I don't have to push myself up - I simply stahd up. For someone with bad arthritis, this was a real plus. I splurged and got one with a sunroof, 4 CD player and power everything. Finally, the storage space is great - be sure to purchase containers for your groceries to prevent them from rolling around. The Matrix is not the lap of luxury - it's a great-looking car with excellent mileage and reliability. Check "Consumer Reports" for more data.
I definitely love my 2004 Solar Yellow Toyota Matrix. It is eye catching (with the yellow paint), it gets good gas mileage(31 avg), I can fit most anything I need to in the cargo area with the seats down, and to top it off I've had no problems with it in my period of ownership (52k-70k). There is also enough leg and head room for me (I'm 6'2") and plenty of storage compartments and backseat pockets for all my clutter (the rest I just stuff under the seats). In addition, the standard audio system works great and does a good job at hiding most of the road noise. The road noise isn't bad 'til you get on the hwy, but you can still comfortably hold a conversation with your passengers without fear of the noise drowning you out. Other complaints: When riding on rough asphalt you'll definitely feel it. The power is just adequate. the car starts quickly from a stop and will get you up a steep hill fine, but I could definitely use more when passing on the hwy. Overall, if you're looking for a practical, nice looking, reliable wagon this is a good choice.