I went into the dealership ready to buy a Camry when I saw the Toyota Matrix in the showroom. I was looking for a car around $16,000 and provided good gas mileage. What made me buy the Matrix was its good gas mileage and practicality. I often have to deliver luggages from the airport and with the back seats down, this hatchback can easily fit in about 8 bags. I was surprised to find I could put skiis in the back, the room is that big. The car handles well and its acceleration is good for a 4 cylinder. I am appreciating the good gas mileage and it it is stylish. For someone 6', the car is very easy to get in and out of. I would have liked to have more leg room. I find I can't quite stretch my legs out like in other full size cars. I've had this car for 2 months now and so far it appears to have been an excellent purchase for the money.
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.