I purchased my Matix in mid June 2009 and loved it. The gas mileage was terrific as well as the smooth ride, room for my family and two small dogs. It was everything I had been looking for in a vehicle. In September I had an accident on the highway due to heavy rain. I hydroplaned, hit a semi with the back end of my car, was propelled off the road into the median where I slid sideways until I hit a tree with the driver's side of my car. It was awful but I walked away from the accident. I can't say enough wonderful things about the performance of my matrix. My car was a total loss and as I look for a replacement, I will only settle for another Matrix. The Matrix performed well, taking the brunt of the impact and protected me from what could have easily been severe injury or loss of life. I highly recommend the Matrix.
I love my Matrix. 2003 purchased new, first model year, manual transmission. I'm a mom with one kid. My tall teen can sit in the front or back with plenty of legroom and headroom. We looked at every hatchback on the market. Matrix has the best usable cargo space. The seats fold down so easily. No need to pluck off headrests or flip up a seat bottom. Pull one handle, and it's down. Our seats are up and down daily. We're avid cyclists, so it was important that we could easily transport at least one bicycle in the back if our external rack was not available. I can fit one adult size bicycle (road or mountain) in my Matrix w/o removing a wheel. Two road bikes can fit in the back with front wheels removed. Comparison: we also have a VW Passat Wagon in the family. Can only fit one road bike w/wheel removed in the cargo space. Matrix wins! Oil changes and standard recommended maintenance has been only shop time for my Matrix. Very reliable. 26/32 mpg confirmed. No complaints. Will be buying a second Matrix when teen starts driving.
I love my Matrix! I needed something bigger than your average car, and something that handled well in the snow, but I was determined not to get an SUV. I also wanted a car with great gas mileage and that was as environmentally friendly as I could afford (alas, the hybrids are still out of my price range!), and the Matrix filled all of these requirements. It is a pleasure to drive and kept me safe from a recent big T-bone collision that required the whole drivers side to be replaced (I was 100% fine, and happy to report that the car is now all fixed and running & looking great again!). I bought a 6-speed manual Matrix, and my only disappointment is that I thought that this sporty model would get a bit more pick-up, though Toyota has assured me that I should just downshift and let the revs go up. I HIGHLY recommend this car to anyone!