Engine noise, driving position, fit and finish, rear visibility.
Practical and economical, the Matrix has easy cabin access, a roomy rear seat, and good cargo versatility. The 1.8-liter base engine has adequate power and gets an impressive 29 mpg overall, and the 158-hp, 2.4-liter engine improves acceleration and returns 27 mpg overall. Engine and road-noise levels are high for both. The ride is absorbent but a bit unsettled. The Matrix isn't engaging to drive, but handling is responsive enough, and it's secure overall. The driving position is awkward, and fit and finish is unimpressive.