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The Hyundai Matrix is a cool family vehicle. It is just as they say, the best MPV in a small package.Although the Matrix is small once you drop the back passenger seats you have enough room to carry camping gear and small tool and or small loads.
My wife and I have owned this vehicle for little over a year. Oh did I mention that it is foreign used. It just works like a strong man on a fine sunny day. It boast of a 1.6 engine and once you do your regular 3 month maintenance then you have no problem. She just takes off and you have to wonder with a car this size; the power is just awesome for a family vehicle. the sport bars on the sides at the back and front makes you want to enter any off the road rallies...smile. It's a steal of a deal and here in Trinidad, more and more folks are buying this little beauty because she is easy to park and care is no big hassle.
Loads of room inside, good legroom in front and back.Easy to drive, and park.Comfortable.
We recently bought this car for £4500 second hand with an 05 registration plate. The model in question is a petrol engine, 1.6 litres. It is designated as a MPV (Multi Purpose vehicle) and comes with five seats and quite a reasonably sized boot.
The car is quite an easy drive with a lovely soft clutch but this can make the biting point tricky to find if you are not used to the vehicle. The car can be a bit sluggish to accelerate so be careful if pulling onto a fast motorway but handles well on all other roads.
The power steering is quite light so makes tight turns a pleasure, particularly from the perspective of someone with multiple joint problems. The blind spot on the car can be quite large due to placement of the cars windows, it's hard to explain but feels larger than on my previous Peugeot 306.
On a fuel economy perspective the tank is very large and holds at least 50 litres at a time, and gets around 38 miles to the gallon, which seems good for a car of it's size, of course individual experience may vary on this depending on how you drive.
Mirror's are easily adjustable and have electric controls so that you don't have to reach across your passenger to change them again and again.
Storage in the front of the car is generous. There is an underseat storage tray under the passengers side, great for satnavs, cables, maps, anything like that. The glove box is also of a reasonable size. Each of the doors also has a pocket for various clutter that you gather in a car, and cup holders...I believe we counted about 10 in total, just in case you get thirsty I guess...There's also a small pocket near the rear view mirror to keep glasses in if you need such a thing and a small underdash storage on the drivers side which is quite generous given the positioning. There's also a covered CD holder to hide your discs for the included CD player/FM radio.
The drivers seat is very adjustable allowing a whole range of seating positions to make sure you're sat just right.
Obviously some of these features may be optional extras on some models so please remember this when reading the review.
The MPV market is quite crowded these days - esepcially at the smaller end. Major competitors like the Renault Scenic and the Citroen Picasso seem to have the market sewn up between them, with a few lesser competitors trying to get a nose in. But if you're looking for a good value mini MPV, there is one alternative that's definitely worth a look - the Hyundai Matrix.
To a lot of people, Hyundai fall into the same camp as Skoda. They look like good value for money, but that name's a bit of a put-off.
Well, it's time to put prejudices aside, because here's a newsflash. Hyundais are good - very good!
If you read any motoring magazine they'll tell you that Hyundai have always built reliable, strong cars, but they've always been a bit behind the game when it comes to refinement, especially when compared to their Japanese competitors. But the gap between the two is now closing - fast.
The Matrix is one example of the newer generation of Hyundais, and with it's styling by Italian design house Pininfarina, together with alloy wheels, it looks pretty stunning - especially in red. In fact all of the colours Hyundai offer seem to suit the car.
What you get with the Matrix is a small MPV. It's a bit smaller in overall dimensions than some of its competitors, mainly in terms of length which translates into a smaller boot, but you really appreciate it when you're trying to park - this car is a doddle!
Inside the car feels spacious and there's a good driving position with plenty of adjustability. The controls are well weighted and easy to use, althogh it might take a little while to get used to the indicator and lights stalk being on the right of the steering wheel!
To drive the car is very nice. The 1.6 petrol engine doesn't always sound refined, especially when started from cold, but is responsive and gives all the performance you need, even if you have to work the gearbox a little sometimes to cover the ground. The one link in the chain is the gearbox, which feels a little ponderous, but is not bad enough to seriously damage the driving experience.
There's plenty of interior space, and rear seat legroom, and also more cubby holes and storage areas than you'll probably ever need. The picnic trays behind the front seats are a nice touch and are very strong!
What's it like to live with? Well I've had mine for two and a half years. Not a single thing has gone wrong with it, and not a single bit has fallen off or come loose. The only issue I've had is a slight leak around the rear hatch, which was fixed easily under warranty.
And herein is the piece de resistance of this car - Hyundai's 5 year warranty. This is one of those cases where something looks too good to be true, and it is. The warranty is simple. 5 years, no mileage limit, fully transferrable. Period. No hidden conditions no nasty get out clauses. And if you catch the dealers at the right time, there's a good chance you'll get three years free servicing as well. I got it, and I was glad I did.
So to summarise, two and a half years on I'm still very glad I bought this car. If you want a good value well built mini MPV with a cracking warranty, the Matrix could well be the one for you.