"Welcome the Blade"3.5 starson by nerv2010
Pros: small peppy wagon, upgraded the old engine, tightened suspension, good gas mileage
Cons: Pricy, tight blind spots
Summary: Evidently Wayne hasn't driven the older Matrix lineup. Our older cars were spearheaded for being buzzy, without enough torque, and poor handling cars. Albeit wonderful gas mileage and great versatility.
The new '09 Matrix(Blade in Japan) has addressed those issues. Gone is the old 1ZZFE/2ZZFE engines from the Celica and in come the Scion engines. Gone also is the 6 speed manual from the XRS and Wayne also missed the 5 speed manual is available in the S and XRS without AWD.
Torque is much better and the buzzing has been reduced thanks to better soundproofing and the new chassis. Toyota has tightened up the slop in the suspension but as a station wagon there still is noticeable give. The brakes have been upgraded to full disc with available VSC.
Interior the overall feel is the same but without the rail lock system as of old. Too few owners utilized the function and it was remove to cut costs. The tailgate entry has been lowered to reduce the lip and gives better entry for loading materials. The 60/40 fold down seats remain as does the vast storage after folding down the rear(and even passenger) seats.
Downsides are the redesign has changed the rear of the vehicle. The trunk slopes faster and gives a feeling of a smaller storage yet there is more sq ft area than the old lineup. Also gone are the full rear quarter panels. This results in a tight blind spot which was not there in the older models.