In this past year of driving the Matrix, I have found out many things about its past.
The college student (I suspect the 2nd owner) was somewhat religious, in the fact that they left an index card with a Bible quote.
Car has been crashed both front and rear (the rear bumper fits not exactly well on the sides and if you open up the rear compartments, jagged metal is found. Oh yeah, both rear quarter and rear hatch has new glass). It’s mechanically fine. It’s been repaired well...and it works.
There is very little sound deadening. I’ve talked to a former NUMMI (the joint GM-Toyota plant that produced the Pontiac Vibe) worker that confirmed that sound deadening is only under the driver seat. Explains the loud engine drone you hear in every seat except for driver’s seat. The engine noise combined with the Hankook’s road noise, it gets a bit annoying for passengers as the driver can’t hear you.
Someone has removed the left door panel before and crudely taped the OEM styrofoam block (that forms rigidity for the arm rest) back with duck tape.
One of the previous owners has been to a Washington hotel I have stayed at before.
I suspect the car has lived on the east coast as GPS was set to east coast and there is a ton of dimples in the glass.
The body shop that repaired the front also used duct tape for sticking on the styrofoam beam in the front bumper assembly.
This car has had most of its life with a solidary driver. There isn’t very much wear in any other of the seats.
The aftermarket sunroof works 70% of the time. I’m ok as long the sunroof doesn’t fail on me during the rare rainy seasons. My friends and family are surprised and says it looks factory.
The brakes are pretty good. The handling is great. It’s stable. It works. I really like it.
I’m in the process of upgrading speakers and replaced the stock GM GPS head unit to a Pioneer unit with a aux output and an functional FM radio. I’ve thought about getting some Sparco Terras, but it really serves no purpose except some stronger wheels. If the Matrix is shipped out to Ohio for college, I might consider selling the stock wheels and buying a set of Terras (16 inch ones) for a more comfortable ride. And plus the Terras are for rallying and pass TÜV/VIA standards for wheels...so more durable than the OEM wheels.