They say first impressions are everything. That’s not always the case. I really liked the car on the test drive, but the longer I owned it, the less I liked it.The Subaru had a leak in the fuel tank, and I wasn’t interested in fixing it. I didn’t feel like selling it outright, so I decided to trade it against something. I’d looked at a few options – an Elantra GT, and a hatchback Accent, but wasn’t thrilled with either. I wanted something wagon-y, and the Toyota dealer had a Matrix. I liked the look of it, and the seats were comfortable enough. The price was reasonable, and I bought it.
It was a TRD model, which was a Canada-only model. If memory serves, it was strictly a trim-and-appearance model. The TRD came with 17 inch aluminum rims, a lovely large fart tip with TRD on it, power windows, AC, and a really awful Panasonic CD deck. The 1.8 litre engine was coarse but not overly powerful, but the 4-speed automatic transmission shifted nicely. Combined with the boxy shape, it only delivered around 26 MPG at the best of times. It was worse than the CR-V!
It was an OK car to drive. It had comfortable seats, sitting upright. Visibility was good all around too. Once winter rolled around, I got a set of 15-inch rims and snow tires for it. It proved to be not good at all in the snow. It’s almost as if the front of the car was too light. The best policy was to just take it slow.
Once summer rolled around, I wasn’t happy at all with the car. I just didn’t like it. My wife had an Escape at the time, and I liked it. I’d looked at one, and my wife – being eminently more sensible than I – said why don’t you get rid of the Matrix and Yukon, and get a truck? So I did.
There are only 4 more vehicles left in my history. Perhaps I can write something about the tractors we’ve had over the years as well.