Similar differences

I recently went back to Minnesota for Christmas to visit family and take a little vacation (far from a tropical vacation) from the daily grind here at CorkSport. I flew in to Minneapolis, but needed a rental car for the final leg of the journey. Naturally, I picked the cheapest vehicle they had available (Cobalt or similar is what the description read). I ended up getting a white Toyota Matrix (actual rental shown below).

Being that I work on Mazdas every day, I began to compare everything about this vehicle to its similar, but very different competition, the Mazda 3 hatchback. The following two pictures show that the two share similar side profiles and the same 5-door hatchback design. This is where (in my opinion) the similarities end. The 3’s front flared fenders give it a much more aggressive look and stance than the Matrix. The 3 is also fun to drive and holds to the road well. The Matrix seemed to drift wherever the wind blew and never felt secured to the pavement. I also found that the interior of the 3 is much superior to that of the Matrix. The creature comforts and center console layout in the 3 give a much more luxurious feel than the very, very minimal layout in the Matrix.

After driving about two hours from the airport to my parents’ house and hearing repeated clunking in the rear of the vehicle, I decided to investigate. It turns out that the rear hatch cover does not secure to anything and freely bounces when I hit one of the many potholes on my drive.

In conclusion, my job may in fact bias me towards the 3, but in my opinion, the 3 hatchback is far superior to the Matrix.

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One Reply to “Similar differences”

  1. I test drove a matrix and my 3 on the same day. I first drove the Matrix and was completely unimpressed by it. Then I drove a Rav4 and I liked that but it felt too big for me. Then I went down the road to a Mazda dealership and test drove the 3 and immediately fell in love.

    You are correct the 3 is a lot more fun to drive, felt a lot more secure on the road and looks better inside and out in my humble opinion. All in all, the 3 is a better buy across the board then the matrix.

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