Not that the input is outwardly clear. The Matrix has bland, hard-edged styling that could be more overlooked than a turner of heads. But customers in the market for a good value mini-MPV will delve a little deeper.
What they would find is a car that is impressively equipped: ABS, power steering, electric windows and mirrors, alloy wheels, air con, driver, passenger and side airbags as well as a CD player and immobilizer on a car that costs less than £11,000.
There’s even the option to upgrade to leather upholstery, sat nav and metallic paint.
The interior is well laid out, albeit with a whiff of cheapness, but it’s roomy enough for four adults.
The height-adjustable front seats allow good headroom for six-footers and there’s plenty of storage space, including seven (count ’em) cup holders. Rear passengers get fold-out dinner trays and, interestingly, the front seats fold completely flat to, as Hyundai puts it, create a full length sleeping area.
The centrally-mounted instrument binnacle won’t be to everyone’s taste but looks stylish and clear. Power comes from a nippy 1.6-litre 102bhp petrol engine, claimed to return 38mpg. The Matrix behaves equally well in town and on the motorway, although the road noise is excessive at higher speeds.
Parking is a doddle thanks to its 4,025mm length (the shortest in its class). For those who are a bit nervous, rear parking sensors are available as a dealer fit optional extra.
CAP residuals of just £4,000 after three years or 30,000 miles (37% of its original price) look poor at first glance, but the Matrix actually stands up better than its rivals (below), except for the Kia at 41%.
Strengths:Size, price and easy to park
Weaknesses: Not the best looking
Opportunity:Better spec than rivals
Threat: Buyers could be put off by styling
USP: Effortless drive
Engine: 1.6Gsi 102bhp
Transmission: Five-speed manual
Performance: 0-62mph: 12.7sec; top speed: 106mph
Efficiency: 39.8mpg; 174g/km CO2
CAP RV 3yr/30k: £4,000 (37%)
Rivals: Vauxhall Meriva, Chevrolet Tacuma, Kia Carens, Mitsubishi Space Star