Apologies for the long topic name. I previously owned a 2004 Corolla S, with auto transmission. I sold it two years ago because I inherited a free Civic from a friend and wanted to learn how to work on cars, and it was a 5 speed (which I should have bought on the Corolla instead of an automatic). Who wouldn't turn down an excellent running free Civic, right? The Civic turned out to be a little too small for me and since it was a coupe, didn't have the cargo capacity I was looking for (The Corolla didn't really have the cargo capacity I wanted, either). Thus, I've decided on the Matrix. I've come across a 2005 Matrix with 100k miles, that is in excellent condition externally and internally, and the price is right. I turn to the experts at this forum who have been very helpful in the past (particularly fishexpo).
I checked out everything that can be visually inspected, and the car appears to be in very good condition. The clutch is fine, it drives straight and stops straight, the engine sounds just like my old 2004 so I don't think there are any valve issues, the crankcase doesn't appear to have any buildup or residue, the fluids have all been changed recently, the tires are fairly new, the interior is immaculate, the AC blows ice cold, the cruise control works great, all the power options work fine, all the lights work, there are no squeaks when going over bumps. Oh, and it's only had one owner and no accidents according to Auto Check. The 100k miles is a concern for me, but the previous owner worked in sales and had to drive long distances for work, so the vast majority of the miles are freeway. This is also evident because of the small rock chips on the front of the hood, and a broken fog light, presumably from rocks. Having driven Toyotas for my whole life, I'm not scared by a seemingly high-mile car if its been taken care of properly.
I'm familiar with most of the mechanical components of my old Corolla, but I'm not familiar with the differences in the Matrix. So, here are my questions: what significant mechanical differences exist between a 1ZZ-FE Matrix and a 1ZZ-FE Corolla, in terms of suspension, transmission, electronics, etc? Also, pending a thorough buyers inspection with a compression check, what should be primary concerns for me in buying a Matrix with 100k on the clock?
Thanks for your input and advice.