This car has been in my family since it was purchased for ~$10k in 2001.
There is currently 130k miles on it. I'm still averaging around 40mpg in the summer and 36mpg in the winter. Crazy that this car is still worth something in the neighborhood of $3-3.5k private party. You can't ask for more than that. If it weren't for the need to fit two car seats (2nd child on the way), I would never give this car up. It's just too good of a value. I should also mention that it's very fun to drive.
Work performed: computer failed at about 90k ($1100), bushings replaced (120k),
engine coil replaced (120k), catalytic converter needs to be replaced along with the exhaust (MN winters = rust + holes)
Saving money never gets old - gas mileage = win.
Why is it so hard to find a small car over 10 years later that gets the same gas mileage?
I bought my car in Feb. 2001 with the sticker telling me that my MPG would be 38/43. I have been lucky to have had company cars, so I now have barely 69K miles on the engine. I now have been using my car more for work, driving in town, and out of town. Besides oil changes and new tires, I have not had to have any other work done on my car. I calculated a month ago that I was getting 38 MPG, so I am very happy with this car. I just hate they do not make it anymore. The big space is so unexpected for such a small car.
If you can find a used one, buy it! After driving my PT Cruiser back and forth to work (100 miles r/t), I was getting exhausted for money. I was averaging 22 MPG on the highway. My friend has a 2001 ECHO and told me with 236K miles on it, he was averaging 44 miles per gallon. So I wen shopping, found one with 92K for 4200.00. I am averaging 47.4 miles per gallon. It is a 5 speed and has air and power steering. It is not a hybrid, gut a little gas sipper. I love this car and with gas at $ 4.30 per gallon, this is a dream. Fun to drive as well.
Gas milage, roomy interior, easy to find parking, huge trunk.