2003 Toyota ECHO Review | Edmunds.com

2003 Toyota ECHO

Toyota ECHO Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 1.5 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 108 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 30/38 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2003 Toyota ECHO

  • We aren't fans of the Echo. For a low-budget small car, check out the superior offerings from Hyundai and Kia.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Good gas mileage, speedy acceleration, roomy and functional interior, Toyota reliability.

  • Cons

    Cartoonish styling, annoying gauge placement, tilt-a-whirl handling, deceptively low base pricing.

  • What's New for 2003

    For 2003, the Echo receives a new look with a redesigned front and rear fascia. The front bumper and fenders feature sharper and more…

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (73 total reviews)

Great value

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Vehicle: 2003 Toyota ECHO 4dr Sedan (1.5L 4cyl 5M)

I am just writing this to make a point. Bougth a brand new 2003 4 door Echo sedan. Really this and a few others were the only cars I could afford back then. No regret! Still solid. Never had any major issues. I've been up to all the regular maintenance, and changes tires for winter every year. Never had any accidents on icy and snowy roads here in Calgary. Just trying to make a point. I compare this to a brand new 2010 Subaru Forester which turned out to be a $10k more expensive garbage. I am definitely going back to Toyota.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Love my echo

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Vehicle: 2003 Toyota ECHO 2dr Coupe (1.5L 4cyl 4A)

I now have 216,000 + miles. No major maintenance required. I’ve kept up on the oil changes every 5000 miles and plugs and all the filters every 50,000 miles. I also had the transmission serviced at 100,000 and 200,000 mile marks. Mileage runs about 34 hwy and 28 city. I’m not one to baby a car, I drive it hard (that’s why the MPG is so low)… I’m 6’ tall and weight is running a little over 200 lbs. The seats have held up excellent, both in form and material. I have plenty of leg and head room… Total reliability

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Amazing car.

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Vehicle: 2003 Toyota ECHO 4dr Sedan (1.5L 4cyl 5M)

I inherited this little guy from my parents when i left for college, with 85,000 miles on it. I have since taken it up to 105,000 miles, because I commute every day to school. Even after 100,000 miles there has NEVER been a single maintenance issue. The thing still runs like a champ. I consistently get 40-43 mpg in the city, and 50 on highway trips. It has a decent amount of space, and can fit four people nicely. The trunk is pretty big, and i have crammed quite a bit of stuff in it. Honestly the most economical car i have ever seen or driven. Its also pretty spunky. The acceleration is decent, and she likes the higher rpms. I have beaten this car up and its still running strong.

Echo rocks!

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Vehicle: 2003 Toyota ECHO 4dr Sedan (1.5L 4cyl 4A)

This little car has the room and comfort of my other Toyota...which is a Camry. It is awesome, super reliable and great gas mileage. If you a very comfortable and simple car to get you from point A to point B...this is it!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Best little car

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Vehicle: 2003 Toyota ECHO 2dr Coupe (1.5L 4cyl 5M)

The car ain't sexy, it isn't good for Christmas shopping cause boxes don't fit in it like a 26" TV nor in the trunk. BUT BUT BUT>... Its the most reliable car I've ever had. I have owned Chrysler New Yorker, VW Jetta, Ford Capri, Ford Mustang, and Ford Pinto. This has outlasted all of them and cost the least in all areas. At just over 100,000 miles I had to replace the two drive belts, flush the radiator and transmission (never done before now). Easy to change your own oil and spark plugs. On my 3rd set of tires. Now a low droning humm indicates I need a rear wheel bearings replaced. Gas mileage is awesome and I won't give this car up nor sell it. The cost to own is just too damn reasonable

Not bad, but not for

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Vehicle: 2003 Toyota ECHO 4dr Sedan (1.5L 4cyl 4A)

Bought it in 2006. Not a bad little car, but it didn't have quite the leg room that this driver needed. Started having muscle/joint aches in my right leg after commuting with it for a while. Switched back to our other car (a '96 Geo Prizm) and the pain disappeared. Aside from that, it was okay. The odd placement of the gauges (a little to the right of the steering wheel) took some getting used to. Very peppy, excellent fuel economy. No major issues that I can recall. Its trunk crumpled quite well when we got rear-ended by a Dodge Ram in early '11, which protected our daughter in the back seat. It did its job, and is now resting peacefully in a junk lot.

Gas Mileage


  • 30
  • cty
  • 38
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs

Full 2003 Toyota ECHO Review

What's New for 2003

For 2003, the Echo receives a new look with a redesigned front and rear fascia. The front bumper and fenders feature sharper and more prominent lines, a new chrome-slat grille and new headlamps with a distinctive bulb layout. Optional round foglamps accent the new front-end design. In the rear, a new trunk lid with chrome plate garnish, a new bumper and redesigned combination clear-lens taillights provide a more upscale look.

A new Appearance Package adds aerodynamic body enhancements, including overfenders that blend into the front and rear underbody. A rear trunk spoiler incorporates the LED high-mounted stop lamp.

The standard 14-inch wheels get a new wheel cover design, and, for the first time, the Echo can be had with optional 15-inch wheels. The new styling is topped off with five new colors.

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