There were Kia and Hyundi dealers saying don't buy the toyota echo back when it came out, and that the Korean made cars were better. Not even close. The complete opposite is true. Toyota's have been built for far longer, and have by far higher quality built into all the components that make a difference. Every one I knew that had a Kia or Hyundi had major break downs and problems with only poor quality parts available for replacement. With high labor costs added, they lost out big time, and had more money into it then the car was ever worth on resale. I still have the echo and have never had any major problems, and all the road trips are still 45 to 50 mpg.
My Echo is a GREAT car. I still get compliments. Ive had it since 2005 and its a 2003 model. No problems so far. I get all fluids and tires changed regularly. This is the best car I have ever had. Still running strong at 118000 miles. Gas mileage is better than my new car. Shes a keeper for life.
Bought this car new in 2002, and it has been across the country twice. Bought it because it can hold a 5-piece drum set with hardware, and a roadie. Awesome MPG, gets 43mpg on the highway with the AC on. Handles like a little tank in the snow (with studded snow tires). Lots of headroom, nice height of the vehicle floor. You don't bruise your thighs getting into our out of the car, you can just turn and step out. Instrument panel is center, not behind the steering wheel, which is supremely excellent design. Rugged, spartan interior— not always the most comfortable on long drives, but adding your own soft things makes it totally fine. I love this car and intent to drive it until it turns to compost.