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…
30 mpg in town, 40 mpg on the highway currently. No power-anything; it practically came without options except a heater and windshield wipers, but everything it did come with still works perfectly. It was 4 years old when I bought it used, and had been severely neglected (they let the oil turn to tar and let the levels stay low) but with an immediate oil change and regular maintenance since then, the little car has always run like a trooper with no major repairs needed, even though it is now 14 years old. Not very comfortable seats, and it's hard to get out of the back seat of a coupe, so it's best for the commuter, not the whole family. However, I'm 5'6" and I can more easily get back there to help my toddler in and out of the car seat in back in the Echo than I can in other 2-door cars, because of the height of the cabin shape.
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
I purchased the car used from the original owner with 136,000 miles on it. I have driven it on several 180+ trips and always get 40+ MPG on the freeway. It is a peppy 5 speed manual. I can shift 1-3-5 on a normal start up with no problem. CON. It has a small growling roar on the highway. It is not the engine or transmission which I tested by coasting at high speeds. Also it is not stable in a high cross wind. It is a very clean used car without any signs of the 136K mi. on the speedometer. I have gotten used to the center speedometer but could use a better lighting system in the cluster. Overall I'm well pleased with it. On