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2003 Toyota ECHO 4dr Sedan (1.5L 4cyl 4A)
The best car ever. My wife and our two kids fit in just right. Bought the car with 17K miles in it in 2004, now has 140K miles. Drove from Frankfort KY to Chicago in one tank (38-40 mpg) everytime. Very easy on the wallet, usually pump gas once or twice a month at most ($20-25 bucks/mo). Drove through the worst snowstorms (Nebraska, Illinois) and did well. Carried five adults with trunk full of suitcases to Chicago airport from KY just fine. Able to pass cars or trucks on hwy real easy. VERY ROOMY, more space than Corolla, Camry, Taurus, etc. Father in law 6'4" 300 lbs drove comfortably over 400 miles, that says something :). Toyota is awesome. Odometer easy to see while driving.
Awesome gas mileage. Roomy even for big guys! Very easy to park, fit in every parking situation. Hit two deers in past two yrs and only damaged front bumpers (<$500 dmg). Fast on highway. Reliable. Much more storage/trunk space than any cars I've seen (5 kids can sleep in the trunk).
Didn't come with cruise control so we asked the dealer to install it. Best decision ever. Power windows/locks would be nice.
2003 Toyota ECHO 2dr Coupe (1.5L 4cyl 5M)
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
Mileage, pep fun to drive
Better stability in cross winds. Better back lighting in the instrument cluster.
2003 Toyota ECHO 2dr Coupe (1.5L 4cyl 4A)
Purchased this silver 2003 auto coupe and knew immediately it was a great choice. Quick, comfortable, fun to drive and excellent mileage--even for an automatic. First mileage check netted 280 miles for 8.5 gallons, netting a very respectable 33 mpg city/highway. Believe it will get 38 hwy easily. Killer sound system, lot of room, huge trunk space for a "small" car. Surprising quiet at freeway speeds. Toyota may have made some mistakes marketing this car, but not in building it. The Yaris sedan is similar but getting one of these at a fraction of the cost and you have a great quality car.
Quickness, mileage, roominess, all the little storage nooks and crannies.
Don't make them anymore but could use an armrest, cruise control.
2003 Toyota ECHO 4dr Sedan (1.5L 4cyl 4A)
Bought the car in Feb. 2006 and my wife and I have enjoyed it. We bought it with 33,000 miles on it and it just went over 100,000 miles today. The oil gets changed every 3,000 miles and we had new hoses and belts put on last summer and a new A/C relay Fuse last spring but that's about it that we have had to do to it. It was in a wreck about 3 years ago, the left back corner smashed in causing about 4,000 dollars of damage but because of its high resale value it was not written out as totaled so we were able to get it fixed up. It has a few hail dents and some scratches but still runs great. Drove it from Oklahoma to Wisconsin last summer averaging 38 miles to a gallon. Great little car.
Love all the extra storage compartments. The inside of the car has more room than you think. Love how you sit up high, like you are in a small SUV. Plenty of head and leg room and I'm six feet tall. Great gas mileage and easy to drive around town. Lots of pep, even for being an automatic.
Wish it had more standard features like power window, cruise control, Automatic locks, ours doesn't have that. A fold down rear seat would be nice but other than that, not much else I can complain about this car.
2003 Toyota ECHO 4dr Sedan (1.5L 4cyl 5M)
I drive 65 miles a day round trip. This is an inexpensive, very dependable, and cost efficient vehicle to own. It's no frills, and it's not "plush", but it's comfortable enough on long DC area commutes, and tolerable on very long trips for one or two people. There's a surprising amount of headroom for us taller people, and the backseat area and truck are more spacious than you'd expect for such a small car.
Fuel economy - I consistently get 33- 36 MPG, normally 34. Considering the car costs around 10K less than a Prius hybrid, that's a darn good deal!
They don't make it anymore, but if they did, I'd say make it a tiny bit wider (a lot of lateral shift on taking corners fast at all), and maybe a more comfortable armrest.