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.
purchased it used with over 92k.miles and and added 140k.miles with no major problems(every 4k.miles oil&filter and 3 sets of tires &2 tune ups)I love this car i have 2 cars but this is the one i mostly drive due mpg (average 42mpg city&hwy ) this one is a keeper for its life or my life.
My 2003 seats 5 adults, has a huge trunk, and is small on the outside. I have a manual and drive conservatively, and have averaged 49 mpg on mixed driving over the last 12 years. At 246,000, I had my first age related repair - a wheel bearing, then a resonator at 270,000. Otherwise, oil changes, battery and tires, plugs, and it just goes.
Professional reviewers complain about the styling, but I love the big windows, headroom, and storage space that includes two glove compartments, two cubbies, a driver side shelf and passenger side drawer. The trunk, holding 6 suitcases plus more, is bigger than most intermediate cars. The wonderful center console is never blocked by the steering wheel and reduces nighttime glare.
I bought this car at 90k miles, sold around 110k because was moving (otherwise would have kept it). I bought it after owning a little honda civic, so a couple differences became apparent. I had a manual, and the shifting on the Echo was definitely clunkier. It worked, but had nowhere near the finesse of the Honda. I did like the seat height, it made the car easy to get in and out of, much better than the civic that way. Also liked the windows, felt like I could see so much more in the Echo. I never had a problem with this car all the time that I owned it, and it got excellent fuel economy, previous owner quoted me 37 mixed city/highway, and I know on road trips the fuel economy was out-of-this-world unbelievable. The car was not very good on snow and ice. Probably the short/narrow wheelbase and light weight, but it's squirrely as hell on icy roads (this is in comparison to other little cars).
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.