2003 Toyota ECHO 1.3 petrol from Australia and New Zealand


Terrific little city car



General Comments:

My daughters car, and she thrashes it. It is very reliable, great in traffic and feels like a shuttle car from the passenger side. But the Toyota reliability just keeps it going.

It is fairly responsive considering it is only a 1.3 litre engine. Keeps up with traffic easily and has a responsive automatic.

A bit noisy in the cabin (hence my shuttle car comment).

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th February, 2008

2003 Toyota ECHO 4 door from North America


A nimble little car well suited for city driving and parking!


Brakes worn after 56,000km.

Belts noisy at 50,000km.

Warranty recall to add more rustproofing to underside of body (cost covered by Toyota)

Lower plastic grille on front becomes partly detached at times.

General Comments:

This car is compact on the outside and large on the inside. I am 6' tall and the headroom is good, but still find the leg room cramped while driving with the seat all the way back.

This 4 door Echo takes up very little space in a single car garage.

The center mounted dash board gauges are a bit odd at first, but OK after a while.

This car strains a bit and makes some engine noise to go fast or pass, but it gets the job done when asked to do so. Cross winds tend to be an issue sometimes for road holding ability.

The trunk is roomy for a small car and the back seats fold down for more room.

The basic sound system speakers lack low end and high end. I know this is an entry level car, but I think it could have been a little bit better.

The seats are stiff and firm with a close knit fabric, perhaps a bit more longer lasting, but a bit short on comfort.

This car is good for low speed, around town or city driving. This car is small in some ways, but with the 15" wheels as an option, the driving height is about the same as a camry, this also makes entry and exit a breeze.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th August, 2006

2003 Toyota ECHO from North America


Friends hate it, you love it


Rattle in the rear window.

Possible bearings in the alternator.

General Comments:

A great car, in every direction... except your friends. As they belittle you about driving an economy car, little do they know that you are paying half for your gas, half for repairs, and probably have more interior room.

Unless you've been in one before, don't comment on the interior room. It is massive, the trunk space is massive. The gas mileage is great, even while speeding. Cruise control is definitely a plus. No real repairs to date.

It is a very peppy car, beating all econo boxes in acceleration. The variable timing helps it cruise along with 4 passengers, even with the A/C on.

The only complaint I have is my friends who think otherwise!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st November, 2005

19th Dec 2005, 10:44

Ha ha... maybe you should consider trading your friends in for a better model! j/k.

I love the fact that I can go a week and a half without fueling up my little Echo. I'm aghast at what other people are paying to gas up their vans and SUVs. Maybe if your friends don't know the advantages of buying a reliable economy car, you should direct them to this site. The fewer people we have blowing around in gas guzzlers in this country, the better.

19th Dec 2005, 11:56

Your fuel savings will be worthless when you are dead from the accident the car could not save you from. I have seen Echos on the road, and they look like tiny death traps. The way people drive today, I want something big and safe! Unfortunately, this almost always means lower gas mileage.

20th Dec 2005, 02:39

I have a 2003 Echo. I loved the car until I got it out on the highway a few times in slightly bad weather. The reason it has such great acceleration is it only weighs 2000 pounds. I find driving on the highway with normal gusty winds to be very nerve wracking, almost scary. I feel like I'm gonna get blown off the highway in strong winds. I just don't find the car safe to drive on the highway. It's too light and tends to loose control with a little wind. If they had made the car heavier, with a bit lower roof line, it would have been a perfect car.

3rd Mar 2008, 00:05

I agree with your assessment of the Echo in bad weather. Its tall profile, while providing a huge amount of interior and trunk room makes it very vulnerable to wind. You get blown all over the road in wind. I also find it harrowing to drive in winter conditions, but that' mainly due to skinny tires. My old Suzuki Swift felt much more secure in winter conditions, and windy roads. Otherwise, I really love my Toyota Echo.

Frank S.