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2003 Toyota ECHO Review
An eccentric’s car.
Reviewed by Automotive on
The 2003 Toyota ECHO is viewed by many as a ride with an unconventional appearance, but this model from the Japanese carmaker relies on low sticker price to attract consumers. The sales can be considered as respectable, but the numbers are not that great.
Engines: 1.5-liter four-cylinder
Transmissions: four-speed automatic, five-speed manual
Models: Toyota ECHO
The 2003 Toyota ECHO receives a facelift to give it a new look from front to rear. The lines on the bumper and fenders are more prominent and sharper. The grille gets a new chrome treatment, while the headlamps get a unique bulb configuration. There is also an option to get round fog lamps. The rear features a new look for the trunk lid, bumper, and clear-lens taillights. Toyota also offers an aerodynamic package like over fenders that go well with the underbody. There is also an option for a rear spoiler.
Modern cars try to get as close as possible to the pavement, but the 2003 Toyota ECHO does not go with the for the low-ride image. People can clearly distinguish it from the rest of the pack; the unique architecture of the body attracts eyes and often gets awkward looks. The ECHO has an almost upright windshield, while the hood slopes down to a low posture. It has the look of a car that has been squeezed from both ends. The Toyota ECHO is 59.4 inches high, and about two inches taller than the Corolla. Its overall length measures 163.2 inches and is about 15 inches shorter. The wheelbase is also on the shorter side at 93.3 inches.
The 2003 Toyota 2003 ECHO might look a lot shorter than the Corolla, but the interior volume of 88 cubic feet just matches that of the more popular sedan sibling. Because of its tall build, passengers who are about six feet tall will have no issues in terms of head room. Tall individuals will also be comfortable when riding in the backseats that provide sufficient legroom and headroom. The backseat, though, will only be good for two individuals.
The 2003 Toyota ECHO might feature one of the most unusual layouts of gauges. The cluster of instruments is located on top of the center of the dashboard. The driver does not have any gauges that are directly in front but rather everything is angled towards the driver. According to Toyota, this is a better configuration for the panel of instruments, but it might take some getting used to. The ride offers a lot of storage space for maps, cups, and gadgets. It comes with two glove boxes, cup holders, in-dash bins, and a shelf just below the left portion of the dash. The trunk can accommodate 13.6 cubic feet of load. The rear seats can also be released and be folded to give way for more storage.
Performance & Handling
The 2003 Toyota ECHO sports a four-cylinder engine with a displacement of 1.5 liters that produces 108 horses. This engine is linked with a five-speed gearbox as standard, but there is an option to get an automatic transmission with four speeds. The engine has a very modest output, but the ECHO can accelerate quite aggressively. Of course, consumers will get a more spirited engine response with the manual gearbox compared to its automatic sibling. Because of its tall stature, the ECHO is vulnerable to strong winds than other vehicles. It's very easy to drive, with a very nice feel when steering. The ride comfort is not an issue but also not better than other vehicles in the same segment. Buyers who have roominess for utmost priority will never be sorry. It looks awkward for most, but its design helps well with its functionality.
The 2003 Toyota ECHO comes standard with daytime running lamps, while anti-lock brakes come as an option. One downside is the absence of airbags to keep you safe during side-impact collisions.
EPA Fuel Economy
- Good fuel mileage
- Good acceleration
- Spacious interior
You Won't Like
- Odd design
- Weird gauge placement
- Deceptive pricing
An eccentric’s car.
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