We bought our Echo in 2000.
It has been the most reliable car we've ever owned, and the most economical to operate.
Highway mileage is about 40 mpg, and we have had no major repairs at over 180,000 miles.
My husband is 6'2" and is very comfortable in the driver's seat - he tried to sit in a Corolla at the time we bought the Echo, and he was terribly cramped, so we bought the Echo instead and have never, never regretted it.
This car is a keeper!
(Our Echo has automatic transmission.)
Initial low price, extremely low maintenance cost over 12 years (extreme reliability), high gas mileage, very large trunk, excellent for tight parking situations in the city (very maneuverable), roomy interior.
Use more durable materials on interior (we are tough on a car and, after 12 years, the interior hasn't held up all that well).
I missed power locks and power windows, but I got used to it.
One day my dad got a call from a dealership saying my desired 4door sedan in seafoam blue Echo came off the truck and on the lot!! We were there in a heartbeat and bought the car without me test driving it! I just somehow knew that I would love this funny weird little car at first sight!
11 years later, I still have it and love as much as I did the day I drove it home with my dad from the lot. I showed it off to everyone I met and people laughed at me saying I have an ugly car. Well I laughed at everyone when the gas crunch came and still laughing now as gas is over $4!! Who needs a silly high maintenance ego boosting Prius when I get 40mpg city and 50mpg on the highway going 100? MUAHAHAHA
paint job, pep, vroom, super awesome gas mileage, roomy interior, weird looking exterior, super reliability
I bought my Echo new in 1999. I have been driving it now for 11 years and I never had to turn the key twice. I'm at 140K now and other than the oxygen sensors triggering the check engine light, this car has been amazing. I want to keep driving it to see how many miles I can get on it. My last good car was a 1989 Toyota extended cab which I loved.
This car has won me over. Despite the awful center-mount gauges and ugly styling, Toyota did its homework. Interior space is larger than its subcompact rating would suggest, as is its trunk. The interior materials, while not much on a quality impression, are extremely hard wearing. Few rattles are to be heard. The ride is comfortable for a car with such a short wheelbase, but handling can be squirrelly especially at higher speeds or in crosswinds. The motor isn't exactly refined but even saddled with an automatic transmission it moved the car with surprising swiftness and equally impressive fuel economy - low 30's on my short commute with a/c and near 40 on long trips.
Economy, durability, comfort, room, power
Regular gauges, less forward rake on styling, bigger gas tank, better highway stability