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
One of the best little cars I have ever owned, the power of the little motor is very surprising, all features are great only one thing no cruise control, otherwise gas mileage and no timing belt makes this an excellent choice. easy to tune up yourself as well.
fuel economy, spunk of the motor, ease to park anywhere, and yes no timing belt to change.
Cruise control, would love to have one, might buy the aftermarket one instead.
I bought this car 10 years ago. On my first long drive to Northern California , on HWY 5, I looked down at the speedometer and I was driving 105 mph. Honest officer, It felt like I was only going 60. No quivering, no shaking, no instability. Just a very smooth and confident ride at pretty high speed for this little coupe. When we first drove it home the neighbors with the big trucks laughed at the car, but when the gas shortages happened I was the one laughing . It's extremely reliable. No major repairs at all. Even though I'm shopping for a new car I won't get rid of My Echo. I just gave it a major tune up, oil change, brakejob, and changed a belt. Probably good for another 100,000 miles
The pep, quickness, and acceleration in my stick shift Echo Coupe. The fuel economy. 41 MPG on the freeways. 33 mpg around town. For a car built in 2000. Interior cabin space is really good for a small car.
I would suggest they they make the Echo again. That would be an improvement.
I'm 57, and I have owned many cars. Nothing even comes close to the Echo. Ten years old, and still getting gas mileage close to a hybrid. Just change the oil and tires, it just keeps going.
I'm a big guy, and this is by far the most comfortable car I've ever owned. The interior design is perfect, with the off set, highly visible speedometer. Lots of head and leg room. Many little compartments and storage spaces, good cup holders.