I bought a 2001 4-door, Auto. Trans. Toyota Echo twice. 2 weeks apart. The 1st Echo was destroyed by an idiot that smashed into me while he was trying to cross 4 lanes of traffic. The front end of my Echo was completely crumpled, both airbags deployed, and the car was completely totaled. I was so impressed by this car's ability to protect me and my boy (he was completely unharmed, and I only suffered seat belt abrasions), I imm. bought another one to replace it. It has been 4 years now, 96k miles, and I have had only two minor probs: the CD player got fried the 1st year for unknown reasons and the gear shift light doesn't always light up. Also: I avg. 36 mpg despite my jack-rabbit starts.
High mpg. Quality materials, fit and finish. Great headroom, and better visibility than most econo cars. Very good storage, split rear seats, and a great sound system. (I bought the premium sys.) Excellent 0-60 acceleration despite the small 1.5L engine and autotranny.
Needs a center arm rest and a smoother window / door trim to rest your arm on when the window is open. Everything else is perfect.
† Edmunds.com received the highest numerical score in the proprietary J.D. Power 2014 Third-Party Automotive Website Evaluation Study℠. Results based on responses from 3,381 responses, measuring 14 companies and measures third-party automotive website usefulness among new and used vehicle shoppers. Proprietary study results are based on experiences and perceptions of owners surveyed from January 2014. Your experiences may vary. Visit jdpower.com.