I bought my Echo, as a new car, 6 years ago. I drive 80 miles to work, 160 round trip, 6 days a week. 50,000 per year. I have logged 300,000 miles on this car. Fuel mileage is awesome. 43 in the summer, 40 in the spring and fall, 38 in the winter when it's below zero. Very few repairs. Rear shocks and O2 sensor at 100,000 miles. Front brake pads at 220,000 miles. Left front wheel bearing at 260,000 miles. These are the only repairs I've had. Still has original struts, rear brakes, etc. I am comfortable in this car. The driver's seat is worn out, but still, 3 hours a day in my Echo and I can honestly say the car is comfortable. This car still drives great. No squeaks or rattles.
Good head room and visibility. When I bought this car gas was $1.30. My friends looked at me funny for driving such a little car. When gas hit $2, my friends thought I was smart. When gas hit $3 I started looking at my friends funny.
Tire wear is an issue. I can't get more than 40,000 miles on a set of tires regardless of brand or tread wear rating. I bought a lifetime wheel alignment plan in 2001. The alignment shop says the everything checks out ok, but tires don't wear well. I wish this car was E85 Flex fuel compatible.