I knew that Echo's twin, the Vitz, was a very popular car in Japan, so I decided to buy an 01 Echo over the Prius in 2000. The Prius carried a hefty premium at the time. I loaded mine up with options and it was still a bargain. I've loved the Echo ever since. Its a very simple yet smartly designed & built car. Some say its not the best looking car, but, its value and economy make up for its appearance. My family depends on it daily as our primary car. It has not let us down.
High mileage and low maintenance cost. Very fun to drive car handles well in the city or on the highway. Excellent interior features: IMO placement of the speedometer should be an industry standard, lots of pockets to store things and ample room for us. A cabin air filter can be installed:)
A/C is a bit weak with all of the window space. PW controls are in a bad spot. Larger storage cubbies could use nets to prevent articles from falling out. Its a bit weak with a full load of passengers. Paint and body panels are much too easy to ding and scratch. Ext. plastic bleaches out. Road noise.