This has been a super reliable vehicle. The 1NZ-FE engine has a timing chain, not a belt. The tires are small and very inexpensive... it's cheap to own and cheap to maintain in all aspects. I love the simplicity and basic nature of this car.
Just change the fluids at the appropriate intervals and enjoy the car.
We bought it used in 2012 for about 2k, because our 2000 Accord had been totaled and we needed a cheap car to get us through a couple years. It had a few issues, and the engine had been replaced because of an accident the previous owner had. But we got a majority of the issues fixed and now it's running strong! We didn't expect to it to last this long, but it isn't showing signs of stopping. I wish it had power windows, locks, and more power but I can't complain considering how good a car it has been. In 2013 we outran a tornado in this thing, and we've had to move 3 times in the past year due to tornadoes and landlord problems, so we don't baby it. It gets it's fair share of heavy use, and we frequently use it to go out of town and visit family. If you need a cheap and reliable car to get you through sticky situations, you can't go wrong with the ECHO.
I have had my Echo since 2004 and I absolutely love it! It is zippy and gets wonderful gas mileage. It runs great and is a trooper in the snow (and We get a lot of snow where I live too). I recently took it to the local Toyota dealer for inspection and they said everything is still in great shape. I know when it comes time to buy a new car, it will be a sad day for me to part with my Echo.
"Wow it's zippy!" were my first words when I first drove this car. The acceleration is very responsive, the small engine was more than enough for this featherweight (just beware strong wind and rain), and it got better mileage than most hybrids. It's certainly stylish, and although the interior is lackluster, the high instrument panel to the right of the driver allowed for better eye contact with the road. For eight years, with regular oil changes and diagnostics, I never had a single problem with the car until I drove the car into another. The front crumpled, saving my life, but it crumpled far too easily and the car was totaled while the other car barely got a scratch.
Amazing mileage, great overall quality, good in a crash, roomy interior (I'm 6'3" and was extremely comfortable), and not to mention enough capacious compartments and trunk space for anything you'll need to take with you.
While its light weight allowed for great mileage and acceleration, it was easily pushed around in a storm. One minor accident totaled the car while the other car merely got a scratch. Its lightweight construction was easily dented and cracked.
I bought this 2002 Toyota Echo for my daughter in 2005. It had 59K miles on it then. After 5 years and another 50K miles, this car runs like new! Oil changes and a new set of tires are the only $ invested. Its bright red color & peppy drive make people ask what kind of car is that? After she graduates from college, I will buy my daughter a new car & I plan to drive this ECHO until the wheels fall off, even though I doubt it will happen. On her 1200 mile trips to college, she gets around 45 MPG. I think the ECHO may be one of the best built cars ever made. I'm hoping to get over 300,000 miles on this car. You cannot go wrong buying a Toyota Echo.
MPG, peppy motor, quality interior appointments, no timing belt to change, has a timing chain that does not require changing