I have had many cars in my life... from Mercedes Benz to Volvos to Nissan and Hondas. But boy did I ever own a Toyota? Not until now. I'm 40 and I can tell you reliability and Toyota go together. This little car goes. 5 Speed Standard. 350 miles per tank!! That's driving all over Houston for 10 days non-stop to the point where you forget what the car rolls on! And finally you remember to look at the fuel gauge... why? Because after 10 days of nothing but driving you are no longer concerned about gas or prices or even worrying about re-fueling. Cold A/C... small; easy to change the oil by yourself, brakes,etc... cheaper to fix... and it's a Toyota. Yep, reliable (period).
Small - easy to fix; small but easy on your wallet. Reliable... lasts for years... longevity. You fall in love with a well made car. Except for the Made in China gray interior the whole car is nothing but a joy to drive. 5 speed standard.
Better interiors, put in some nice dashboard... quality has its color and it's not cheap. Gray made in China.
When I bought it in 2002 it was all I could afford. Now 7 years later I do not want to drive anything else. Not a single problem and great fuel economy on top of that. Add trouble free driving in the brutal Alberta winters to the list of praise. Being handed off to my girls now and I am sure they will get another 7 years of trouble free driving.
Large trunk. Fits two golf bags with pull carts. Very spacious inside. Fuel economy.
My manual 2002 4dr Echo has 175K now. I did 5 tests on mpg w/different routes and cargo load (from just one driver to 1 driver + 8 scuba tanks and a scooter). The roads are country, FL. Burned some 3/4 of a tank, read receipts for exact difference and read the odometer. None of the tests indicated lower than 40 mpg and the highest I've ever recorded was 47. For 175K replaced parts were: burned cabin fan resistor, 3 sets of tires (worn), cracked windshield (gravel), dozen w-shield wipes, oil change. Best of all - I paid it off 2 yrs ago. None of the new cars come close to the performance and "True Cost 2 Own", not even Yaris nor Honda Fit.
The Edmunds review says 32 mpg. The Echo seems to have a variable mileage with actual mileage being closer to the 32 mark in sub-zero weather. However in actual driving here in Wisconsin I consistently get 40-42 mpg. Above 50 degrees I have gotten as much as 44 mpg. lately on a vehicle with over 110,000 miles on it. Funky steering in the wind, funky looking, but very roomy inside and well-built body. I'd buy one again in a heartbeat and no I'm not selling the one I have.
I love that center speedo. I don't like looking over or through a wheel with trifocals. It's easy to get used to. This car got a lot of unfair diss on styling. It has CHARACTER! at a reasonable price!
I am 62 years old, and I've owned a lot of cars. Our Echo is the best car we have ever owned. The ONLY weakness is on ice with a coating of snow, but I put studded snow tires on the front and the problem was solved. It is noisy on the highway, but it is an economy car, and and a really good one. I only wish that I could buy a brand new one exactly like it 5-6 years from now. I got rear ended by a ford ranger. There was more damage to the Ranger. The Echo takes a punch, too! It still has the factory battery in it. Seven years and still cranking.