Not just a commuter car
By Joan on
2002 Toyota ECHO 4dr Sedan (1.5L 4cyl 5M)
After 3+ years, I still love this car: spacious compared with any other small car, miserly gas mileage, no operating problems, great pick-up, nimble handling, can be parallel parked with 1" to spare at each end (honest!), instruments in plain sight (not hiding behind the steering wheel). Until this summer I'd never driven it farther than 200 miles from home: wasn't sure how its oomph would handle steep grades on I-70 thru Colorado's Front Range and how its light weight would handle high winds on the Great Plains. Mtns: had to opt for the slow lane a few times after losing momentum to pokey vehicles ahead, else OK to good. Plains and Prairies: TOO good! (speeding ticket in Iowa)
Storage good enough to preserve what mattered when a thief broke in--never found where the good stuff was. (Left a dictionary, registration, and insurance cards; took a dead flashlight, a political biography, and wiper fluid.) Peppy transmission. Center-mounted instrument cluster.
Tighten the assembly: door lock knobs rattle, truck latch needed minor repositioning. Add intermittent wipers. (What is it with Toyota's stinginess with wiper settings? Surely Japan gets drizzle too!)