I will never trust Toyota with my safety again. It's one thing to have poorly trained dealers who tell dangerous, outright falsehoods about the vehicle's features and design, it's another to train the head office staff to deal with customer complaints by running them through a maze of incompetence in the hope they'll just get frustrated and give up rather than addressing customer concerns directly. One slight breeze and you're in the ditch. The fuel economy's very misleading, because you need to carry at least half a beach worth of sand just to stay on the road. The windows spontaneously rolling down is just bonus fun. I have never been more dissatisfied with a purchase in my life.
Toyota needs to train their dealers to give accurate information, customer service to actually serve customers, and to build cars that can achieve fuel efficiency without compromising safety. Upholstery that does not resemble the stuffed animals you win at a carnival would be a good idea too.
Dependable, economical & fun small car to drive - especially during times of high gas prices. This car is excellent for city driving and ok for shorter highway trips. It's light weight makes it easily swayed by passing trucks and not the best traction on snowy roads. It could use cruise control & arm rests.
I had an 06 Tacoma that I bought right off the line - never saw a dealer's lot, and I loved it. However with the price of fuel approaching $5.00 per gallon I was in need of a more economical vehicle. This one is it. The Echo was made for me. I see a lot of people saying that it is hard to handle in bad weather, but I have to disagree. If you keep the tires balanced and rotated, and properly inflated it handles as well as a Camry. The only thing I would have done differently in design would be to replace the seats with something more comfortable for the long haul - nice for in town driving but a little stiff on long rides. Other than that this car is perfect.
It's even good in snow! Amazing! Once around Erie there were two cars off the road in a squall, I called and the dispatcher said there were 200 cars off the road in that county! AND I just kept going without a problem! I don't get tired on long trips of 8-11 hours!
Handling, good in snow.
Power windows and intermittent windshield wipers would have been great.
I bought this car used after owning a 2001 Echo for six years. I sold the 2001 to my son who was just graduating from college and bought this car for myself. I have never bought another car that was identical to the one I had had for six years already before but this car is special. I actually made my son promise to sell me the old car back when he wants to get rid of it so I can have a backup. The only thing that was not satisfactory in either car were the floor mats. I have no idea why, but they wore out quite quickly. The dealership even gave me a full replacement after the first year and those wore out as well. I bought some after market ones from Walmart and they have been fine.
Lots of headroom, very easy to park in tiny spaces so great for the city and wonderful gas mileage.
The stick adjustment arms for the mirrors should be standard. I bought the 2003 Echo used and had to take it as is and I miss the stick adjustment feature that I had on my first 2001 Echo.