One day my dad got a call from a dealership saying my desired 4door sedan in seafoam blue Echo came off the truck and on the lot!! We were there in a heartbeat and bought the car without me test driving it! I just somehow knew that I would love this funny weird little car at first sight! 11 years later, I still have it and love as much as I did the day I drove it home with my dad from the lot. I showed it off to everyone I met and people laughed at me saying I have an ugly car. Well I laughed at everyone when the gas crunch came and still laughing now as gas is over $4!! Who needs a silly high maintenance ego boosting Prius when I get 40mpg city and 50mpg on the highway going 100? MUAHAHAHA
We bought our Echo in 2000. It has been the most reliable car we've ever owned, and the most economical to operate. Highway mileage is about 40 mpg, and we have had no major repairs at over 180,000 miles. My husband is 6'2" and is very comfortable in the driver's seat - he tried to sit in a Corolla at the time we bought the Echo, and he was terribly cramped, so we bought the Echo instead and have never, never regretted it. This car is a keeper! (Our Echo has automatic transmission.)
I bought this vehicle for a commuter. I love it - it sips gas, squeezes into tight parking spots, has great maneuverability. I had one minor problem, the trunk lock broke (wouldn't work with the key, just the interior release). It was fixed at no charge when I brought it in for regular service. NO other problems, only goes in for routine maintenance. Well, one problem - my wife wants to borrow it all the time. I like the interior space and headroom - I'm 6' 0", 250 lbs.
It gets good mileage, average of 36 mpg, and it handles well for a small car. It's comfortable, though I find my shoulder hurting after sitting in it too long since I'm 6'1 and the armrest on the door isn't quite high enough to sit without slouching. The only problems so far are a catalytic converter and a charcoal canister. The Catalytic Converter was replaced at 79,000 and now needs it again at 90,000, that's a major expense only 11,000 miles apart. I do love this car, so hopefully once its catalytic converter is fixed it will be back to its excellent driving condition. The Toyota dealership was happy to see it and told me they are the best of the used Toyotas out there.