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).
Purchased our Echo in 2014 and is a 2002... 2 door model..... If your ok with a basic model that this is the car for you....it would be a great car to start you teenage driver on given the no frills model and the great reliability of the Toyota product. Great manueverability in town (parks great) ... I get 40 mpg on the hiway and have gone 400 plus miles on a tank of gas....Saaweeeeeet! I wish they would have included intermittent wipers on the instrument package though and the AC is great for the hot days but climbing grades it is better to shut it off for better engine performance given the 1.5 liter size of the motor. Overall, we are happy with our little Esther the Echo.
This is an epitaph as our "toy car" was recently totaled while parked on the street. At 93K miles, we had done oil changes and a $150 brake job. We enjoyed 2+ years with no payment or service needs. Was a great city car and always an adventure going 70 mph with a cross wind. It had 100% more charisma than any other sub compact from then or now. She will be missed. Probably moving into a civic. BORING
Good car until recently I had to spend $300 for a starter then 2 weeks later $1400 to repair the manual transmission. Needed bearings, ring block for 5th gear and a few other things. Mechanic said the original fluid was still in there after 140,000 miles. It should be replaced at least every 40,000 miles so I guess it was my fault. Otherwise a great car.
The engine in this car is hot. It out accelerates the Ford Focus ZX3 (130 hp engine) I used to have, and gets 38 mpg vs the 25 mpg the ZX3 automatic got. The airconditioner is plenty cold. The ride is smooth and quiet up to 80mph. The suspension is more like a sports car - compliant but firm, with grippy tires (the 175's stick pretty darn good). The only quality control issue is a tiny wind whistle on the driver's side at high speeds - otherwise, famous Toyota quality at a bargain price.