There were Kia and Hyundi dealers saying don't buy the toyota echo back when it came out, and that the Korean made cars were better. Not even close. The complete opposite is true. Toyota's have been built for far longer, and have by far higher quality built into all the components that make a difference. Every one I knew that had a Kia or Hyundi had major break downs and problems with only poor quality parts available for replacement. With high labor costs added, they lost out big time, and had more money into it then the car was ever worth on resale. I still have the echo and have never had any major problems, and all the road trips are still 45 to 50 mpg.
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
reliability, cost of ownership, fantastically bizarre styling and center dials. So strange.
Really hard to pick up chicks in. Status symbol, wrong status.
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.
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.