2002 Toyota ECHO Review

Type:

Pros & Cons

  • Good gas mileage, speedy acceleration, roomy and functional interior, likely to be reliable.
  • Cartoonish styling, annoying gauge placement, tilt-a-whirl handling, deceptively low base pricing.
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Toyota ECHO for Sale
List Price
$2,995

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Edmunds' Expert Review

We don't like the Echo. Check out the superior offerings from Hyundai and Kia.

Vehicle overview

Despite what seems at first to be a pretty good deal, we think you'd be wise to shop around before settling on an Echo. But don't take our word for it; ask Car and Driver magazine. They called it a "big mistake."

Yes, it's a Toyota, so it'll probably run until your first gray hair sprouts (or you wind up in a pine box, if you already have gray hairs.) Yes, it gets great gas mileage, has a roomy interior and impressive acceleration for an economy car. But, when you cut through the marketing hype and peek behind Toyota's veneer of bulletproof reliability, what you find might not be pretty.

Neither is the Echo. Hey, styling is a subjective point, but take a good look at this thing (which is available in two or four doors, by the way). Do you really want people to think you've borrowed a prop from Disneyland's Toontown when you pull up to the curb? But it's cheap, you say. Advertisements brag about a low sticker price that starts under around $10,000, but in reality, when you've got the car optioned in a manner that makes it suitable as a daily driver, the value of the Echo starts to evaporate.

Air conditioning, a rear defogger and a clock are all optional. Heck, even power steering is on the a la carte menu. Add these features, and you're paying nearly about $12,000 for a two-door. At this price, you're still rowing your own gears through gridlocked traffic. Pop for an automatic transmission, and you're spending another $800. Loaded up with every possible option, an Echo Sedan runs close tomore than $15,000., and you're still rolling down your own windows and manually setting the sideview mirrors.

Toyota says that the Echo was engineered to provide crash and injury protection that matches the larger Camry, and U.S. crash testing indicates that their design goal was met, as it scored well in National Highway Traffic Safety Administration tests. But remember, those test results are good only when comparing vehicles of the same weight. Echo barely weighs 2,000 pounds, making it an automotive welterweight.

Echo does have a few redeeming qualities, but not enough to garner a recommendation from our staff. If you're into storage bins, there are big gaping ones in the dash. And the interior is almost as roomy as the more expensive Corolla, a car that we actually find to be a bit cramped. Finally, the sprightly 1.5-liter twin-cam four-cylinder engine makes 108 horsepower, resulting in surprising acceleration times of 8.5 seconds in the dash from 0 to 60 mph.

But with skinny, low rolling resistance 14-inch tires, a tall stance and center of gravity, and slab-sided bodywork, handling is not the Echo's forte. Plus, crosswinds severely hamper the ability to stay in your own lane, and ABS is a costly $590 add-on that is inexplicably bundled with daytime running lights (evidently, Toyota feels buyers of Echos without ABS aren't interested in increased visibility to other drivers.)

Want to know what else you could buy with your hard-earned money? How about a certified-used Honda Civic that's bigger inside, several hundred pounds heavier and won't embarrass you when you meet potential in-laws? And there's the pre-owned Mazda Protege, a classy small car that resembles the upscale Audi A4. Heck, even many new economy cars could be better bets, like the award-winning Ford Focus, the refined Nissan Sentra and the surprisingly entertaining, easily affordable and thoroughly warranteed Hyundai Elantra.

Shhhh! Hear that Echo? That's empty Toyota showrooms.

2002 Highlights

Toyota has left the Echo untouched for 2002.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2002 Toyota ECHO.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Wonderful car for basic transportation
Bill,09/03/2015
4dr Sedan (1.5L 4cyl 5M)
This has been a super reliable vehicle. The 1NZ-FE engine has a timing chain, not a belt. The tires are small and very inexpensive... it's cheap to own and cheap to maintain in all aspects. I love the simplicity and basic nature of this car. Just change the fluids at the appropriate intervals and enjoy the car.
Best car I've ever had.
bolvo,08/05/2009
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).
I Love My Car!
sxylump,07/08/2014
I have had my Echo since 2004 and I absolutely love it! It is zippy and gets wonderful gas mileage. It runs great and is a trooper in the snow (and We get a lot of snow where I live too). I recently took it to the local Toyota dealer for inspection and they said everything is still in great shape. I know when it comes time to buy a new car, it will be a sad day for me to part with my Echo.
Love our Echos!
Jeff Harning,04/18/2016
4dr Sedan (1.5L 4cyl 4A)
We purchased an Echo and I was jealous of my husband driving it, that we bought a second one six months later!! The maneuverability is fantastic. Repairs have been minimal, just normal tires, etc. the gas mileage cannot be beat. We are selling both of them now for a larger vehicles to carry grandchildren! We had intended to continue driving our His and Hers Echos for many years to come!

Features & Specs

See all Used 2002 Toyota ECHO features & specs
More about the 2002 Toyota ECHO

Used 2002 Toyota ECHO Overview

The Used 2002 Toyota ECHO is offered in the following submodels: ECHO Sedan, ECHO Coupe. Available styles include 4dr Sedan (1.5L 4cyl 4A), 4dr Sedan (1.5L 4cyl 5M), 2dr Coupe (1.5L 4cyl 5M), and 2dr Coupe (1.5L 4cyl 4A).

What's a good price on a Used 2002 Toyota ECHO?

Price comparisons for Used 2002 Toyota ECHO trim styles:

  • The Used 2002 Toyota ECHO Base is priced between $2,995 and$2,995 with odometer readings between 94000 and94000 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2002 Toyota ECHOS are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2002 Toyota ECHO for sale near. There are currently 1 used and CPO 2002 ECHOS listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $2,995 and mileage as low as 94000 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2002 Toyota ECHO.

Can't find a used 2002 Toyota ECHOs you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Toyota ECHO for sale - 5 great deals out of 8 listings starting at $8,831.

Find a used Toyota for sale - 7 great deals out of 10 listings starting at $7,492.

Find a used certified pre-owned Toyota ECHO for sale - 12 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $10,988.

Find a used certified pre-owned Toyota for sale - 10 great deals out of 21 listings starting at $11,535.

Should I lease or buy a 2002 Toyota ECHO?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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