Used 2002 Toyota ECHO Sedan

Style:
2002 Toyota ECHO
List price range

Pros

  • Good gas mileage, speedy acceleration, roomy and functional interior, likely to be reliable.

Cons

  • Cartoonish styling, annoying gauge placement, tilt-a-whirl handling, deceptively low base pricing.

Used 2002 Toyota ECHO Sedan for Sale

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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.

Top consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2002 Toyota ECHO.

I Love My Car!
sxylump, 7/8/2014
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.
Wonderful car for basic transportation
Bill, 9/3/2015
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.
Love our Echos!
Jeff Harning, 4/18/2016
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!
They go forever!
Rick Goudzwaar, 8/1/2016
Strong running engine. Mine is all manual including windows, door locks, etc. With regular maintenance these cars will go forever.
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Features & Specs

MPG
27 city / 35 hwy
Seats 5
4-speed automatic
Gas
108 hp @ 6000 rpm
MPG
29 city / 37 hwy
Seats 5
5-speed manual
Gas
108 hp @ 6000 rpm
See all Used 2002 Toyota ECHO Sedan features & specs
More about the 2002 Toyota ECHO
Used 2002 Toyota ECHO Sedan Overview

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

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