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.
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.
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!
I bought this 2002 Toyota Echo for my daughter in 2005. It had 59K miles on it then. After 5 years and another 50K miles, this car runs like new! Oil changes and a new set of tires are the only $ invested. Its bright red color & peppy drive make people ask what kind of car is that? After she graduates from college, I will buy my daughter a new car & I plan to drive this ECHO until the wheels fall off, even though I doubt it will happen. On her 1200 mile trips to college, she gets around 45 MPG. I think the ECHO may be one of the best built cars ever made. I'm hoping to get over 300,000 miles on this car. You cannot go wrong buying a Toyota Echo.