The car ain't sexy, it isn't good for Christmas shopping cause boxes don't fit in it like a 26" TV nor in the trunk. BUT BUT BUT>... Its the most reliable car I've ever had. I have owned Chrysler New Yorker, VW Jetta, Ford Capri, Ford Mustang, and Ford Pinto. This has outlasted all of them and cost the least in all areas. At just over 100,000 miles I had to replace the two drive belts, flush the radiator and transmission (never done before now). Easy to change your own oil and spark plugs. On my 3rd set of tires. Now a low droning humm indicates I need a rear wheel bearings replaced. Gas mileage is awesome and I won't give this car up nor sell it. The cost to own is just too damn reasonable
Gas mileage 40 to 42 mpg. Very peppy as I can literally beat any other small car on the road my size that isn't a racing car. Sits much higher up than most Honda which I love. Good speakers and sound enjoyment when playing a CD. Responsive steering.
I think they discontinued the Echo because it was too inexpensive and competed in mpg with the Prius. So they made the Yaris, a much heavier though sexier looking car.
I purchased the car used from the original owner with 136,000 miles on it. I have driven it on several 180+ trips and always get 40+ MPG on the freeway. It is a peppy 5 speed manual. I can shift 1-3-5 on a normal start up with no problem. CON. It has a small growling roar on the highway. It is not the engine or transmission which I tested by coasting at high speeds. Also it is not stable in a high cross wind. It is a very clean used car without any signs of the 136K mi. on the speedometer. I have gotten used to the center speedometer but could use a better lighting system in the cluster. Overall I'm well pleased with it. On
Mileage, pep fun to drive
Better stability in cross winds. Better back lighting in the instrument cluster.
The misunderstood Echo. If one compares the Echo with, say, a 69 VW Bug, it's reason for being becomes obvious. It's an old bug, with twice the horsepower, much quieter, easier to drive, air conditioning, twice the fuel economy, but with almost all the features we grew to love in the Bug. Toyota saw the market, and went for it. Funny looking, yes, even cute, 'cept it's a mouse, not a bug. Goes like stink, fun to drive. Mileage around 40+, 43-47 if you featherfoot. Comfortable. Lots of cubby's. A joy to commute in. Does everything the bugs did, and more. No wonder most who own them love them. And yes, many people give them names. Mine's "Dinky". She's a joy.
Mileage, speed, agility, comfort, storage and cubbys. With the styling change in 03, the looks were much improved. Great seats, everything always works. And the fabled Toyota reliability. 200000 miles on original plugs, clutch, brakes. Like old VW's wanted to be, the best car for the money.
Fold down rear seat, better aerodynamics behind rear window (big cut off zone), a hatchback might have been a better choice. A clock, temp, tach, oil pressure, volt gauges would have been a good idea. And why not a performance model. Beat mini at their own game. Variable valve timing on both cams?