I bought my Echo new in 2005. Apparently, there was a lot of flack about the placement of the instrument panel being located towards the middle of the dash board. I'll never understand why this was considered a problem. I have clear, unobstructed view forward, which I find a great benefit. As to the instrument panel being located to the right: this has never been a problem in the least. I just took the car in for maintenance, and was told I could get at least another 100,000 miles out of this vehicle (it now has approx. 114,000 miles). I love this car and I wouldn't sell it for less than $10,000. I will admit this car is not for tall or large people because it is a smaller car, and if you like bells and whistles, this car is not for you. But on a long trip, I got 37 mpgs, and average 32 in the city. This is a very reliable and strong vehicle. I wish they had continued to make them. The car has never had any problems other than regular maintenance.
This is the 3rd Toyota that I have ever owned. I bought it when it was 9 years old with 104000 km. (65000 mi). Changed tires, changed brakes and 100000 km later still haven't had to change a thing other than oil and filters. I installed an after market cruise control system in it as I drive approx. 1000 hwy km/week. It makes the driving a lot easier. Gas milage is unbelievable, I save enough fuel per year vs my old 1999 Corolla to cover the cost of the insurance. The car is sitting outside with 657 km on the trip meter and there is still 1/4 tank left. It sure isnt the prettiest Girl in the room, but she sure can cook. Recommend this car to anyone. Looking forward to the Yaris as my next car
fuel economy, fuel economy, fuel economy. Interior room is most impressive for such a small car.
I feel like I won the lottery when I found this car. 2002 with 19k on it. A new car for 50% off! Since then, I average a combined 43 mpg summer/39 mpg winter at 9000 feet up in the mountains. Power to weight ratio is fantastic, especially considering the fuel economy. Acceleration good, cornering good, braking superb = great in snow. Slightly worse mpg than Prius, but no huge toxic battery! Better performance than Prius due to its much lighter weight and all at one third the price! Much less complicated mechanically and Toyota build quality should equal great longevity and reliability. I've see Echos with 400k on them. This car is the nerd that never was popular but won in the end.
Fuel economy!!! People ask: is it a hybrid? No it is better. More reliable, better performance, way cheaper. Great power to weight ratio = great performance. Outperforms cars that use 50% more fuel. 108hp at 2050 lbs. Very, very roomy especially with folding rear seat. Rides smooth and quiet.
Put this drivetrain in a slightly less odd-looking package (the successor Yaris still looks a little weird) and add a few more options standard. A little less plastic in interior. I wish the hatchback would have been sold in the US, because I think it looks better. I'd definitely buy a used one.
After having SUVs, my concern was being
able to haul stuff around. With the
folding rear seats, I'm still able to
haul 2X4's and other home improvement
items. Great gas mileage (remember the
SUVs). It feels much larger on the
inside that what you would think. My
husband is 6'4" and has plenty of
head/leg room. We also have had 4 plus
size people inside and still lots of
room. I've found I can fit more into
the trunk than I could in the "trunk"
of my Jeep Liberty.
I would recommend this car to anyone.
It is a great value.
Center dashboard, all the storage areas
and the roomy trunk
great gas mileage
Overall the whole car is a favorite
I wish dealers would keep more on the
lot, thus ended up getting very basic
More comfort items.