2002 Toyota ECHO 4 Door standard from North America
The best all-around economy car ever made
Nothing: this is one of the best cars ever made!
A few years ago I decided that I needed an economy car. After extensive research it came down to the ECHO or the Prius. After much consideration, I decided on the ECHO. I felt that the additional $8,000 or more for the Prius was not justified unless status was the main concern. The mileage is not that much better (it would never pay for the cost difference) and I feared that the relatively new hybrid technology would be outdated in a few years. I also felt that maintenance could be a problem after the car got out of warranty. On the other hand, the Prius feels a little better made and of course it runs much quieter.
I've had many small economy cars and I must say this little car is hands down, the best. With the 5 speed it is peppy enough, and the interior is incredibly spacious for such a small car. I like the quirky humpy look of the car (ugly like the old VW Bug). The trunk is also enormous (especially with the fold-down split rear seats).
A consideration in buying any car is resale. When I bought the car, I couldn't find a used one, or if a dealer got one, it sold almost instantly so I bought a new one. I decided to sell it four months ago and I thought it was money in the bank. To my shock, four months later the car is still unsold. Part of the reason may be a slow economy and the holiday season. The main reason my car hasn't sold, I think, is that it has a manual transmission. I've had numerous calls on the car, but when the caller understands that the car doesn't have an automatic they decline. Lesson: these days don't get a manual unless you want to keep the car forever or it is a sports car.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 1st January, 2005
7th Feb 2005, 01:26
They're not discontinuing it. They aren't selling it in the USA after 2005, but it will be available everywhere else. We are still stuck on our stupid gas-guzzlers here.
I expect the Echo will make a return to the US after gas prices continue to rise.
8th Feb 2005, 10:16
"still stuck on our stupid gas-guzzlers here"
Hello? The most likely reasons for the failure of the ECHO to sell are its styling, both inside and out. There is ugly-cool, like the Honda Element and Scion xB, and there is just plain ugly, like the Pontiac Aztek... and the ECHO.
There are plenty of other non-gas-guzzlers that did and continue to sell very well in the US market, including the ECHO's predecessor, the Tercel, and the Corolla.
Toyota has already announced that the ECHO will be replaced with a "European-styled" model that will probably sell much better than the ECHO ever did!
18th Feb 2005, 12:27
Well, this car was just not practical to US market, and that's probably why it doesn't sell too well. Besides, the automatic and manual models do feel a lot different. The automatic version feels horrible as of acceleration and passing. And what's the difference between US car buyers and European car buyers? They can't drive stick, or just too lazy to drive them.
Also, this car doesn't feel safe enough to go 80mph on a windy highway. And American buyers do that a lot.
28th Jul 2006, 10:15
The Echo is being replaced by the Yaris, which has the same drive train, but different body, than the Echo. The Yaris has been on the market for several years in Europe and is very popular.
14th Feb 2007, 09:08
Re: last comment. What are you talking about?
14th Feb 2007, 11:54
Seems pretty clear. His cousin got got a possessed Echo and, like the movie Christine, it lead to her downfall. The school saw her driving the evil car and expelled her. Then the parking lot came alive and rejected the Echo, which got her depressed. Not sure if the parking lot was on the side of good or evil. And the Echo hated her fat friend as well.
Wonder if the Echo radio only plays songs from its production years.
28th Aug 2010, 04:11
Ha Ha that's very funny!!!