2002 Toyota ECHO from North America


Dependable Gas Miser with minor flaws


Had a rattling noise coming from the engine when it was brand new, turned out to be a cable, I noticed it was not securly in a holder, so after correcting that it was fine.

Am having problems with a grinding noise in the front wheels when turning sharply, almost sounds like the brakes are grabbing on rusty drums, also to comment on breaks, the brakes especially after sitting for 12hrs. or so on a damp day, seem to have a rusty grind to them when applied the first couple times.

Air Conditioning is not the coldest, but it is a black car so this may be the problem, should have it checked out.

General Comments:

This car likes to jump around on really windy day's, sometimes it is really bad and I have to reduce speed under 70mph.

Noticed some trim is coming loose on the inside door edge.

Engine idles louder the longer I own it.

Noticed radio jumping set station by a couple points or two, hit preset again an it was fine, this has happened about three times.

Very good on gas, average 32-35mpg.

Not the smoothest car I have driven, you definitely will feel road imperfections.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st May, 2004

12th Nov 2004, 06:45

Had the same problem with rust growing on the top of the rotor surface. The problem occurs about every 1 1/2 to 2 years. I then just bend the back plate back a little bit and on my way we go... noise free.

We just turned 100,000 miles in October. No problems at all. Will soon change the timing belt & idler pulley.

I'm planning on this car going farther than my 1991 Tercel.

It now runs on 2 cylinders and can't pass emission testing, but it always starts right up... not once in it's 272,000 miles has it not.

My Echo gets over 42 MPG, even when car pooling with 2 other people. Can't beat it for reliable & cost effective transportation, even when gas gets close to $2.00 a gallon.


18th Feb 2006, 08:37

I have a 2002 Toyota Echo with 34,251 miles on it. The car runs perfectly and is very low cost in terms of maintenace. I am very please with it's gas mileage... about 33-35 mpg combined city and highway driving. It is a 5 speed manual and at times the transmission is very clunky going into gear. Engine wise.. it is very quiet. I love the VVTI engine. I just did a 30,000 mile tune up, replaced all 4 tires, and front brake pads and rotors and rear drums and shoes. All done as preventive maintenance. Even though the old ones were not in horrible condition. I love my car and will neve consider selling it. It's a shame that Toyota ceased production in 2005. I do not know anything about the 2007 Yaris (Echo replacement). Long live the ECHO...

13th Apr 2006, 12:44

I own a 2-door 2002 Echo, and I love my car. Great gas mileage. Easy to get out of due to the high placed seats. Love all the little stash and store compartments. The only problem I have with my echo, is that on windy days, the car is like a kite. I am all over the road. A high wind gust will practically throw me into the next lane. Also, in the heavier rain it hydroplanes a lot!!!. Other than those 2 things a love my ECHO.

2002 Toyota ECHO 1.5 from North America


Small, Fast, Cheap, Reliable!!!


A little plastic pin (1 of 2) that held the middle console was cracked and lost, causing the console to move slightly. (A minor problem)

General Comments:

If you can drive a standard correctly, first gear leaps (in a good way) from stops, parking spaces etc.

The 5th gear has such a wide operating range (35mph-100mph+). Many times ill drive down back roads in 5th gear.

The engine is very simple, but, at the same time very advanced. Changing belts would be a breeze, due to the fact that there is ample room to work with, and there is nothing in the way of any pulley. All fluids are easily accessible: oil, brake, power steering, even the air conditioning refill valves are in plain view.

It uses very little gas. thanks to the VVT-I engine (same concept as a Honda V-Tec engine)

The car cuts threw the wind, but, crosswinds make the car very unsettling on the highway in blustery conditions.

The cars handling is very predictable. its easy to turn the wheel and, you still feel a good feedback level in the steering wheel, unlike the newer cars that have that computerized power steering feel.

The instrument cluster is perfect. A little weird at first it looks you in the face with nothing, like a steering wheel, blocks your view. Its simple, uncluttered, and when illuminated it has the perfect contrast.

Mine can comfortably fit 5 people, but, with that many people you do notice decreased in handling, acceleration and an increase in braking distance.

The Amount of trunk space defies logic. So much room.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th January, 2004