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)
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