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

2002 Toyota ECHO 1.5VVTi from North America


Best value on the market


The car is still very new (2,000km or 1,250miles roughly), but from my previous experience with the Echo I expect very few problems indeed (if any).

General Comments:

Great little car, third Echo I have driven.

Power is by far tops in class, in fact it seriously challenges cars one rung up the ladder for power supremacy. Cars like Civic, Corolla, Protege, Focus, Neon, etc. have a difficulty walking away at the lights. Considering the incredible lack of heft (2000lbs) the car moves well with the 108hp on tap.

Fuel economy is great, I'm getting around 6 liters/ 100km or roughly 40mpg in combined city/highway driving.

Space is excellent considering the external appearance of the vehicle. Seats/driving position could be more comfortable, though. Shoulder room is tight throughout the car. I am 6'2" tall which makes me a more difficult fit than most.

Interior amenities are few, but what controls there are are placed logicaly on the dash. Buttons operate with smoothness uncommon for this class. Shifter is notchy when the car is new, but tends to smoothe out after a few hundred km. Steering is well-weighted and accurate.

Handling is nimble, if far from a sports-car. Keeping in mind its price and intended purpose the handling is best-in-class and the car feels light and responsive.

Opinions on the style are personal, I think it looks great and most people seem to agree with me. Others are disgusted for whatever reasons. But few can say that it's not original.

All in all, I think it's the best value for dollar vehicle on the market today. Low admission fee, combined with excellent economy and performance and reinforced with Toyota's solid reputation and resale value all conspire to support that opinon. Definitely a worthy option if you're in a market for a small/cheap/fun car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th February, 2003

2002 Toyota ECHO ga 1.3 from Australia and New Zealand


Inability to put drivers seat back when rear seat in foldaway position is potentially dangerous


I only took the car for two test drives.

Review completed only to warn other potential purchasers.

Very sluggish on hills.

Uncomfortable when used with back seat folded down. see comments.


General Comments:

Initial drive, fairly comfortable, though high clutch made my leg ache even on a short drive.

Second drive, with credit card in bag and ready to buy, was a nightmare.

This time I drove with the back seat folded away to see how it felt.

The salesman was very reluctant to let me get in the car with the seat in fold away position and I soon found out why.

It was almost impossible to use the clutch at all, as the drivers seat had to be so far forward.

The brake was dangerously difficult to use too.

Regardless of the selling points including great cargo room it is clear this is not the case, not if you also want to drive safely.

I'm only 5'2" so buyers please make the salesman fold the seat away, sit in the car and see how comfortable you are before buying.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 19th October, 2002

30th Jan 2003, 14:20

You obviously don't realize that the rear seats slide. You should have had them as far back as possible before you folded them down and have removed the rear headrests... NO problems then!

11th Nov 2017, 02:14

Where do the rear seats slide? The Echo never had such an option. Good point of the original reviewer, although surely not many people would drive a car with the rear seats folded for long distances.