Don't let the exterior size deceive you. The inside has plenty of seating room due to an excellent utilization of space. The trunk, however, is tiny and will barely hold enough for one person heading on a three day trip. Folding rear seats solve this problem well though. Stock stereo system is very lackluster, even with the MP3 upgrade (vehicle comes stock with only 2 front speakers).
The handling of this car is nothing to marvel at as the Echo has a high center of gravity, creating substantial body roll in spirited corners. A low curb weight gives it excellent response though. Despite its tiny size, this car feels more like a Mercedes at moderate speeds, absorbing road irregularities with confidence, and giving the driver a sense that the car is traveling much slower than it actually is. Due again to its higher ride height and short wheel base, at speeds in excess of 90km/h, the car sometimes tends to wonder a rather drunken path as it battles cross-winds and drafts from large vehicles.
The lively 1.5L VVT-i motor produces 108hp, rushing the car to 100km/h in just under 8 seconds. On the highway in 5th gear, the motor still has plenty of get up and go, hustling the Echo in excess of 150km/h without breaking a sweat. Fuel mileage has averaged 42 MPG (5.8L/100km) on 87 octane. Considering that the majority of my highway commute sees speeds of 120-130km/hr for 40 minutes, this number could be drastically increased (for those who chose to abide to posted speed limits). Using higher octane might produce higher fuel economy, maybe enough to justify the higher cost/liter, but I have yet to find out.
Overall this car is an excellent balance of functionality and performance. Given Toyota's reputation, I am confident the Echo will easily pay for itself through combined fuel efficiency and reliability. Highly recommended to those seeking an outstanding all-purpose economy car.