I have just purchased my second Echo, after driving my first for 40,000km over two years.
My first Echo was a 5dr 1.3, and I can relate to a previous person's comments of a "flat spot". I have since purchased a 1.5 Sportivo, which makes a remarkable difference in the previous "flat spot" although is still a bit thrashy up the top end - I wouldn't call it a sports car, but the 1.5 is better.
As for rattles and shakes, yes it does depend on the car. My old Echo had plenty of rattles and shakes, whereas the one I have just purchased is comparatively tight as a drum.
One thing I have learnt is DO NOT purchase an Echo without power steering. On an initial test drive you may convince yourself that the steering is not too heavy, but the whole point of a small car is ease of maneuverability, and without power steering this is not the case. In addition, I found it very hard to sell my non-power steering Echo simply because it lacked that feature.
Overall, I love the Echos. Very economical, reasonable power, surprisingly large inside and reasonably well finished.
I have a 2000 echo, 2 door. I live in the USA, so far so good. When I first got it, it had this strange sound coming from the left front wheel, took it to the dealer, they tried to fix it, but eventually it was dismissed as a manufacturing problem. The noise eventually went away, but now the windows are not firm, when I try to open the window it drops an inch and it has a shaky feeling to it. Also if I have the door half way open and if its windy, the doors just slams open harshly. Rear folding seat knob broke, now I can't fold seats, Ill get my dealer to fix that...we'll see. But so far the car runs excellent, its little engine is powerful. It takes me from point A to point B without a problem.
I have a 1999 Echo which I brought new in February 2000. I love the car, it is great. I have had only a few minor problems, which were all covered under warranty. I have noticed it rattles a bit - but I live in a rough dirt road. I am now at the point where I am about to sell it, but will be sad to see it go.
My 1.3 litre 2000 Echo (2-door manual hatch with air-con & power steering) was bought 2nd-hand around April 2001 with under 13,000km on the odometer. I've added over 90,000km in just over 2 years -- admittedly atypical mileage for an Echo. I was attracted to the car by its economy, compactness and its sheer good design.
The car gets its scheduled logbook service every 10,000km and has been ultra-reliable. I don't use an official Toyota workshop for servicing. I did have one mechanic wax enthusiastic about how neat and accessible the engine bay is in the car, how "everything is where it should be".
I'm replacing the car soon, possibly with another Echo.
I just recently bought a used 2001 Toyota Echo, 2-door. I live in California and being new to the whole driving thing and being a speeding teenager, I still haven't found anything wrong with my echo. Truthfully, I never expected myself to get an echo, but, I just loved the way it was after test driving it. I especially love the room in the back. My whole family loves it. My uncle who was formally a Honda lover actually wants to trade in his 02' Honda civic for an echo just like mine. For the previous people who are having problems with their echos... I think its the dealer you purchased your car from.
I bought a 2000 Echo in Canada, and have moved to the US in 2002. While I agree with all of the positive comments about the performance of the Echo, I too am currently experiencing trouble with the strange clicking sound in the wheels (more on one side than the other) especially on sharp turns. I had it checked out twice, and both times they said it was rust in the drum, which was removed and that this would presumably fix the problem. The sound keeps coming back.
I got a 2000 Echo and have loved it for 4 years. I have over 187,000 miles on mine. I just replaced the alternator this past weekend. Mine has a lot of rattles now, but I guess that is to be expected. All in all, the Echo has been a blessing for me as I drive 200 miles a day five days a week and (knock on wood) my Echo has never failed me.
I have two Echos. Overall, they both are good cars for me. They are not luxury cars, by any means, but they are cheap, economical, and reliable. I average around 35-37 MPG overall. When the gas hit $4.50/gal this past summer, I have a smile on my face every day.
My only complaint about my 2000 Echo is it had a P0171 code, System too Lean. Try many times, just couldn't find out what the problem is.
I have a 2000 Echo. I love this car! My parents bought it new, and after driving it over 250,000 miles, they gave it to me. It now has over 300,000 miles on the motor.
No major problems with the car... It's been in a wreck when it was less than a year old, which was fixed by the at fault driver's insurance company, and since then my mom has hit two deers with it! LOL. No damage was ever done to the engine... except for a fender or two, just about everything on this car is original. However I'm not sure, but I think my vvt-i controller or oil control valve filter is going bad. The car still drives great though.
Once again, I LOVE THIS CAR!