"SUV 's are a very, very good family option."
No, minivans are a good family option.
I suggest you read "High & Mighty: The Dangerous Rise of the SUVs".
SUVs cost more, are less safe, have less cargo space and pollute more than minivans. Only advantage is ground clearance, which makes them more prone to rollover, but 98% of SUV uses are suburbanites who will never go off-road, and when they do, it's actually gravel roads that a small car could manage easily.
The above SUV comment about guys and their masculinity is pretty silly, considering 90% of suv drivers where I live (Boston) are women and SUV adds are clearly marketed towards women. I don't think Toyota named their gigantic SUV the Sienna for masculinity purposes.
The Sienna is not a SUV, but a minivan. It is, however, a pretty big one.
My view is that unless you have more than 5 people in your family, you shouldn't own a minivan. Hard to park, dangerous to vehicles around you, and hard on gas. Minivans, like SUVs, are a menace to the urban landscape.
I have purchased a 5 door hatch and it is great, you cannot compare to a SUV because they are a lot bigger and cost a lot more too!
My echo is no longer stock standard, it is cheap on replacing suspension (lowered) and the fact that you can move the back seat to make more or less room is a great factory option. I had a sub installed in the boot and the company did not know that this could happen.
I recommend that any one wanting realiability buy one! Even my 2year old niece loves it because she can open the door and climb in the back seat!
Don't knock this car it is great!!
Double check the lack of dual airbags. Last I checked, dual airbags was a required safety standard in North America. The Echo meets the requirements.
Side airbags are not standard, but in a car this size, would probaly be the kiss of death.
It does have standard ABS in the hatch, something which is sadly lost in the Yaris hatch.
This car is awesome... The gas mileage is a nice way to save bucks when the gas is on the high end. It is easy to park and very nimble and quick in city traffic. The car is incredibly light making it really quick.
High seating position and comfortable seats front and back. Owned mine 7 years now and did the front brakes at 80k. It is closing in on 100k now and no problems.
I wish they had not discontinued this car after 2 years for the Yaris. I think the ECHO hatchback was a fantastic idea for Canada. It does make it a unique car though being only a short run of 2 years. Still easy to get parts as it is on the same platform as the ECHO sedan.
I will drive mine until it drops.
I love my Echo, too. I have a 05 used sedan, that I bought in 07. I wanted the hatch, but I found they were harder to find, and more expensive than the sedan. The only real drawback for the hatch is that it has a tiny trunk. My sedan's trunk is quite large. There's more room in it than my Dad's 98 Corolla's trunk.