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Toyota Echo



  • I have a six month old Echo 2001 model with 8.000 miles on the clock. I have had the first two oil changes and service according to the book. I noticed after the first service that the car developed a hesitation when upshifting, especially when reaching higher RPM as in passing another vechile after down shifting to third or fourth gear and giving her alot of foot. She starts to come on strong and then there is a mild to medium studder in the car. If I let off the gas it goes away. It feels as if it is starving for fuel. I had the dealer check it after it almost got me hit on the highway while pulling out on a four lane to pass a slow moving tractor trailer. I have also noticed a big drop in fuel economy in the past two months or so. I was getting 38.5 back and forth to work now I'm getting 33.5 at best. I haven't changed my style of driving at all and I use the same type of gas every time same pump and all. I know that winter gas has aditives that lower fuel miliage a bit but 5 mile to the gallon seems like alot. I'm 46 yrs old and I don't jackrabbit from a start but I don't drive her like she's fragile either. Anyone have a similar problem with their echo or is this the first anyone has said these things. Thanks for your help on this one the dealer says everything is on factory specs and they have no idea why the car is doing these things. Scaper
  • wrgrahamwrgraham Posts: 112
    Slugline, I bought the Bridgestone tires again, replacing the original Bridgestones. Actually I purchased the tires at Costco here, and the Bridgestones were all that they had. I think they may be better quality than the originals, although both are marked as Potenzas.
    ...Scaper, that sounds bad to me about the hesitation as the revs mount while passing. I sure have nothing like that. Maybe there is some problem with the jets, feeding the fuel. Seems to me that you should stay right on top of that, and persist with the dealer till it is fixed. Can you not take the dealer out for a drive and replicate the problem? I would think if you can mark the speedometer and the gear, and the road, you should be able to take the dealer out there for the very same experience.
  • Yes, I have noticed everything you write about and in fact have written about it myself in this forum. I have chalked up my poor fuel economy to our winter in North Dakota. The last time I filled the tank I got 17 miles to the gallon! We did have a real cold spell and I only do short in town driving. The fuel consumption better improve by leaps and bounds come warm weather or I am going to be extremely disappointed. As for the hesitation you speak about -- it drives me crazy and yes, it feels like there just isn't enough gas getting to where it needs to be. My 2002 ECHO only has about 1300 miles on it (I did do one oil change to see if things would improve -- they didn't), but I've noticed the hesitation from day one. Gas mileage has been poor from day one too. Toyota dealer says everything checks out fine. I am starting to wonder if I shouldn't have bought the Corolla after all. BTW, I am 49 and my driving habits are probably quite similar to yours. I don't leave rubber at every stop light, but I don't putz either.
  • kaz6kaz6 Posts: 331
    for what it's worth, I have averaged 38mpg in 30-50 degree weather.
    As for resting my hand on the shifter...I'm guilty as charged. However, I had a Ford ZX-2 with a 5-spd. prior to my Echo and had 78,000 miles with no tranny or shifting problems. There is a difference to resting my palm on the shifter and 'leaning' on it. I suppose I should avoid it all together.
  • sluglineslugline Posts: 391

    Good stuff, including how the EPA conducts its testing and tips on running as efficiently as possible.

    Yup, nodaker, I remember your comments earlier. 17 mpg is definitely uninspiring. I am curious to know how many minutes a day your ECHO is actually driving, and how many are just spent idling. Are you idling until that blue temp light goes out?
  • sluglineslugline Posts: 391
    Were we supposed to find something related to the Toyota ECHO at that site?

  • First, I need to correct the mileage on my car. It's 2300 not 1300. . Now to answer your questions. I do let my car warm up about 5-7 minutes. Depending on how cold it is outside (last week we were down to -25 for overnight temps) the blue light may or may not be on. Usually, it is on but goes off shortly after I start driving. If I didn't have this stupid Raynaud's disease I could tolerate a cold car, but I'm simply not able to be in a car that is not semi-warmed up. I called an independent garage last week (specializing in exhaust systems) and spoke with a very helpful gentleman who assured me that people spend more *idle* time than they realize. In my short commute of two miles to work, he was pretty sure I was spending 50% of it in idle. He also said this is why I have that rotten egg smell which is the excess gasoline caught in the catalytic converter. (I'm not a mechanic, so I may have got that messed up, but it was something like that). He also said that fuel injected cars (whether big or compact) need to be warm with longer than 2 mile driving intervals for the computer to properly regulate the gas. So, I am finally convinced that the reason I'm getting such poor gas mileage is due the climate I live in, my very short commute, my idle times and my warm-up times. What is disheartening is that I was under the impression that the mileage would be so much better because of the type of vehicle the ECHO is. I could have kept my Blazer and had similar in-town gas mileage. The in-town gas mileage on my Blazer was about 15 mpg. My main purpose for buying the ECHO, or a car of that size and class was with the environment and my wallet in mind. The few longish trips (150 miles) I have made in the ECHO, the gas mileage was been wonderful -- 47 mpg! Unfortunately, that is not the majority of my driving. I can see where the ECHO would be a fantastic commuting car on roads with constantly moving traffic, but zipping around a small town in the winter is not its forte. I'm thinking the Prius would have been the better choice. Of course, where does one buy a Prius in North Dakota?? I don't think we have a dealership in this state.
  • hey sorry i forgot, i think he told me he was going to overhaul the site for a new server, but check it out after that =o)
  • "Isn't that about the same amount of money though, since the C$ and US$ are so far apart in value?"

    This was your response to jeprox' note on being able to get the same manual for either CDN$300 or US$150. Just to set this straight, the exchange rate is more like C$1.615 per US$. But if your willing to give me C$2 for every US$1, let's talk!
  • echo01echo01 Posts: 19
    A nice advantage of the two-door Echo over most other two-door cars is that it has much more headroom.

    This was an important factor in my choice of car, since I'm tall, and two-door cars with their larger doors are easier to get in and out of.

    The problem though is that most two-door cars have a flattened and squashed-down shape compared with their four-door brethren. I think manufacturers do this because they assume that people who buy two-door cars will think the lower profile looks better. But this flattened shape is a good way to destroy the headroom. However, the two-door Echo, as far as I can tell, has the same profile as the four-door Echo. Result: a two door car with good headroom.

    The only other two-door car I found that had good headroom was the VW New Beetle.

    I sat in and drove a two-door Saturn, Mirage and Civic. Every one of these cars felt cramped, and yet the four-door versions of these same cars were much more comfortable. But since I wanted a two-door car, I had to rule all of them out.

    [I had other reasons as well for ruling out the Saturn and Mirage, having to do with mechanical reliability and insurance/safety, respectively, but that's another story.]

    I also sat in, but didn't drive, other two-door Toyotas: the Celica and Solara. And I cannot imagine driving a new Celica, it is so cramped for room, and for me it would be a chore to climb in and out of. Even in the much larger Solara, I did not have as much headroom as in the Echo, and my line-of-sight was much closer to the top of the windshield. (And these cars are of course much more expensive than the Echo.)

    The bottom line is that of the two-door cars, the Echo is one of the few in which the headroom hasn't been destroyed for the sake of "style". And the more I drive my Echo, the more I like this.
  • sluglineslugline Posts: 391
    Your friendly mechanic has confirmed what I've been suspecting all along. Idling is time and gas spent at 0 mpg, and that'll foul up anyone's average. The Prius may indeed be the better choice for your objectives. Under the short-trip conditions you describe, it would be relying almost entirely on it's electric motor -- and electric motors do not need any warmup time to get up and go (although you may still need it personally!). I did a quick query on Out of the four dealers in North Dakota, Cedrick Theel Toyota in Bismarck is labeled as "Prius Certified." FYI
  • sluglineslugline Posts: 391
    In my experience, two-door cars are harder to enter and exit compared to their four-door equivalents; the ECHO is a actually a good example of this. In a two-door car, the doors must be longer to make access to the back seat possible. The longer door poses a larger obstacle to go around on the way in or out of the front seats.
    In a parking lot, the problem gets even worse. You cannot open the door any further out than the car in the adjoining space. Given the same lateral space, the shorter doors on the four-door can open to a wider and more accessible angle.
    The body styling isn't really different, so other than being cheaper ($485 per Edmunds TMV), I don't see any advantage to having a two-door ECHO over a four-door.
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    From your user name, I realize where you are coming from in your post. Getting adults into the back seat of a 2 door can be a trick. You miss a critical point though in discussing ingress/egress. Because the door is larger it is far easier to get into and out of the front seat, as long as you have room to open the doors. I learned this by showing countless cars over the past 8 years. The 2 door is particularly nice for the elderly or overweight. Both of those groups find the 2 door very handy.
  • echo01echo01 Posts: 19
    Yes, my point is the one that cliffy1 just made - as long as you have room to open the doors, the fact that they are bigger makes it easier to get in and out of the front seat.

    And this is true not only for elderly or overweight people, but also for tall people.

    There's another, related, point about two door cars. Because of my height, it was likely that I was going to have to get the front seat moved back in whatever car I bought. (I had this done in my previous car.) Doing this in a two-door car is fine, but moving the front seat back in a four-door car would result in having to climb around a post every time I get in & out of the car - the seat and front door would no longer be "lined up".

    (Because of the Echo's high seating position, however, I actually am comfortable the way it is, so I probably will not have the seat moved back.)

    Slugline, I see your point about opening the door in parking lots; for some reason, this hasn't been a problem for me. Maybe it's because I've always owned fairly narrow cars. I'm always careful to not bump my door into the adjacent car, and this has not been a problem with my two-door Echo.
  • I think you will be very disappointed in the prius mpg if you just use it for short 2 mi. trips in town only. I have driven both for over a year. This likewise is the observation of all prius owners. As with any car, idling will kill mpg and the same is true with the prius. It also warms up a lot in the first 5 min. to run the catalytic converter to properly maintain its SULEV low emission status. To get the high mpg in the Prius you need to take trips that are least 15-20 min. Prius is a great car but has limitations. I am sure your echo will get good mpg in some other situations and still probably much better than many gas-guzzling SUV's. Other than the hwsitation you describe and need a second opinion about, the car is born to save gas.
    Don Gillespie
    Nashville TN
  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Posts: 1,391
    DO not trust their dyno plot from the Celica GTS.

    I previously commented Weapon-R on two occasions: Celica GTS & ES300 in regards to their testing procedures.

    In short, they do their dyno tests with the hood open. Unless you are willing to drive with the hood flying open all the time, then you'll be able to trust their data.

    Also, because of the nature of the placement (inside the engine compartment), they don't show the results of the dyno test with the effects of heat soak in a normally operating temperature engine. The Celica dyno test was compared to Injen Cold Air Intake (CAI), which its placement is away from the engine compartment (near the wheel wells). Though their tests did confirm the performance of an Injen CAI on the Celica GTS.

    Quality and service (being a past customer) isn't that great either, and many others in various forums will recommend avoiding WeaponR, from their past experiences (Weapon R is good to on some forums only).

    Foam versus cotton gauze, that's another argument, for say Aftermarket Accessories forum.

    So for the following Dyno test on the Celica GTS, take their intake test with a grain of salt.


    ECHO setup


    Look at its position:

    It's far from a cold air source (bad for power). 1)To the left and below, are the exhaust headers: lots of heat coming from them.2) The stock intake gets its air from behind the drivers side headlamp, next to the grille. It is a great source of cold air.

    Cost: 1 mandrel bend is cheaper than a few mandrel bends to get the filter behind the driver's side headlamp area (where there is plenty of room, and the air is cooler, plus greater air flow).

    Material: 6061T6, nothing against it.

    I got the pictures from

  • sluglineslugline Posts: 391
    . . . on both points. I forgot about the door post on four-door cars being a barrier, especially if you have the front seat moved back.

    Cliffy1, I'm interested to know how you think my post was related to my username here on Edmunds. I don't encounter many people who actually recognize "slugline" as journalism jargon. . . .

    I guess I misunderstood Edmunds descriptions of the hybrid systems in the Honda Insight and the Toyota Prius; I thought the Honda relied mainly on its gas engine and supplemented it with the electric motor as needed, while the Toyota relied mainly on its electric motor and got help from the gas engine as needed. So does this mean they operate virtually the same?

    Then maybe what should be on nodaker's wishlist is a 100% electric car. The relatively short range of the batteries obviously would not be an issue.
  • cwo4cwo4 Posts: 90
    Spent many hours in the slugline, and bought a car from cliffy1!
  • Can be solved by a move to Florida :~).

    Hey ya all, you've been so helpful and I appreciate all the responses I've gotten. Slugline -- you sure know your vehicles, and Don from Nashville you are such a positive and encouraging person!

    I have actually seen one Prius in person... or would that be in metal? Very sharp looking vehicle (I actually like it better than the ECHO -- yes, you can chalk me up as one who thinks the ECHO is one swell looking vehicle). I did not see the owner so I couldn't talk to him about how he liked it and how it did in our cold climate. If the nearest certified Prius dealer is in Bismarck, we are talking a 4.5 hour drive. Not too great if you need service. Someday I will own a hybrid -- when I'm living much further south... and I WILL be living much further south. I think the biggest mistake I've made was buying my ECHO at the end of October. I haven't had fun in the sun with it yet so I'm looking forward to that.

    Just so you'all don't think all I do it complain -- I just need to stress again how much I really like everything about the ECHO. Every time I slip in and out of the car with such ease I simply can't understand why others put up with having to pull and heave them self out of a sedan. Although ECHOs don't come with a ton of options, I do have the 4-doo automatic trans, which came equipped with wheels (sharp), spoiler, A/C and the winterized package. I ordered custom seat covers from (The Scottsdale), and they are sharp! The fit is perfect (I highly recommend this company), and people are surprised to learn they are not the actual seats. I put a lighted mirror on the passenger visor, and when I need to replace the tires I will put wider tires on at that time. I have never objected to the center mounted pod and didn't have even a nano-second of adjustment time.

    Did I mention that I think this is a swell looking vehicle?
  • hey dude thats my car lol...but anyways, that might seem like a bad place for the intake...which i totally agree, ide love for it to be around the headlight region, and yes you can put it there if u want, i elected not to do so, because the maf isnt quite long enough..if someone wanted to find an extra inch to work with, the headlight area will work..and ive done testing on my car, nothing like a dyno, but ive drove around town for over an hour...the intake wasnt hot at all, and the heat shield on the exhaust manifold does wonders...there is actually air from the fan being blown on the intake, and u also hafta remember..short ram intakes get more amounts of air quicker =o)...generally, short ram intakes provide higher amounts of top end, while intakes that are longer and located outside of the engine bay usually produce more bottom end...and if u r worried about the place where the intake is, just go ahead and buy the ram air..seals away the filter, and pulls cold air in from anywhere u choose =o)
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