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Toyota Echo

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  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,691
    Next silly question! 22k miles now and the car is about 3 1/2 years old. The only problem so far is I THINK the illiminating light over the idiot light cluster is burnt out. I havnt had time to check it out. Otherwise no problems the car runs like it did the day I bought it. Im averaging 36-38 mpg winter 40-43 mpg summer and I drive the car 6.5 miles to work in city traffic and that is about 75% of the mileage on the car. I never exceed 45 mph driving to work, but on long trips it cruises at 80 just fine. The Potenza tires are still good. Incidently i just read an article about some 6 series BMW that cost $75k and it had Potenza tires on it according to the article at least! I got them lifetime balanced at Sears and they are spin balanced every year on the cars birthday. I plan to remove one of the front tires and inspect the brake pad thickness soon. The clutch is great and I plan to fix it so you dont have to depress the clutch to start the engine. Engine is fine all I have done is change the oil three times a year. I use Fram filters and whatever oil is on sale, dino only 5W-30. I plan to change the coolant, manual transmission oil, and brake fluid next time this year when the car will have about 28k on it. Also plan then to bleed out the hydralic clutch at the clutch cylindar. The battery is origional and I check the water in it every time I change the oil. It will be four years old in November and in my experience thats nearly the life of new car batteries. I will replace it with a Diehard when it goes. The exhaust is origional I understand it is a stainless steel exhaust (is that so?). The SS exhaust system on my wifes 93 Saturn is still on the car at 114k miles. When the exhaust does go Toyota offers a lifetime warranty if they install the exhaust system so thats where Ill get it. DO NOT GO TO MIDAS for this they are a total ripoff. It cost $350 to change my wifes 92 Accord wagons muffler there a few years ago and it was gone in a year and they only would give us $15 towards the new one. Dealer price for the same muffler? $180. The body is fine except for where I backed it into a pole at about 2 mph and skimmed the right rear cracking the taillight. ($85 for the lense at the dealer...not bad)
       I do NOT plan to allow the dealer to service the car. They overcharge way too much for routine maintenance. Its costs me about $7 for an oil change and I read the owners manual and inspect everything myself. When the rear brakes go Toyota will do that as well as the exhaust system and shock struts. I plan to check the valve clearances myself at 60k miles. About five and a half years from now by my count. I use Nu Car Finish on the hood, roof and trunk every spring and fall.
       Basically the car drives like new and there have been no problems.
  • wrgrahamwrgraham Posts: 112
    I am surprised at how little you use your car, especially being so knowledgeable as you are. At 103K miles now we are still on original battery, muffler, clutch and brakes. Changed tires twice. Four years and one month since purchase.
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,691
    I also ride a motorcycle 12 months of the year and dont have to go far to work so I guess thats why. I think it helps your car when you drive it a lot as you do to get maximum life from the components. 103k on a set of brakes is great! Which you wouldnt get unless you are a very careful driver.
  • wrgrahamwrgraham Posts: 112
    I had a stretch of about 3 years where my motorcycle was my main transportation. I think it helped to make me a better driver, in two ways that come to mind. First, you get so watchful of the other people on the road, and once that is a habit you dont lose it. Second, motorcycles are so fast as compared to cars that you feel stupid trying to accelerate quickly in a car. So your car driving becomes your mellow side. And maybe you lose some but not all of that once you are not with motorcycles any more.
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,691
    I am a complete milkquetoast driving my ECHO. Actually a complete milkquetoast on the bikes too!
  • bpraticobpratico Posts: 23
    I called Toyota U.S.A. to ask them to bring the Echo hatchback to the U.S. for 2005. They thanked me and asked me to send an email via the Toyota web site - which I did.

    I encourage everyone that wants to see the Echo hatchback come to the U.S. to do likewise. Email link is under: Search/Help - FAQs - Email Toyota.
  • brad3brad3 Posts: 8
    if toyota, brought the hatchback to the states, they would triple the sales of the echo!! i'm going on the website to ask for the hatch here!!!
  • fuelmiserfuelmiser Posts: 26
    prefer. I have looked into the process of importing one, and it is, of course, much more inconvenient than going to my local dealer here in Maryland. But I expect to do this sometime this summer unless, of course, Toyota US decides to offer them. What is that email address to write to?
  • rep5858rep5858 Posts: 45
    I was wondering if anyone knows a seat that will match the bolts of the 2001 echo. I need a front driver's side seat for my 2001 echo. With one trim line I will need a seat from another car Corolla? would that match? please help.
    rick
  • stevengordonstevengordon Posts: 130
    How do these two compare and differ? Is the xA basically an Echo hatchback that happens to weigh a little bit more but be a few inches shorter?
  • bpraticobpratico Posts: 23
    There is no email address (undoubtedly to prevent spammers.) You have to send it from the Toyota web site. On the Toyota web site, the Email feeback form is under: Search/Help - FAQs - Email Toyota
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,691
    I note that the Scion line has racked up the MOST defects per vehicle in a new car of ANY manufacturer which is astonishing. I guess thats the main difference between ECHO and Scion.
  • stevengordonstevengordon Posts: 130
    I agree, kneisl1. It surprised me, too. It made buying a Hyundai rather enticing. I wish the Elantra 5-door wasn't in the higher trim line with leather.
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,691
    Hyundai continues to remain in the "worst" catagory in terms of long term reliability. That defect survey only includes new vehicles. The ECHO is still the best small car you can buy.
  • odmanodman Posts: 309
    It is almost impossible to take a brand new vehicle across the border, but used cars are a completely different story. There are lots of threads in here on how to do it. "Used" Echo hatches are going for CAN$16,000 (less than US$12,000 at current rates) with less than 15,000 miles on the clock.
  • odmanodman Posts: 309
    For the first quarter of 2004, Toyota sold 6,600 Echos, up almost 30% over 2003 (Toyota as a whole is down 2% in its car sales in Canada).

    The Echo is the 5th best selling car in Canada (excluding light trucks), and sells almost as many as the Corolla does. Although the sales figures I've seen aren't broken out by bodystyle, I'm sure that it's remarkable sales performance is due to the hatch. They are all over the place and people love them. A woman in my office with a blue hatch says that other Echo drivers (esp. the blue ones) give an "Echo wave" everytime they drive past one another!
  • stevengordonstevengordon Posts: 130
    Isn't the long-term reliability of the currently engineered Hyundai models is yet to be determined? The current edition of the Elantra is too new to have been counted in any long-term survey...or so I would guess.

    The differences between the ECHO hatchback and the Scion xA seem to be that the ECHO has more front and rear shoulder room, but is less roomy with regard to leg and hip room. (I base that on the last toyota.edumunds model comparison webpage I accessed from Toyota's ECHO page.
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,691
    I have looked at the Hyundai and I am not impressed with the build quality, compared to the ECHO. Its true the new ones arent old ones yet. But until I see Hyundais selling for 2/3of new price when a couple of years old Ill remain skeptical.
  • stevengordonstevengordon Posts: 130
    The ECHO does appear to have clinched the top spot, at least according to the last Consumer Reports annual car issue I read.

    Besides, it has a more utilitarian approach to its design. I like the double-glove box, the tray under the seat, and all the cubby holes.
  • stevengordonstevengordon Posts: 130
    Just reviewed a review of the ECHO hatches in Canadian Driver's website. Seems that the hatch has seating positions for two in the backseat. That wouldn't work for me.

    Funny that I can't find a hatchback or tall wagon that seats 5, is 5-star in the crash ratings, gets 30+ MPG in the city, and isn't styled like something from a sci-fi movie. Doesn't Honda or Toyota recognize a purely utilitarian need for an economical hatchback/wagon?
  • bpraticobpratico Posts: 23
    Check out the Honda Jazz/Fir which Honda is reportedly bringing to the U.S. for 2005.
  • stevengordonstevengordon Posts: 130
    To compete with the ECHO and Scion offerings? I thought I'd read that Honda was delaying the Jazz/Fit for another model year. I could be wrong, though.
  • bpraticobpratico Posts: 23
    "Honda will bring a version of its micro-compact Fit to the United States as early as this year, according to Japan's Nihon Keizai business daily."

    http://www.thecarconnection.com/index.asp?article=6806
  • bpraticobpratico Posts: 23
    Nissan has also announced it will bring the Nissan "Cube" to the U.S. for 2005 as its entry-level vehicle. This will directly compete with the Echo hatchback (also Sion models) and the Honda Jazz. Most intriguing is the the fact that the Cube offers 4WD.

    http://www.cardesignnews.com/news/2002/021012tokyo-nissan/
  • stevengordonstevengordon Posts: 130
    ...this onslaught of similarly-sized pretenders to the crown?

    I really wish Honda or Toyota could make a hatchback at the size of the Civic or Corolla, that was utilitarian, lacked all of the brushed chrome accents and irridescent lighting. Just make it a practical vehicle, an "SUV for the rest of us."

    BTW: thanks for the links for the Cube and Jazz/Fit.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,784
    I really wish Honda or Toyota could make a hatchback at the size of the Civic or Corolla,...

    How about the base Matrix? Tons of space, good passenger room, Toyota quality.
  • stevengordonstevengordon Posts: 130
    I'm dubious about the thinning side windows from front to back. Not sure if my kids would find it claustrophobic. And the glitzy gauges bug me...but I can get over it.

    I thought the Matrix had a (comparatively) weak engine...

    Guess I'll have to try it out with the family.
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,691
    Ive driven a Matrix and it drives like a truck. I wasnt impressed with the power availible from the engine either. The daskboard can only be described as juvenile. REALLY tacky. The Prius has a very nice high quality yet understated dash and interior. The new ECHOs have all kinds of stuff going on on the exterior like bulges and badges like they were trying to make it more sophisticated looking. Making a purse out of a sows ear is the expression. I just finished up my first bottle of Nu Finish car wax on the ECHO after nearlt three and a hald years. Its so small it only takes about 15 minutes to wax it too.
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,691
    i just read on the NYC Online that the average car sold in the us (including trucks) weighs more than 4000 pounds! Man are we going in the wrong direction.
  • fuelmiserfuelmiser Posts: 26
    odman (#4322) I am curious about this. I am planning to go up the the Niagara area and buy an Echo hatchback in Canada and bring it back. I have looked into the process and it does not seem to be so difficult. Did I miss something?
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