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Toyota Echo



  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Posts: 1,391
    for 81 is 1019 pounds. You'll be fine.
  • mltomekmltomek Posts: 24
    i have had a 2000 and currently a 2002 echo. so in a nutshell i know all the operations and how to work the controls. question is this. my brother bought a used 2000 echo 22k 4 dr auto w/ air and aftermarket cruise installed. the car runs like new and i am quite picky---but i do notice that when i run the fan,plain air(hot and cold both) and the a/c as well, and also outside air or recirculation mode, in a specific setting, for example front vents only, the "air" comes out of the front vents and floor. when i use the defrost mode i get defrost mode and FULL front vent mode---not just the 2 end front vents.

    here is the biggest kicker---when i run floor only----it is by far the weakest on the floor but puts plenty air out to all 4 front vents and the defrost mode.

    what the heck is taking place???? the a/c works fine--just as good as my 2 echo's. if anyone has any idea please let me know so i can take it to the local dealer b4 the 3yr/36k mile runs out.

    one last thing---i want to get any tsb's(technical service bulletins) and/or recalls completed on his lil echo b4 the warranty is over---other than hubcaps--any other tsb's or recalls u may know of?? thank you so much in advance for any help---i love this board--and i love "our" echo's.

  • geegee1958geegee1958 Posts: 29
    which were upgraded, and a recall on the brakes- I think it was for a brake booster(?)- they replaced the front brake pads. Apparently only a few cars actually had this problem, but they did all 2000 models, to be certain.
  • kaz6kaz6 Posts: 331
    You may want to have someone check to see if the control dial corresponds with the setting indicated. When I had an aftermarket stereo installed in a previous car they had reconnected the wires wrong.
  • mdrewmdrew Posts: 32
    That's what a couple of twentysomethings just said about my Echo in a UC Berkeley parking lot tonight. They were amazed that it's (reportedly) being discontinued after next year. Like micweb earlier, I like the idea of it being discontinued and becoming more of a rarity/cult car. I also have almost never seen or heard an Echo advertisment; these guys tonight weren't sure what it was--thinking it might be "battery powered", etc. (It does look like the Prius which also comes in Seafoam Blue or close to it from what I've seen on the street.) Like kneisl1 I'm still amazed that the Edmunds Echo review hasn't been completely revised (haven't looked at it lately but I'm taking his word for it). I don't care if they don't like the looks--that's fair. But to comment negatively about the safety/danger aspect because of the Echo's small size and then saying nothing about the half dozen other cars in the same weight range, including the flimsier, even lighter Suzuki Swift (Edmunds: "We like the Swift" [can you beat that?]) really exposes the reviewer's lack of professionalism. It's tough belonging to a cult.
  • kaz6kaz6 Posts: 331
    Last night, I approached my car to find a man in his 30's circling my Echo. He said, "cute car"!
    He then told me his neighbor liked the Echo so much they bought two! The man that was admiring my car was driving a Mercedes 450SL.
  • babyboomerbabyboomer Posts: 205
    "For the graduate ... New wheels for life's journey. Low-price/high mileage offering so as not to drain mom and dad anymore but don't necessarily look like mom and dad are cheap."

    Three out of fifteen vehicles recommended are Toyotas: Corolla S sedan (03), Matrix XR 4WD (03), and Echo.

    "Toyota Echo: Not real big on the outside, but surprisingly ample room inside. A 4-cylinder with the energy, but not the quiet, of a small V-6. But the 32 mpg city/38 mpg highway mileage brings its own peace. Base price: $11,325."
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    When I rented one of these cars about a month or so ago (because my VW was in the shop- go figure, right?) I was surprised by the way the Echo drove. It rained most of that day, and the car still felt pretty stable on the highway. The only thing I would have changed would be to add about an inch or so of leg room for the driver. Other than that, I really liked the car alot. It's a shame they are not selling well though, they seem pretty well put together, roomy, comfortable, and fuel efficient. You think alot more younger people would go for this car. I guess it just makes you owners feel more special that alot of people don't go for this car. :)
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    I just got 195/60-14 inch Bridgestone RE950's put on the Echo. The tires look great on the car (no more "skinny tire" look, on the other hand they don't look "speed racer" fat) but, more importantly, the car is much more stable at highway speeds - less steering wheel correction required - I can drive 10 mph faster without feeling its "two hands on the steering wheel time." Around corners the grip is amazing.

    These tires are supposed to be extra good in the rain, and I am happy I got them since I have an 80 mile (roundtrip) commute, and California drivers just don't know how to handle rain - that's when it gets iffy on the freeways.

    Surprisingly, the suspension feels "better" with the grippier tires - as if the original equipment tires were the limiting factor, but now the suspension can show its stuff.

    I'll give it a few thousand miles and report back on mileage and longer term impressions.

    The only negatives are the ride is a little bumpier - the sidewalls on this "H" rated tire are apparently much stiffer than on the oem "high gas mileage, cushy ride" soft sidewall tires.

    I said originally that the oem tires were better than I had expected, and that is still true, but if there are any of you out there who do high speed commuting and wish the car were more stable at speed, this is a quick and cheap fix. I also notice much less sensitivity to crosswinds across the bridge. Instead of getting twitchy, the car absorbed the crosswinds and kept tracking true.

    The car honestly handles as well as my 2001 VW Golf hatchback, and I like these tires better than the Dunlop Sport A2's I put on that car (the Dunlops have slightly soft sidewalls). I think the VW has about a 10mph greater "stability" factor, but I'm happy at 80 and don't need to go 90. It's how stable the car is at 80 that I worry about. And the Echo is a lot quieter - the VW with a stick is pulling high revs at highway speeds.

    I got the tires at the They recommended 195/60 instead of 185/60. Both fit, and are within 1% speedometer accuracy, but the 195 gives slighty more rubber on the road.

    The difference between 175 and 195 is only 20 millimters - about 3/4 of an inch - so I think the biggest improvement in handling is due to the better tire design and grippier tread, not due to upgrading the size.

    My other tire option was to stay completely "stock" in size, but the only performance tire in stock size is the Dunlop Sport A2. Those are good tires, but not as good as these new design Bridgestones.

    So overall I am very happy I took the plunge.
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,683
    I brought up the subject of ECHO on my motorcycle list. Serious motorcyclists put more money in their bikes than their cars and were always looking for a good cheap car. So I extolled the virtues of the ECHO to the brothers. About half of them that replyed own one! They love it! There were two negitive comments however. One fellow suggested that Id end up a hood ornament on a Ford Explorer. Another said ECHO is something you wipe off your shoe. (I can get his address if you want!)
  • kaz6kaz6 Posts: 331
    I had my life changed by motorcycling and what it made me appreciate most was simplicity. The Echo's straightforwardness and good power/weight ratio convinced me to buy one. Motorcycles and the Echo have a center mounted pod! ;)
  • babyboomerbabyboomer Posts: 205
    Why is the Ford Focus popular (5th best-selling car, behind Accord, Camry, Taurus, and Civic) when safety is an issue? The government (NHTSA) has begun six investigations this year, the latest (technically in the preliminary inquiry stage) concerns engine stalling suddenly and the suspension can collapse. That may be a record number of investigations for one vehicle at the same time. Focus has already had eight recalls.

    On the other extreme is the Echo. I don't think the NHTSA has had any inquiries on the Echo. So why do people buy that Focus?
  • vadpvadp Posts: 1,025
    Government must be broadcasting subliminal messages over public airwaves - "buy american, buy american".

    And it works admirably.
  • mdrewmdrew Posts: 32
    Don't pay attention to all those NHTSA warnings about the Focus (which I also read about in the paper). Edmunds says the "award winning Focus" is "wonderful...inspires confidence"; they even give it great marks for safety--no mention of any problems in their review. But then, they also recommend the "superior offering from Kia" over the Echo. (On second thought, I'd put more stock in the NHTSA.)
  • majorthomechomajorthomecho Posts: 1,331
    Yeah, listen to the editors of Edmunds instead of actual owners who respond to surveys from Consumer Reports. The editors over at CR compiled the results and found the Echo is the most reliable [new] small car. What do the people who actually own the cars know? ; )
  • sluglineslugline Posts: 391
    1) In the economy car class, it's all about "bang for the buck" for many buyers, and the ECHO simply doesn't compete in a straightforward comparison of feature/price ratios, due in large part to Toyota's option-package structure
    2) While both are tall-profile cars, the Focus has a styling closer to mainstream tastes; I have seen few people give "unattractive appearance" as a reason for not buying a Focus.
    3) Ford is manufacturing and shipping hordes of "Foci" to dealerships. (How many ECHOs are on the lot at your local Toyota dealership?) You can only sell a lot if you make a lot in the first place. . . .
    4) At least in my area, the Focus is advertised more frequently, usually with the lure of low financing or rebates.
    5) Hatchbacks are re-emerging as desireable cars, and the Focus is now available in ZX3 and ZX5 styles.

    I don't necessarily think the Focus is a better car, but there are reasons why it sells. . . .
  • babyboomerbabyboomer Posts: 205
    Good answers slugline. Now please give me your best five reasons why people should buy the Echo.
  • sluglineslugline Posts: 391
    Five reasons to choose ECHO over Focus:
    1) The KISS (Keep It Simple, Silly) Principle: If you don't need all the "toys" that have become standard features in most cars recently, it's may still be possible to come away with a truly cheap car.
    2) "I can always find my car in a parking lot.": The styling isn't goofy to YOU, and you don't mind having a different car from everyone else.
    3) High-tech engine: Despite giving up half a liter of displacement to the Focus, lack of acceleration doesn't even come close to being an issue, largely thanks to VVTi. One of the payoffs is. . . .
    4) "Honey I shrunk the minivan.": Boxy styling doesn't generate much emotional passion, but it does generate interior volume. The smaller engine (and engine compartment) also helps leave more room for passengers and cargo. The ECHO even ends up with a larger trunk than a Focus sedan. The other payoff of the 1.5-liter engine is. . .
    5) Ultimate commuter vehicle: This Toyota is more ECHOnomical on gas than any other new car out there that doesn't get battery assistance. At a 45/55 highway/city driving ratio, the EPA projects that the ECHO will have a 20-25% advantage in this area.

    That's five, and I didn't even need to touch any quality/reliability issues.
  • majorthomechomajorthomecho Posts: 1,331
    1) Comfort
    2) Space
    3) Style
    4) Fuel economy
    5) Safety
  • echo01echo01 Posts: 19
    All I can figure about the Echo's poor sales is that the car just for some reason lacks "snob appeal".

    The car is after all reliable, performs well, made by a manufacturer with a very good reputation for quality, is more comfortable than other small cars (and many larger ones). AND the people who own them love them. The problems that owners report are minor.

    I think that the Echo appeals to people who think for themselves and are looking for good, objective value in the cars they buy. Not all of these people will or should buy the Echo, but it's the kind of car that would appeal to the person who thinks independently and makes up his own mind about things.

    But there are quite a few people who don't do this. Their first thought about buying a car is "what will other people think of me?". They are probably buying a car to make some sort of fashion or "lifestyle" statement. It matters to them that other people think they are "successful" or "cool" or whatever.

    The original Edmunds review is a perfect example of this second-hand mentality. For instance, the guy thought it was really important that one's future in-laws approved of the car one drove.

    I've read other negative reviews in car magazines which shall remain unnamed, and without exception these were filled with comments that were not based on anything except that the reviewer didn't think the Echo looked like what he thought a car should look like. No objective facts, just the rantings of a car-snob. Or these people will take what is a *great* feature of the Echo, such as its center-mounted pod, and make up reasons why this is a bad thing, without giving it much thought.

    I've always ignored what people like this have to say, but I am sure plenty of people won't buy an Echo because they've read some self-styled expert say it's no good, and after all "he must know".

    Why doesn't the Echo appeal to car snobs? I haven't a clue, other than if someone's first thought is "what will the neighbors think?", he is unlikely to do anything in life but follow the crowd.

    As for the Echo-vs-Focus, the thing that amuses me is that before I owned an Echo, I used to regularly mistake these cars for each other when I saw them on the road. (I don't any more of course.) They really do have a very similar profile when I look at them.


    The best source of information for potential car buyers is a forum like this, where one can read what the experience of actual owners is. One can then look at facts, such as "I had problem X".
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