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Toyota Echo



  • thooverthoover Posts: 49
    I agree 100% with those who love the ECHO. Fun to drive, easy on gas, zero (as in 0) problems, and silly me I love the way it looks, inside and out. The word that comes to me is integrety.

    I am sort of sad that more people don't "get it", but I am also used to it now.

    My 4door automatic is now sitting at 44.7MPG average over the last 5 tanks, the highest yet! So at 41K+ miles, it seems to be getting better and better? The total MPG over the last entire year is 41.2 MPG.

    If they do discontinue these (pray no), I for one will sure miss them. Maybe I would go out and trade for the *last one*, to start the odo back at 0000's so I could break in a new one all over.
  • echo01echo01 Posts: 19
    It's been about a year since I got my 2001 Echo and with about 10,000 miles, I still really like it; there have been no significant problems.

    I considered buying also the Civic, Saturn SC1 and Mitsubishi Mirage. The Corolla I did not consider because I wanted a 2-door car, and also the Corolla does not have as much room for the driver as the Echo. I've never regretted choosing the Echo over all of these, and I haven't in the meantime learned of any cars I wish I'd bought instead. The Echo was definitely the right car for me.

    Mileage isn't an issue, but it has been 37 to 45 mpg, depending on the season and the kind of driving. The car has plenty of power, is comfortable for me, even for long trips, quiet for a small car, handles well and is fun to drive.

    My only minor complaint is that the car seems to be a bit susceptible to developing mild interior rattles. One I had fixed under warranty. I have two now that sort of come-and-go, so they're not repeatable enough to be diagnosed, and they are as yet only minor annoyances.

    And yes, I really like the way it looks!
  • lynnann1lynnann1 Posts: 85
    I wanted one as much for it's quirky looks and unusual interior - hey my family had Studebakers, my Dad bought a Pacer (can you say goldfish bowl?), it must be hereditary -- as for its cost and economy. We looked at the Focus (you wouldn't believe what my bro in law calls them, the Focus that is - take the "o" and change it to another vowel - I'll let you figure it out, btw he doesn't like the ECHO either.) My husband wanted the Focus, but since we were buying a car for me to drive, I got my way. He now loves my little car too and is glad of the decision we made.

    The few times I have been without my car I really missed it. I drove a Saturn will my Echo was being repaired as a result of a rear-end collision (I wasn't hurt) and it took me a week and a half to get used to the Saturn. I was really glad to get my Echo back.

    I would hate to see the Echo discontinued.
  • mdrewmdrew Posts: 32
    Although I'm an ecstatic Echo-owner, I think the Focus is a cool car and not really much different in design (never driven one). When I was looking around in 2000 a friend really pushed the Focus, also new at the time. For me it came down to the overall reliability of a Ford versus a Toyota--no contest. In retrospect I was right (again!). My girlfriend at the time and I were driving her 90 Corolla that to this day has not had one problem. The weirder look of the Echo was also a plus the first time I saw one on the street. Then the high seating position sealed the deal...
  • vadpvadp Posts: 1,025
    Yes, you were right.
    At the same time I would like to add that if Ford would follow Toyota's business model and bring the European made Focus (better parts - very reliable) to the US (as Toyota did and still do with the japanese built Echo) the reliability scores wouldn't not be as far apart as they stand for now (for the '00 model in particular).
  • sluglineslugline Posts: 391
    We discovered a piece of the bumper hanging down from the ECHO the other day. At first I was worried that it was damage from a collision, but a closer look revealed that it was actually a snap-off panel in the bumper, located in the lower opening of the bumper fascia on the driver's side. It had come loose and was then attached only by a thin plastic tether. When I looked in the hole normally covered by the panel, I could see a threaded tube, as if it was intended to receive a large bolt of some sort.

    One of my first guesses was that it was a cutout for fog lights, but there wasn't a corresponding hole on the passenger side. Anyone have any idea what I discovered?
  • photoboyphotoboy Posts: 18
    I am one picky SOB and I love the Echo. I love the center mounted instrument pod; it makes it much easier to keep your eyes on the road and occasionally look over, not down, to check your speed. I love the looks; it doesn't look like everything else on the highway. I love the seating position and how easy it is to get in and out. And as for why it hasn't been a huge success in the American marketplace? — We Americans just don't get it. We want big. We want luxury. We have very, very cheap petrol. ... and Toyota's marketing department stinks to high heaven. They have not even attempted to market this vehicle and they made matters worse by not optioning out the car to compete head on with the competition. I hope they keep the car in production and market to mature adults to which is it very suitable. Also, add exterior mirror controls, intermittent wipers and CD standard. Enough said!
  • bob365bob365 Posts: 3
    To Slugline's message #3146,

    The "secret" panel in the front bumper is for towing.

    If you look in the trunk at the panel atop the spare tire, you will see a lug wrench, a cranking handle for the jack, and a big black bolt looking thing with an eyelet on the end. This bolt screws into the secret panel and is used to tow the car (for emergencies only, I presume).
  • sluglineslugline Posts: 391
    Yeah, emergencies only -- I'd rather not tow a car any significant distance using a single tow-point way off-center like that. I bet that bolt is primarily the front tie-down point for the boat trip over from Japan, and maybe for the ride to the dealership, too. I'll have to remember to take a look for a tie-down somewhere on the rear. (I'm just the curious type!)
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    My 2002 Jetta has the same thing. You pop out the little black thingies in the front, and attach this part that's with the spare tire tools. Look in the owner's manual, it should say something about it there. It does in mine.
  • mralanmralan Posts: 174
    Anyone have cruise added to their Echo as a dealer option? How much did it cost?
  • wrgrahamwrgraham Posts: 112
    One of the other Echo owners talked about buying the Echo because he/she wanted a 2 door. Many years ago I can remember liking 2 doors cause they were built strong but weighed less,
    and also I thought they looked better. But the Echo 2 door looks so much the same as the 4 door, and the weight is close to the same. I do see a number of 2 doors on the road, so I thought I should just ask why do you guys buy 2 doors? The 4 door seems so practical and just fine for me. (No contrary attitude here, I just don't know!) And I do have in mind that I might buy a low mileage 2nd hand Echo sometime, and I was wondering if I would consider a 2 door.
  • sluglineslugline Posts: 391
    I remember bringing up this topic awhile back, as I think the 4-door is overall a more sensible choice, too. It provides easier ingress/egress for rear seat passengers and the smaller doors are easier to open/shut -- especially in tight spaces.
    I got more than one response claiming that the 2-door provides easier ingress/egress for the front seats because there is no B-pillar in the way. I, for one, have never noticed that, but I suppose it might depend on how far back you like to set your seat.
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,683
    I also wanted a 4 door for the reasons you mention, slugline. But there was a 2 door in silver with not as many options so I got that and am happy with it. Rarely does anyone use the back seat or even the front passanger seat for that matter. It is definately easy getting in and out with that w i d e door and high seat, bless its pointed little head.
    I often see that people want power windows, power locks, and cruise control, things which are either rare or non existant on the ECHO. Well, I for one dont want any of them! Wind up windows...fine. No power steering....great. Cruise control...just something else to break. The biggest option you pay $$$ for and will never need...antilock brakes! There has been NO reduction in accidents since the advent of antilock brakes. In fact,it might be worse because people think they can go FASTER safely!
    Am I the only one who thinks like this?
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    You are not the only one who thinks about ABS like that. I, for one, would not have a car without it. I almost went under an 18-wheeler one time who ran through a traffic light, but my ABS saved me.
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    In California, the 4 doors tend to come fully loaded and the 2 doors just have the basics - air, ps, defroster, radio but no cd. (2 drs list around 12,800 with auto, 12,000 without, while 4 doors start at 13,800 and go up from there).

    Someone else asked about getting "$10,000" Echos. I have seen quite a few pop up in "dealer specials" ads. They are usually stick shift in 2 or 4 door with no air, no power steering, but are good, serviceable cars that look fine. So that is why everything on the Echo is an "option" - so they can sell a few stripped models as entry level cars. I think they are a great buy compared to Kias and Hyundais. Someone should start racing them. :- )

    Keep in mind that Corolla CE automatics are "selling" in ads for $12,888, which is $2,188 more than I paid for my auto Echo (after my discount). For me, the bells and whistles on the Corolla are not worth this extra money. A pumped up Corolla, with more options (and there are a lot of them) is closer to $17,000 - which is about $3,000 more than an optioned out Echo.

    So it is somewhat relative. An optioned out Echo is more than a basic Corolla, but still cheaper than an optioned out Corolla. They're both cheaper than a base Camry . There's no free lunch.

    I got my Echo as a second, commuter car, and I only carry an occasional passenger, who only weighs 100 pounds. Except for a couple of cases of water, I don't have any luggage in the trunk. So the Echo's ultralight weight and excellent mileage is worth more to me than the extra expense and weight (=lower mileage) of the Corolla. If I had to carry a heavier load in the car (big family, heavier people, more luggage etc.) I would have looked at the Corolla or Camry. This is why car models exist - price vs. function. The Echo definitely gives the most bang for the buck. It is the only automatic in a small car that doesn't give lousy gas mileage and/or accelerations.

    I am starting to see more Echos on the road out here. A stripped Dodge Neon used to be the long-haul commuter value car of choice, but maybe the Echo is starting to get some appreciation from road warriors.
  • sluglineslugline Posts: 391
    micweb: As far I can tell, the ECHO has a narrow body, narrow tires, an elevated center of gravity, and unremarkable brakes. You'd have to be quite a risk-taker to use one as a race car . . . well, maybe just drag race in a straight line. :-) I think you're "right on the money" with the value analysis versus Corolla, though.

    kneisl1: There's been lots of debate on whether ABS can reduce the number or severity of accidents. But I'm not sure I could buy the argument that they make things worse. Interesting thought, however: If car fairies came by in the middle of the night and stole all of our "safety gadgets" -- stability control, ABS, airbags, seat belts -- would we all commit ourselves to becoming safer drivers?
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,683
    Every once in a while a guy on my motorcycle list has an accident which, you have to say, is caused by the ABS on his motorcycle. ABS on a motorcycle can usually be turned off, especially if the bike is used offroad sometime. Loose dirt or sand can make the ABS fail to actuate the brakes and you just run into something when you thought you were braking enough to stop. The rider really needs to know to turn it off when offroad, but some dont know and learn the hard way.
    Anyway I was really wondering if there is anyne out there who likes a car without power windows, ac, ps, etc. My 1978 Checy C10 (yep, C10) has manual brakes, no ps, and a three on the tree. Love that vehicle.
  • echo01echo01 Posts: 19
    I'm probably the one who prompted the "why would someone want a 2-door" discussion.

    The reason for preferring a 2-door car is that the doors are bigger than the front doors of a 4-door and for a tall person such as myself, this makes getting in and out easier. This would have been the case to an even greater extent if I'd had to have the seat moved back, as I was considering doing before I got used to driving the Echo.

    I rarely have anybody sitting in the back seat, so if I had a 4-door version, those back doors would rarely get used anyway.

    The 2-door Echo, compared to other 2-door cars, also has a lot more headroom. That's because with most other models, the 2-door variant is made with a lower profile than the 4-door variant. My Echo is kind of a "2-door car with a 4-door car profile". Which is exactly what I wanted.


    Somebody earlier mentioned that the 2-door Echos also are typically equipped with fewer options. I hadn't considered that when buying, but on reflection, it's definitely true. And since I wanted a car without lots of added things, this made it easier to find a 2-door "low-optioned" Echo than a 4-door. Mine is a 5-speed, with only power steering, air conditioning, clock and "all-weather" package added.

    I bet 4-door is a better choice for the majority of buyers, which is probably why they make more of them and some cars, such as the Corolla, now only come in 4-door.
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