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Toyota Echo

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  • Okay guys, I've pretty much committed to the Echo, but one question/problem still lingers. Whatever car I do decide to get, I'll be using it in large part for getting from central North Carolina to western South Carolina, near the mountains but no real mountain driving, something like a 5-6 hour drive. Do all of you owners feel that the Echo is a comfortable, safe and confident way to make a trip like this? My major concern is wind and slipping/sliding as a result; I'm anxious to hear what you all have to say about the issue.

    Cheers,
    Peter
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,691
    Someone asked about winds affecting the ECHO and having just had a pretty major bout of fighting the wind the other day I'd have to say, yes, ECHO is a little susceptable to cros winds. Not quite as bad as the VW beetle (old) but I think some people may really be offput by it. Really you don't know anything about cross winds until you experience them at 80 on a motorcycle.But on the other hand, this is a SERIOUSLY cool car all the way around. It is easily the QUIETEST small car I have ever driven wind wise, very quiet at speed all around. Very cool. Seriously cool!
  • I have my last payment for my 2000 Echo in the mail now. Paid off in 12 months (a 24 month loan).

    Love my car. Love my gas mileage. Love my title, when I get it.
  • kaz6kaz6 Posts: 331
    It is always a surprise to people (it was for me too)when they hear how good the Echo is as a long-distance vehicle! It's the quietest small car I've driven (avg. 80mph) from Los Angeles to Las Vegas and very comfortable to boot. Power is abundant for passing at most altitudes. The only time it starts to run out of steam is near the 4000ft. level. I always run it on premium but my old ZX-2 never ran out of power no matter what the altitude. On the other hand, the best mpg the ZX-2 had on the highway was 32mpg; Echo 41mpg.
    And yes kneisl1, there is nothing like being on a motorcycle during strong crosswinds! I used to get major adrenaline rushes crossing the Verazanno Bridge(sp?) in NYC!!! 6ft steel expansion joints with the wind at 30mph and rain...whoo hoo!
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,691
    No thankyou! No Verazanno Narrows Bridge for me on a motorcycle under those conditions! I DO ride my bicycle across it every year during the Bike New York event on the first Sunday in May. For those who have not heard of it, the city closes traffic to automobiles on a 42 mile loop around the city from the Battery north to the Bronx, then south to the VN Bridge and finishing on Staten Island. A most worthy event.
  • My husband and I have driven from Delaware to Greensboro and back once (about a 8 hr drive) and to and from the Lynchburg VA area once (6 hr drive) and we had no problems with comfort. Since we had no back seat passengers, I can't tell you how that would go.
  • The review of the Toyota Echo by Edmunds. com is very negative. They really "slam" this vehicle. But, I've looked at a new Echo yesterday, test-drove it, and it seems to be a very "buyable" vehicle. I've owned a 1991 Toyota Camry LE V6 for 10 years and it's finnaly reached the end of it's "lifecycle." I need to buy a new vehicle mainly for commuter use and the choices seem to come down to an Echo, Ford Focus, Honda Civic, or Nissan Sentra. I'm leaning toward the Echo, But is it the best choice. Give me some feedback! Thanks!
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,691
    1) costs less
    2) easier to get in and out of
    3) better mileage
    4) more room inside
    5) quiet
    6) Toyota guarantees a muffler, shocks, or struts for life if they install them
    7) Consumer reports likes ECHO
    8) I think its a better car. I've fixed everything on all my cars and motorcycles all my life. GE trained me to work on Large Steam Turbines. RCA trained me to work on NASA flight hardware.
    8) The other cars you mention are not really small cars anymore. (if you want a small car)
    9) ECHO is cooler, IMHO

    I think the slam by Edmunds is mainly at the economic aspect of buying ECHO....a Honda might make more sense when it comes to resale value. But the part where they call ECHO a cartoon car and "would you want to be seen driving up in this car?" is really wrong on thier part. That's a subjective comment, not a comment on the true function of ECHO as an automobile. But they could be viewed as being correct...some people actually think like that and that might be a factor for them in purchasing a car. The slam by Edmunds on ECHO is really a slam on the materialistic, ego driven, "I'm cool because I of what I drive" aspect of our society. It really isn't pretty.
  • koyoteeekoyoteee Posts: 17
    That's pretty quick to pay off the Echo. A couple of years from now, I will hopefully have the same nice feeling :)
  • koyoteeekoyoteee Posts: 17
    danny, I think it was you that posted way back about having cruise control installed, and as I recall, you also live in Canada. Could you tell me how much it was, and where you got it done, please? Thanks. I'm in Guelph, Ontario.
    Ian
  • kaz6kaz6 Posts: 331
    Just took my Echo in for its first service visit...it consisted of the dealer making me wait two hours(w/appt.)while they took it to a quicklube place!! I only know it because they forgot to peel the windshield sticker off before giving the car back to me! Sheesh!
    So to answer the question of wether or not to take it to the dealer: I'm sticking with the quick lube place! At least they only charged me what I'd pay which is $19.95...
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,691
    Kaz6! Dude! What a story! Another reason I always do my own work! Do you think you might have a fraud case here? Toyota here in NJ says $24.99 and your out in 29 minutes or less and they pay for the next OC. You don't even need an appointment. I was talking to my neighbor who bought a Camry in 95 and we were going over all the reciepts he has from the dealer who has done all the work. He has the extended warranty. This man has spent $1500 to this dealer for six years for the maintainence for his Camry! The extended warranty didn't cover the new timing belt they just did, and there was a $50 deductable on the $100 water pump. Other than that, all the dealer did was scheduled maintainence (they charged him for 5 quarts of oil every OC and he has the four cylindar engine which takes 4)
  • xjs5xjs5 Posts: 33
    Hey. Great little car. Can I get one for $10,000?
  • kaz6kaz6 Posts: 331
    Well just goes to show one thing I've always believed: Toyota's are great cars with the crappiest dealers!!! :)
    As far as extended warranties...I had one on my ZX-2 because it was brand new model in its first year AND a Ford. The warranty basically didn't cover anything that DID need work-'check engine' light never seemed to go off and after three visits and $50 deductible I learned to live with it.
    As far as fraud...2 Toyota dealerships here in CA had lost class actions regarding slamming with leases costing owners double the value of the car!!!
    Thankfully, my Echo is trouble-free and I plan to visit the dealer as little as possible.
    The only other experience I've had like this was with a Kawasaki dealership in NYC. Don't get me started on that one! lol
  • vitaminjvitaminj Posts: 15
    Thanks for the well wishes! I pick my silver baby up this Saturday!! Any last minute recommendations regarding what to do at pick up? I never bought a new car before. I think my first drive will be a long one with the following CD's; David Gray, PJHArvey, U2 and Marillion. OH! And a cup of coffee. One thing I forgot to check- does the Echo have intermittent wipers?

    pjordan- I had all the same cars on my list when I was deciding. I liked the Echo the best because of my experience with Toyotas in the past, the price and because I don't feel so low in the seat compared to the other cars I drove. I also like it because it's small and great on gas. I kept going back and forth between the Focus and the Echo. I really liked the way the Focus drove, and would have bought it without a doubt if it wasn't made by Ford. I just kept test driving everything on my list and researching. A really helpful thing was when I asked the dealer if I could have the Echo for a few hours. I got to take it home and park it in my garage, parallel park and take it on the highway. I even went to the store with it. I rented a Focus for weekend trip too. Loved it- don't trust Ford.... now I'm repeating myself...... I'm gonna answer my own question about the wipers: no the base model doesn't come with intermitent wipers according to my pamphlet. Pooie :( oh well! I still love it!
  • cwo4cwo4 Posts: 90
    I'll hit 29,000 this weekend on my Y2K ECHO. I was just wondering how many miles everyone else has on their's?
  • babyboomerbabyboomer Posts: 205
    1,300 on my 2001.
  • sonatafansonatafan Posts: 171
    26,240 and 9 months!
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,691
    2650miles, three months old
  • kaz6kaz6 Posts: 331
    4900 miles in 3 months
    vitaminj: good luck with your silver baby!
    couple of things dealer 'forgot' to do with mine-the tank was not filled(only 1/4 tank!!!)and they forgot to put on some trim pieces for the passenger seat base.
    If picking your car up at night as I did, make sure to park it under a bright light to make sure there is no cosmetic damage to the paint before leaving the lot.
    I bought/took delivery at night so was not able to have them fill it-they were rushing me out so they could go home. Make sure steering wheel is centered (9&3 pos. horizontal)-mine wasn't; and the headlights were not aimed-I did it myself as it is very simple to do.
    Have fun with your car and don't be afraid to take corners fast...Echo's can corner fairly well!!
  • rajmoranrajmoran Posts: 46
    22,000 and some change in 12 months of ownership. No problems or complaints (except for the hub cap noise, fixed by Toyota, so no biggie). I like the car as much now as when I bought it, meaning I am still in love.
  • dnlunadnluna Posts: 1
    Hi all! I'll be buying a new car soon and I have my heart set on a 2001, 2 door, Seafoam Blue ECHO. There's only 1 thing stopping me...I live in New Mexico! Every day I have to drive through the mountains and rain and snow and wind and everything else. The Ford Aerostar van that I have now has trouble making it home sometimes! So what do all you ECHO owners think? Will my ECHO be able to stay in its lane or will it fly right over the side of a hill? Thanks! :)
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,691
    Well, one thing that ECHO does do is shimmy a little in a cross wind. But so did my 74 beetle and that would not stop me from driving one is NM! I don't think snow and rain would bother ECHO more than those things would any other car. Probably ECHO would do BETTER than your van in those conditions...yes definately. I think you should consider the other reasons to buy an ECHO in making a choice...good mileage....low price...made by Toyota...fun to drive. You also said you had "your heart set" on one...that's probably the best reason to buy something. ECHO is a very loveable car. I think you'll probably be able to deal with the wind thing. BTW I visited a friend in Espanola this past summer on my motorcycle trip. Beautiful country!
  • carleton1carleton1 Posts: 560
    We had a 71 VW Super Beetle in Laramie, Wyoming where strong wind is as common as sunshine. YES, it was affected more by winds than my 67 Impala Sport Coupe but not enough to worry about. I think the ECHO would be much more stable in winds than the VW. Buy the ECHO and enjoy the MOST comfortable, most sensible sedan now made.
  • I've got 26 miles on my seafoam blue 4dr auto in 5 and 1/2 hours of ownership. I nearly bought a Sentra, but the echo looks way cooler in my opinion. This is the first automatic trans that I've owned, my left foot doesn't know what to do. Today I cleared out a place in the garage for it, tomorrow I'm going drivin'!!
  • Has anyone installed an aftermarket cruise control on their echo? I'm thinking of getting one, but can't seem to find any info on them.
  • dsgechodsgecho Posts: 89
    See previous dnny 28 and dsgecho posts about the SCS Cruise system that works good in my vehicle. About $320 for me.
    Don
  • buzzhusebuzzhuse Posts: 21
    4,000 in 12 months. I work from home & have little use for a $20,000 car. Hence the Echo.
  • carleton1carleton1 Posts: 560
    The aftermarket accessories never did work as well as factory installed....especially cruise and power door locks. I can not understand why Toyota does not offer factory cruise and LE interior on the otherwise very excellent ECHO.
  • majorthomechomajorthomecho Posts: 1,331
    Major Tom is just over two months old and I have about 2800 miles on him. I only drive about 7 miles to work and 7 miles back so you know I have to be putting a lot of fun miles on him. And it is fun to drive.
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