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Toyota Echo



  • If you were to take the time to read through all the posts on this board, you'd see how much ECHO owners love their cars! You are better off with an ECHO than a comparable Hyundai or Kia. I'm not saying they are bad, but they haven't proven themselves in the long haul. Toyota has proven itself. ECHO was rated number 2 behind Toyota's Corolla in a JD Power quality award. Consumer Reports recomments the ECHO too. I'm glad to see that you are over its unique styling which I personally like. I don't know if you are getting a new/used ECHO, but antilock brakes can be hard to find however, they do exist along with side air bags. As for safety, ECHO received 4 stars for the driver and passenger in a front end collision test. The ECHO is a fine car and will serve you well for many miles! Anyone here at the ECHO board will happily answer your questions.
  • Hey grnechory81, great pictures! I love seeing other people's cars. About the size, I find a good rule of thumb is to make the width of a photo no bigger than 500 pixels at most, yours is 916 wide, which is bigger than most monitors will accomodate. Fixing the size will also speed up the download time. Just a suggestion... : )
  • CM, yes I got the pictures, but I did not open them. I meant to write you and tell you that I do not open mail with attachments from someone I do not know, but I waited so long that your mail was deleted from my AOL mailbox.

    Thanks for the thought in sending them though.
  • All I know is that having a lot of keys puts a strain on the car. Don't ask me why. That is a question better asked of click and clack.

    As for me, I have one key on a key ring that I use when driving my Echo. I have the spare keys together on a separate ring.
  • My 2001 Echo is at Florida Coastal School of Law in Jacksonville, Florida. My 24 year old son needed the most reliable transportation and he too loves that Echo. He says it has many attibutes but the best is that he can park it anywhere. I have inherited his 1990 Toyota Cressida. I told him when he graduated and passed the Bar exam that I would sign over the title to him. I miss that Echo.
  • ml91ml91 Posts: 26
    It is difficult to comment on the long term reliability of an Echo, since they have only been around for a little more than two years. As far as Toyota vehicles in general: I used to own a 1994 Tercel; the car had 75,000 miles on it when I sold it, and the only things that I ever replaced were the front brakes, front tires, battery, and exhaust system (the exhaust system lasted almost six years). I now own a 1996 Corolla that has 85,000 miles on it, and it still runs like a new car. Again, the only things that needed to be replaced were the tires, brakes, and battery. My 2001 Echo only has 2,700 miles on it, but so far it has run perfectly. Supposedly crash tests have proven the Echo to be as safe as the much larger and heavier Camry.
  • sluglineslugline Posts: 391
    I believe that statement was made by a Toyota spokesperson based on internal company testing, and I have yet to see those results released. The IIHS has not tested ECHO yet, but the NHTSA has. In the government frontal test, the ECHO earned four stars on both the driver and passenger sides, while the last Camry tested scored four stars on the driver side and five stars on the passenger side.

    However, the NHTSA itself will caution consumers that you can only compare vehicles in the same weight class. This is because the frontal test into a fixed barrier simulates a collision with a another car of similar weight. I would wager that there are a lot more Camry-sized vehicles out on the streets than ECHO-sized ones. This, of course, is a problem facing all subcompact cars. If the ECHO had posted five-star scores all-around, I would be more inclined to believe the like-Camry claim.

    An interesting note: Because of the way the side-impact test is conducted, the side-impact results ARE comparable across all vehicle classes. You may be pleasantly surprised to know that the dummy in the back seat of the ECHO fared better (4 stars) than the dummy in the back seat of the Camry (3 stars).
  • kaz6kaz6 Posts: 331
    Took my car in for the child restraint safety upgrade and had them check out the whistling noise coming from the engine. When I picked up my car, the service rep said that it is 'normal' for the Echo's engine to make that noise.
    I don't really buy that but it isn't a major enough annoyance.
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    The whistle you are hearing is probably the alternator. Toyotas tend to have fairly loud alternators, although it is more noticeable in other models. The Sienna and Camry are the worst. If your service department thinks it is normal, they may be correct.
  • sonatafansonatafan Posts: 171
    Well, my Echo has now reached 57,000 miles!

    At about 40,000 The manual transmission started grinding intermittently going into fifth gear. I took it in to the dealer but (of course) I couldn't duplicate the problem in their presence. By the time I reached about 53,000 my Echo was grinding fifth just about every time so I made another trip to the dealer.

    I have a good automotive background and had ruled out cable misadjustment, slave cylinder leakage, pretty much anything outside the tranny. I put my best possible guess as the synchronizers.

    The dealer checked it out and decided they were going to order the fifth gear synchronizers and associated parts (without any input from me). But they also warned me that those type of parts would be hard to get and probably be backordered.

    The parts were backordered for a month, until last week. When the parts finally came in, I dropped the car off for them to work on it. The parts they needed to replace did not require removal of the trans from the car so they said it would take one day.

    I got a call that afternoon from the dealer telling me the fifth gear assembly was frozen to the hub and they had to damage it to seperate the two. They didn't have a hub available to replace it however. They then surprised me by paying for a rental car for the remaining duration of the repair (a severely abused `01 Escort from Enterprise).

    It only took them three days to get the last part and the car shifted smoother than new after I picked it up!

    Kudos go to Nourse Toyota in Central Ohio for their excellent customer service!
  • What? A Toyota dealership actually admitted that they did something wrong and did not try to blame you for improper maintenance.

    Don't tell those on the engine sludge board. You might just give Toyota a good reputation. ; )
  • janbeejanbee Posts: 127
    the sound from my echo is now getting worse, not only is it making it while the car is moving but now its also annoying me at a stand still...and turning up the radio doesnt seem to help anymore. I just took it in to have its recalls 2-3 weeks ago and told them about the noise, typically it didnt make the noise for them, is this what we all have to look forward too???
  • echo01echo01 Posts: 19
    There are now some insurance loss statistics available for the Echo.

    While the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has not crash-tested an Echo, they do compile statistics that summarize injury, collision and theft losses for various cars. (That is, they examine the actual data on the claims insurance companies pay.) And they now have this information for the Echo.

    To find it, go to and scroll down to the story that has the 1999-2000 results and click on "results". Select "four door cars" on the pulldown menu and you will find a table of results grouped by car size; the Echo is near the end, being a "mini" car.

    The web site has a complete explanation of what all of the numbers mean. Higher numbers are worse, with 100 being "average".

    In summary, the Echo's injury losses are "substantialy worse than average", at 178, and its collision losses are "worse than average" at 124. There is no theft loss number given, probably for lack of data.

    Other people on this board have compared the Echo and Camry recently; the Camry's numbers are 102 and 87, respectively, i.e., "average".

    The site doesn't give any data for the two-door Echo, but I can't imagine it would be a whole lot different.

    I hope the Insurance Institute crash tests an Echo soon; I'd like to see the results.
  • sluglineslugline Posts: 391
    The chance of your car being targeted for theft is small. The vehicle isn't really worth that much intact, and there's probably almost no underground market for ECHO parts in the U.S. Any money-minded crook would certainly move on to your neighbor's Camry. I assume this small car has been selling better overseas, and for a longer period of time, too -- I bet the theft rates are higher.
  • kaz6kaz6 Posts: 331
    Thanks Cliffy!
    Re: transmission woes...I really think the synchro is the weakest part of the tranny. Glad to hear it was easily fixed!
  • dsgechodsgecho Posts: 89
    The ratings at some points are gard ti interpret. The Chevy Prizm is rated much better than the identical Toyo Corolla.And it gets better marks than the Honda Civic???
    Any expanations............
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    Does anyone have any information on the changes Toyota will make to the 2003 Echo, which will be the car's fourth model year, since Toyota typically "restyles/upgrades" at that time?
    I'm hoping for a new front fascia that makes the car look less cartoony.
  • sluglineslugline Posts: 391
    With about 16,000 miles on the odometer, I checked the ECHO's tires yesterday. From the way the tread looks, I'm guessing that the factory tires that may be finished by 30,000 miles. Is this typical?
    What are some good replacement tires that people have been happy with?
  • pulgopulgo Posts: 400
    My Echo just reached 26,000 miles and the tires still have 80% usable tread. They are Michelin MX4's, more expensive but well worth it.
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