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Toyota Echo



  • geegee1958geegee1958 Posts: 29
    may be part of the reason it's not selling up to expectations. But for a few ads in magazines, I NEVER saw a commercial onTV for an Echo, and they don't even picture them in the sale-a-thon blast commercials. When the Focus first came out, there were tons of commercials on tv, for months before the car was even out yet, and since the target markets are similar for both vehicles, it's safe to assume that advertising was at least to some extent responsible for making people aware of the Focus, when they may never even have heard of the Echo.
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    I view this as an "original Beetle" kind of car - not retro-nostalgic for wannabees, but a real one of a kind, FUNCTIONAL vehicle with its own unique charm. I just got almost 38 mpg on a highway trip with auto, it was quieter than my Golf, and it has these weird trippy looks - not for the sake of being weird, but for the sake of being spacious and efficient. Looks like only the Europeans can appreciate this....
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    I read the post about 185/60 Bridgestones. What tires did you put on exactly? RE92's, 930's, etc? What did you have before?

    I find the stock Michelins extremely grippy in my mostly dry road driving. I was planning on upgrading the tires right after purchase, but have been pleasantly surprised by stock. At least in terms of grip...
  • majorthomechomajorthomecho Posts: 1,331
    The one ad for the Echo that I saw on TV was really dumb. It had a guy stopping his Echo across from a gas station and shaking his posterior in the direction of the gas station. And this ad was supposed to make twenty somethings buy the car? What twenty something is worried about gas mileage?
  • kaz6kaz6 Posts: 331
    I too found the stock tires (RE92's by Bridgestone)more than adequate for day to day driving. My main motivation for installing 205/50/15's was appearance and handling at the limits. My mileage hasn't changed but there is a different dynamic now. At lower speeds the car feels a little slower to respond. On the highway it's very stable and cornering is amazing. If your main goal is high mpg and soft ride stick with the oem's. No more torque steer or much understeer!! :D
  • thooverthoover Posts: 49
    We are at 40K now on our 2000 w. automatic and air, and just got the highest 5 tank MPG ever, 44.3 MPG. The car is used for all kinds of mixed driving. I have a 13 mile fairly rural commute to work, and an 18 mile rural drive to Church, but also it runs a couple blocks to the grocery store in the rain etc...

    The MPG peaks in the summer, and "tanks" in the winter (NW PA). We use a 5 tank MPG figure to smooth out the fill variances.

    The 5-tank peak for 2000 was 39.7
    The 5-tank peak for 2001 was 43.2
    The 5-tank peak for 2002 is 44.3 so far

    And the nice weather is just beginning! Maybe go for 45 average this summer?? I think that the car is breaking in nicely, and also that I learn how to drive it more economically over time. We love our ECHOs (we have two).
  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Posts: 1,391
    You guys forgot about the isthistoyota ads Toyota ran about the Echo?

    Over in the NorthEast PA, there's some advertising, and a good number on the commuter road to New Jersey/ New York.
  • andystarandystar Posts: 1
    I have 2000 Automatic Echo with 30,000 miles.
    Per Toyota manual, I think they recommend 60,000 miles for transmission oil change (the manual is not very clear). Is this true or should I do it every 30,000 miles?
    Thanks in advance.
  • geegee1958geegee1958 Posts: 29
    in southeast Florida, anyway. none whatsoever.
  • pulgopulgo Posts: 400
    You are right. The transmission oil change should be done at 60 k miles, according to a service schedule handed to me by the dealer. However since the typical Echo sees more city roads than highways and considering the low capacity (in quarts) of the transmission I would suggest either a yearly drain and fill or at least once very 40 k miles.
    This is what I did. Cost is aprox. US$ 40 including taxes and I think it is cheap insurance.
  • wrgrahamwrgraham Posts: 112
    Micweb, I went and checked on the sidewall of my tires, and the new Bridgestone Potenzas that I bought, size 185/60 are marked more specifically as 930i. My originals were also Bridgestone Potenzas, they were size 175/65 as is standard, and were clearly not the 930i, they were not nearly as good as my new ones. They were really lacking on very wet pavement.
  • arrived today! I ordered the Millennium Series Toyota Platz. There are 2 noticeable differences between the Platz and the Echo. The first being the right-side vs left-side steering wheel and center-facing console. The second is the Toyota emblem which the Echo has on its hood is not on the Platz, instead the Platz has a rounded triangular emblem. But these are minor differences. It looks like a 4-dr Echo and I just love it!!!
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    Ive noticed that some Toyota owners have had warranty claims for "sludge" in the engine. Can anyone say what this involves? Although I do almost only city driving, I change my oil four times a year. Still, I have noticed brown depositis on the dipstick. This has NEVER occurred with any other car that Ive owned, driven under identical driving conditions. Anyone else notice these deposits on the engine oil dipstick? Just what is the condition of your dipstick any way? Do you know?
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    I use full synthetic motor oil (Mobil 1 5-30) which has a much higher "boil point" than non-synthetic oil and thus resistance to sludge.

    Supposedly the Toyota "sludge" problem is limited to the former Camry 4 and 6 cylinder engines (which appear in some other cars, too), but some mechanics have said the problem is due to small oil passages in the cylinder heads designed to allow higher cylinder head temperatures for cleaner emissions, and if this is a design goal at Toyota maybe the Echo has the same problem. There haven't been any reports of problems, but it is mainly in higher mileage vehicles where the sludge problem starts to show up, so maybe enough time hasn't passed for the Echo "fleet" for a problem to emerge.

    I do know that at 1,500 miles I was surprised the oil in my Echo was darker in color and had some variations in color - nothing thick and gooey like sludge, but some kind of contamination (maybe just carbon?). My other cars don't show dirt or whatever it is until closer to 3,000 miles, and I run the same oil in them. So maybe that little 1.5 liter high performance engine tucked away in the Echo is working extra hard. (Although, come to think of it, maybe it is just easier to see discoloration in the oil against the bright yellow plastic dipstick of the Echo, than against a dull dark metal dipstick.)

    Anyway, I think synthetic oil has enough other good features - it sticks better to the metal parts and provides better lubrication on start-up, and has high resistance to viscosity breakdown, to make it my oil of choice.

    I stick with a conservative oil change schedule - every 3,000-4,000 miles - since I am looking for better protection and better performance, not for longer miles between oil changes.

    WalMart is where I go. For $27 I get full synthetic and new filter. That's what I paid before for regular oil at lube shops and express shops at dealers.

    I think the next best bet to "beat the sludge" is to use regular oil, but to change the oil every 3,000 miles, not the longer 5,000 "severe cycle" recommended by Toyota, and certainly not Toyota's 7,500 "normal cycle." (Manufacturer's are all over the map on frequency of oil changes - Ford is 5,000 regular, 3,000 severe; VW is 10,000 regular, 5,000 severe; Dodge is 7,500 regular, 3,750 severe; Honda is now 10,000 regular, 5,000 severe).

    For what its worth, my new Echo (three weeks old; but I changed oil at 67 miles to get synthetic in, and again at 1,500 miles to flush out any "wear particles" from the initial break in period) came with a "slip" in the owners manual cautioning against infrequent oil changes and warning of dire consequences. I suspect these warning notices are recent, based on their customer hassles over engines damaged by sludge.

    Toyota still maintains that the problem is infrequent (less than the manual specifies) oil changes, not a design problem.

    My local Toyota dealer includes, as its standard service, a "flush" of the crankcase with some type of aftermarket solvent/cleaner. I thought this was just another bogus dealer attempt to make a couple of extra bucks (while leaving residues to contaminate the actual new oil!) but now I am wondering if they didn't know something before all the publicity this year about the "sludge."
  • coolguyky7coolguyky7 Posts: 932
    The sludge problem hasn't appeared in the ECHO, but just take good car of your car and change its oil as recommended. Besides keeping your ECHO healthy, it will make him/her happy with you!
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    I just re read the 2000 ECHO review by Edmunds. Im amazed they still have it on the internet. What a completely unobjective, unprofessional piece of writing. Its like ECHO said their mother worn army boots or something.
  • wrgrahamwrgraham Posts: 112
    Before buying my 2000 Echo I had an 87 Camry. I bought it with 95K miles and sold it prior to buying the Echo after 4 years of use. It was at about 160K when I sold it. When I took the oil
    cap off you could see sludge in it. Kind of adhering to the inside of the cap, not just a film, but
    a substantial layer of it. I changed oil regularly when I had the car, but there had been temperature problems, and I didnt solve them quickly. The temp gauge didnt work when I first got the car, so I got a new sending unit and fixed that. But it did run hot. The radiator looked great, so I didnt think to change it. But after a couple years I finally got the water aboil when coming up a long hill. So I turned it off, and got a ride home and brought water and it was ok.
    But I finally was able to determine that the radiator was crap and wasnt flowing much water even though it looked to be just fine. The engine didnt run as strongly when I sold it, but was still ok for an older car. The blame was mine and the prior owners, not toyota, in my mind. I do notice that the engine oil in my Echo looks more dark than what I would expect when I change it. But not sludgey, and after 51K miles this Echo is in top shape. Oh, the Camry was a 4 cylinder.
  • lynnann1lynnann1 Posts: 85
    Other than the commercial of the guy dancing in front of a gas station I remember one other commercial and that one wasn't very memorable. I think that perhaps Toyota was marketing the ECHO to the wrong age group. It seems like most of the people I've seen driving them are the over 40 crowd, which includes myself.

    I finally got my ECHO back from the body shop. The cost of repair - rear-end accident was over $3,440. I am so glad to be driving my car again.

    I have a 2000 and have just over 16,000 miles on mine.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    The Town Hall is about to take on a new look in an effort to make content more easily searchable and accessible.

    Have you seen the Letter from the Town Hall Manager on the Town Hall Welcome page? If not, you might want to follow that link to have a look.

    And hang on to your seats. Change is never easy - for any of us - but resolving the Search problems we've had will be worth the pain.

    Sedans Host
  • babyboomerbabyboomer Posts: 205
    My law school son let me drive "our" 2001 Echo. It still gets a curious glance every now and then. He let me fill it up with gas, wash and wax it. I had the wipers locked away from the windshield and tried to lift the hood. Oops, the wipers must be placed back on the windshield before the hood is completely up. Also had to put glue on the loose rubber gasket that seals the back of the hood to the car. The son has driven the Echo so much that when he had a chance to drive my old Cressida (his car for years, we swapped cars last year) he said it felt funny.

    I think the Echo manual says to use 5W30 oil but the last time it was changed the manager of a convenience lube recommended 10W30 during hot summer weather. Is he right?
  • 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: 1,694
    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!)
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