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Toyota Echo



  • mralanmralan Posts: 174
    What's going to replace the Echo? The Yaris?
  • mazdaprofourmazdaprofour Posts: 202
    Hello all, how hard is it getting financing through toyota after a bankruptcy? I was looking at getting a echo in a few months (3-4) and was not sure. I would want the basic 4 door echo with ac and auto and would put down around 2,000. Another person told me that they would not sell you that car unless you get a bunch of extras since the dealer will have to discount the car due to the bankruptcy. The same person told me that I would be looking at a 600.00 a month payment! this person is someone that was in another chat forum here and claimed to work for toyota.
  • babyboomerbabyboomer Posts: 205
    Toyota has not made any announcement that the Echo will be discontinued. My question is, if they do decide to stop Echo production, would they make an announcement?
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    I have discovered that badgerfan is an Edmunds employee, and its possible that it is he who wrote the origional Edmunds evaluation of the ECHO. He has also posted under different names other negitive commants about ECHO.
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    If Badgerfan is an Edmund's employee AND an Echo owner, he is entitled to his opinion. You pay for one, you can diss it. But if he is JUST an Edmunds employee, he should disclose it - what right does he have to diss the car in a forum for owners and fans? After all, Edmunds already officially reviewed the car. If he wants to add to that in the forum, while disclosing his affiliation and exposure to the car, that's his right - but not anonymously posting.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    I am not an Edmund's employee, nor have I ever posted under any other name but Badgerfan, nor have I ever dissed anyone else's car choice, except when I think others are being stupid with their money.

    I have nothing against Echos at all. I do not own one, however you will notice I did not diss the Echo, I just commented with two reason's I think it is not selling as much as Toyota had hoped. Those two reasons are looks and speedometer location.

    I am sure Echo is a nice little car, but still, not appealing to the vast majority of the compact car market. The sales figures bear me out.

    I promise never to comment in the Echo area again. Apparently another attribute of some Echo owners is they have a very thin skin. Get a life, you guys!
  • sluglineslugline Posts: 391
    All I can tell you is keep shopping around for financing. Are signs pointing towards your financial "ship" being righted in the coming years? If so, you might attempt to persuade someone with better credit to be a co-signer on your loan. Just keep in mind that this person will be doing you a BIG favor. Good luck.
  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Posts: 1,391
    The Yaris is a no-go, because TRD tried to persuage TMC to bring it the the US in 2001.
  • harlekharlek Posts: 8
    I own an Echo and read alot about cars. 2 things about the Echo

    1 I do not believe there is a car made that can match both the Echos high MPG and low 0 - 60 acceleration times (low 8 seconds. Does anyone know of such a car.

    2 I completely prefer the center placement of the speedo. Liked it from day one and hate to think that someday I will lose that when I trade cars!
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    I really like the Echo as well. I just wish there was a little tiny bit more leg room on the driver's side. I am 6'3 with a size 14DD foot, and I have trouble working the pedais without my ankles hurting. I rented an Echo for one day, and really was surprised by the way it drove. It felt totally stable all the way up to 80mph.
  • sluglineslugline Posts: 391
    It wasn't that long ago that this forum was infested with "flame-bait" relating to the ECHO's looks. That led to the "thin skin" you are seeing now. FWIW, I think that anyone who actually drives the car will quickly realize that the center-mounted gauges are not a significant issue at all.

    I have no doubt that ECHO has been a disappointment for Toyota saleswise. Upon it's introduction to North America, Toyota expected to sell 60K units/year. Here's the tally so far:

    1999: 10,490 (introduction of 2000 model year)
    2000: 48,876
    2001: 42,464

    What might I do if I was the ECHO's brand manager?

    1) Shake up the lineup: Get a hatchback into the U.S. If sales of the 4-door sedan are as bad as I suspect, then I'd kill it. Let the Corolla CE be the standard bearer in the economy sedan market. An ECHO wagon could be nice as a cheaper alternative to the performance-oriented Matrix.
    2) Resolve the value issue: Expand the standard equipment list to include everything in option packages 1 and 2, and use the economies of scale to drop the would-be MSRP of those cars by $500 to $1000. Stop fooling around with the nickel-and-dime game and leave transmission and color as the only big choices for the buyer. Add cruise control as a factory option ASAP.
    3) Sharpen the marketing. Highlighting the fuel economy is fine, but the TV ad with the young guy taunting other drivers at the gas pump was lame. The commercials showing exactly how far you can road-trip a VW on one tank are more impressive.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    I am glad to see some sanity out in this Echo group.

    Well written comments.

    Sorry if I rubbed some thin skin. I just wanted to point out that you can have the best vehicle in a market and poor styling can doom it. Just look at Pontiac's Aztek. Never drove one, but from reviews I have read, it has a lot of neat feature interior wise, etc, and yet the godawful styling dooms it. GM took the same vehicle, reskinned it as a Buick Rendezvous which looks quite polished, and will probably sell quite well.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Kneisel1, if you want to pursue your *assumption*, you need to go to the "Help" link at the top (or bottom) of this page and find the Feedback Form to ask about or report your thoughts.

    Honestly, there is no need whatsoever for any editor to behave in the manner you have suggested. But as I say, there is an appropriate avenue for you to pursue this.

    Posting about it here is not the right approach.

    Badgerfan, don't run off - you are welcome here.

    Sedans Host
  • mralanmralan Posts: 174
    Does everyone love their Echo, or is there anyone out there who is dissatisfied?

    It sounds like a great little car.
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    Sorry, Pat and badgerfan, I couldnt resist. Dont take it personally. But I think both Edmunds and badgerfans comments were not comments at all. I felt there was a mean spiritedness about them which were not expressions of opinion. I thought badgerfan was provoking us. Like going into a bar with your wife and someone calls her ugly. Edmunds article about the 2000 ECHO was the worst piece of automotive reporting Ive ever read and Im not saying that because I like the ECHO. It was completely unobjective. Pat I challange you you and Edmunds to remove it from your website and rewrite it. Better yet, let ME rewrite it.
    Does anyone know the yearly sales of the Tercel in its last years?
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,024
    Wow, pat, it's a challenge!

    kniesl, it's nice to see you throwing down the gauntlet to pat as she's a formidable opponent :), but Town Hall hosts have no control over the editors, as the editors have no control over Town Hall. Good way to keep the opinions expressed in each division totally separate.

    Now, if you'd like to apply for a position on the editorial staff, be our guest :)

    Roving Host


    Need help navigating? - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

    Share your vehicle reviews

  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    You may find this hard to believe, but until now I had not even looked at the Edmunds Echo reviews. Now that I have, they were pretty harsh. But they do have some valid points. Mainly that by the time you load up an Echo to be similar equipped, why not buy a Corolla or other slightly larger compact car for the same price?

    All auto manufacturers(except maybe the Koreans right now) have a hard time keeping the low end economy cars inexpensive. After all, the parts content and manufacturing steps are not all that different whether you are building an Echo or a Lexus. Obviously, the Lexus gives them a lot more profit per vehicle. Thus you get price compression on the low end vehicles.
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    Yes they did and the one I found myself most in agreement with was: by the time you add various options the car becomes much more expensive. Not that I wanted options, I wanted a base car without ac and powersteering, but this was impossible for my local dealer to get. (at least he said it was impossible) But if they DID make a base ECHO for $10k it would be a huge value.
    Also, they pointed out that a Honda Civic gets good resale value whereas the ECHO's resale value was an unknown. And with ECHO's funky looks that could definately be a problem.
    I thought I was going to buy a Civic, I always wanted one. But the Civic I knew was the 1988 version which is much smaller. The 2001 Civic I found to be a very heavy car for its 1.7 liter engine. It seemed sluggish. And it was not easy for me getting into and out of. I was a little in shock when I realized "Im not going to buy this car!"
    I think where Edmunds went wrong is that they did not evaluate the ECHO as a small car...just as a bizarre looking vehicle. Almost no other review that I read did that. They almost all saw beyond the looks and said hey, if you want a small car this ones pretty neat.
    Another not often mentioned thing about the ECHO. Cars like the Prius and new battery assisted Civic are VERY expensive, and with those batteries to replace they will be expensive in upkeep. The ECHO gets 80% of the mileage they do and is half the cost.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    I have always read that small cars make manufacturers lose money on every one they sell. The only reason they do sell them is to keep under the CAFE standards, so they don't really make money off of them.

    This makes me wonder how GM is staying alive, giving $3000 rebates on Cavaliers/Sunfires, and Dodge with their $2000 rebates on Neons.
  • janbeejanbee Posts: 127
    I love my 2000 ECHO, although I wish their were more aftermarket accessories for it. For me when it was time to buy a car, I had my mind set on the Civic (which I already owned at the time)and the Corolla. When I went to the Toyota dealership I fell in love with the cute and "quirky" looks of the ECHO. Yes I could have gotten a Corolla for only hundreds more but it seemed to "family-ish" to me and at 26 years old, its a look I wasnt ready for :)
  • 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!)
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