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Toyota Echo



  • petrnycpetrnyc Posts: 47
    Before you buy, do your research and see how many recalls Focus had already gone through. In fact I heard the government was demanding of Ford to completely re engineer the car or scrap it all together.

    Pay a little more and get quality in a Civic LX/EX, Honda LX/SE ( pretty cheap right now) or Corolla. Either is generation ahead of any of the boxes you mentioned.
  • petrnycpetrnyc Posts: 47
    For what its worth, my 1.6L Corolla has 81K miles 95% of which were driven 75-85 mph. I checked my mileage driving at 65 vs. 85 with A/C on and off. I saw no difference in fuel consumption. I would think with 4speed auto tranny I could have gotten even better gas mileage.
  • britton2britton2 Posts: 305
    I know this is about the Echo but may I chime in hear regarding gas mileage - my '01 Corolla (4 speed auto) has gotten as good as 34 MPG and as low as 28.5 MPG (city driving) - I have seen quite a few Echos where I live and I must admit at first I thought they looked a little strange - but now I guess the Echo has grown on me because I think they look very cute! Only regret is that I did not test drive one while car shopping last year - one Toyota salesman did tell me that Toyota will stop making the Echo after 2003 model.
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    The stock tires on the Echo seem better than average in terms of grip and handling - or maybe the suspension on the Echo is better than we think (given that the car seems to be designed as a Japanese urban commuter). I upgraded them, however, to 195x60/14 about 2000 miles ago to get better cross wind performance. (Bridgestone 950's, excellent, easier to balance than Dunlop Sport A2's.)

    The new tires stick like glue and greatly improve crosswind handling, but it remains susceptible in the windstorms we were having for a while out here. The car still isn't as stable as my Golf when cruising over a tall bridge over the bay, but it's pretty darn good, certainly good enough, and setting aside crosswind stability, in some ways handles better - certainly the ride is better.

    I think the main limitations on handling in the Echo are the narrow track, short wheelbase, and high center of gravity. I believe Toyota compensates for this by essentially upgrading the suspension to "sports" level - it is firm, compliant and quite well dialed in. So the car has a peculiar personality - it takes corners and curves well, but due to its short wheel base bobbles a little on uneven surfaces, due to its narrow wheel base and height it feels a little tippy, and due to its light weight is a little susceptible to crosswinds. If I were a real street racer, urban rallye-ist, I would worry more about tipping the car in a hard curve than sliding out.

    That being said, 80 mph cruising is a piece of cake (and surprises the heck out of other drivers in more expensive cars when you pass them), though you'll want both hands on the wheel if there are winds or when you pass semis (the car tracks true, but it just feels more secure when you get wind inputs to the steering). The car takes corners so fast you have to keep in mind this is the SUV of small cars and may feel tippy - it ain't a two foot high Mini. It feels more likely to tip, than slide, is what I am saying.

    Braking is excellent, more so with the grippy tires. I feel the braking and tires make up for the lack of ABS. I would rather have predictable, progressive braking with good tires that can make short stops, than a long-stopping car that can't skid (ABS).

    If I had anything to do over again, I would have gotten the 5 speed (forget the non-stick shifting girl friend and lack of resale value), put a Magnaflow exhaust on it and K&N air filter, slightly lower it with the Toyota Motor Sports shock/spring kit (a grand!), and have the cheapest fun with a canyon carving sleeper.

    As a humdrum commuter, I am very happy with the incredibly spacious feel of the cabin, far superior to the Golf/Neon/Cavalier type of car, and I like the good visibility. It is a very comfortable car to drive, very quiet on the freeway, only noisy on hard acceleration.

    The mileage is awesome - my gas bill has dropped from $200 per month to $150, and I was driving mostly a Golf stickshift before. I am not afraid to take long trips because of the gas bill! And the trunk is plenty large to hold junk.

    I agree that the 4 door is more convenient - alas, I have a 2 door, and have to deal with the constricted access to the back seat to store stuff when I have a passenger and don't want to use the trunk. I think the lines on the 4 door (style) are excellent, too, as good as the 2 door if not better.

    I would buy another. I am not sure I would buy a Corolla next time around - it seems so humdrum, even though it and the Camry have adopted the Echo's "high" look.

    Maybe if I am crazy I will pick up a late 2003 4 speed, one of the $8,995" specials without aircon, and play with it - I would love to break 40 mpg, although I would be a little smog.

    So far - two Ford Focus ZX3's with much problems, one Golf with 34,000 miles and no problems, and one Echo with ultra tight quality control - yeah Japan, Inc.!

    BTW, the air conditioner freezes my butt off. It is much stronger than the Golf's or than either of my ZX3's - and they were all ok.

    I wish the car had auto off on the rear window defroster, and non-collapsing outside rear view mirrors so I don't have to readjust them when I go through a carwash. A black (non-staining) interior would be nice, although some grime from an oil change person came off easily with fabric cleaner.

    Here's to more Echo fun!
  • mralanmralan Posts: 174
    I agree. That's what I said. No way am I going to purchase a Focus or Hyundai. They are both junk!

    It's either an 03 ECHO or a Corolla.
  • kaz6kaz6 Posts: 331
    I brought my ECHO in for its 30k service today. It was $190 (w/coupon). I had them look at the a/c and the tech said that it wasn't cooling properly due to a damper with a loose cable. It was allowing hot air in. I also had them check for the whistling noise from the engine but they couldn't find anything wrong. When I mentioned how the c/d player was starting to act up, the service rep just said he'd give me a new one under warranty. I guess it's not an unusual complaint.
    The a/c now works very well! It gets ice cold in recirculate mode-more so than before. My brakes, btw, are at 70%. Pretty good for 30k!
    I am also very happy with my tires and they have proved to be very compliant for low profile tires(Yokohama YK420's).
    Love my ECHO!
  • sonatafansonatafan Posts: 171
    micweb: My rear defroster does auto shut-off after about 15 minutes.

    kaz6: My A/C had the same problem with the damper...I adjusted it myself though and I actually considered posting it here last week during the discussion.

    I like to lurk more than post anymore so have fun!
  • vadpvadp Posts: 1,025
    "In fact I heard the government was demanding of Ford to completely re engineer the car or scrap it all together."

    All right petrnyc, keep it up. Very entertaining, I must admit.
    BTW, you mentioned 1977 Lada in your signature.
    May I ask which model? image
  • coolguyky7coolguyky7 Posts: 932
    Hi everyone! I'm back from my vacation in Aruba...and I bring back some wonderful news. Aruba is a heaven to ECHO lovers. Not only is the 4 door ECHO sold in Aruba but it is also sold with the European versions, all under the name Yaris. The Yaris in Aruba outsells the Ford Focus 20 to 1 easily. Most are probably just rental cars, but nonetheless a wonderful thing. I managed to get a shot of a small parking area with 4 Yariseseseses in it. I hope to make a link to it sometime. We rented a white 4 door ECHO version and it did great out on the dirt and rock roads of the Aruban desert. Although, I must say I'm a bit diappointed in the interior quality. The hard plastic of the doors was probably worst of all. However, there was MUCH room...much more legroom in the backseat than my 1996 Corolla.
  • echorickechorick Posts: 27
    Maybe I made a mistake, but I took my 2000 ECHO 5 sp 2 door to Firestone Service and had the 30,000 service for $77.00. As long as I have receipts and regular service the warranty is good. My local Toyota dealer wanted to service my car under severe service conditions. Hah, I drive freeways at 50-70 mph 60 miles a day.
  • mralanmralan Posts: 174
    1) On another forum several owners mentioned problems with paint quality. Is the ECHO paint a problems?

    2) What's the interior noise like inside the cabin on rough roads?
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    What did the Toyota dealer want for the 30k service? Basically you just change the oil, trans oil if manual, the air filter, and the spark plugs. If they did that you got a good deal. I think Toyota wants like $300 to do that.
    The silver paint on my ECHO is marvelous, just marvelous. But the chart on Consumer Reports says body intergity only above average instead of much above average as all the other catagories for echo were.
    The ECHO is a very quiet car on the highway. So it should be quiet relatively speaking on rough roads.
  • echorickechorick Posts: 27
    Service included complete vehicle inspection (per Toyota list), oil, oil filter, air filter, tire rotation and coolant flush and new coolant.

    Manual Transmission fluid is changed at 30,000 only in severe service schedule. Plugs are platinum and do not need to be replaced.

    Dealer wanted to do severe service schedule at about $190, which is what Kaz6 paid. That is still very high for the work they do.
  • coolguyky7coolguyky7 Posts: 932
    I'm recalling my some of my Yaris comments. I was comparing the interior of the American and Aruban ECHOs and I found a few differences. The US ECHO has cloth door panels and rear headrests. The Aruban one, however, had hard plastic door panels in place of the cloth and no rear headrests...very uncomfortable during a very quick stop considering your head wouldn't be restrained. Here is a picture of our ECHO we rented.

    And proof that the ECHO is a go anywhere car.

  • coolguyky7coolguyky7 Posts: 932
    I'm recalling my some of my Yaris comments. I was comparing the interior of the American and Aruban ECHOs and I found a few differences. The US ECHO has cloth door panels and rear headrests. The Aruban one, however, had hard plastic door panels in place of the cloth and no rear headrests...very uncomfortable during a very quick stop considering your head wouldn't be restrained. Proof that the ECHO is a go anywhere econocar. We managed to get it over all the dusty and sometimes rocky Aruban dirt roads.
  • coolguyky7coolguyky7 Posts: 932
    that I am hoping for in what should be a refreshening for the model year:
    Corolla-style antenna mounted center aligned just above the windshield
    Reflective jewel-type red and white taillamps
    Painted cladding
    An available spoiler that can really make the car a wedge shape
    More conservatively designed seat fabric
    More widely available options like ABS along with the addition of cruise control
    Redesigned grille and fascia
    Anything else wild that will deviate it from the Corolla until SCION comes along

    Speaking of SCION, I wouldn't mind the IST. It looks good and should be fairly reseasonable. I read an article today saying that it has gotten much positive response from young buyers in Japan. The similar Honda Fit which I saw in Aruba is very sharp I must say.
  • tominvatominva Posts: 7
    Hi, everyone. As of two weeks ago, I'm a new Echo owner. I'd decided to replace my ten-year-old Honda Civic Si, and after considering a number of vehicles I decided that I wanted an Echo based on its quirky styling, its peppy engine, and its reputation for quality and economy. I looked at a number of dealers for a 2002 model, but found that 4-doors are currently few and far between in my area. Also, it seems that the options package that most Echos come with around here doesn't include a few things that I want. So, I decided to check out what was available from 2000 and 2001. I ended up with a silver 2000 4-door model with only 13,000 miles, automatic, A/C, and Option Package 1. I added a CD player and the cargo net, and I'm planning to add some license plate frames and a black leather steering wheel cover. So far, I love the car! I'm getting around 39 MPG mixed city and highway, almost always with the A/C running. Plus, most importantly, it's fun to drive and it doesn't look like every other subcompact out there. I'm glad that I found this forum to connect with other Echo owners.
  • muffin_manmuffin_man Posts: 865
    how does the Echo engine compare with your (92?) Si?
  • tominvatominva Posts: 7
    Subjectively speaking, the Echo engine is every bit as powerful as the Civic's. (Technically, that might not be true - I don't know all the stats.) But I was really surprised the first time I drove a friend's Echo two years ago. I had expected it to be sluggish and underpowered, but that's not the case at all. It feels just as peppy and just as responsive as my Civic did.
  • muffin_manmuffin_man Posts: 865
    That's kind of what I expected. Interesting.
  • sluglineslugline Posts: 391
    I just happen to have some info on the older Hondas handy:

    1989-1991 Civic Si: 1.6-liter displacement, 108 hp@6000 rpm, 100 lb-ft@5000 rpm
    1992-1995 Civic Si: 1.6-liter displacement, 125 hp@6600 rpm, 106 lb-ft@5200 rpm
    2000+ ECHO: 1.5-liter displacement, 108 hp@6000 rpm, 105 lb-ft@4200 rpm

    tominva: Do you remember if your Si had the benefit of VTEC?
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    If the Si was a 1992+, it did have the VTEC Vanishing Torque in Engine Compartment) engine. :) So what year was the Si? I am curious now.
  • tominvatominva Posts: 7
    It was a 92 Si, so yes, it did.
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    Going to work last night, a roller blader went through a stop sign right in front of me. At first i thought she was being pushy doing that, then I realized she was out of control and could not stop. And she was heading for a T intersection with another stop sign (this is on a steep hill) I held my breath as the skater went through that stop sign also, but luckily no cars were coming. But she wiped out pretty good and bashed her face into the pavement, in spite of her helmet. I drove up and offered to take her home. She nodded OK, then a river of blood gushed out of her mouth! She had bitten about an inch of her tonge nearly off! I got a blue plastic tarp out of the trunk and put it on the seat and took her to the emergency room. She was holding her helemt under her chin to catch the blood, but it still got all over everything. She mumbled "Ive got to sign at the opera tonight." (???) I let her offf at the hospital and went to work. Luckily the blood ended up on the tarp except for one spot the size of a nickle on the door. Well I did my good deed for the day, hopefully making up for a little of the help I have recieved from others.
  • muffin_manmuffin_man Posts: 865
    I think you are a really nice guy and a good person. Good job.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    That was really nice of you to do that for the person. Too bad she couldn't stop before hurting herself that badly.
  • mdrewmdrew Posts: 32
    it reminded me that somebody posted a message back when about a place selling customized Echo seat covers which I've been meaning to order (hopefully for less serious things than blood). I went to the website at the time and looked around; now I don't remember the name of the place or when the thing was posted. Anybody out there remember that or know of others??
  • nodakernodaker Posts: 20
    Hey mdrew, I was the one who posted about the seatcovers. Here is the URL:

    I ordered the *Scottsdale*. They fit like a glove and look like luxury upholstery. You will work up a sweat getting them on because they fit that snug. There are also map pockets sewn into the back of the front seat covers. I did not order the head rest because it matches in color (I ordered the charcoal) to the seat covers. I also didn't order the rear seat covers because the back seat is not used very often. These seatcovers are not cheap -- a pair is $125.00, but they look fabulous.

    Another added plus. If you call in your order you get a REAL, LIVE, FRIENDLY person on the phone. My seatcovers arrived from Arizona to North Dakota in 2 days!

    Good luck!

  • mdrewmdrew Posts: 32
    I'm gonna get on it this weekend and order some, not sure which, something on the lower end is fine. I also don't use the back seat much besides throwing harmless junk on it so just need a pair for the front where I spill coffee w/chocolate chip muffins, etc. while driving. I don't care about the headrest either. I will say the stains I've had on the seat so far have come out pretty easily, including blueberry, but I know some other major ones are probably on the way...
  • echo01echo01 Posts: 19
    A while back somebody posted a message about how he had decided to buy a Civic rather than an Echo, having decided the Civic was the better value. Since my final choice was between these two cars, I'd like to explain why I chose the Echo.

    The main reason was space for me, the driver. The Echo has more head room and feels very roomy; the civic, by contrast, felt cramped every time I got in. (And climbing in was definitely more trouble in the Civic too.)

    But also, for what I wanted, there was a considerable difference in price. I wanted a car with air conditioning, and the 2-door 5-speed Echo I finally got (it had a few other things too) had an MSRP of about $12,000; I was able to get it for about $600 less.

    On the other hand, to get a Civic with air conditioning, I'd would have had to either buy the LX model, or else the DX model, and have the dealer add air conditioning. The LX model as I remember had an MSRP of $15,250, but I'm pretty sure I could have gotten one for $14,000. The DX route with the dealer adding the a/c would have maybe gotten it down to the low $13,000's, but I don't know - the dealers I talked to wanted lots of $$ to install the a/c and sounded like they really didn't want to do it.

    Bottom line is that the Civic would have cost me anywhere from $1500 to $2500 more. The LX would have had more stuff than my Echo (like power door locks and windows), but almost none of that extra stuff was things I cared about.

    A year later, I'm happy I made the choice I did. I'm more impressed with how much fun and how comfortable it is to drive the Echo every day. Maybe the Civic would have worked out too, and it's obviously just what lots of people want, but for me the Echo was the better choice.
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