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Toyota Echo



  • I saw a silver, 2003 ECHO sedan a few days ago in a handicap spot at a Target store. I don't believe it had any cladding, painted nor unpainted. I think it looked very good. A few inches in additional body width wouldn't hurt for the front view, but it looks really good from the back.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    I could probably deal with an ECHO at 75-80mph if it had wider tires and didn't feel like it was getting tossed by crosswinds on the highway. That's the way my friend's car felt to me when I drove it.
  • Back when my Echo was just a few months old, I took it on a trip to St. Louis. During parts of that trip, I had the Echo in the triple digits (according to the speedometer). Felt rock solid.
  • Last night when my roommate was driving the "Major," a teenager in an SUV ran a red light and ended up hitting my car with his tire. There is quite a bit of smudging on the side of the front bumper and a big brown spot on the cladding. Any suggestions for getting this guy's tire track off my car? Especially the spot on my cladding.
  • Please send my best wishes to the Major.
  • kaz6kaz6 Posts: 331
    I've had great success using NuFinish to get that sort of thing off of my cars. I had a white car prior to my ECHO and someone had left a huge patch of black smears from there bumper once. After about 1/2 hour of rubbing(apply a gob of liquid then rub it off...repeat) it was like new. I'm sure that it would be easier using rubbing compound but that's all I had.
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    Well here in NJ we are going to get it snow wise this winteer. Ever since the hurricanes went through LOUISIANA weve been getting a northeast (as in Noreaster) weather pattern bringing rain every week since then. Now that its winter that means its going to be SNOW. I expect a lot of it here.
    I wish my ECHO did as well in snow as the 93 Saturn my wife is driving now. Boy that car does GREAT in snow and with cheapo Pep Boys tires too. My ECHO wants to swap ends kind of like the old beetle. (but without the traction of the beetle) I have Potenzas on it now. Im wondering if anyone has any good things to say about their tires in snow?
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    I have heard from the Protege board (the 99-00 ES models came with Potenzas) that their traction pretty much sucks, and their treadlife is pretty short as well. Their traction gets worse and worse when they get older.
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    Oh please no dont say it gets worse! The treadwear number for the potenza as written on my tires says 160. I cant recall seeing a lower number! Which makes me a little peeved at Toyota because I understand some listers got Michelins on their ECHOs.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    Someone on the Pro board lost traction on worn Poortenza (as this person calls them) tires at 20,000 miles, and hydroplaned into the back of a Volvo.
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    I had a set of RE-92 Poortenzas (as they've come to be known on the Protege discussion) on my '92 Protege when I bought it new in December 1991. Eight months later, in August 1992, I had just come off an off-ramp from the interstate onto a four-lane divided secondary road here in Richmond, VA -- speed limit 45, I was going 35 because of the rain. Saw a Volvo 245 DL at the bottom of the slight hill I was coming down -- he was at least a tenth of a mile away. Started braking -- nothing. I tried everything -- I could even spin the steering wheel from lock to lock like it was the tuning knob on a stereo. No friction whatsoever. The guy I hit even told the judge he saw me coming with my wheels turned all the way to the left, yet I was going in a straight line. I kept those tires rotated and everything, yet in 28,000 miles, they were slick enough to do that.

    The car was totaled (and there was $6,000 damage to the Volvo) -- but I did walk away from it. I replaced the car with another '92 Protege, but swapped the Poortenzas for a set of Toyos at about 22,000 miles. The Toyos were still doing fairly well when I traded the car at 83,000 miles, for comparison!

    If you'd like to see a pic of what the RE92s caused, go here (and I apologize for the b+w pic, but I was a newspaper reporter at the time):

    My present car, a 2000 Protege ES, also came with these horrible tires. I kept putting off replacing them but finally did at 33,000 miles -- but by then the tires were spinning from every takeoff in the rain, and were downright terrifying on the highway in the rain. I replaced them with a set of Dunlop SP Sport A2s -- excellent, excellent tire. The car goes like it's on rails in the rain even after 14,500 miles with these tires. They're H-rated but feel more like V-rated tires. And they didn't do too badly in yesterday's snow either!

    I highly recommend the Dunlops (they're only about $80 apiece at where I bought them), and I highly DO NOT recommend the Bridgestone Potenza RE92. (There are other versions of the Potenza and I've heard that some of them are good tires -- just stay away from the RE92.)

    If you need further owners' opinions, please go to the tirerack site and read the customer reviews for both tires. You'll see a whole lot of commentary about the Potenzas being terrifying in the rain.

    BTW, the Dunlop has a treadwear rating of 420 if memory serves me correctly -- and by how mine are doing, I fully expect to get at least 60,000 miles out of these tires. I barely got that much mileage out of the THREE sets of OEM Potenzas I experienced over the last 10 years.


    P.S. Pat, I know this is not the tire discussion. But since the subject was being discussed here, I thought I'd answer here. Now, as Forrest Gump said, "That's all I have to say about that."
  • The name of the "ship" in the 1960 movie "The Whackiest Ship In The Army" with Jack Lemmon and Ricky Nelson was?

    Yep, the ECHO.
  • It's been a while since I've posted. It's coming up on three years now and I still own my ECHO (a 2000 model) and still love it. Happy Holidays, everyone.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    How many miles now?
  • I've got 42,000 now, which works out to around 14,000 per year. I tend to ride my motorcycle to work in the good weather, so the car doesn't get the workout it might otherwise. I can report that I was on the road to Pennsylvania around Thanksgiving and that the ECHO performed flawlessly in some pretty dicey road conditions.
  • Hi,
       I am interesting in buying a 2003 ECHO.
    It will be a 4DR with 4-C Automatic. With all the option I want, the total of the invoice price from web site will be $14,000(w/o Tax). I will pay in cash. Could it be cheaper? How could I talk the dealer to it?It is my first time of buying a new car. I have no experience of buying a car. Please give me some suggestion. Thanks a lot!!!

  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    Try to go at the end of the month. Ive heard thats when theyre trying to get a sales figure or goal and your car might get them over. Ask to see the invoice. Show them the money. (that you have the cash or the loan already) Make an offer, like maybe $300 under invoice. Make sure they have your phone number and WALK OUT if they dont meet it. Some times they play the "let me go ask the boss" and come back and brightly smiling say "Its approved!" then they go back later and say "I cant do it" If that happens walk out and hope they call. Go to a less well known dealer. Also, call around the state (or even country) and try to get a price.
    I know how to fix car, but really I doubt I am able to manipulate others to get the best deal. (I suspect few others are either) Being in the right place at the right time is worth its weight in interest payments. ECHO is a GREAT car however, so I think you cant go far wrong buying one in any case.
    I just screwed myself the other day bigtime. I wanted my family to have a digital camera for xmas. (OK I wanted me to have it but my wife WILL use it too) I decided on a Canon Powershot 40 and looked on the net for the cheapest price ($217-350) I went to the $217 place but got talked into extras I really didnt need and the price came to $403! Its dog eat dog out there! (but I like the camera and will be happy with it)
  • Thanks dude! I will try to do this...It is a really valuable suggestion for me!!! Thanks again!
  • rjgeerjgee Posts: 27
    Start reading all you can about car negotiating:

    Here's a good start:

    (Confessions of a car salesman is a great article to see some of the tricks they try)

  • Looking at a 4 door automatic dealer will not go pass $13,185 fully load . I would like other owner to reply with comparable equip car as to price they paid. This would help greatly in our purchase we plan to buy in the next 3-4 days.
    Thanks all
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    I saw an 03 Echo in person for the first time last night, parked in a mall called Arundel Mills in Hanover, MD. I was pleasantly surprised by the styling upgrades. It makes the car look neater, I think. This one had the 15" wheel package, and it definitely fills out the wheelwells, and it's only $90 so that's not a bad upgrade.

    Maybe with the styling changes, the Echo will become a better seller. It's too bad some don't like the looks of the Echo and don't look past that, there's alot of fun, reliability, and value to be had here.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    What do you mean by "loaded"? Do you mean power windows and locks, keyless entry, CD player, etc.? If so, then that's a good price. But I wouldn't go more than $500 over invoice in today's market for an Echo.
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    I saw my first 2003 ECHO on the street last night. (Ive seen them in dealers lots, but covered with protective plastic stuff) Cant understand why they went to the expence of restyling it as there isnt much difference. The thing that stands out is the Toyota emblem on the front of the car. I like the origional style better IMHO. Im couldnt be more pleased with the changes as now my ECHO will look current to the uneducated eye at least until the next change.
  • I believe I saw another new silver 2003 the other day turning into Best Buy. The black ECHO with those reflective tail lights looks really good.
  • wrgrahamwrgraham Posts: 112
    I just got my 60,000 service at the Toyota dealers for my 2000 Echo 5 speed. This is the first time I have had the car taken anywhere for service. I change my oil and filter every 6K and I did replace the air filter at about 35K. Once I added some coolant, as it had gotten below the mark. Anyway, the Echo runs as great as ever. The service report said I still had 70% left on the front brakes and 75% left on the rear. Overall I would say the car is not as quiet as when new, but still a fairly quiet vehicle. And I can sense more bump in the suspension when I go over poor road surfaces than before. Power is just as good as new, as best I can tell. I changed tires at about 40K, replacing the original 175/65 Potenza's with 185/60 Potenza model RE930i. These are really first rate tires, much better quality than the original Potenza's which I did not like. The sidewall of the tire says Traction A, Temperature A, and Treadwear 300. The big improvement for me is the terrific traction on wet roads which I did not have with the original tires. Sometime soon I should run another miles per gallon test, since I havent done that since my original testing when the car had less than 15K miles. I had gotten 42mpg over many fills at that time.
    I really like and appreciate this car. We do have strong winds over here, and it does take some getting adjusted to deal with that, but it becomes a non-issue for us after that. We do not have any freeways or highways of 4 or more lanes to drive here. If I had to do a lot of high speed freeway driving I can see how I might look to a heavier car. But I love the agility and economy of this Echo. I would buy another without a doubt. And since my daughter now drives it, she has her learner's permit, maybe I will have to buy another in the future.
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    Thnakyou for your post about your ECHOs milestone and congradulations. That was an interesting article to read. My 2001 ECHO has 13,964 miles on it because I just drive it 6 miles to work mostly and probably wont get anywhere near 60k for a while. (which isnt good because short trips wear out a car mechanically much faster.)
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    Now that your ECHO has 60k miles on it, every time you change your oil remember to check the four flexible boots on the drive axles that go from the transmission to the front wheels. Most likely you still have three or four years before they go, but when they do if you dont catch it right away youll need new axle shafts installed $500+?) as opposed to just replacing the boots themselves ($200?) I think their demise is most likely tied to age as opposed to miles, but keep an eye on them.
  • wrgrahamwrgraham Posts: 112
    That is a good thought about the boots. I will be sure to keep an eye on them. One other minor thing that came to mind is the tire rotation, switching front and back tires on the same side. About half way through the life of my original tires I did that, but havent done so on the replacement tires yet. Seems like I often hear about tire rotation, but I have seldom done that in the years I have driven various vehicles. And I have no memory of any problem from not rotating. Since more weight and hence more wear would occur on the front I can suppose that a well timed rotation will allow all 4 tires to wear out at about the same time. But that is about all.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    I thought you only switched tires like that anyway? Of course, I have to as mine are directional...
  • vadpvadp Posts: 1,025
    Did you get your new tires at Costco?
    Yes, Potenza RE930i's are very good tires for the price, especially with the Costco deal ($50 off with a purchase of 4).
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