Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Toyota Echo



  • kaz6kaz6 Posts: 331
    Thanks for the great article! I grew up in Hawaii (townie) and appreciated the humor! The ECHO was not my first choice either. I too felt it looked strange-like a turtle or a rabbit wtih its back hunched. The reason I bought it wasn't the price but the fact that it didn't look like anything else out there AND the great mpg. It has turned out to be the best small car I've owned and my first choice for any long drive. People never cease to be amazed at the great ride and comfort when riding with me and anyone under 25 loves the center-mounted gauge cluster!
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    Thankyou for the pictures of the for Canada only hatchback ECHO. It is beautiful. Toyota: if you sell an ECHO with the hatchback like Canada gets AND equip it with a less than 1.5 liter diesel engine I WILL BUY ONE RIGHT NOW! How can you afford to pass up this economic opportunity? This could put you over the top!
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    I was just wondering if anyone knew how the Echo handled in snow. With 24" currently on the ground here in MD, it just made me wonder...
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    Its a little twitchy like the old beetle for me. Traction is none too good. The rear end likes to swing out on corners when its snowy. And the bottom of the car is fairly low to the ground allowing snow to pack under the car which destroys your traction. It might help a lot to have better tires on the car...currently it has POTENZAS which seem ok when wet or dry, but seem to have little traction in snow. Back in the good old days in Upstate NY I had a set of dedicated snow tires for my beetle on four rims. That car had traction in spades which always got you through.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    Potenzas wear very quickly, and their wet traction sucks.
  • You know, when you think about it, the extra cost for snow tires is really the cost of the steel wheels for them. Because once they tires are mounted and balanced you can swap the summer/winter wheels yourself ($0 each time) and your summer tires are getting just that much less wear. Just my 2 cents.
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    Has anyone bought steel wheels for their ECHO and if so, how much were they? Anyone know a cheap place to get them? Im thinking of OEM type wheels, not aftermarket.
  • wrgrahamwrgraham Posts: 112
    My 2000 Echo 4 door is now up to 71K miles. Just washed it the other day and I was noticing again all the little dents on the side. Small, no breakage of paint or consequent rust worry. But these little dings must have come from parking lots where others open their car doors against the side of my car. The Echo sheet metal is certainly light, in keeping with the light weight of the car overall. Seems like I see Echos frequently with a strip on the side of the door which is for protection against just this situation. Maybe the strip came out in 2001 or 2002, I don't remember it being an option. I don't mind the little dings, they give a little character, maybe like little wrinkles on an aging face. (When I say many, probably about 4 on each side.)
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    " The company blames the somewhat stodgy image of the brand name" (as the reason ECHO has sold "only" 50,000 units/year. How much are these idiots being paid to make these decisions? They are completely wrong and in total deninal! Americans arent flocking to ECHO because they want large gas guzzling cars/SUVs. Also, young people simply dont have the money for a new car, even ECHO. ECHO is the first new car I ever bought for myself and I was 44 when I arrived at that postion in life where I needed a new car. You sell cars by building a reliable vehicle which has value for the money. And unfortunately catering to people wants ie SUVs. Styling is worth about a pitcher of warm spit.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    I wouldn't agree with you that young people can't afford new cars. I am 24, and have had 2 new cars (also paid for by myself too). I looked at an ECHO when I was looking for a car, but it felt a little too lightweight to me on the highway (where most of my driving is done). Also, I just couldn't get comfortable in the driver's seat for some reason. They are nice, very reliable cars. I have 2 friends who have them (00 and 01, respectively), and neither has had any trouble out of them.
  • kaz6kaz6 Posts: 331
    The ECHO's you've seen with them had them installed by the dealer. These moldings can be a mixed blessing, IMHO. When a person sees a car with the molding, he/she is less likely to use care when opening their door and if it hits yours above/below it, you'll still have a dent.
    You can also buy impact strips that are magnetic. I've used them before and they provide good protection in tight spaces. The only drawback is you need to make sure the sheet metal is clean when using them otherwise you risk scratching the paint.
  • dsgechodsgecho Posts: 89
    A local '02 gold Echo for sale with AC, auto, PS, PDL, split rear seats, 4 dr.,sport cladding, am/fm/cass/CD, and a custom tint job. Clear record on Carfax. and give a spread in appropriate selling value from $9500 to $10,500 in Nashville TN. Does this sound realistic range to everybody to be negotiating within?
    Don Gillespie
  • We had the black side mouldings installed after we picked up our Echo. Our salesman told us the name of the company who installs it for Servco in Hawaii. By doing so we saved $100.
  • sfechosfecho Posts: 26
    For comparison purposes, there is a free buy/sell web site here in the SF Bay Area called Craigs List. It's URL is (not .com). Try SF Bay and trucks... then keyword Echo.
    I saw a 2001 for $7500 today. I bought my second Echo on Craigs List for $8400 about six months ago.
  • 34000 miles now and every little thing is running smoothly. No doubt, this was the right car for me. I love the new hatchback, would buy it in a heartbeat. Best features-visability, mpg, handleling, cupholders, nooks and crannys. Love it!
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    Wrgraham I was wondering if you had your valves adjusted at 60k miles? The ECHO has a layout very similiar to the one on my Honda ST1100 motorcycle...which has 89k on it without a valve adjustment.
  • pulgopulgo Posts: 400
    I just reached 60 k miles and talked to my Toyota mechanic about the valve lash adjustment. He listened to the engine in my car and said: "it doesn't need any adjustment, we have had several Echo's with over 120k miles (driven mostly by courier companies) in the shop and none of them needed any adjustment. These engines are pretty much bulletproof!"
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    Thats was the service manual says...listen to the engine and see that way if it needs adjustment. My experience with this type of valves (bucket over shim) is that they in fact need little adjustment and if they do its because the valves are wearing into the seats abnormally causing the clearances to decrease. It IS a relative [non-permissible content removed] to correct the clearances if thats necessary however which may account for the mechanic saying they never need adjustment! But he is probably right. Ill let you know what my ECHO does when it reaches 60k in about 9 years.
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    I was re reading Edmunds report on the ECHO and since I dont have anything else to do I thought I would pick it apart point by point.
      "We arent fans of ECHO. For a superior offering, check out the cars from Kia and Hyundai."
      Superior offering? In what catagory? They arent as well made, dont get as good gas mileage, have a terrible repair record, are made by comapnies on the verge of financial bankruptcy, and dont have anything like ECHO's engine. The only thing they have on the ECHO is they cost less...
      Pros: good gas mileage, Toyota reliability, speedy acceleation, roomy and functional interior."
       Thats a lot isnt it. What other car you say that about? I would add ECHO is a sleeper buy for those who want a ecology conscious car. Its HALF the cost of a Prius and gets 85% of the mileage.
       Cons: cartoonish styling, dopy gauge placement, tiltawhirl handling, deceptivly low base pricing.
       They have a good point about the base pricing. To which I would add its pretty hard to find a base ECHO... which I would buy in a Dixie minute. Adding a few options can make the price shoot up to $15k pretty fast. My suggestion is dont get them youll do fine without them.
       Here we have the REAL reason for Edmunds dislike of the isnt cool enough for them! These are insecure people. They need their car to reinforce their opinion of themselves. (or use it to bully others) The stlying is weird but it grows on you. Who cares what it looks like this is a functional, reliable car. You get used to the gauge placement fast enough and maybe even come to prefer it. Everything they say negitive about ECHO needs to be seen in this not cool enough for them attitude.
      "When you cut through the marketing hype what you see isnt pretty."
      Marketing hype? What are they talking about? I have never seen a Toyota commercial for ECHO. ECHO is the stepchild of the Toyota family. You never see them promote it.
      "Do you want people to think when you pull up to the curb that you borrowed a prop from Disneys Toontown?"
      Here is more of their insecurity on display.
       "Toyota says ECHO was designed to equal the carshworthiness of the CAMRY. Crash tests confirm these goals."
      "Handling is not ECHO's forte. Crosswinds seriously hamper the drivers ability to stay in his own lane."
       Right this isnt a BMW Three series. But the handling issue is overstated. If youre used to one of those BMWs youre going to notice crosswinds in the ECHO. Ive driven my ECHO long distance in great comfort. At 80 mph. Cross winds and handling were never issues.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    I do have to agree about one thing with the Edmunds review, the crosswind factor. I drove my friend's Echo on the highway and it felt like it was going to get blown right off the road at 80mph when a big truck passed us. Made me feel insecure. Since I drive highway 80% of the time, it made me not want to get an Echo as a second car for my dad and I to share.

    It's a very good car though, and extremely reliable. I would have one in a second if I could get over that crosswind thing. Maybe larger tires would help?
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694 about a new 2002 ECHO with five speed, CD ps for $10,600 plus tax. My local dealer has it.
  • coolguyky7coolguyky7 Posts: 932
    Toyota ran an ECHO commercial a few months ago with a young woman driving and herself as a young child sitting in the backseat.
  • kaz6kaz6 Posts: 331
    Larger/wider tires do help! Best investment I've made!
  • sluglineslugline Posts: 391
    This, unfortunately, is a weakness of the ECHO that I've seen firsthand. It's an unavoidable consequence of making a tall and light car. However, the tall cabin delivers a spacious interior, and the low weight translates into high fuel economy. As a consolation, the ECHO's narrow width means it enjoys more room for error as you work to stay within your lane!
  • I test drove a 2003 Echo the other day - I also drove a Prius - I have a '01 Corolla which I am very happy with, but my curiosity got the best of me and I wanted to see what each car was like.

    The Echo: cute as can be! I thought the interior, while a little bland-looking, was very spacious - the car handled well - I love the new styling -

    The Prius: cool! The CVT gets some getting used to - but acceleration was more than adequate - the computer which tells you your MPG was very interesting too - somewhat small trunk though - on the test drive I got 41 MPG -

    anyway, my Corolla has been flawless so far - so I guess I made a good choice
  • rsangesrsanges Posts: 4
    I've been car shopping for months now. The ECHO has crept up towards the top of my list.

    However, I was checking Toyota's web site (USA) and going through the "Build Your Own" feature, the 4 door was only available with a slush box! I tried a few other zip codes (mine is 06082), but none in my neck of the woods had the 5 speed/4 door combination.

    The lack of a manual transmission will take the ECHO completely off my shopping list. What is Toyota thinking!
  • coolguyky7coolguyky7 Posts: 932
    Toyota's build your own section on their website is completely screwed up and is terrible compared to other automanufacturer's websites. Go to your dealer and look for yourself. Whenever I go to see what ECHOs are around, there are always a good amount of 5 speeds.
  • sluglineslugline Posts: 391
    How closely does the Maintenance Guide on this site match up with the Toyota maintenance schedule? We've recently moved, and I think our copy of schedule was lost in the chaos. My SO's 2000 automatic four-door just hit 30,000 miles and I wanted to know what was due. I've seen

    Also, does anyone know if there are any other sources of Black Sand Pearl touchup paint -- other than a dealership? I was wondering if there might be a Duplicolor or other equivalent.
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    Toyotagal: Im mostly city driving my ECHO has averaged 38 mpg. It gets 40-43 mpg in the summer on trips. Im shocked the Prius does very little better at twice the price and ten times the complexity.
    Slugline: At 30k (according to my 01 manual) you need the airfilter and sparkplugs changed, the oil in the engine chaged, the coolant changed. Also, you need to inspect the boots on the front drive axles, (which should be checked at every oil change from now on, in my experience) the brake pad/shoe thicknesses, the tie rod and ball joint linkages. Also, I would change the brake fluid at this point although the manual doesnt call for it. Also, on a manual transmission Id bleed out the slave cylinder on the clutch. Basically, you want to put the car on a lift and check everything out under the car you can see. Also, check the gasket on the gas cap and replace it if it looks dammaged.
      I just read the latest edition of consumer reports and the ECHO does very well in it. It was listed as the most reliable car in the subcompact class.
  • that's great about the mileage on your Echo - the best I ever got with my Corolla in the city was 34 mpg - which is pretty good - the worst was 27 mpg/city, most of the time I get 30-32 mpg city - if I were in the market for a new car today I think I would get a 2003 Echo - I think Toyota did an excellent job re-styling them, as with the new Corolla - the Prius was impressive, but I too was a little surprised that 41 mpg was the best it did on my 7 mile test drive - and the Prius would cost around $21K with the options I would want -
Sign In or Register to comment.