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Toyota Echo



  • odmanodman Posts: 309
    I haven't looked into it carefully yet so I can't really advise you on importing into the States, but others have (take a look at the Echo Canadian Model thread or do a general search in the Echo section or in Edmunds more generally). If you buy used it will be a lot easier. On the website I saw a blue Echo HB model with a 5-speed for CAN$12,000 -- that's $8k or so in real US dollars!

    In border towns there are brokers who will take care of importing and making the changes necessary to make the cars comply with US standards. There aren't many to worry about since Canadian standards are harmonized with US standards(switching the odometer is the big one). I would call a few of those first and ask them some questions about process, fees and pitfalls. Having warranty coverage is a big one, but again, on a used car it is not the same thing as a new one. Also, although it is a hatch, it is based on common Echo components, so most US Toyota dealers can fix them. Since the Echo hatch is selling extremely well in Canada, importing hatch parts won't be a big deal either.
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    I was just reading Edmunds long term test on the Prius. What do you think the numbers were for their overall mileage after 5000 miles? 50 mpg? 60 mpg? 70 mpg? NO! That stupid car got 40.8 mpg! Have IQs dropped sharply in this country or what? Why on earth would any body BUY this car? Now that its summer my ECHO is getting at least that mileage just driving six miles to work.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    Why do you continually bash the Prius, on a board devoted to the ECHO? It's not like anyone is forcing you to buy a Prius. You like the ECHO, other people like the Prius (and are getting way better than 40.8 mpg BTW)--why all the fuss?
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    The Prius is an engineering abortion. It is not cost effective. It gets 15% more mileage than my ECHO but costs 75% more. Yet people buy them so manufacturers will make them and force the rest of us to buy them also. We need to be driving fuel efficient cars. The bill for our foolishness in wasting energy and resources is on its way. Its going to be painfull when it arrives. But solutions like the Prius are not the answer.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    Please name another midsized car that averages at least 40 mpg. For a car of its size, the Prius is VERY fuel efficient.

    And no one is forcing people to buy anything they don't want to buy. If they wanted to buy ECHOes, they would demand them and Toyota would make more of them. It's a free enterprise system.
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    Thats the point. People arent buying a car like an ECHO nor are they demanding them. 40 years ago VW came out with the Beetle, a car that was several orders of magnitude weirder than the ECHO. There was a lot of pressure then to buy American. Yet people came to understand that this was a good, reliable, and cheap form of transportation and VW sold millions of them. Today people are brainwashed into thinking they need a car with 17 inch wheels and 300 horsepower. Just read Edmunds comments about the cars they test. Very few people are taking advantage of the ECHO, the VW Beetle of its day.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    If you're blaming Prius owners for that, I think you're pointing the finger in the wrong place. Someone who buys a $20-26,000 midsized car isn't likely to cross-shop an ECHO. Look elsewhere if you want to see where erstwhile ECHO buyers went. And blame Toyota for its out-of-the-mainstream styling of the ECHO and its lack of marketing support. Not to mention its failure to bring more than the sedan to the U.S.
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    Very few people want a car like ECHO no matter what it looks like. Even if it was imported with a diesel and a hatch, there wouldnt be many more customers. I think Toyota doest spend much promoting ECHO because they have done surveys and know the numbers just arent out there. Im grateful Toyota has kept the ECHO on as long as it has. They say it will be around next year too.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    With gas way over $2 a gallon in many places, maybe next year will be the year of the ECHO.
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    The scary part is the consumer just doesnt get it. Back in the 70s small cars were flying off the shelves with high gas prices. Edmunds comments about ECHO in its evaluation are probably reflective of most peoples views...ECHO is something you scrape off your shoe. Cetainly its looks havnt helped, but no one held that against the beetle. They just recognized value. I havnt seen that happen yet with ECHO.
  • stevengordonstevengordon Posts: 130
    I don't think they're bad. Maybe the editors do, the car reviewers, but personally, and subjectively, the last revision to the car rounded the corners and the whole thing looks good. Looks more modern and less like a beetle (the insect, not the car) compared with the Corolla.

    I wonder if sales are beginning to pick up with the ECHO now that gas prices have risen.

    I'm hoping that a 5-seat ECHO hatchback joins the fray this coming model year.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    It's not that the ECHO looks "bad"--it just doesn't have the same-old boring lines of most small cars (e.g. Civic, Corolla). Like it or not, the bland styling attracts (is less offensive?) to a broader range of buyers than unique styling like the ECHO has. One of the reasons IMO the Corolla and Civic are perennial best sellers--not to mention they are quality cars with great reputations for reliability. But then so does the ECHO.
  • fuelmiserfuelmiser Posts: 26
    a very practical one for a smallish car. I have a 1987 Sprint, and with the hatch open I have carried a cast iron bathtub in it! Slowly, of course.

    There is a diesel version of the Echo hatchback that is sold in Europe; called the Yaris. I think that, as is, it might not meet US air pollution standards. There ought to be some decent selection of reliable, fuel efficient, and relatively inexpensive cars available to the US consumer. There is not. The relaxation of the CAFE standards is probably as much to blame as anything for this sorry state of affairs.

    The Sprint was apparently imported by Chevrolet to help their CAFE numbers, and I have been the beneficiary of that for the past 17 years. Mileage of the ER model I have has varied from 50 to 60 miles per US gallon, and the car sold for about $6,000 in 1987.

    Here we are in 2004 and there is nothing to equal the Sprint for economy and fuel efficiency. We are spending billions to fight wars over oil, but hardly a penny for efficiency or conservation. This is progress?
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    My roomate in college had a Subaru 360 Van. It was about 1/3 the size of a VW Bus. The 360cc 2 stroke motor would have to go of course, but it was a terrificly untilitarian vehicle. It was big enough for two people up front with a smallish storage area behind. It had ten inch tires. With a two cylindar diesel it would be great. Too bad we dont have cars like that.
  • stevengordonstevengordon Posts: 130
    was an '88 Mercury Tracer. It was a hatchback built by Mazda in Mexico. Similar to the 323 hatchback, Mercury added some luxury items (well, manual lumbar is a luxury item for me!).

    When we needed to haul stuff, it was better than the Windstar. Pop off the headrests and lay the split rear seats flat.

    I envy the last generation of Civic hatchbacks. They were utilitarian and, I believe, got the same or better high mileage as the sedan version.

    Personally, the ECHO is the only car that's thrilled me when I test drove it. I love the storage nooks, the way that the pieces of the dashboard meet, everything (except the velcro closure for the sun visor--that was too cheap-looking for a car that approached a Civic LX in price).

    Anyway, let's hope that the ECHO flourishes enough to justify its place in the Toyota lineup.
  • rwgreenbergrwgreenberg Posts: 154
    Drove a Honda Scamp in Perth Australia for about 2 years in 1980. It was a little hatchback and had a 380cc engine. Did just fine with it, as long as I was careful pulling out onto highways (few and far between in Perth).

    Love my Echo too.
  • fuelmiserfuelmiser Posts: 26
    is the Smart. It does not have much carrying capacity, and is strictly a 2 seater. The price (around 19K) reflects its boutique status. I read that it will get about 60 miles per US gallon. Spare parts? Might be a problem unless a lot of people buy them. Reliability? I don't know.

    If the initial purchase price was about equivalent to the Echo I might buy a Smart. But the extra 7K for a smaller car with somewhat better mileage does not make sense to me.
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    The transmission in my wifes 93 Saturn may be toast. Its going into the shop Thursday to be evaluated. $95. Its been a good car so we may opt to fix it. About $1500 for a used trans installed or $3000 for a rebuilt one installed. Convieceably the diagnosis might find something to fix that would be cheaper. BUT we might ditch the car for another one...and that might be a used ECHO. About $8000 for a used one I figure with 20-30000 miles. That would assume the price of used ones hasnt gone up because of the price of gas!. A third possibility is a new Ford Focus. I like the Focus because you can get one with 0 interest for 60 months and it is the highest rated car in its class by Consumer Reports. Reliability would be an issue though.
  • pulgopulgo Posts: 400
    $ 3000 for a rebuilt transmission sounds way too expensive for me. A local transmission shop would likely charge less than half of that for a properly rebuilt transmission, including installation.
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    AAMCO says they will rebuild it for $1900.
  • pulgopulgo Posts: 400
    I would ask the fleet manager of my municipality, hospital or even police and ask who they use for transmission rebuilds.
    I had a transmission rebuilt and installed for my 91 Caprice and spent less than $ 800. This was NOT one of the national chains but a local specialist (has a big shop beside his house in a rural area and employs 5 transmission mechanics).
  • sbspencesbspence Posts: 16
    I'm considering a slightly used 03 Echo form Enterprise rental fleets , but, haven't talked with anyone that actually owns one...they seem to be rather rare around here...

     What MPG (mainly city) should I expect from an auto sedan w/ ac? What would be a good price for a low mi 03 auto/ac sedan?

  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    I would check the price of the car as optioned right here in Edmunds and compare it to what they are asking. You can also check the Blue book type pages on line. The kind of mileage you get depends a lot on your driving style. If you are prepared to be conservative I think you could average 35-38 mpg. Maybe prices for an ECHO will be going up soon with the gas prices being what they are and interest rates soon to rise!
  • coolguyky7coolguyky7 Posts: 932
    Toyota today announced the 2005 ECHO. It's a carryover from 2004. This is its sixth year in the current style. Will 2006 see a redesign or termination?
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    Good news! Haed to understand why Toyota keeps both the Scion and the ECHO but Im not complaining. I dont want a car with options I dont want and the ECHO weighs less so its faster and gets better mileage.
      I did a cost analysis between buying a used ECHO and a new Focus. I was leaning toward the Focus for my wife, but when you look at the comparison, the ECHO wins hands down. Except the Focus comes in a hatchback.
  • i know i must be in the minority but i'm hoping someone here can help me. i don't drive my echo very often and find that the battery dies if i don't start it up for about a week. when the battery is charged, all works fine, including the radio as some have had problems with that. when i turn off the car, i leave on the cruise control, radio and air conditioner but these should not drain a battery in a week, especially when the battery is only 6 months old. twice i have taken it to the dealer and they did an elecrical test but cannot find anything wrong. today the toyota dealer mechanic told me that it is not unusual to get a drained battery if it's not driven for a week but i don't believe this. my mazda protege lasted 3 weeks! any help is welcome! hopefully i can get this fixed before it goes off warranty- it is a 2001 with only 17k miles. also, i do not have an alarm, if that is what you think of first.
    thanks. april.
    (cross-posted to the problems & solutions board)
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    Disconnect the negitive terminal of the batttery when you know you wont be driving the car for a week or more. Then reconnect it when you will drive it. If that "fixes" it you electrical drain on the battery somehow. That could be hard to find. You muight try taking the car to a speciality shop. Look in the yellow pages under ALTERNATORS. Good luck and tell us what happens!
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    You arent leaving the trunk ajar or the doors ajar are you? There is a lite in the trunk when it opens and the dome light can be set to be on with a door open.
  • sluglineslugline Posts: 391
    A staffer at the AutoZone store around the corner read the code and told us that the computer was reporting a lean condition. He theorized that either the O2 sensor was going bad or the engine was starved for fuel because of a clogged fuel filter or injector. And sure enough, the engine is holding back from accelerating from time to time.

    This ECHO (2000 automatic sedan, 37000 miles) doesn't get out much these except for my girlfriend's commute to and from work, less than four in-town miles each way. I think it may just be crying for more attention. :)

    The last time this car lit up the CEL, the dealership told my girlfriend that I had mis-installed the air filter. (I didn't like that explanation, but it was only the scond time I changed it.) We'll see what happens when we get it checked out. I haven't touched anything under the hood since then.
  • carglowcarglow Posts: 91
    Anyone heard of any changes for the 05 ECHO?

    Is the hatchback coming to the U.S.?
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