Howdy, Stranger!

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

Toyota Echo



  • danny28danny28 Posts: 158
    sorry, >>>"gasoline and jet
    fuel" area.<<<
    should read >>>"gasoline and jet
    fuel" era.<<<
  • danny28danny28 Posts: 158
    re "first car":
    My only reservation about the Echo as a first car is that many 16 year old drivers, including all my sons and yours truly had at least one fender bender in their first year of driving, and i think it would be a crime to expose such a masterpiece of engineering to that, when there are lots of gas guzzlers around which deserve to be "taken out" in that fashion. I might add that my now grown up daughter did beat the odds and has driven over 5 years with zero accidents. Perhaps a 16 year old female can buy an Echo as a first car and give it the love and attention it deserves ??
  • danny28danny28 Posts: 158
    I've been thinking about your question about bicycle transport and have this to offer:

    I have carried one bicycle easily by dropping down the rear seat in my Echo 2dr, and sliding it in the back. i think that this may be possible with up to 2 bikes.

    Beyond that, or if you have a carload as well as the bikes, DRAWTITE corporation make an excellent trailer hitch for the Echo. I have one installed on mine. it comes with a removeable ball and mount which fits into a square socket under the bumper.

    They or others may be able to supply you with a bicycle rack which also fits into the square socket. This hitch is a class A one which means it is rated at 2000# gross load and a 200# vertical tongue load - IE 200# straight down on the hitch. It is therefore easily strong enough to support the weight of 2 or so bicycles. The racks that I have seen around also usually attach back to the rear fenders around the trunk opening for lateral stability. I hope that this helps you.
  • janbeejanbee Posts: 127
    The placement of the gauges are perfect!! I love where they are and dont know why car companies didnt put them there sooner!! For those who think they are confusing and "awful" then why dont you take the ECHO out for a drive and see how it only takes about 5 minutes to get comfortable with the placement...I have had my ECHO for 2 months now and Im so glad I chose it over the civic, and the corolla, its just a fun car to drive!
  • My autobytel rep was released by the dealership
    owner one week before Thanksgiving. The ex-rep called me to tell me who he was turning my account over to and wished me well. I called the manager
    and he seemed very understanding. Yet I have
    mixed emotions as I still want my ordered Echo but
    have to deal with another salesman. The new salesman has not contacted me yet. I have not signed anything but did make an initial deposit of $250. Anybody have any advice as to how I should proceed?
  • Ok, I will admit that I have yet to drive the Echo, and I'm sure it rides well for the size that it is. However, I still think that I'm entitled to my opinion.
    I think the gauges are awful for two reasons. First, they are in the middle of the car. I don't know about you guys, but when I'm driving, I like to look straight ahead. If I were looking to the side, it would take my attention away from driving, just like a radio does, and we all know that radios have cause many accidents.
    Second, the dials are so small I feel I would need a magnifying glass just to see them. If Toyota was going to put this in the middle, at least make it big enough.
    And for those of you wondering, yes I have been inside the Echo, and surprisingly I liked the interior. I think Toyota did a wonderful job of putting all those cubbie holes in, and there is a airy feeling inside the cabin. But I still don't like the gauges.
    You don't have to own a car to know what it's like. I've never owned a Cavalier, but I know I don't like those either.
    And no matter what people say, the Echo is overpriced, but you're paying for Toyota quality, which for some, justifies the money. As for me, I know I can have a better car, or at least equal, for less money.
  • And I do not own an ECHO...yet. Put in the nice
    quality interior of the Sienna + Cruise and ECHO would fill my needs. My wife and I were both very impressed with ECHO we test drove in Fall 1999. It
    had great performance, comfort, economy and felt much larger inside than exterior dimensions would indicate. PT Cruiser is the only other sedan we would even consider. The PT Cruiser is much more
    expensive and uses about twice as much fuel. All other sedans have uncomfortable seating height.
  • I find it odd that folks complain about the placement of the gauge cluster on the Echo , but don't complain about the placement of the rearview mirrors, don't they take their eyes off the road to check them?.
    I don't know about most people, but I was taught to check what's ahead of me but also to the side,ie: traffic turning onto and off the roadway I'm on. Also to check my sideview mirrors to see what's coming alongside on either side of me.

    An accident investigator that I knew had a term that escapes me right now had a term that was used to describe the cause of many accidents.
    Something like, optical fixation, I think. It's premise was that the average driver only looks at what's directly what's in front of them and in the split second just before an avoidable collision, that fixation is the time that could have been used for reactive response from the brain. This is been studied and confirmed by a number of government agencies,specifically NHTSA, DOT, and DOD .

    So to those of you wondering or complaining about the placement of the speedometer, ask yourself this, how much time is actually spent looking at the speedometer and how much time is spent scanning the road to each side ahead and to the side. Seems to me that speedometer watching time would be a small percentage compared the the rest. Accident avoidance though the use studying the effects optical fixation was the reasoning of Toyotas' placement of the much talked about gauge cluster. Just my humble opinion.
  • I agree that the placement isn't a problem. The standard placement requires the driver to look straight down approximatly 21 degrees. The Echo's placement requires to look right approx. 14 degrees. Are the people who complain about it aware that, even though the gauges are centered, they ARE actually angled towards the driver? And about the size of the gauges, if the numbers on the speedometer were any bigger they would look rediculous. The only complaint I had was no tach but that was easily installed on the steering column where "standard" gauges would be.

    Mine is almost 6 months old and 16,500 miles. Couldn't be happier with it!
  • We have used our Echo day in day out for 4 months and I don't think the gauge placement is "awful" at all. When driving head / eye movement is side to side. High gauge placement keeps the focus up (where the windows are!)

    As for providing a car for the review. I would guess that tons of people who claim to be reviewers ask Toyota for a car all the time and Toyota has to figure out if the request is valid. Edmunds chose to post personal editorial venting posed as a review, so I guess that Toyota decided they were not serious. Edmunds chose to do what they did, and it hurt their credibility.

    Now that the review is in place (that I don't need to agree with to respect), I am feeling that there are serious people in Edmunds who may have learned from their mistakes.

    I am sure that Edmunds can earn back the position as credible auto industry press without kissing up to Toyota (which I would not respect either).

    We love our Echo, and as it stands we plan to replace our '88 Corolla with an Echo in the spring!
  • I would not worry that the salesman has left the dealership. You have a binding contract with the dealer not him. I would give the dealership a week and then call the owner and let him know that you are expecting the new salesman to give you a call to touch base.

    I am wondering how Moses and Melody did in their Echos last night in the first snowfall of the winter. Did they handle all right for you two?

    I did not see the announcement where Toyota is withholding test vehicles from Edmunds. I was one of the biggest complainers about the initial review of the 2001 Toyota Echo, but I do not agree with Toyota withholding vehicles. They don't have to give them a vehicle, but I think they are wrong.

    I am putting in some overtime today and tomorrow and I need to get going so just wanted to say see you later.
  • Could someone provide a direct link to the source of this witholding issue? I'd like to read the article firsthand.
  • Personally I am very glad Edmunds stuck to thier guns. Integrity is very lacking in the Auto review industry. You get glowing reviews of practically everthing from the mainstream mags.

    I understand that owners can be defensive about their car choices, it seems moreso when their choices are not mainstream.

    But the Gauge placement is odd. True that no-one owning the car is saying that, but why would anyone buy a car that they thought had odd gauge placement.

    To me the echo is just an Oddly styled Tercel. Thats another car I would never purchase.

    There was a discussion exactly like this in an
    forum at work. The results were the same: Staunch owner-defenders, and a lot of people who thought the car is an odd duck.

    Every single friend of mine I have chatted with
    thinks these cars are ugly.

    When you buy a "Unique" car like and Echo or and Aztec, you get used to defending it, I guess.

  • To find out what all the withholding fuss is about, just go to the main home page. Under "What's New" there is a brand new review of the 2001 Toyota Echo and it's in here that you'll find the story of Toyota initially not releasing a press car to Edmunds. (This was later smoothed over after further discussion with a Toyota executive).

    Fellow Echo Posters -- if you haven't looked at the "Consumer Comments" link attached to the new Edmunds review, give it a look. Many of us are quoted in it!
  • Hey I can't see the outside when I'm inside it. Sure the gauges are ODD, but they certainly aren't "awful" which was what we were discussing.
  • Ha Toyota actuallt has been able to unload a few of these "expensive" cheap cars!!! What a joke!! I have owned my 2000 Sunfire for 1 year now and it gives me twice as many options for my money!! I was seriously considering a Echo, but the Pontiac had a better lease. As for reliablity I don't care its a lease! But so far the only problem that I have had was a burned out lightbulb in the headlight. Not so bad for almost 25,000 miles. My Sun could blast your echopod off the road. Oh wait your're already being blasted of the road on windy days lol.
  • janbeejanbee Posts: 127
    Id rather have half the options and pay more than drive any domestic..but setting my opinion aside dont turn this into a yahoo message board with the mines better than your mentality!
  • I thought that the echo is classified as a domestic car because it is built in america and contains american sourced parts.
  • mdrewmdrew Posts: 32
    a major reason for its great reliability, which still seems to be a minor factor to Edmunds compared to things like the "dopey" gauge placement, which doesn't seem to bother actual Echo owners since it is very easy to read. If you can't read the speedometer on that thing, you shouldn't be on the road. The rest of the gauges are mostly idiot lights that never come on my car to begin with, except the cold engine light. In the past I've had more trouble checking my speed through the steering wheel on a conventional gauge; I'm totally sold on the Echo style gauge but it wouldn't be the big reason I'd buy or not buy a car...
  • Go to and rate your Echo.
    I tried to copy and paste some of the titles:

    Consumer Test Drive
    2000 Toyota Echo
    Average Rating:
    4 out of possible 5 (out of 9 reviews)
    Detailed Reviews
    Overall Ratings

    We just love this little car. It has more ge...
    I think that the car has good pickup. The ai...
    The ECHO is low-end forgine import with a
    The Echo drove very nicely and is a neat litt...
    Great gas mileage! I test drove a number of...
    I love my car! It's actually my commute car.....
    It drives like a zippy car should...the get u...
    The Echo handled well throughout...
  • Some of the reviews above criticize the Echo for the lack of an arm rest. In a JC Whitney catalog
    I saw an ad for a snap in place:
    Padded and upholstered
    Center Armrest/Console
    13DX5858A Black $35.95
    13DX5862T Gray $35.95

    Will it fit the Echo?
  • I have that particular armrest installed in my Echo and it works great! It just makes it harder to reach the e-brake.

    The Echo is made completely in Japan and shipped here. The car was designed elsewhere as well.

    I have noticed a few reviews state that the car was designed by The Genesis Group (Phil Collins not included) in CA, but all Genesis were responsible for doing was bringing it to our shores.
  • janbeejanbee Posts: 127
    I have asked this question before but never really got a reply....I am debating whether or not to get the underneath of my ECHO oil guarded..I live in Ontario, Canada, which means winters can be bad, although I dont do a lot of driving, both work, the grocery store, mall etc are only a 5 minute drive car is constantly outside though, cause it is always parked on my driveway, so during the winter its rarely in a dry spot...any input on oil guarding??
  • danny28danny28 Posts: 158
    I would ask the company that's selling the product to give you a list of names of people in your area that put it on at least 10 years ago, and who are still driving their cars. I know that you have special rust problems in Ontario because the temp. sits near freezing so much that the highways people use a lot of salt to clear the roads. If this company can't give you a list like this, then really can't say whether their product will help in your area. Rustproofing companies have come and gone in this area for as long as I can remember (40 years plus), and few really improve the long term performance of a car. You're proably better off to spend the money keeping your echo washed regularly, especially by a method that cleans the salt off of the bottom.

    If you can rinse the salt off prior to parking your car outside you will improve your vehicles life significantly. Parking outside is good because it allows lots of air to circulate under the car.
  • janbeejanbee Posts: 127
    I try and take my car to get washed every week, I take it to a touchless car wash (just cause im scared the touch car washes will hurt the body side moulding)..If I do get the oil guard it will be at the toyota dealership where I bought the car. I think that cars made today are less likely to have rust problems but I really dont know a lot about the mechanicals of a car so I appreciate your help!
  • You say that you have a 2000 Sunfire, have had it for a year, and already have 25,000 miles on it? I hope you bought the extra mileage up front because if not, you will be paying for that mileage when you turn the car in. If you get 15,000 miles per year and if extra mileage only costs you .10 per mile, you are looking at $1,000 due at lease end.

    I thought about a Sunfire at one point because I had the car the Sunfire replaced which was the Sunbird and mine was a '76 which I had when I was in college in the early 80s. How is that for a run on sentence? : )

    I sat in the Sunfire at local Autoshow here in KC and decided against it. It is a nicely styled car, but I just did not like the way I felt when I sat in it.

    In the final analysis, I guess you liked the way you felt inside the car.
  • I have read the "new" review now and wanted to share some of my thoughts on it and some other topics.

    Overall, I thought it was a good piece. Does not really matter to me if the reviewer liked the car or not. At least it was not as heavy handed for the most part. I could do without the "Isaac Newton" crack. If the Echo does as well as we suspect in the crash tests, I wonder if Edmunds will be satisfied given that I cannot imagine the government will have a large sized SUV t-bone the Echo at a high rate of speed so Edmunds can say that the "spam test" was not done.

    Miles Cook, in his second opinion piece, writes that there will never be any websites about the Echo and there will never be any Echo car clubs. I have taken it upon myself to write him and let him know he is wrong. I have seen where several of my fellow posters have sites that feature pictures of their Echos and cyber though it may be (at this point), I would consider Melody, Moses, and myself something of a Kansas City Echo club. Wouldn't you two agree?

    A big deal is made about the fact that the Echo does not have power mirrors and power windows. I will miss the power mirrors of my Escort when I get my Echo, but I do not have power windows now and do not want power windows.

    The power mirror control in my Escort looks kind of cheap and look tech while the control in the Focus looks higher in quality and high tech, but the one in the Escort is easier to figure out and to use.

    The reviewer indicated that they had to roll down the window to adjust the side mirrors of the Echo which is not an experience I had in the three Echos I have test driven. I used the levers inside the car.

    Power windows are nice, but what if the controls break. You are stuck with your windows either up, down, or somewhere in between. What if the car breaks down on the side of the road, the windows are in the up position, and you have power windows. You have no way of getting the windows down and you might just fry in hot weather. How about a worst case scenario (which Edmunds seem to love) in which your car goes into the water and the power goes out? I hope you have a brick handy if you have power windows or else the results when they pull you out are not going to be pretty.

    Yes, I know that non power window controls can break too, but they are cheaper to fix I would imagine.

    The reviewer also talks about resale value and predicts that the Echo will have the worst percentage of resale value of any Toyota besides the Avalon. Does anyone know where they are getting their information exactly?

    I will not mind not having a right side arm rest in my Echo, but that may be because I do not have a right side arm rest in my present car. Anyway, all a right side arm rest does is to encourage you to take your hand off the wheel, I feel, and that is not good.

    I would like to welcome all the new names and ask a question. What made you come to this particular board given that most of you do not own the Echo and do not even like the Echo? I am not saying you have no right to be here and voice your opinion, just wondering why you are here.

    I am starting to ramble and even though I titled this Random thoughts, my rambling shows it is a good time to end the post.
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    Well I got 38 mpg on the going leg of my trip this weekend and 41,6 on the return. I went 70 mph the whole way. The car was a treat to drive. It is VERY quiet windwise, most of the noise is tire noise which was pretty low. There were pretty good cross winds, but I did not notice them. A little maybe. The car is rather stiffly sprung, which I think is good. (tends to bounce on bumps)
  • A lot has been made by Edmunds over the "deceptive base pricing" of the Echo and their belief that it will not hold up well in a crash.

    Nothing shows Edmunds' bias better than the fact that they do not make these complaints against other low priced, light weight cars. For an example of this, take a look at their review of the Kia Rio.

    This car has a base price of $8,895 but if you don't want to change gears yourself in rush hour traffic, want air conditioning, the ability to play CDs, and have alloy wheels, you are actually looking at $12,060 (according to This is an increase of $3,165.

    The Echo starts out at $10,525 for a four door and if you add the same equipment that I added to the Rio, you come out with a car costing $13,715 or about a $3,190 difference between base and nicely equipped. But with the Echo, you get the ability to play CDs or cassettes and you get the promise of Toyota reliability.

    I think I have shown that if the Echo has deceptive base pricing, then the Rio does too. Yet Edmunds touts the Rio's "low" price.

    The Echo and the Rio only weigh about a hundred pounds difference so why don't you make the same spam comments over in your Rio review, Edmunds?

    If Edmunds truly wants to be taken seriously, I think they need to be consistent in their reviews of cars and apply the same criteria.

    I think they also need to be consistent in placing the cars in categories. The Rio section lists the Echo as a competing model, but the Echo section does not do the same with the Rio.

    That is my two cents. What do you think?
  • I, unlike Edmunds, admit my mistakes without prompting and complaining by others.

    I said that the Echo section does not list the Rio as a competing model which in fact it does, but I do have a quibble with the Hyundai Tiburon being listed as a competitor. The Tiburon is a low cost sports car and not a family sedan. If any Hyundai is going to be listed as a competing model, it should be the Accent instead.

    In another post, I said I did not understand where Edmunds got the info about the resale value of the Echo and I see where they say they got it from the Black Book. I still would like to know how they can predict the resale value of a car five years in the future when the car is only in its second year of production.

    In that same post, I talked about never having to adjust the mirrors by rolling down the window like the Edmunds reviewer had to. I reread that section of the review and I see where they had to adjust the mirror housing (and not the mirror) since someone had bumped up against it. I consider that a safety feature and a positive. Imagine if you drive into something hard enough to get a mirror to fold up and your mirror is not designed to do that. What happens? Your mirror breaks instead of bending like the Echo's mirrors. I guess leave it to Edmunds to make a negative out of a positive.

    My roommate is home and it is her turn to be on the computer so I bid you good night.
Sign In or Register to comment.