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Toyota Echo



  • sluglineslugline Posts: 391
    Your friendly mechanic has confirmed what I've been suspecting all along. Idling is time and gas spent at 0 mpg, and that'll foul up anyone's average. The Prius may indeed be the better choice for your objectives. Under the short-trip conditions you describe, it would be relying almost entirely on it's electric motor -- and electric motors do not need any warmup time to get up and go (although you may still need it personally!). I did a quick query on Out of the four dealers in North Dakota, Cedrick Theel Toyota in Bismarck is labeled as "Prius Certified." FYI
  • sluglineslugline Posts: 391
    In my experience, two-door cars are harder to enter and exit compared to their four-door equivalents; the ECHO is a actually a good example of this. In a two-door car, the doors must be longer to make access to the back seat possible. The longer door poses a larger obstacle to go around on the way in or out of the front seats.
    In a parking lot, the problem gets even worse. You cannot open the door any further out than the car in the adjoining space. Given the same lateral space, the shorter doors on the four-door can open to a wider and more accessible angle.
    The body styling isn't really different, so other than being cheaper ($485 per Edmunds TMV), I don't see any advantage to having a two-door ECHO over a four-door.
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    From your user name, I realize where you are coming from in your post. Getting adults into the back seat of a 2 door can be a trick. You miss a critical point though in discussing ingress/egress. Because the door is larger it is far easier to get into and out of the front seat, as long as you have room to open the doors. I learned this by showing countless cars over the past 8 years. The 2 door is particularly nice for the elderly or overweight. Both of those groups find the 2 door very handy.
  • echo01echo01 Posts: 19
    Yes, my point is the one that cliffy1 just made - as long as you have room to open the doors, the fact that they are bigger makes it easier to get in and out of the front seat.

    And this is true not only for elderly or overweight people, but also for tall people.

    There's another, related, point about two door cars. Because of my height, it was likely that I was going to have to get the front seat moved back in whatever car I bought. (I had this done in my previous car.) Doing this in a two-door car is fine, but moving the front seat back in a four-door car would result in having to climb around a post every time I get in & out of the car - the seat and front door would no longer be "lined up".

    (Because of the Echo's high seating position, however, I actually am comfortable the way it is, so I probably will not have the seat moved back.)

    Slugline, I see your point about opening the door in parking lots; for some reason, this hasn't been a problem for me. Maybe it's because I've always owned fairly narrow cars. I'm always careful to not bump my door into the adjacent car, and this has not been a problem with my two-door Echo.
  • I think you will be very disappointed in the prius mpg if you just use it for short 2 mi. trips in town only. I have driven both for over a year. This likewise is the observation of all prius owners. As with any car, idling will kill mpg and the same is true with the prius. It also warms up a lot in the first 5 min. to run the catalytic converter to properly maintain its SULEV low emission status. To get the high mpg in the Prius you need to take trips that are least 15-20 min. Prius is a great car but has limitations. I am sure your echo will get good mpg in some other situations and still probably much better than many gas-guzzling SUV's. Other than the hwsitation you describe and need a second opinion about, the car is born to save gas.
    Don Gillespie
    Nashville TN
  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Posts: 1,391
    DO not trust their dyno plot from the Celica GTS.

    I previously commented Weapon-R on two occasions: Celica GTS & ES300 in regards to their testing procedures.

    In short, they do their dyno tests with the hood open. Unless you are willing to drive with the hood flying open all the time, then you'll be able to trust their data.

    Also, because of the nature of the placement (inside the engine compartment), they don't show the results of the dyno test with the effects of heat soak in a normally operating temperature engine. The Celica dyno test was compared to Injen Cold Air Intake (CAI), which its placement is away from the engine compartment (near the wheel wells). Though their tests did confirm the performance of an Injen CAI on the Celica GTS.

    Quality and service (being a past customer) isn't that great either, and many others in various forums will recommend avoiding WeaponR, from their past experiences (Weapon R is good to on some forums only).

    Foam versus cotton gauze, that's another argument, for say Aftermarket Accessories forum.

    So for the following Dyno test on the Celica GTS, take their intake test with a grain of salt.


    ECHO setup


    Look at its position:

    It's far from a cold air source (bad for power). 1)To the left and below, are the exhaust headers: lots of heat coming from them.2) The stock intake gets its air from behind the drivers side headlamp, next to the grille. It is a great source of cold air.

    Cost: 1 mandrel bend is cheaper than a few mandrel bends to get the filter behind the driver's side headlamp area (where there is plenty of room, and the air is cooler, plus greater air flow).

    Material: 6061T6, nothing against it.

    I got the pictures from

  • sluglineslugline Posts: 391
    . . . on both points. I forgot about the door post on four-door cars being a barrier, especially if you have the front seat moved back.

    Cliffy1, I'm interested to know how you think my post was related to my username here on Edmunds. I don't encounter many people who actually recognize "slugline" as journalism jargon. . . .

    I guess I misunderstood Edmunds descriptions of the hybrid systems in the Honda Insight and the Toyota Prius; I thought the Honda relied mainly on its gas engine and supplemented it with the electric motor as needed, while the Toyota relied mainly on its electric motor and got help from the gas engine as needed. So does this mean they operate virtually the same?

    Then maybe what should be on nodaker's wishlist is a 100% electric car. The relatively short range of the batteries obviously would not be an issue.
  • cwo4cwo4 Posts: 90
    Spent many hours in the slugline, and bought a car from cliffy1!
  • Can be solved by a move to Florida :~).

    Hey ya all, you've been so helpful and I appreciate all the responses I've gotten. Slugline -- you sure know your vehicles, and Don from Nashville you are such a positive and encouraging person!

    I have actually seen one Prius in person... or would that be in metal? Very sharp looking vehicle (I actually like it better than the ECHO -- yes, you can chalk me up as one who thinks the ECHO is one swell looking vehicle). I did not see the owner so I couldn't talk to him about how he liked it and how it did in our cold climate. If the nearest certified Prius dealer is in Bismarck, we are talking a 4.5 hour drive. Not too great if you need service. Someday I will own a hybrid -- when I'm living much further south... and I WILL be living much further south. I think the biggest mistake I've made was buying my ECHO at the end of October. I haven't had fun in the sun with it yet so I'm looking forward to that.

    Just so you'all don't think all I do it complain -- I just need to stress again how much I really like everything about the ECHO. Every time I slip in and out of the car with such ease I simply can't understand why others put up with having to pull and heave them self out of a sedan. Although ECHOs don't come with a ton of options, I do have the 4-doo automatic trans, which came equipped with wheels (sharp), spoiler, A/C and the winterized package. I ordered custom seat covers from (The Scottsdale), and they are sharp! The fit is perfect (I highly recommend this company), and people are surprised to learn they are not the actual seats. I put a lighted mirror on the passenger visor, and when I need to replace the tires I will put wider tires on at that time. I have never objected to the center mounted pod and didn't have even a nano-second of adjustment time.

    Did I mention that I think this is a swell looking vehicle?
  • hey dude thats my car lol...but anyways, that might seem like a bad place for the intake...which i totally agree, ide love for it to be around the headlight region, and yes you can put it there if u want, i elected not to do so, because the maf isnt quite long enough..if someone wanted to find an extra inch to work with, the headlight area will work..and ive done testing on my car, nothing like a dyno, but ive drove around town for over an hour...the intake wasnt hot at all, and the heat shield on the exhaust manifold does wonders...there is actually air from the fan being blown on the intake, and u also hafta remember..short ram intakes get more amounts of air quicker =o)...generally, short ram intakes provide higher amounts of top end, while intakes that are longer and located outside of the engine bay usually produce more bottom end...and if u r worried about the place where the intake is, just go ahead and buy the ram air..seals away the filter, and pulls cold air in from anywhere u choose =o)
  • I have had a 2000 Echo since May of 2000. I bought it new and I really like it. But, it has this annoying habit of making this "deranged cricket" chirping/squealing sound. I have read through some posts here, but have not found a solution to the problem. I have taken it to the dealership here 4 times already and I keep getting the response "could not duplicate noise". And yet, everytime I pick it up at the dealer, it has mysteriously STOPPED making the noise. Gee--I am no mechanic, but I would say that they are doing a quick fix to something. But they never admit to "fixing" or adjusting anything. About two weeks after it goes away, it comes back. I am about to call Toyota and tell them to stuff my baby car up their tushies! I love this car--don't want to get rid of it--any suggestions? By the way--it used to just do this on cold mornings. And only for a few minutes. Now it does it everyday, no matter how long I drive it and no matter what the temp. is. I think it may be tied in with the clutch or transmission. When I step on the clutch it gets really apparent sometimes. It does not however, stop making the noise when I let off the clutch. I am at my wits end. First new car. First new Toyota. Help?! Thanks in advance.
  • wrgrahamwrgraham Posts: 112
    greenturtlebug, if your Echo is making an annoying noise all the time now, and your dealer says that they could not duplicate the problem, seems to me that you should call the dealer and arrange to have a mechanic meet you there. You drive in and take him for a ride to demonstrate your problem. If the dealer is too hard to work with, try a good outside mechanic for diagnosis.
  • kaz6kaz6 Posts: 331
    I also have noticed a squeal/whistle noise coming from the engine. It only comes on under part-throttle. When I had the service dept. look at it they told me that it's a normal sound with Echo's. I don't buy that as it didn't make this sound up until a few months ago. The mechanic said that the Echo's alternator is unusually loud.
    I still don't know what to think. I'll check the airbox to make sure it's closed properly but am at a loss to explain the noise.
  • janbeejanbee Posts: 127
    I too am experiencing this noise from the ECHO, I have taken in and yes they "could not duplicate the noise". I used to just hear the sound once in awhile but now it has been doing it non-stop but the funny thing is, we had a storm here a few days ago and it hasnt made the noise since the storm..Im sure the noise will come back in all its annoying form, even turning the radio up cannot hide it any more.
  • I had a head-on in my 2000 Echo about two weeks ago. It's taken forever my insurance adjuster to get back to me, but now I find the car is not totalled and the repair is $6500.

    Does anyone have experience with having a wreck in their Echo? Do you think the repair will go okay? I hope the mechanical bits are alright after all is said and done. I haven't selected a body shop, and have no idea what to look for. Is there anything special about the Echo that makes it different than other small car bodies of its vintage, and should I seek a special body shop? The guy clipped me on the driver's side, taking out the headlight and turn signal, and bashed in the middle, with the passenger side of the hood popped open and the windshield fluid container ruptured. Other than that, no other fluids leaked, so I'm hoping that's positive. The airbag also didn't go off, so perhaps the crash speed wasn't too fast. Any input would be appreciated. I loved my Echo; hope it can heal!
  • sandman46sandman46 Posts: 1,798
    I've got Allstate insurance and on our last 2 accidents, they sent me to one of their preferred shops. Both the Camry and the Corolla came back lookin' like new and was completely satisfied. Another good thing, the work is guaranteed for as long as you own the car. Maybe this will help in your decision. Good luck.
    We had a bad accident in our '93 Camry back in 1995 and Allstate repaired that car even though the bill was $8500. plus a rental for 51 days! Sounded crazy to me but hey. A month after I got the car back, got rid of it. Used the local Toyota body shop that time, big mistake. Wouldn't accept the car the first two times, inferior work. Finally on day 51, took delivery. Total nightmare. Moral to whole story, go to an authorized shop or ask friends. And hey, good luck!
    Sorry for the long post!
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    When I had a little scrape on my 2001 Protege (hit and run on the street), I took it to a Mazda body shop. The car was perfect when I picked it up one week later. Goes to show, dealers differ.
  • Sorry, I gave the wrong URL for ECHO custom seatcovers. It should be:

    The seatcovers are awesome.

  • sluglineslugline Posts: 391
    Today was the first day I've seen the low fuel indicator in action. I would prefer a bright and colorful warning light for this function. If a driver really was distracted enough not to notice the fuel gauge needle dropping to "E," does Toyota really think a small black gas-pump icon in the odometer LCD will recapture his/her attention?
  • sluglineslugline Posts: 391
    I had service done at Wal-Mart today and had requested that the air filter be checked. Sure enough, the tech reported that it was dirty, but since they stock FRAM exclusively, I was out of luck, because FRAM doesn't make an ECHO-compatible filter yet. I did find a compatible Purolator (A15363) at Pep Boys. Thankfully, it wasn't terribly expensive ($9.99) but some competition would be nice. Thankfully, I believe the ECHO shares oil filters and spark plugs with certain other Toyotas, so finding those isn't a chore.

    I will probably attempt to change the filter myself tomorrow. Unfortunately, the 2000 Owners Manual doesn't seem to have any directions for this . . . and I would normally consider this run-off-the-mill DIY maintenance. I hope it will be simple and obvious once I have the hood up.
  • I know thet "grnechory" installed a tach in his echo. I would like to do the same. I have purchased one and could use some hints in installing it (wiring). I am a little confused when I get under the hood when it involves electrical components. Can anyone help? It mounts perfectly right on top of the steering column, so I am anxious to get it installed.
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    I've been on vacation for the last few days and didn't have a chance to respond to your post asking about my knowledge of what a slugline is. I live in Manassas and work in Springfield. I know exactly what a slugline is. I think it is one of the cooler concepts in commuting. It is the epitome of the American will.
  • The Toy flier on ECHO mentions the option packages & online buying sites like autobytel et all
    always show'em 'n price'm....but haven't seen any new ECHO's on any of the SoFlo ToyLots
    that I've been too (including one that claims to be the worlds largest Toy Dlr) that had the
    packages. On they got options but not bundled as per the packages...Guess they can charge
    more that way....Was wondering if other lookers/buyers noticed this phenomena of busted-out
    optioning or if its just a SoFlo sales scam....BTW, have also noticed a real dearth of new ECHO inventory even at the huge ToyLots we have down here....Also all the sales people I've
    talked to all tryed to steer me into a Corolla which I ain't the slightest bit interested in....There
    are always incentives on Cor's, Cam's, Hilanders, etc but never ECHO...its almost like they
    aren't interested in selling ECHO's....Just me???? At any rate, still haven't bought....

    ps - on the bright side for current owners, the miniscule "used" inventory i've observed have
    been priced really really high relative to original new price & seem to sell inna cupla daze....
  • Newspaper ad this week shows that Toyota is offering $500 cash back on purchase of any new 2002 Echo. Consumer (their word for customer or purchaser) may use cash-back as part of down payment or receive a check from Southeast Toyota Distributors within 6-8 weeks. Retail delivery must be taken out of dealer stock by February 28, 2002. See your participating Toyota dealer or call 1-800-79-TOYOTA for details.

    I think this is the first time for this offer for Echo buyers.
  • janbeejanbee Posts: 127
    When I purchased my ECHO (oct 2000) I recieved $750 cash back because I was a recent grad, luckily I didnt have to wait around for a check though, they just subtracted the grad rebate off the final they have grad incentives in the states???
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    slugline who wanted to change his airfilter: its pretty easy to change all you have to do is unclip about 4 to six clips and pull the housing up and off the element. BTW I got a Toyota af for 11.99 and it looks a little hitech and they say it lasts 30k miles.Id make sure whatever you replace it with is either was good or change it more frequently.
    Good news I located the block drain for the coolant! You need to have the car up on ramps. Crawl under there and center yourself under the oil pan (really an oil plate) Scooch a little further in and look up into the space there (around the axle shaft) and youll see it! It has a spigot thing with what looks like a 10mm or11mm nut to open the spigot. Tight fit but doable. They say change the coolant in the OM every two years, but suposedly the car comes with "long life" coolant. What is that supposed to mean? Since I drive mostly short distance Ill opt for a two year interval I think. Oil change for the manual trans looks easy enough, but you need to take off the plastic nose tupperware under the front part of the car to get at the fill plug. I cant wait to change it! The coolant too! 30k for the oil change interval and my 15 month old ECHO only has 8.6k miles. But come 24 months Im changing that coolant, baby!
  • mralanmralan Posts: 174
    How much did you pay for your Echo?
  • sluglineslugline Posts: 391
    I changed the filter earlier this morning, and I even stopped along the way for a few pics. I hope this will show that you don't have to be a mechanical genius to do it:
    1) Open the hood. Look between the engine block and the battery. The airbox is roughly the size of two small loaves of bread, stacked. It will have a big hose running out the front.
    2) Use a screwdriver or 10-mm wrench to loosen the screw clamp; disconnect the big hose from the airbox.
    3) See the small hose branching from the big hose, leading to the engine block? Loosen the spring clamp and disconnect the small hose.
    4) Pull and unfasten the two clips that hold the airbox together at the middle.
    5) Separate the top and bottom halves of the airbox, and you will be able to pluck the air filter right out:
    6) Install the new filter and replace everything back where you found it.

    kneisl1: A casual glance suggests that the aftermarket filter may actually be better than the Toyota. As you can see below, the Purolator (left) has deeper pleats and more of them, creating more surface area for filtration:
    Only a lab test would be able to compare the actual efficiencies, of course.

  • sluglineslugline Posts: 391
    I was looking over the 2000 maintenance schedule booklet from Toyota today to review what this car may need in the future. (This car is my Significant Other's, and wouldn't be getting any TLC if it wasn't for me!) As I was reading, I began to wonder if Toyota added the ECHO to its vehicle lineup as an afterthought in 2000. I found no direct references to the ECHO at all in the maintenance book, whereas other Toyota cars are cited for specific services.
    In fact, if you follow the printed schedule by the letter, then the ECHO will NEVER have its automatic transmission fluid nor its spark plugs changed, and that doesn't seem right to me. Was this omission fixed in 2001? I think it would have been better to include an ECHO-specific schedule into the owner's manual, so there is no confusion.
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    The manual for my 2001 says change the AF and spark plugs every 30k mile. Also change the manual transmission oil then also. Coolant change every two years. Oil change every four months/5k miles. Id change the brake fluid and clutch fluid then also. (I mean once in two years) Valve clearance check every 60k miles. Rotate tires every 5k miles. (I take mine to Sears for a spin balance every year, its free after the first balance) Many many mucho bolt tightenings to check etc etc which Toyota charges $$$ for and are probably unnecessary.
    I further recommend checking the boots on the axle shafts every oil change after 30k miles. Ditto the brake pads/shoes at least once a year after 30k (maybe sooner if youre a hellion driver)
    Drive belts better be checked yearly after 30 k miles also, though they probably last 60k miles if not more IME>
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