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Toyota Echo



  • gave the Echo a good rating(s). It made the top of the list in the 'small car' category. Not surprising for all us satisfied Echo owners.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    I remember one thing I did not like about this rental Echo. The outside mirrors were too small, I thought. It was a little hard for me to look in the mirror to merge without bending down (I am 6'3). Also, the seats were a little uncomfortable as well, because my back was hurting after driving for only like 20 minutes. Other than that, it was a really nice, powerful, good handling car for the price.
  • babyboomerbabyboomer Posts: 205
    "Toyota has been angling for more of the youth market since its model-year 2001 introduction of the Echo, mid-engine MR2 and Celica. But despite an aggressive advertising campaign run under Toyota's Genesis group, the trio hasn't lit a fire."
  • wrgrahamwrgraham Posts: 112
    I followed slugline's picture and directions from Feb 14th, and it was a complete cinch to change the air filter. Not even a 5 minute job. Unscrew the clamp around the big hose and pull it off. Unsnap the two spring clamps on the front end of the airbox. Opens right up and just switch the clean filter for the old. The old one was looking dirty, so 45000 miles was more than enough.
    I suppose the fuel filter is the next item that could use replacement.
  • kaz6kaz6 Posts: 331
    I finally narrowed down the source of the noise coiming from the engine's around the area where the throttle cable is connected. The 'whistle'(sounds like a high pitched metallic sound) seems to be louder when it's colder and is only made when the throttle is at partly applied.
    I've only heard one other Echo that has made a similar sound but didn't have time to stop the driver to ask.
    Other news: the remote switch for my driving lights works fine and the added light is great for night desert driving!
  • luckykluckyk Posts: 11
    Haven't logged on in quite some time. However, I'm in the market for a high mpg, reliable, CR recommended car that is towable behind an RV without huge $$ modifications to the tranny or brakes. Using the dinghy towing guide from Motor Home magazine and the latest CR Auto Issue, one car fits the bill. Yep, the Echo. I really never imagined myself in one of these. But you all seem to have nothing but praise.

    The search feature on this site is great, but I can find nothing wrt RV dinghy towing and recommended cars. Does anyone have any experience towing an Echo behind a motorhome?
  • hey yall! i just got my bodykit! ill give yall some pictures as soon as i get it on!
  • babyboomerbabyboomer Posts: 205
    My son answered: "Well dad, on eight dollars of gas it just keeps on rolling forever."
  • gaiffemgaiffem Posts: 11
    I believe there was a discussion of this issue a while ago, but can't find the thread. Perhaps one of you with a better memory may recall..?

    ISSUE: After driving about 4 hours with the a/c on in mid-80s(F) and high humidity, a/c looses efficiency and cooling ability. Fan also becomes quite loud. Problem initially occurred in summer of 2000 on a long trip. After insulating low pressure line, problem did not repeat until this week (also first long trip since summer 2000). Both times, after turning off the a/c for a half-hour or so, it worked fine thereafter for the couple of hours remaining of the driving day.

    Any help/suggestions would be much appreciated, since more trips are planned this summer. Thanks.
  • kaz6kaz6 Posts: 331
    Are you running it while in recirculate or fresh air mode? If it's on recirculate too long the condenser will freeze up. I don't know if humidity would affect it but with outside temp. in the '80's and the unit on fresh I don't know how it could freeze up.
  • echo01echo01 Posts: 19
    Your problem is in all likelihood ice forming on the condenser coils.

    The problem is that the a/c, in the process of cooling the air, causes the moisture in the air to condense out. If you have enough moisture in the air, you'll get ice on the coils, which makes the air conditioner work less efficiently since ice is such a poor conductor of heat.

    In effect, your a/c is also acting as a dehumidifier. So high humidity would definitely make the problem worse. Running it in fresh-air mode rather than recirculate-mode would normally help the situation, unless of course the outside humidity is itself so high that it's higher than the humidity inside the car.

    I think the only solution is to just cycle the a/c off periodically, while keeping the fan on. You need to let the ice melt.

    The problem might be less severe if the ambient temperature is higher, because then the air conditioner would have a difficult time getting cold enough to actually freeze the water.


    Interestingly, home dehumidifiers work this way; ice periodically builds up on the cooling coils, and the unit automatically turns off the compressor (i.e., the thing that's doing the cooling) and lets the fan run so as to melt the ice that's formed.
  • gaiffemgaiffem Posts: 11
    Thanks for the responses. I always run a/c in fresh air mode, and was therefore surprised at the icing problem. I think I'll see if the local Toyota dealership has any way to adjust the cycling rate on the system so as to allow a longer "off" period to minimize potential buildup of ice on the coils. Other than that, I'll have to take Echo01's suggestion to manually shut the system down periodically or (heaven forbid!!) actually stop and take a rest break every three or four hours :) Thanks again.
  • hey just got my bodykit on, its not painted yet! but none the less its on! and i took a picture! =o) let me know what you think, if anyone else is interested i can tell you how to get it.

  • image
  • image
  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Posts: 1,391
    Looks sharp
  • autonutsautonuts Posts: 138
    when are they coming out with an Echo wagon? And for those of you who are ready to say something, I know all about the Matrix. But does anyone know if this might happen with the Echo? Rumors??
  • Been thinking about buying an echo but haven't yet. The dealership here in Topeka KS. wants full sticker price but that isn't surprissing they want full sticker price for everthing will probably go to KC in the next month to get one. There really isn't any used ones ever on the lot so that must be a good sign. We will drive about 18k a year and was wanting one for a second reliable vehicle. I was wondering if there was a common problem with reliability and do you think its worth getting an extended warranty since in just 2 years my warranty will expire.
  • Dealers in the SF Bay Area don't appear to lift a finger to advertise this model. We walked in thinking we wanted a Corolla.

    We tested one of the last of the old-style Corrolas and found it cramped, clumsy, uncomfortable, and doing a really bad job of acting above its station as an economy car.
    The Echo's ride is not among the best, but the car's airy cabin and spartan trim speak of a cheeky efficiency redolent of the great French small cars. Why pretend?

    It's the first and only US version of this design theme, widely available in every other industrialized democracy. Egg-shaped bodies on skinny tires, with little engines (often diesel) can move a lot, for little fuel. Notice also this body style's very strong crash test performance.
    Old small car designs can't do this.

    Wayward handling in crosswinds is a fair trade for the car's great aerodynamics. I like the traction-A, temperature-A rated Bridgestone tires too. We like having a good radio and AC, without power windows.

    Modernity permeates the engine bay too. Toyota does not lead Honda in baby engine technology, but Echo's 1.5 liter variable valve timing motor still revs delinquently high. The cable-actuated shifter has a very short and accurate throw, overlooking its dead-fish handshake feel.

    Bang for the buck, it's a good car. State of the art sub-Civic sized cars were a lost art in America. Echo shows the way, until BMW brings in the Mini.
  • One month ago we bought a new 2002 Echo with auto trans, a/c, and pwr steering for $13,500. This was $1,000 higher than the price Edmund's had suggested for our location, very much sticker price. It seems the dealers really aren't negotiating on Echos.
    In regard to the extended warranty, from reading the other posts on this msg board, it seems like a waste of money. Consumer Reports 2002 Automotive issue (in newstands now) lists the Echo as a reliable car. From my prior experiences with Toyotas (I've owned 2: '79 Corolla & '89 Tercel), the cars were very reliable. However, it is an individual decision, and every make & model has lemons.
  • rdeschenerdeschene Posts: 330
    If you compare the cost of an extended warranty, or especially the price difference between a new car and a 1 year old used car with some warranty left, the amount you are spending on a warranty is really phenomenal. Among the single most expensive things that can happen to a car is needing to replace the transmission with a rebuilt unit.

    Compare that cost to the cost of warranty coverage, and you quickly realize how companies increase earnings by offering warranties - the odds are in their favour. It's not quite Casino de Hull, but it's going in that direction!
  • rdeschenerdeschene Posts: 330

    Well, I haven't towed an Echo nor do I own one. However, I know our local trailer dealer quite well, and often found him to be a wealth of information. He's an owner/manager of the operation, not a salesman, and just a regular guy who knows his stuff.

    It might be worthwhile asking this kind of person's opinion - he might even be able to refer you to some local person who's doing this. He'd know who's car he put a front hitch on, right?
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    Went on a long trip last weelend with my ECHO. Passed an accident site where drivers on my side of the road were rubbernecking at the wreck on the other side. Seems a Honda CRV went under a tractor trailer. It was removed from underneath and there were orange plastic sheets on the side of the vehicle. Oh oh I thought, there must be dead people still in there. Oh boy were they dead. As I pulled alongside you could see behind the plastic. Man and woman, man minus head. Woman mangled. Apparently the driver swerved at the last second to protect his wife because the passangers side of the roof was more or less intact.
    On that trip I went 414 miles before filling up with gas. It took 10.5 gallons to fill the tank (165 miles city driving, the rest on the hiway) When your gas gets that low a little gas pump icon comes up flashing to the right of the odo. Anybody else ever seen this icon?
  • babyboomerbabyboomer Posts: 205
    "Toyota does have an Achilles' heel: its aging customer base. The average age of Toyota drivers in the U.S. is 45 - the highest for any Japanese carmaker. The revamped Celica coupe and MR2 Spyder roadster did not sell well last year. The Echo (the first Toyota subcompact aimed at Generation Y and younger and a moderate hit in Japan, was a flop with young drivers in the US., who prefer the Ford Focus or any VW."

    Ouch, that last part hurts. The key words there are "young drivers."

    The article states that the Matrix or the Scion brand (to be launched in California next summer) could be the winner (get the young to buy them).

    The article ends by stating that the company has its roots in Japan, but Toyota's destiny is all-American.

    Maybe Toyota should consider marketing the Echo to that 45 year old customer base? Anyone know the average age of an Echo buyer?
  • mdrewmdrew Posts: 32
    Last year or so I saw an analysis of Echos purchased to date and I think the average age was 42; a lot of us in this group seem to be in the same range. You always hear about the Echo not selling much, but it seems like it was hardly advertised. Personally I'd much rather have a 'cult' car that isn't too common (and without the endless recalls of the "award winning" Ford Focus). My Seafoam Blue 4dr auto has been flawless for two years now and great to drive. (My brother who has a Lincoln Town Car couldn't believe the size of the Echo trunk.)
  • kaz6kaz6 Posts: 331
    I'm makin 40 this summer so I guess I fit too! Maybe it's because at our age we can see things for what they are and make sound decisions? :)
    I'm debating between upgrading to 15" steel or alloy wheels. The weight diff is negligible so the decision is more of a cosmetic one. Anyone get 15" wheels for their Echo? I priced out a set of alloys and 195/15 Bridgestones for $562...the steel set would be about $250 less.
  • britton2britton2 Posts: 305
    won't be made anymore after next year according to a Toyota salesman I spoke to last week - I guess he meant model year 2003.
  • coolguyky7coolguyky7 Posts: 932
    Only 4 years of production? I say it won't need a replacement if Toyota could get a small sedan for Scion here by the time ECHO is out. If it does get pulled for 2004...don't expect a refreshment for 2003 which would be typical of a Toyota sedan, almost as tragic as the death of the Paseo after only 2 years of a new model which wasn't all that bad. Is this the shortest lived car ever, besides that terrible Vehicross?
  • janbeejanbee Posts: 127
    Im surprised if its true that they wont make any more after 2003,they seem to be a popular car where Im from..If thats the case would it be smarter to sell now or wait until production stops??
  • britton2britton2 Posts: 305
    of surprised too to hear this - I don't have an Echo, I have a '01 Corolla - but I do see alot of them where I live - but he's probably right because I read somewhere that total sales of the Echo in the US have been rather low -
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