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Toyota Echo



  • Dear Edmunds:

    I have noticed that you have updated your Reviews and Info section regarding the 2002 Echo to include a " Says" statement. Your statement says and I quote, "Current Echo owners don't like us. There's a reason. We don't like the Echo."

    This is typical of Edmunds. While it is true that I, a current Echo owner, don't like you, it is because of much more than your not liking my car. It is fine that you don't like my car. It has to do with your being factually wrong when it comes to the Echo, inconsistently biased, and failing to tell the whole story.

    An example of your being factually wrong is what you say about a fully loaded 2002 Echo. You claim that a fully loaded Echo would still require someone to roll down their own windows. This is simply NOT true. Power windows are an option and have been since sometime during the 2001 model year. And in fact, you have already been informed by myself (and others) of this error.

    My not liking you also comes from my thinking you are selectively biased against the Echo. An example of this is that you call the placement of the gauge cluster in the Echo dopey, but in the BMW Z8, it is a tribute to the past. Why is it dopey in one and not the other?

    Another example of your inconsistent biasedness is that in the Top 10 Most Fuel-Efficient Cars article, your writer takes the Echo to task, and very harshly I might add, for not coming with power windows. A fact that may have been true at the time of the writing, but my problem is that she does not display the same level of venom for the Kia Rio, another car that, even if you load it up with every option, did not come with power windows. And still does not.

    Yet another example of your negative Echo bias is in your "What's New" statement of the Reviews and Info section for the 2002 Echo. You make a reference to the slow sales. What does that have to do with what's new? And did you make the statement in that section for any other car?

    Finally, I want to talk about safety and this goes to the heart of my complaint about your not telling the whole story. In the same Top 10 article, your writer makes reference to your preferring a gently used and larger Protege, Sentra, or Civic. Presumably you want a larger car for safety reasons. Well, in side impact crash tests which are the only results that can be compared between the Echo, the Protege, Sentra, or Civic, the Echo is rated as safe for the front seat occupants as a 2000 Protege (the most recent one tested), the 1999 Sentra (the one most recently tested for side impacts), and the 2000 Civic (at the time of the writing of the article the 2001 Civic would not have considered a used car). The Echo is as safe as the aforementioned Protege and safer than the aforementioned Sentra and Civic when it comes to the rear seat occupants.

    I have read where you call yourself an unbiased source of information. I think even an outside observer would see you are very biased against the Echo.

    And those are the reasons I don't like you. Not simply because you don't like my car. It is fine that you don't like my car, but don't lie about it, be inconsistent in your criticism or fail to tell the whole story.

  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    Nice knowing you Major. I know your account will be cancelled after that letter is received. :) j/k

    Truthfully though, I did notice them seeming to be a little "nasty" towards the Echo. That is not fair, and not good journalism either. Journalists, particularly ones that test cars for a living, shouldn't let their personal opinions get in the way so much because while it does matter, you have to be open-minded when it comes to the product.

    Another thing: In the very first Echo test of the 2-door, the author mentions "Focus" several times and even provides a link to the Focus test. The test could be resourceful, but the way it's mentioned (like a stab) is not professional. That's why I don't read reviews on Edmund's or many other resources about cars. If I wanna know how it feels or drives, I go to the dealership myself and check it out. That's the best way to know what's what with a vehicle.
  • elominelomin Posts: 4
    I would recommend going to Old Mill Toyota, that's where I got mine and I think they're great. Very easy to deal with and I like their service department. I don't really know what kind of deal you can get, but mine was around 12,800 for a 5-speed with everything but a cd player.
  • I would agree with you Vocus about them canceling my account but they have not cancelled it yet and I have "slapped" them upside the head several times already. ; )

    This may be playing with fire, but I am going to retype and send that letter directly to the editor.
  • lgoldinlgoldin Posts: 90
    Can you tell me when you got your car and if you don't mind the sale person's name? Also, since the purchasing is kind of different in US and Canada, is 12800 is final price or before taxes, licenses and such?
    Thanks again for your info.
  • Well, I am not flaming anyone. I am being very reasonable in my complaints I think. And a number of issues have been raised with Edmunds before. Now, if they had been dealt with I would have no business bringing them up, but Edmunds has not dealt with them so they are fair game. IMHO.
  • lgoldinlgoldin Posts: 90
    I am confused about Echo's options. Edmunds says that I have to get G1 package in order to get G2, but configurator actually allows to set G2 along. Can anybody tell me which package should I get if I must have A/C, auto and power locks? Is it real to get ABS on Echo? The rest of options is not important.
  • When I am looking at various cars, I prefer to use the configurator at I have not been to Edmunds' configurator for some time, but CD's won't let you choose an option more than once and if you have to have one option package to get another, CD tells you. I would suggest your going to CD.

    To answer your question, you have to get either Sport body cladding or Upgrade Package 1 if you want Upgrade Package 2.

    I think you left out a word in your question about ABS, but I think you are asking if it is hard to get. If that is the question, the answer is that it is a factory ordered option. That is you have to order the whole car which could take four to six months.

    Personally, I have not felt the need for ABS in the almost ten months I have had the car.
  • And you and I agree that Edmunds is not correct when figuring out the depreciation.
  • indicates that Upgrade Package 1 includes something called the Sports Package Indicator. I have a 2001 Toyota Echo with UP1, UP2, and the All Weather Package and I don't recall seeing any indication I have the sports package.

    What the heck is a Sports Package Indicator?
  • carleton1carleton1 Posts: 560
    And I do not even own one (yet). I do not think the ECHO is an overly beautiful car but feel it is truly the "Beautiful Swan that evolved from the Ugly Duckling" once a person closely examines and drives it.
    The ECHO has exceptional: Comfort, quality, reliability, performance, utility, fuel economy, low purchase price (when sensibly equipped).
    ....what more could anyone want?
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    majorthom - you do know, don't you, that the editors may not see your post here? You should forward it to to be sure that your comments are read by the audience you wish to reach.

    carleton1 - huh? There is nothing at all in majorthomecho's "open letter" that in any way violates the Membership Agreement, is offensive or invites a flame war. I trust that your post was entirely tongue-in-cheek, because disagreement with the content posted on the site is never discouraged within the Town Hall.

    Just in case you may have been serious, or in case others have read your post and take it seriously, I'd like to make a few comments about what you have said.

    I assure you that there has never been an instance of a member of the Town Hall being expelled for being critical of articles posted on And while I will not object to your characterization of a host's workload as "heavy" ;-), I do not believe that any host ever deletes any post without *taking* "the luxury of lengthy deliberation" before doing so, no matter what workload awaits. (The truth is that it is a lot more work to delete a post than it is to overlook it, because a lot more needs to be done than just hit the delete button.)

    The staff that posts articles within the main portion of and the hosts who facilitate and monitor the discusssions within the Town Hall in reality are entirely separate entities. The editors of do their thing, and the hosts in the Town Hall have an entirely different mission. Frankly, I have no idea whether the editors are "biased" about any vehicle - my opinion of that issue would very likely be colored by my own private opinions about vehicles, just as your opinions are - at least that's what I think.

    But the Town Hall has never and will never prevent anyone from expressing disagreement with the editors - just as does not prevent that, I'd like to point out.

    Everyone is always free to email the editor at the address I provided above. And I think majorthomecho can confirm that very many of those letters are published in the monthly "Letters to the Editor" column.

    I hope this clarifies some of your concerns.

    Sedans Message Board
  • I completely agree with you. Your paper would definitely receive an A+ from my English teacher. Very well written!
  • Pat, didn't I state in a later post that I was going to be sending it to the editors? That is what I am going to be doing. I won't put you on the spot and ask you about your opinions on the opinions expressed in my letter, but do you think they were expressed clearly?

    Cool, thanks for the compliment. That is one post that I spent a lot of time on. I was worried that the server at Edmunds was going to throw fits over the length or the time I was taking to write it. Even after I finally posted it, I went back and tweaked it. Before I send it to the editors, I will be tweaking it some more.

    I typed it and posted it here because I wanted it to serve as an inspiration if you will for people if they wanted to write letters of comment/complaint to the editors.

    Final word to Pat, if you want to cut down on your work load, just throw some Positive-Daewoo people and Negative-Daewoo people onto the same thread and eventually, you will have to close the thread down. ; ) Don't believe me, just ask KarenS.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Yes, I know you said that - I wanted to be sure you (and anyone else interested in expressing opinions) had the correct email address to voice your thoughts where you will be most likely to be heard.

    I do think your thoughts were well expressed, and I encourage you and anyone else who has opinions of anything the editors at post to feel free to write to them. And/or post your thoughts here; we'd all like to see and respond to them. Town Hall is here for the free exchange of thoughts, ideas, and opinions about vehicles. The only thing we ask is that our members honor the Membership Agreement (linked on the left sidebar). And there is not one thing in the Membership Agreement that asks for - or requires! - agreement with the opinions of the Edmunds editors.

    So go for it! You can make a difference if you are willing to take some time to express your thoughts. Again, the address is

    And if any of you have a letter published in the Letters to the Editor section, let us know here in case I miss it - I will be glad to provide a link.

    Oh yeah, major, about your Daewoo suggestion - I think ... uh, never mind. :-)

    Sedans Message Board
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    I haven't seen the new Corolla yet, but I would be surprised if the seating position rivaled the ECHO. We've only got a couple of months to see for ourselves.
  • carleton1carleton1 Posts: 560
    pat(Host): Thanks for the clarification, excellent advice and suggestions.
    cliffy: You have been an excellent, reliable source of good information.
  • ml91ml91 Posts: 26
    After being the proud owner of a 2001 Echo for two weeks now, I decided to go back and read Edmunds' review of the vehicle (which is a very popular topic of discussion here). With the possible exception of the sticker price and the child seat anchors, I feel that Edmunds' many complaints about the Echo are either unwarranted or greatly exaggerated. The one thing that I really don't understand about the review - and I have also read this in other Echo reviews - is the complaint that power mirrors and power windows are not standard equipment. IT'S AN ECONOMY CAR!!! If you want power windows, leather seats, remote control door locks, wipers on the headlights and all sorts of similar overpriced crap than spend $35,000 on a Lexus. Am I the only person here who is old enough to remember when most cars had crank-up windows? Turn the crank; it won't kill you! I also don't understand statements about "skittish suspension" and "scary handling". I drove my Echo more than 100 miles last weekend at speeds of 65-70 miles per hour, and the car handled great. Granted, the Echo does not handle like a high performance car; but does anyone really expect it to? I do agree somewhat with Edmunds that the MSRP does seem a bit high; however, I was able to purchase my car for $950 less than the sticker price after more than a little negotiating with the salesman. I would imagine that most Echo buyers could get similar deals. I can't comment on the child seat situation, since I don't have children. Anyway, that's my opinion. Happy Echoing!
  • mpgmanmpgman Posts: 723
    I've looked at over 100 Echos. Never saw one with power windows or ABS or side air bags. They may be theoretically possible to get, but where are they? If Toyota can't equip at least one in ten or one in twenty with these options, they shouldn't claim you can get it.
  • sluglineslugline Posts: 391
    Sure, I remember when crankups were the norm. Airbags were once an item exclusively for luxury cars, too. Now very few would even think about buying an economy car without airbags. Gradually, features that were only found at the high end are making their way down to the rest of us, and I believe that's a good thing. . . . Hey, what the heck is variable valve timing doing in an economy car? Just kidding. :) I don't think people should have to go the Lexus dealer to get power windows on their car -- just my opinion too.
  • MPG, I disagree. If an item is available, even with having to factory order the car, then you can say the option is available.

    It is not like a Kia Rio where side impact air bags are not available even on a special order car.
  • If features that were found in luxury cars will eventually make it down to us driving economy cars, when will I get a chauffeur? ; )
  • pulgopulgo Posts: 400
    Does anyone know what Synthetic transmission fluids (brand names) are compatible with Toyota T-IV fluids? I'd like to use something better thatn the Toyota transmission fluid in my Toyota Echo tranny.
    Suggestions anyone??
  • I had the same problem with the mirror interfering with the sun visor. There is an intermediate link in the mirror attachment on the back side; if you grab the mirror in both hands you can gently *but firmly* (with a little wiggling) move the entire mirror left or right and inch or so, enough to clear both sun visors. You can also raise and lower the mirror in the same fashion to optimize your field of view out the back window.
  • My roommate, who is relegated to the passenger seat since I am having too much fun in the driver's seat, has had no problem with her visor. I have watched her pull it down and then pull it out of the clip and swing it around the rearview mirror. I have also seen where she pulls it out of the clip first and then pull it down and around.

    Sorry I could not be of help.
  • elominelomin Posts: 4
    I got my 2000 echo in February of 2000 and the price was before anything, but I think there was an extra charge because they had to get it from another dealer. Last time I went there, I found out the salesman no longer works there. By the way, I just saw a commercial where they advertised $300 over invoice on echos.
  • lgoldinlgoldin Posts: 90
    for great info.
  • itsuiitsui Posts: 15
    What is the pricing for the 2001 model ? Does the dealer gives any incentives for the 2001 ?What I looking for is 4 door,auto with air. What is the best price I can get ? Can anyone help !!!
    Thanks for any input
  • I am unaware of any discounts dealers are giving for buying the Echo at least in terms of discounts they pass on from Toyota.

    I am saying this based on the national advertisements and the local advertisements I have seen.

    The best price I might be able to get might be different than the best price you can get due to differences in where we live.

    If you want people to help, you need to be a little more specific as to where you live. I don't think you have to be so specific as to give the city you live in, but perhaps the state would help.
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    Programs depend on the region. Here in the Central Atlantic Region, we have 0% financing for the 2001 ECHO for 36 months. The down side to this is that most dealerships have not had a 2001 for 6 to 8 weeks. Availability is very bad for the 2001 right now. If you can find one, you should be able to get it cheap and pay nothing in interest.
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