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Toyota Echo



  • echo01echo01 Posts: 19
    I'm another one who likes the fact that you can get an Echo without lots of added gadgets. Mine doesn't have power door locks or windows, and I didn't want these things. I plan on keeping my car a long time, and as far as I'm concerned, these kinds of features are just more things to eventually break. About the only option I wanted was air conditioning.

    There is a market for "optionless" cars, but it's obviously not very big, or the car manufacturers would take advantage of it and offer more cars like this. And for more expensive models than the Echo, it can be hard to find a car that doesn't have all sorts of undesired options added. For example, a friend of mine wanted a Camry with manual transmission, no power windows and doors, etc, and had to wait several months to get it. I had a similar experience when I briefly looked at the Solara: they all come with power stuff, and in addition, the only 5-speed models I ever found had over $1000 of extraneous things like spoilers and power seats added on.

    I also was happy to find a good selection of Echos with manual transmissions; I am so used to shifting gears that an automatic transmission is, yes, just another option I don't want.
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    Going to the library today I was on a four lane divided highway when a black Dodge Durango pulled up to the side of the road, waiting to gain access to the highway. I was doing 40-45 in the right hand lane, and he stopped before he pulled in front of me. I took my eyes off him for a second and looked further down the road where a line of cars was backed up at a light. (which I learned to do at a motorcycle safety course: evaluate each "threat" and when you have determined its no danger to you, keep your eyes moving for other problems) Then he pulled out right in front of me and the windshield of my little ECHO was full of Durango. There was no time to do anything but swerve as hard as possible to the left and hope no one was next to me.There wasnt and somehow by the grace of God I missed him. I believe no other car I have EVER driven could have made that manuver, NO WAY! I remember all those comments about ECHOs with "skinny little tires" Brother, they may be skinny but that car held the road and reacted exactly as it had to to avoid that SUV. I thought it was OVER. Im certain the light weight of the car contributed to its agility. There is ABSOLUTELY nothing wrong with this car in terms of its handling ability, skinny tires or not. I am thankfull for such as well designed car!
  • sluglineslugline Posts: 391
    I've always believed that the driver himself is the most important piece of safety equipment. I'm sure your reactions contributed as much to the accident avoidance as the abilities of the car you were driving. For example, just think of what could have happened if you had one hand to your ear, lost in a cell phone conversation! (just like the driver of a pickup truck I saw yesterday, who was having trouble staying in his lane)

    Concerning features/options: I do appreciate simplicity in cars, but not cost-cutting annoyances. Prime offenders on the ECHO in this regard are the side-view mirrors. Why are these not foldable? Parking lots are a fact of life, and so are people who brush by your car in the lot and knock the mirrors out of place. It happened again today and having to roll down the window and get the mirror back where I like it just seems like an unnecessary hassle, especially on the passenger side. It seems a bit incongruous to have an innovative convenience like the dual-level glovebox, yet not have mirror controls on the inside of the vehicle -- they don't necessarily need to be powered.
  • Hope you thank your echo by giving her a nice wax job or maybe even premium gas?!
  • mpgmanmpgman Posts: 723
    But you wouldn't want a car without a speedometer, right? I find that Echo's lack of something as basic as an engine temperature gauge to be a real slap in the face. People with automatics can live without a tach, and many with manuals can too....but an idiot light for engine temperature?
  • kaz6kaz6 Posts: 331
    Having a temp. gauge is like having a weather can see what it is but can't change it once it's there. I drive in the desert during the summertime and frequently go up steep mountain grades with the outside temp. around 110 degrees. I have never had the red light come on and this is while running the a/c AND flooring it.Yes it is strange at first not having a temp. gauge but I don't even miss it now.
  • wrgrahamwrgraham Posts: 112
    Lots of good comments (in my opinion) about Echo options. I would like a temp gauge too, but I think kaz6's comment is well taken. I didnt buy a basic Echo because some things were important to my wife and daughter, such as AC and the split rear seat. Also, as I recall, the
    intermittent windshield wiper capability was not standard on the 2000 model. And I did add a CD player for my teenage daughter, later, thanks to help from another person in this forum.
    ...My Echo has 44000 miles now, and no difficulties have arisen.
  • mralanmralan Posts: 174
    I've read several post (under other models) claiming the Echo to be an exception automobile in terms of reliablity and gas mileage, but lacking in terms of excitement to drive.

    Do you Echo owners agree? Is the Echo boring to drive?
  • kaz6kaz6 Posts: 331
    Have you ever driven one? I was going to get a Focus until I did. I've ridden motorcycles for a while and that got me into liking 'basic' autos. The light weight and the strong/smooth engine plus a 5-spd. make it very fun to drive fast. It corners much better than the car mag's would have you believe as well! It is the quietest small car I've driven for long distance/high-speed and friends are always impressed with the comfort at speed.
    The only problem I've been having is a whistle/squeal noise that comes on with partial throttle and seems to be louder when the ambient temp. is below 70. The dealer says it's normal but it didn't make that noise when new. I'll have it checked further at my 30k service.
  • Hi! I purchased my 2002 ECHO on 12/12/01 and love it so far. The only annoyance has been that sometimes my driver side window freezes shut (I live in Michigan)! I have a short drive to work and have to roll my window down to swipe my parking permit and sometimes the window is frozen shut and is hard to open. Does this happen to anyone else? I do not have power windows.

    My ECHO so far has only 700 miles on it. Should I get the oil changed at the 3 month mark even though it has so few miles?
  • echo01echo01 Posts: 19
    Yes, I do agree that an engine temperature gauge would be good to have. I plan on keeping my car a long time, and at some point, the cooling system isn't going to work as well as it should; having a temperature gauge would tell me when to go easy on a steep grade in the summer (and then go in and get a new radiator, or whatever).

    This didn't stop me from getting an Echo though, because it should not be an issue for at least 5, and maybe 10 years. (I had to replace the radiator on my last car, a Toyota, when it was 13 years old.) At some point, I'll probably buy and install some aftermarket temperature gauge; can't imagine it would be very expensive.


    Is the Echo fun to drive?? Oh yes! It probably depends on what you're looking for, but I'm constantly amazed at how fast the car accelerates without my really trying hard. It has a lot of power for its weight. I don't have any complaints at all about the handling either.

    (I admit to being somewhat surprised about this, because I just bought my Echo to get an inexpensive and reliable car. But, driving it has been enjoyable enough that the car has kind of grown on me. I've even been known to just take it for a drive for no reason other than it's a fun experience. :-) )

    [Kneisl1's recent posting about avoiding an accident also speaks well of the car's handling qualities; as well as his good skill in driving.]

    The best thing to do is take one for a good test drive and see how you like it. Don't take anybody else's word for it.
  • mralanmralan Posts: 174
    Has anyone traded down in size to the Echo? Was it a big adjustment?

    I presently own a 01 Ford Taurus, but I only plan to keep it for another year. Right now the front runner for me is the Echo.

    I like to hear what was the last car Echo owners had before they purchased the Echo.
  • Just wanted to let the people here know that the '02 Echos come with folding outside mirrors. We went to our local Toyota dealer this past weekend and the mirrors do fold in.
  • wrgrahamwrgraham Posts: 112
    Yes, I traded down to an Echo from a Camry. I rather wanted a smaller car because of the short trips I make to town - it seems inappropriate to drive something big for small chores. My wife and daughter wanted a Rav4. They wouldnt consider a Corolla because it had not enough room in the back seat. I had a $17,800 new Camry offered from the dealership on Oahu. Since the Echo did have enough room in the back seat I made a deal with my daughter and wife. We took
    half the savings from not buying the Camry and they got to split it and spend it on whatever they wanted to do with it. And we bought the Echo. We are all happy with it. That was 2 years ago.
    (Of course we dont have freeway driving over here.)
  • Is it just me or are there a lot of ECHOs on Oahu? I was in Honolulu this past summer and saw about 4 at one intersection!
  • There seems to be more lately. I suppose alot of these are probably tourist rentals.
  • When I bought my car, the window sticker said it had this option package (including "heavy-duty battery and rear defogger, and rear-seat heater ducts"), but I've never been able to find any heater ducts in the back seat area. I'm beginning to think that the moron dealer charged me $275 for something I didn't get.

    Can somebody tell me where these rear-seat heater ducts are on a 2001 Echo? THanks
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    Although Ive tried desparately to talk my wife into an ECHO, she refuses because our college age children need "help" moving things around. So while she likes the ECHO, she wants a station wagon. Has anyone seen the Matrix and what can you say about it? How big is the carrying capacity? Is it really an ?ECHO ststion wagon?
  • wrgrahamwrgraham Posts: 112
    I live on the big island. Actually, when I go to Oahu periodically I am surprised at how few Echos I encounter. They are more prevalent over here. I saw a new red one today, parked just down the road from my home. Those of you from the mainland will see more in the islands just because the Japanese cars are so prevalent here. If you see a Ford Focus or a Chevy Cavalier
    or a Ford Taurus or Dodge Stratus, those are the rental cars for sure.
  • mralanmralan Posts: 174
    Is there a national company that rents
  • The "rear seat heater ducts" are no farther than underneath the front seats, pointing to the rear. Yep that's right, you have to pay extra for something even my 1972 Duster came with standard!!
  • sluglineslugline Posts: 391
    Top 10 Least Expensive Vehicles for 2002

    Has anyone here actually owned (or even seen) an ECHO with a sub-$10K MSRP?
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,079
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  • wrgrahamwrgraham Posts: 112
    I rented an Echo from Alamo rentAcar in Honolulu
  • I was just wondering if any of you purchased the extended service contract? Would it be throwing money away because the Echo seems to be a reliable car and wouldn't need one?
  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Posts: 1,391
    It's usually 5-years. Honda is starting to go five year cycle also. But there are exceptions

    Celica: 1994-1999 -- 6 years
    Tacoma: introduced 1995 -- 7 years and still counting
    4Runner: introduced1 996 -- 6 years and counting
    Landcruiser: 1991-1997 -- 7 years
    LS400: 1995-2000 -- 6 years
    SC300/400: 1992-2000 -- 9 years
  • ml91ml91 Posts: 26
    In my opinion, an extended service contract is a waste of money for two reasons: (1) You are spending money on car repairs whether your car breaks down or not. (2) Most (possibly all) service contracts include a list of things that are not included in the coverage.
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    Your second point may apply to "aftermarket" warranties, but not the Toyota Platinum warranty. There is VERY little excluded from that. Hoses, belts, fuses, bulbs, brake pads and floor mats are about it. All else is covered.
  • mpgmanmpgman Posts: 723
    You either love it or you hate it. Look at the sister, the Pontiac Vibe too. Echo would be neat with a hatch, like overseas. The trunk lid opening is rather small.
  • ml91ml91 Posts: 26
    I am not familiar with the Toyota "Platinum" extended warranty that you mentioned. I would recommend that anyone who purchases an extended warranty first read the entire document VERY carefully. Several years ago an acquaintance of mine purchased an extended warranty on a new Chevrolet, only to discover later that the warranty had many exceptions which made it, in my opinion, little more than a rip-off. I suggest using extreme caution when considering any extended warranty.
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