Last post on May 10, 2013 at 3:02 AM
You are in the Toyota Echo
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Toyota ECHO, Sedan
#2818 of 5804 maintenance schedule
Feb 10, 2002 (11:37 pm)
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.
#2819 of 5804 ECHO maintainence
Feb 11, 2002 (7:13 pm)
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>
#2820 of 5804 OK...Convince me
Feb 11, 2002 (9:30 pm)
I have been lurking around trying to find the 'ultimate' driving vehicle to commute from the Eastern Shore of MD to DC. Well, as you can image from me posting, the Echo seems to have won. I have invoked the 'autobytel' sword to get a blue one, 300 over invoice, with every option, cost, 13,741 (w/o tax, tags, etc.). I think for that price, you can NOT beat bang for buck. We have a Honda Ody (20 mpg) and a heavily modified Mitsu Eclipse GSX (26 mpg, but add synthetics, tires, etc. and it costs a lot). So....
CReports observed mpg at 28/46 (manual). Is this accurate?
Seems that the posts have been good about crashes/crash test ratings. Accurate?
I am 6'5", seems to fit larger drivers well??
Want to change a few things. hks.com seems to have a few parts that I could squeak out more performance and more mpg (intake, exhaust, etc.). Accurate?
Insurance costs seem like they would be lower, considering its 10K base price tag.?! 55.89/mo from State Farm.
I usually drive ~74, any issues besides a little wobble b/c of its height?
I notice cruise control isn't there, anyone add one?
Any other comments that you may think may affect my decision would be great! Thanks for the b/w.
p.s. The other contenders that were eliminated (Golf TDI (diesel too expensive to justify 3K more, Civic (no ABS on lower models), Insight and Prius (why pay 20+ to get 5-10 mpg more??)
Feb 11, 2002 (11:30 pm)
Are you going to have a chance to test drive the ECHO? Piloting one is a bit of a departure from everything else out there, so it would be nice to know that it's a good fit for you personally. The way the car is constructed promotes a very upright driving position, like an SUV or van. I'm only 5'8", so I can't truly comment on the tall-person accomodations. I do find the headroom much more than adequate, though.
This car's strengths are its small size and a motor that is both sufficiently powerful and a fuel miser. The small size, however, is also the biggest weakness. It will be more susceptible to crosswinds and it will be more vulnerable in a crash with larger vehicles. Stay alert and keep your hands on the wheel in gusty conditions, and you'll stay in your lane. The ECHO got nice government frontal crash-test scores, but those tests remove the weight factor out of the equation; this criticism applies across all subcompact cars, of course. I've also noticed that the short wheelbase amplifies all the little ups and downs in the road; probably not a big deal unless you were expecting a luxury-car ride.
With all that being said, it is almost the ideal commuter car. Cost of ownership expenses should be very low, and there's an abundance of storage spaces for the detritus of everyday life. If Toyota would get a clue about Americans liking our road trips and get cruise control on the options list, this would be my ideal commuter car.
#2822 of 5804 every option?
Feb 12, 2002 (7:58 am)
You said 13,741 with every option. Does that include automatic?
Feb 12, 2002 (9:06 am)
sorry, no it does not. here it is:
All Weather Guard Package
Upgrade Package #1
Upgrade Package #2
Upgrade Package #3
#2824 of 5804 Cost of ECHO
Feb 12, 2002 (10:08 am)
All weather guard package
Upgrade package #1
Upgrade package #2
All weather floor mats
I added: custom seat covers, Python auto-start/keyless entry
#2825 of 5804 Echo vs Corolla
Feb 12, 2002 (2:37 pm)
Just curious. Did Echo owners select their car over the Corolla mainly for mpg? From what I can tell the price isn't too different. I've seen base Corolla's with auto & air for $13k (02 models). I'm not making a judgement, just want to know what made you decide on the Echo.
Being the Echo is assembled in Japan it may well turn out to be better than the Corolla, although I don't think it will keep as much resale value.
#2826 of 5804 Echo vs Corolla
Feb 12, 2002 (3:49 pm)
I chose my Echo over the Corolla for the following reasons: 1) Easy entry and egress. I'm 6'4", 250 pounds, and there was barely enough room for me in the Corolla. 2) Price: There was about $ 1500 in favor of the Echo and better rate for financing 3) MPG: My average for 1 year, 27K miles is 42 mpg, about 4 mpg's better than what you can expect with the Corolla. 4) Crisper steering. I suggest you drive both cars the same day and find out yourself which one you like better. 5) Styling: Most people I know dislike the Echo's styling. I am not the average person and I have always liked driving cars that are different and I've grown to like my car's styling ( a few of my previous cars: Volkswagen 412 Variant, Chevrolet Caprice, Saab 9000)
Finally, the fact that the car is made in Japan had nothing to do with my decision. I believe the quality would be the same if made in the US or Canada. I expect to keep this car for at least 200K miles, therefore I don't care about resale value.
#2827 of 5804 Resale Values of Echo & Other Observations
Feb 12, 2002 (9:30 pm)
Just wanted to let the person that was curious about Echo holding its resale value vs. the Corolla that so far, the Echo is doing much better than the Corolla in terms of resale value. I crashed my 2000 Echo (waiting to see it it's totalled) and was told by my insurance company that the resale value is $12,000. I only paid 12,225 back in 2000 for it (via the late, lamented CarOrder.com). Yes, the Corolla is similar in price, but I've noticed that 2000 Corollas are going for as little as $8,500 or so similarly equipped to my Echo. The situation may change as more Echos come into production, but so far, so good.
The drawback of the Echo is yes, it is very susceptible to wind. I've been blown around in the wake of big rigs. I've been pushed into other lanes in extremely windy mountain areas (probably 50 mph winds or more), with little control of the car. But the same would probably be true of any subcompact. It is amplified, though, by the high position of the Echo. The Echo also feels a bit "tippy" when you go around a turn. But it is a cute and quick car. And much more legroom than the Corolla -- I'm a 5'8" female, and the Corolla was too small for me. It seemed even more cramped for anyone riding in back. No problem for me or back seat passengers in the Echo.
Also, the crash I got into was a head-on, and while it wasn't high speed, I was pleasantly surprised that my little Echo absorbed the impact in front better than I thought. I don't know if it would do well against an SUV, but it kept me safe while being hit by a mid-'70s American sedan.