Last post on Dec 03, 2013 at 4:38 AM
You are in the Toyota Echo
What is this discussion about?
Toyota ECHO, Sedan
May 16, 2003 (3:46 am)
My wife and I (no kids) are thinking in terms of fuel efficiency and reliability, i.e. of buying an ECHO, or a Corolla. I was actually considering the Civic Hybrid, but it is way overpriced and, I believe, more subject to fast obsolescence due to changing battery technology.
Not to mention that there are increasing claims as to inaccuracies in EPA mileage estimates (although I think this applies across the board to many "economy" cars).
I was wondering, as I was on a dealer's lot last week I noticed sticker info to the effect that the ECHO is entirely made in Japan (100% sourced parts AND final assembly). This is not the case with the Corolla, or with other models.
My question is: do ECHO owners feel that this may make a difference in the long run to the fit-and-finish quality? Was this a consideration in your purchase? Have you been proven right? The dealer (he would, obviously) stated that all Toyota plants are the same, yadda yadda...but the sad fact is that people often end up disappointed buying cars they think were assembled in, say, Germany (like the VW Jetta), only to find out later it was in Brazil or Mexico. Having lived in South America for many years, I know what that can mean.
I have read recent posts about declining quality in the appearance of Corollas (and Civics), crappy paint, assorted rattles, and so on. Not to mention dealers and manufacturers being in total denial. I would like to hear your views as regards the ECHO. I have a 2-yr. old Accord, and have had only one problem (bubbling up of chrome finish on interior front door handles!, which was taken care of, but other than that, fine). So, it can happen to any car, really.
Also, does anybody here feel that Corollas and ECHOS (Toyotas and Hondas in general) are overpriced? An optioned ECHO retails for around $16K (!!!) here in Orlando, although of course you can try to cut a deal.
Fianlly, when are the '04s due out, and are significant changes expected?
Thanks in advance.
May 16, 2003 (4:27 am)
I was definately happy to see the ECHO was made in Japan when I bought it. That was on my list of reasons to buy it. My ECHO is 2 1/2 years old now with 0 problems and that is reflected also in consumer magazines. I have previously purchased a Brazil made car (VW Fox) and although it was a nice car it did have more problems than I expected.
I think if you go back and read previous posts in this forum you will find that the ECHO was been extrodinarily pleasing to us. Perhaps moreso than any other new car. It is a well loved car.
I would look around for a price. Here in NJ one dealer still advertises 2002 new ECHOs for 10499 which have the ps, 3 in 1 cd player and ac. Not a lot of options but a nice car nonetheless. Personally I prefer the first ECHO style over the 2003s but it doesnt matter you get used to anything.
Good luck ECHO hunting!
May 16, 2003 (4:38 pm)
As stated by kneisl1 above, the Echo is a well loved car. I just love my Echo, in fact, if I had oodles of money I'd adopt all the Echos still on the lots and give them all good homes. Like kneisl1, I also prefer the earlier '00-'02 version, but as long as it is an Echo, I love it. They are zippy little cars, very roomy, great gas mileage, require little maintenance, and just exude personality plus. I get carried away talking about Echos, Echos do that to me.
#3897 of 5820 Happy owner...
May 16, 2003 (11:07 pm)
My buddy's ECHO (a used 2000 base model 4-door) has about 52K miles on it right now with no problems at all. He said it's darty in crosswinds on the highway sometimes, but nothing worse than the 1997 Sentra he had before it. He said he likes the car alot, and will run it into the ground.
May 18, 2003 (7:20 am)
Have had my Echo since 2/2000. No mechanical problems whatsoever. Yes, its being built in Japan was a factor. Was told by an auto detailer and mechanic friend (years ago) that the primary reason Japanese built and assembled cars tended to have a better finish was that EPA restrictions here in the states precluded use of the same paint formulas as are used in Japan. If true, the bad news about that would be getting a good match if body work was ever needed. Also, that in Japan, Toyota's mechanical subcontractors tend to have long-term relationships with Toyota whereas here, subcontractors (and parts) vary. BTW, you might want to check with Lakeland Toyota. I live in Brandon, and found Lakeland much more willing to deal than any dealer in Brandon or Tampa. I paid 2% over Edmund's invoice price after some hand-wringing by the sales folks. Good luck.
May 21, 2003 (5:11 am)
I was looking at the axle boot when I had the ECHO up on ramps for its recent oil change. I noticed the boots on the outer part of the axle (near the wheels) were of a harder material than the inner ones. This is good because these wear out faster than the inners. On my 1980 Subaru these were soft rubber like the inners and I had to change them about every 60k miles. I did it twice and its a tough job. So Im expecting they will last a lot longer. My wifes Saturn is ten years old with 106k miles and has similiar hard outer boots, and they look origional. I still recommend you look at these boots at least once a year...better still is every oil change. If they burst and you drive for a few thousand miles before you catch it, youll need new axles $$$. Before going altogether they develope cracks down in the valleys of the boots which can be seen and felt.
#3900 of 5820 NY Times Again Errs
May 21, 2003 (7:47 am)
The NY Times, in an article comparing the IOn with the ECHO, is quoting Toyota that the center mounted instrument cluster was selected for ECHO because it makes production of right and left hand drive cars easier. They really have a problem printing the truth at the Times, it seems.
May 21, 2003 (11:31 am)
I am not sure why Toyota chose to do the center cluster and not sure it really matters. It makes it really easy for my roommate and I (who are two very different body types) to find a comfortable driving position without worrying about trying to see the instruments through the steering wheel spokes.
May 21, 2003 (11:06 pm)
I was wondering, wouldn't it be great to have someone design an Echo t-shirt so we Echo lovers could wear them proudly. I'd like to see a design similar to the Polo shirt, just a small Echo on the upper left breast of the shirt, simple and clean. I'd do it if I were creative, but I'm not.
May 22, 2003 (7:17 pm)
Im wondering if Toyota sells them. A baseball hat with vented sides would be nice too.