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Product reviews by the people of silverorange

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Peter Rukavina -

You <I>can</I> put an infant car seat in the back in the middle (over the cup holders); we did this for a test drive, and the salesperson told us it was an "official" thing to do.

I seem to remember seeing a VW Jetta magazine ad that extolled the aerodynamic benefits of the rear-centre antenna.

David & Carol -

Hi Steven,
Excellent review of the Echo Hatchback. We live in Washington State and bought ours through a dealer in B.C. in October. To the best of our knowledge it's one of only a handful in the United States. Nearly 7000 miles now and getting 40 MPG. We both love the car for its roominess, economy and comfort. People just don't believe how big it is inside. With the price of gas still skyrocketing we're quite pleased at the obvious benefits of this great car.
By the way, in Europe and Japan the car usually is configured with power windows and power side mirrors. I've seen some with Toyota installed in-dash GPS.
Your first photo, outside the dealer, is hilarious and made this 53 year old laugh out loud at the caption. Great!

Katherine -

Hey there Steven,

Thanks very much for your review of the Echo hatchback! I just discovered this car and was looking for some answers when I came across your article. The writing and layout are both clear and straightforward... thank goodness! Currently, I'm trying to decide between a 2004 Prius (whose mileage this year coming in at 60 city/55 highway, I must add, is MUCH better than that of the previous years). I am a college student, however, and environmental idealism won't finance a car so this option at half the price was wonderful to hear about!

Romeo -

Hi,

Do they come with A/T?
Unfurtunately I need a car like this that seats a total of five, any suggestion?
Thanks,

Romeo
romeoagda@rogers.com

Chris -

Great review. I bought my 2004 ECHO Hatchback (5-door LE) in January and love driving it. I commute once a week 150km, and find the ECHO such a joy to drive! I took it on a 1600km journey at the end of April and was sad to stop driving it when the trek was over. The seat are firm, but I never felt uncomfortable (actually I prefer the seats this way).

Well, since I have had the car, I've convinced two of my friends to buy an ECHO in the last 2 months! At the current cost of fuel, and conscious, environmentally-minded consumer won't have any problems buying this car!

Romeo, yes it does come with A/T. I think it is a $1000 upgrade or so. And if you're looking for a 5 seater, get the ECHO sedan. It still seats five!

Chris.

Glen Marchand -

Hi Steve

Great review.

I have been a euro-small car fan for quite some time. I was very pleased when Toyota decided to release the Hatchback in Canada. My cousin in England raved about his Yaris (Echo) and told me that they had a great reputation for reliability, being that they have been on the road over there for some years now.

I dont own one. Have test driven it a couple of times, and will probably buy one when my old battered Nissan kicks the can.

One question I have is winter driving. How does it handle in the slush/snow?

I have also heard that the Smart car is going to be released in Canada this year. 3.9L /100k, but micro small! Hmm

Cheers
Glen

Steven Garrity -

Several people have inquired about how the Echo Hatchback drives in a Canadian winter. Having driven the car through the winter of 2003/2004 (what oh, what a winter it was), I can provide some info.

Because the Echo Hatchback is narrow and relatively tall, it is more suceptible to cross-winds than other cars. I did notice this a few times throughout the winter, where high cross winds made the car feel a bit unstable. It wasn't to the point of feeling dangerous, or that it would make me buy a different car, but it was noticeable.

This was pretty much the only real deviation I noticed from any other small car in winter driving. I had the factory-installed all-season tires on the car.

My parents used to have an early Saturn sedan (SL-1), and it was by far the worst winter car I've ever driven. It seemed to be able to float up on only a few inches of light snow. Compared to this, the Echo is a fine winter car.

All of this said, I do very little highway driving. Most of my driving is short city drives, which is generally easier in winter anyhow.

Hope that helps.

David & Carol -

The Echo will perform in snow just like any other front wheel drive car: better than a rear wheel drive, not as good as a 4 wheel drive.

We now have over 8000 miles on our R/S automatic transmission Echo hatchback and are getting 40 Miles per US gallon in mixed city/highway driving.

Steven, great photo of your car buried in the snow. Interesting that a Google search for "echo hatchback review" comes up with yours at the top of the list.

Joe Edwards -

Hello from Texas,
I would like to try and buy the hatchback version from a Canadian dealer as opposed to buying the drab looking sedan model here in the States. Any advice? I could use some advice in this matter.

Joe Edwards

Catherine -

i just bought the echo 2dr HB about a month ago and I love it, i do get the "its so cute comments" aswell, but being a young girl, I don't mind it, that was part of the reason I bought it myself. I drive it alot, both on the highway and in the cities, and have been getting about 550-600kms per tank. I also find it quite affordable for anyone interested in buying thier first car. I highly reccomend it. No problems yet!!

Jenn Hall -

I love my little hatchback! I bought "My Little Guy", a three door LE, in April of 2004. It's now June 2004 and I can't stop loving it! It is extremely roomy inside. I've had it fully loaded with four passengers with no discomfort reported. As a habit I find that if there is a back seat passenger, the front seated person always jams themselves up to the dashboard to be polite and provide legspace in the back, but after you make them take a peek at the miles of knee space behind them they will eventually coax the seat back with no complaints from the back seat passenger. It is very easy to get in and out of the three door LE. The seatbelts don't get in the way and the front passenger seat leaps far forward to ensure lots of hip space. The endless supply of cup holders is stellar and I've managed to get a perfect configuration of a small garbage box and a box of kleenex snug and secure behind the parking break. I have an automatic model and I was expecting a reduction of the listed km/l but I've been getting a great 600-650 per tank in a combination of city and highway driving. This car has a lot of zip and I don't feel that I've really put it through the paces yet. The high seating position makes it pretty easy to pick up speed without you noticing. I was accidentally but comfortably cruising at 140km/hr on the 401 a few weeks ago and the car felt just as good as it did at 100km/hr. I live in Toronto and commute to Buffalo on weekends and contrary to many reports, I've never felt unsafe in the high winds on the Burlington Skyway. This is the first car I've ever ridden in that didn't have wind noise from the doors or windows right off the lot, but in the rain, it does sound a bit like the water on the road is coming up through the floorboards. I love the look of the car and the exageratted head lights (which are the brightest lights I've ever had on a car) and the windswept look of the antenna. The factory radio and CD player and four speaker system is decent enough for my needs and I'v grown to like the reverse placement of climate control on top, stereo on bottom on the control panel. I thank my lucky stars for the rear windshield wiper which really is a must on any hatchback. I do wish it had different speed settings though. There is room below the trunk deck (where the spare tire is) to place jumper cables and roadside triangles etc. which I appreciate since I don't want to use all of my cargo space for emergency equipment. I did not get keyless entry or automatic locks, and this leads me to one of my few complaints. Without automatic locks the trunk functions the same as the doors. You have to manually lock and unlock the trunk with the key everytime you use it. It is very easy to forget and leave your trunk unlocked. There is also no internal trunk release, like you'll find in the glove compartment or under the dash of many cars. All in all, pretty minor complaints!
As a quick added detail, this is the first brand new car I have owned, but I have been the tag along in many of my friend's car purchases. I shopped around many Toronto dealers and had many experiences that left me with a bad taste in my mouth. I ended up buying at Ken Shaw because the dealership and their reps (Thanks Helder!) were FANTASTIC and they gave me the price I wanted.

Oscar Duran -

Hello guys:

I own a Toyota Yaris or Echo, actually is the same model. I need to find some parts and maybe you guys can help me out.

I need the spoiler and the front fog lights.

Thanks for your help!!

Oscar.

Daniel DONG -

Thanks for the review.^^

I was wondering how would this cuttie ride work, but your review did beat my concerns. The centered dashboard is a little strange, but hope I can get used to it. Does it have a option comes with both wheel-air bag and side-air bag? cause that make it safer

Dave -

Can't wait to get my just-leased 05 Echo Hatch LE w/ standard transmission. Having a hard time getting the 3 door so have opted for the 5 door at $640 extra, but that includes power locks and adjusting seat belts.

Thanks for the review - see you on the road!

PS DanielDONG - driver's side and passenger's side airbags are standard on all models of Echo Hatch ---

Dave -

...me again -
GOT THE CAR! LOVE IT SO FAR!

marian -

Hi All!
I just purchased a 5 dr Echo HB LE in July...and love it! I was just living in the UK and saw tons of Yaris - somehow they fit in better over there (maybe coz 98.9% of cars are hatchbacks!!). Big selling features - loads of room and my mountain bike fits in the back! I was looking at the Toyota Matrix and just couldn't afford it, so I looked at the Echo. Sweet drive, very stable (actually i find it more stable in cross winds than my 97 Corolla ever was!), lots of oomph!, what can i say 'cute' (I prefer sporty), and it gets me some attention without the attitude! Although I would eventually like something 4x4 to bushwack with, this is strictly a commuting vehicle - I log 400km in a 7 day week for work alone. I love sitting higher in the vehicle, and when i recently sat in a Corolla I said 'ugh' - I gotta climb out! Lots of hidden compartment spaces, which come in handy. I got the A/C and keyless entry and its great. When it's 38 C out, A/C is wonderful. I just wish there were more colour choices....but Silver is lovely. And defiinitely go for the 4 doors - makes life a whole lot easier and the car looks better too.
that's my ad for Toyota...as you can see Canucks are just closer to our European cousins in taste! and practicality!

Emie -

I am doing research on this car and came across this review. Thanks! It really helped to hear from an owner. Question about the trunk space, does it fit a set of golf clubs with the back seat up?

Carol -

Hi, Thank you very much for the information. It is very useful and the pictures are cute. It made me laugh when I looked at it. Currently, I am thinking to buy a car and I am deciding the Toyota Echo 5 dr hatchback or Chervolet AVEO? Do any of you have suggestions?

Thank you!

Al Rowley -

Great review - is Toyota planning on selling the Echo hatchback in California ? The dealers don't know even know about this car. Gas is getting expensive here.

Tom -

I've got a 5-door RS Automatic and my wife and I fight over who gets to drive it. (I drive in traffic a lot, and our other car is a standard, so I get it most of the time.) The one feature that I found to be a hidden gem is the car's ability to automatically downshift when going down steep hills. No more riding the brakes!

I used to always want a car that no one else had, but now I seriously wish that everybody was driving an Echo HB! We'd all be happier drivers...

Annabelle -

I'm quite happy to have come across this review(s). I have been trying to decide either to get an Echo Sedan or the 5 door Echo hatchback. After reading your e-mails,I'll definitely go for the hatchback.

Thanks!!!

Dave -

***RE: Toyota Echo Hatch vs Chey Aveo: I decided on the Echo for (1) resale value (2) proven reliability (3) staying away from product made in former Daewoo factory. (Daewoo went belly up.) The Chevy is a good deal with more options, and GM will finance you if you have a pulse, but Toyota seemed an all-round better buy.

Have had the car for about 3 weeks now and have filled it up once, after about 630km (and could have gone more, probably 700km). Driving very well really enjoying it.

The installed 4 stereo speakers are not great since they are all in the front, so I spent about $200 and had 2 6x9 speakers put into the cargo cover (2 holes had to be cut), and it has made a huge difference.

Only regret is I didn't go for the keyless entry. And that I parked the car on the street during a very busy weekend in my neighbourhood (Beaches Jazz Festival) and some jerk sat on the hood, denting it, and tried to pull off the rear licence plate, bent it way out of shape (I'm assuming it was the same jerk). Oh well. Felt like getting that first scuff on a shiny new running shoe as a kid...

David & Carol -

Dave,

The keyless entry is still possible for about half what Toyota charges. I had Car Toys (a retail store selling aftermarket car accessories) install a keyless entry for $180 USD ($236 CDN). Toyota charges $345 USD ($453 CDN). I believe it is a Python kit.

Carol, don't buy the Aveo. The Toyota will have much better reliability and resale.

Al, Toyota will never sell the Echo HB in the USA. They'd rather you but a Matrix or Scion. The USA market buys a much smaller percentage of fuel efficient cars than the Canadians. It is possible to import one though. We have one and live in Washington State.

Laurie -

Does anyone know if you can turn off the pasenger airbags? I have a four year old who is in a booster seat and I would need to put him in the front seat occasionally.

Marcus -

You Americans keep lobbying Toyota to market vehicle down there..you need it even more than Canadians with your much higher SUV use.

Just purchaed a 2005 July 16th ,640 km on 2nd tank!(55 mpg Can.)w.Auto ,A/C(only for occasional use),CE package(manual steering,2 speakers,no rear wiper(found to besatisfactory).

Positive features:height,quality control,style,headlights,overdrive,dual glovebox,32'turning circle,fabulous gas mileage,low emissions,climate control effective,headroom,forward visibilty

Deficiencies:mirrors too small ,understeer,brakes weak,choppy ride,lack of road feel ,seats poor,seats don,t recline enough,seats don't flip forward without unlatching(passenger side only),fairly noisy interior,if legs are of any length above short you will have knee contact with lower dash, base radio poor with annoying function controls,guage location distracting especially at night where dash does not dim enough,grocery bag hook missing from rear of seat,no lock on glovebox, no eclosed storage,no armrests,no rear tailgate release,idles roughly,late shifting up (auto) when cool,subject to crosswinds,interior door locks would be better near door handle,interior door handles too short,wipers flimsy

My Cavalier was actually believe or not of better design with respect to comfort and convenience..unfortunately it was a maintenance nightmare and hazard to all humanity.

If you are under 6'or female this is the vehicle for you.

alex cole -

hello,
the van still for sale, with excellent condition also with affordable price.
also last price is $2500 which you can contact me with my email address alexcole@asiamail.com

Steven Garrity -

Laurie asked if you can turn off the passenger-side airbag. I took a quick look yesterday, and no, I couldn't find anyway to turn off the passenger-side airbag.

Someone else asked if you could fit a golf-bag in the back hatch area with the rear seats up. I don't have a golf-bag, so I can't try, but I think you could. It would be tight though.

Luis Fernando Salazar -

Hi, i'm from Guatemala in Central America and in november last year i bought the Yaris (AKA echo in the US). I couldn´t agree more with your review about the difference between the hatchback and the sedan models. About the economy i can say that i have a great deal with the Yaris. Before that i had an old 82 Tercel, and i´ve managed to reduce costs in maintenance and gas.

Here in Guatemala, we have some chevy "Celtas" (I believe is the Chevy Joy in the US) and Fiat Palio, but even with this two cars being cheaper, i think the Yaris has the Toyota advantage, in this country where we use cars for an average 20 years, toyota has demonstrated that is a reliable car.

Since i bought it, 3 friends of mine have buyed them own only one bought the sedan model, and he says the hatchback really is a better car. Just to give you an idea, There is an car race championship with only yaris here...! the Yaris Cup.

Dave -

3rd tank and got a whopping 675 km!

Kenny Andersen -

I drove a Matiz in Korea for a year and a half (Daewoo). It had 800cc and was a scream to drive (I'd buy one if I could get it into the US). No problems with it whatsoever, so I don't have a problem with Daewoo per se, the problem I have is the Aveo is it costs the same amount as the Toyota, and frankly, the quality, though acceptable, is no where near Toyota. I opted for the Corolla in the States (Texas) as the Echo sedan 1) doesn't get that much better gas mileage, 2) costs nearly the same after you add AC (a must in TX), and 3) the sedan is kind of ugly.

Having said that I really like the looks of your hatchback -- I e-mailed a Canadian dealer, because I'm going to need another car in a couple of years (engineers ALWAYS over-research everything!), but I got no response. As long as they meet DOT and EPA standards (I suspect that they do) there is no problem bring them into the US -- I think you may just need to get a letter from Toyota stating that the US standards have been met with the version of the car being sold in Canada.

I suspect that there will be NO effort to bring this car to the US as Toyota has launched the Scion line of cars. I think that Scion would consider the hatchback Echo a competitor to the Scion A (which it's not really). I like the Echo hatchback better, and I suspect others would as well -- thus cutting into the Scion A sales.

Connie Lee -

Steve,

Great article! Really appreciated the photo and experience on winter driving.

I currently reside in Lotusland - Vancouver BC - and will be moving to Buffalo, New York. Aside from changing all seasons to good winter snow tires, are there any modifications (ie block heater) I need to make to make my Echo drivable in Buffalo (expect to be there for 3 years)?

Daniel Burka -

Connie: I work with Steven and, up until a few months ago, I owned a 1993 Toyota Tercel. In the ten years I had that cheap little car, it never once failed to start in the winter. It was regularly -30 C and never a single stutter starting. This is without a block heater. I can only assume that Toyota still makes cars that are this good at starting in the cold.

Abdel Mohammed -

Well, my wife and I we were in the hunt for a vehicle that will give us due comfort and excellent fuel economy...merely because I drive 40km to work one-way. Since I drove a 1989 MPV, it was hard to give up power and the commanding view of the road.

When I test drove the 2005 Toyota Echo...I must say the power is not that of a V6 engine, but it was enough to propel the vehicle with some purpose through each shift of the automatic transmission. Also, I am 6' 1" tall and 260lbs...pretty big I guess...but I sat in comfort in the driver's seat aided with a better view of the road than even my wife's Pontiac Vibe can offer. The steering seems secure and even though there was no keyless entry, power mirrors and power windows standard, I was convinced that at 40-50 miles per US gallon this was the car for me.

There is lots of space given the high seating positions. But for only 4 passengers.

Only one thing that annoyed me...why is Toyota offering an AM/FM/cassette stereo system....kinda achiac I must say. I got the AM/FM/CD/MP3 for $183 extra. But that is all I added to this car together with AC and the bumper protector package.

So let's see how it goes when I get my new ride...and I will be sure to let you guys know of the driving experience.

mark lowe -

I own A Young Drivers Of Canada franchise and am looking at the echo hatchback for my instructors. we are in the vehicle all day, every day. How do you current owners find the shoulder room between front seat passengers? Also, what are people doing to get 650+ kms per tank?! Sounds too good to be true.

Dorian -

We purchased a 2004 EchoRS HB last November, and we love it! My husband is 6'7" and fits into the driver's seat with ease and lots of headroom. We also have a Pontiac Aztec and he says the Echo has more headroom than the Aztec! We now have 22,000 kms on it and it has been completely trouble free. We have managed to get a whopping 680 kms on a tank, and the manufactures suggested oil change intervals are every 7-8000 kms. We're going for our 3rd oil change tomorrow! The interior room is amazing, and I love all the storage nooks and crannies. There is the sliding box tray under the passenger seat, the dual compartment glovebox, the two storage compartments on the drivers side under the steering wheel, as well as the pockets in each door and the change holder, sunglasses nook,and the cupholders! We often argue over who gets to drive the Echo on any given day lol! I have nothing but good things to say about the vehicle. We have been long time GM drivers in the past , but we are now Toyota converts. We're already planning our replacement for the Aztec and it will probably be a Rav4 or heck why not another Echo HB! They are also a dream when it comes to parking. You can park these little suckers anywhere. A normally crowded 4 car driveway could probably accomodate 6 Echo's with ease. Steering is very resposive and handles and corners extremely well. It's really hard to keep it below 130-140 kms/hr on the 401. We have the 5 speed manual transmission and it's pretty gutsy for a little car. I love the centred instrumentation panel because I like to drive with the steering wheel in the lowest position. That usually means that I would have an obstructed view ( steering wheel) of the instrumentation, but in the Echo that is not an issue. The front fender signal indicator is a great safety feature when changing lanes. The gas access door can only be opened from the inside of the car which is also another good safety feature ( no one can tamper with your tank contents). The Toyota dealers are great to deal with. All Toyota vehicles come with a timing chain rather than a timing belt , which gives you much better reliabilty. Most of the competition in it's class come with timing belts. It packs a great little heater for the cold Canadian winters and the car warms up and defrosts in no time. All in all, it's a great little car for the money, it's cute and we'd buy another one.

Abdel Mohammed -

Just for observation sake....I did my first fill up on my 4dr Automatic Echo H/back. I realized that the tank takes exactly 40 litres of gas from when the fill up light flashes to when the fuel nozzle clicks off. So I guess if you are on a long trip out of the sights of civilization, that you still put into consideration...your little guy still runs on gas!

At this stage it is hard to tell the fuel economy on the car because I was not sure about how much gas was in the tank from the moment I first got it.

I am using 87 octane fuel, and as promised I will post the results of my gas consumption test. Again my daily drive is a fair mix of about 45% highway and 55% city driving. My tires have been check for the correct operational pressure (32 psi) also. Air-conditioning will not be used no matter how hot I feel, nor will the windows be down when driving. I guess I am getting a bit scientific now.

So, I have set the trip odometer to zero on a full tank of gas, and the test will be completed when the fuel light comes on and I fill up again. I know for sure that the result will be more than 15km / litre...let's keep our fingers crossed though.

Jason -

If you are under 6'or female this is the vehicle for you.

I'm actually 6'5" and 240lbs. I drive a three door hatch. No problems.

Jason

Lost Fido -

A co-worker of mine was probably given the option to 'upgrade' his lease on his 2003 Toyota Echo just like I was for my 2001 Echo. The big drawback for him was he can't survive without some extra options on the car. He found out this morning after going to toyota.ca that with all the options, a fully loaded '04-05 Echo HB can be a $550 CDN/mth lease! A fully loaded Pontiac 4x4 SUV is $325-400 CDN/mth lease. I mean, how stupid is that?

Dave -

I drive this car about 70km a day and I'm sure that this is overall the best car on the road.

Mark Lowe, I'm still getting between 630 and 650 KM per tank on average. I drive mainly (about 70% of my mileage) on the highway. You should know that I drive the 5 speed manual transmission, and I don't gear down to slow the car, but shift into neutral and use the brakes. Between the wear on the clutch and the extra fuel costs, I figure it's cheaper over to fix the brakes sooner. Works for me!

Fido, my 60-month lease of a 5 door manual with A/C and power locks is onlty $270 and I put nothing down, so I'm not sure how you got your numbers. Maybe getting the car fully loaded is a mistake, or you're looking at a 3 or 4 year lease...

Abdel Mohammed -

Got the results of my gas mileage test for 40 litres of gas I got 603km. If we work it out to simple terms...we get 15.075km per litre of 87 octane gas.

Please note that I did about 55% city / 45% highway driving and I am driving a 2005 Echo Hatchback Automatic.

So basically, you will get more out of the 5 speed manual car as Dave explained...and yes these figures are real. Now I will have to see how my little guy copes in winter.

Chris B. -

I have put on almost 19,000km since I got my 5dr ECHO hatchback in January, up here in Edmonton. It was my first new car, and I love it! In all the research I did (which I think was quite extensive), nothing seemed like such a sure bet as this car...I mean how can you complain? - Toyota quality, great fuel economy, fun to drive (and park!), great handling, environmentally-responsible, tons of interior room for a car its size, etc.

I would throughly recommend this car to anyone, and i've already convinced 2 of my friends to buy one...I just hope Toyota keeps up the great work! Hyundai/Kia, Chev, and VW don't stand a chance, haha! (I personally don't understand why anyone would even consider the Chevy Aveo...a Daewoo in disguise that gets terrible gas milage. I mean, what does Chev do to get such bad numbers? Do they not even car to build the car right...or that people won't see right through their antics? jeez...)

Philip -

I just bought a 2000 4 dr Echo. Sometimes in the morning it makes a noise. When I bought the car, I was told by the seller that the car had a defect? Is this true?

Gee Lee -

I would like to know that does anyone has a chance to test driver the echo on the mountain area? Is the engine powerful enough to climb up the steep hill even in the winter? Is that the extra pair of doors worth for $600? thankyou much.

Connie Lee -

I was driving my 2003 Echo up Mountain Seymour in North Vancouver during one of the snowiest days last year. Late in the season, I was without snow tires. I bought chains, but didn't have to use them. Given that you want to drive at a slower speed in the snow, incline was not an issue. In the winer, I'd get snows. The 2003 uses a special size tire only available through Bridgestone/Firestone. Put your name on a waiting list for Snows!

Gee Lee -

Thank you very much for you valuable reply, Connie Lee.
I will probably go get my baby Echo this weekend. I hope that I'v made the right choose.

Billy Jo -

I am looking to buy a Toyota, but haven't decided between a Corolla or a Echo HB.
For a while I though the Echo was a death-trap due to its wee hood length. Anyways, I have a question regarding power steering. I see that it is optional in the 3D version. Is it a standard feature in the 5D model?

Sasha -

Echo HB (Canada) power steering:

3-DR CE (base model): NO

3-DR LE: YES

5-DR (LE and RS): YES

Aaron Armstrong -

I test drove a 2005 this afternoon (4 door sedan); my god, it was killer. I absolutely loved it.

I will definitely be buying one of these, particularly after reading all of your comments.

CJ -

HI FOLKS...I BOUGHT MY BLUE 2 DR CE HATCH IN APRIL 2004(5 SPEED, A/C, NO POWER STEERING).

DROVE IT AROUND LOCALLY TO MAKE SURE THE BUGS WERE WORKED OUT (ONLY WARRANTY ISSUE WAS BUMPER PROTECTOR WAS RUBBING ON THE BOTTOM OF HATCH WHEN OPENING / CLOSING....CHECK YOURS!!!)

THEN PROCEEDED TO GO 18,000 KM FROM NORTHERN ONTARIO THROUGH THE STATES, GRAND CANYON, SAN FRAN, VANCOUVER ISLAND AND BACK THROUGH CANADA.

CAR NOW HAS 26,000 KM ON IT....AVERAGING 750 - 850 KM PER TANK..STEADY AS A ROCK....NO ISSUES TO REPORT. I BALKED AT THE FACTORY CASSETTE...INSTALLED 6 BY 9'S IN THE REAR DECK.....CD CHANGER UNDER THE FRONT SEAT...JACK RELOCATED TO INVERTED SPARE TIRE LOCATION.

EVEN THOUGH THE CAR WAS LOADED...2 ADULTS AND CAMPING GEAR FOR 7 WEEKS...THIS POCKET ROCKET WENT UP AND DOWN CONSTANT 4 TO 6 THOUSAND ELEVATION CHANGES WITH NO PROBLEMS...DEATH VALLEY..135 DEFREES F....COOL AS A CUCUMBER. WHEN I WENT TO GET THE OIL CHANGED IN VEGAS, THE GREETING SERVICE FELLOW SAID THAT HE WAS SORRY THAT I HAD THE WRONG DEALERSHIP...AS THE AVEO WAS A GM PRODUCT..WE ALL HAD A GOOD LAUGH..!!!!!!

I'M SURE THAT THE LACK OF P/S, PUMP AND BELT AND THE 5 SPEED CONTRIBUTES 2-5 MPG. I DROVE IT UNDER 100 KPH FR THE FIRST 3000 KM (FIRST OIL CHANGE AT 500 KM - OLD HABIT, CAN'T SHAKE IT). I LIVE IN SUDBURY, ONTARIO AND DRIVE IT TO TORONTO AND BACK WITH THE JUST THE FUEL LIGHT STARTING TO BLINK.

I CONDUCTED MUCH RESEARCH ON THIS CAR BEFORE I PURCHASED IT. THE VW TDI GOLF WAS MY FIRST CHOICE GOING IN....BUT HIGH MAINTENANCE COSTS (TIMING BELT @ 80-90,000 KM, $400-700), WAY TOO MANY ELECTRONIC CONTROLS ON A DIESEL ENGINE FOR MY LIKING, PREMIUM ENGINE PRICE FOR THE DIESEL......THESE ALL TURNED ME TOWARDS THE ECHO. KIA AND HYUNDAI JUST WON'T GIVE ME A WARM AND FUZZY FEELING AFTER 100,000 KM.

FINALLY, THE LAST INTANGIBLE BENEFIT IS THAT THE CAR CANNOT BE MISTAKEN FOR ANYTHING OTHER THAN A 2004 MODEL. IT LOOKS LIKE A NEW CAR...CAN'T WAIT FOR THE 1 LITRE TURBO DIESEL.

tj -

C.J.- I was also looking at purchasing this car and doing the same route as you did in the states starting here in toronto. Sounds like it gave you guys a good time. glad to hear!

Glen -

CJ
1 Litre Turbo diesel?? DO TELL. Havent picked up the HB yet May hold off until this release.
G

Adam -

I have an 04 hatchback with A/T and find it geared much too high. I will soon be swapping on snow tires and plan to go to a taller tire to hopefully improve the gas milage. I also have an older model VW desiel Jetta..so I am used to economy. I was hoping for 700 km per tank..but usually only get just over 600km. Thanks to these posts I will save a trip to the dealer..I thought there was something wrong with my car. I guess you need the 5 speed with no power steering to get the best millage. Does anyone find the auto transmission doesn't shift soon enough coming off an incline??

Reg -

I have an 05 hacthback, 5D model and only power steering option. I drive my my car 95% on highway and I get 800km per tank at 120KM/h(average). Once I decided to drive a tank at 100KM/H and I got close to 900km for that tank. AMAZING!!! I'm really really satisfied.

CJ -

REPLY TO GLEN....I'M SURE THE EURO-ENGINES ARE A BIT FAR OFF IN TIME....THEIR REFINED DIESEL REQUIRING ENGINES WOULD GUM UP HERE ON NORTH AMERICAN DIESEL...I WAS BUGGING TRANSPORT CANADA TO IMPORT THE VW LUPO (1 LITRE TDI, 90-100 MPG) INTO CANADA, BUT TO DEAF EARS. THE YARIS (ECHO) IN EUROPE IS AVAILABLE WITH A 1.0, 1.3 AND 1.5 LITRE GAS ENGINE...NOT SURE 'BOUT THE DIESEL, BUT I HAVE HEARD RUMOURS.

THE ECHO H/B IS STILL A WINNER IN MY BOOKS

Dave -

Reg: How are you getting 800km? That's amazing. 80% of my driving is highway and I've never gotten more than 675km, not that I'm complaining. I have a 5dr power steering, small (base) wheels, and A/C (not being used right now!). Maybe I'll try driving at 100km steadily.

Any other tips appreciated.

David & Carol -

LINK

The above link is to the Toyota Yaris, Great Britain editions and shows all the specs for the various engines, including the 1.4 liter, 75 HP diesel.

CJ -

IN ORDER TO GET 800 KM PER TANK I DRIVE 95-105 KPH, INFLATE TIRES 2-3 PSI OVER SPEC, SHIFT INTO 5TH AT 65 KPH. I HAVE NO TACH...SO I DO NOT KNOW WHAT THAT ENGINE IS REVING AT WHEN GOING 100 KPH.

I'M ASSUMING THAT MY MILEAGE WILL DROP 10-15 % AS THE TEMP DROPS HERE IN NORTHERN ONTARIO, SO IF I GET 700 KM + PER TANK N THE WINTER, I'LL BE HAPPY.

Reg -

Dave: 1- Be very cool with the acceleration
2- Inflate your tires a bit over the recommandation
3- Try to keep a stable speed(if you have a cruise control use it)
4- Let your car go to neutral position when you have to stop

Sam Rogers -

Superb review! I just got the Echo hatchback two weeks ago. 2004, 5 door, LE, air-conditioning, ABS, CD, power locks, power steering, rear wiper, bumper protector, automatic transmission. All for C$236 per month, including 15% tax, for a 60 month lease. No money down.

I had the original 2000 Echo until my lease expired this Summer. Loved it. Grew to love it that is. It was my only choice thanks to a new job and Toyota’s generous 4 year eligibility period for their Graduate program (I graduated in 1996). Well, 4 years later I was in the same situation. Broke as ever, even more so, and a brand new job. Pre-approved by Toyota Credit Canada on the Internet! I can’t even get a small credit margin at my bank, but Toyota trusts me with a $19,000 car?

The look is a lot better with the hatchback. The fact that it is unavailable in the USA is also a huge bonus as I live near Maine. I liked turning heads back in 2000, and I like doing it today in Maine. I had two dates tell me they didn’t like the 2000 Echo sedan. (I slept with both of them nonetheless). No comments yet for the 2004 Hatchback version (or action).

I loved the sound system in my Echo Sedan. Very disappointed on that front with the Hatchback. 4 speakers? but all in the front!

Automatic locks is OK but unnecessary. Down hill auto-down shifting is a pure pleasure in my hilly community (I tough it was the ABS kicking in until I read a post above).

The Hatchback is available without the rear wiper. That is simply criminal since they are only selling the car in Canada (the European Yaris and Japanese Vitz are actually different, albeit very similar, cars.)

Winter driving is a breeze. But not quite as fun as with the sedan for some reason. Highway crosswinds are dangerous and will make you regret your purchase? or lower your speed from 140 km/hr. Ditto for fuel consumption. Car makes a difference, the way you drive your car even more!

Seat is a bit firm by my tastes. I expect it to soften up with time.

I really, really wanted the Smart Car. Unfortunately, I needed the car this winter and I would have had to wait 5 months at the nearest dealership 500 km away. My Toyota Echo was off the lot, 200 metres away?

Negotiating the lease was a pain, as usual. Toyota dealers in Canada (except Ontario) have no haggle prices which makes it hard to, you know, haggle. $183 for a CD mp3 reader is a bit steep in my opinion. So is $150 for the CD (included in my lease price above). They try to sell you an extra warranty, life insurance, a maintenance program, $250 for window engraving etc?, etc? Tip, when you enter the finance lady’s office (it’s always a women), just say no!. -We will give you a gold bar for $50. -NO! She actually tried to imply I might have trouble financing the car with Toyota because I didn’t get the extra warranty! Thankfully, I had it pre-approved on Toyota’s web site so her scheme didn’t work with me.

The GM Aveo and Renault’s Modus are very similar in look. I’d be interested in finding out which is crowned the best.

Where is the Echo made anyway?

Randy -

I have had my 3dr for 6 months now and we have falling madly in love with it.Its fun to drive and easy to get in and out of bogus heavy traffic.We drove our little red express to the Rockys this summer and it handled the high passes with no problemos.
We have one annoying thing that the dealer hasn't repaired, its the optional cruise control lever.It vibrates when pulling from the lights!! Has anyone else had this weird thingy happen(s) to them? The dealer claims its the Borla exaust that is causing it.

Robert -

Hi,

I'm living in Holland, Europe and I have a Yaris (Echo) for five years now and I'm still very happy with it. I've been driving 54000 kilometers now and I didn't have any problems. It even still has no oil consumption at all! I've been driving a lot on the Autobahn in Germany, where there is no speed limit and my car (1.3l 86 hp) has a top speed of 181 km/our (officially 175 km/our) and is completely stable at that speed. Last year in the hot summer I drove for 500km with a temperature of 38 degrees Celsius at a constant speed of 150 - 160 km/our with the airconditioning on and I had no problem at all. Also when I'm driving very much in my vacations (4500 km in 2 weeks) it's a very fine car.

I can advise the Yaris to everybody who looks for a good and safe car. In the EURO-NCAP crash test, the Yaris had the best rating for small cars for three years. Only the new Renault Modus now received a slightly better rating.

You can see the crash-test results here: LINK

Robert.

Glen -

CJ,
Thanks for that info. Found out that Europe has plans for a Czech built Yaris "super sport" version, a la forum section of canadiandriver.com

Sam, I believe the Echo HB is made in Japan. As for negotiating (buying) with Toyota, we found them to very good. We picked up our 05 Matrix in june and the dealer thus far has been excellent. We knew what we wanted and didnt want, they pitched warranty and all the extras, we declined and that was that. Hoping the same will go for the HB, whenever I decide to buy.

Does anyone have the driving (fog) lights installed? Are they worth getting after market? Also, does anyone tow a trailer?

G

J.-P. E. J. -

Hello out there...

I just purchased a 2005 Echo HB RS from our local Toyota dealer here in Sudbury, Ontario - Canada. The day of delivery was December 7th at the same time as our first bad snow storm. I realised soon that this small micro-car can handle difficult situations with ease.
In my lifetime I have had numerous small cars and this one reacts a lot like my past Peugeots and Rabbits. They were fun to drive in the snow because of front wheel drive.

I thank all of you for your previous positive comments which encouraged me to make the move. I had studied and test drove other cars and this one seemed to fill the bill. It's suppose to be reliable, economical to drive, 5 on the floor a lot of fun, roomier on the inside than expected, ABS - air -FOG LIGHTS (which I appreciate), and power steering. All this to say that it should be a good run-about for a few years.

Hope I can make positive comments on this vehicle for a long time,

Happy motoring!

JPEJ

michelle -

Just bought a EHCO, my son calls it a chick car. He hasn't seen it yet as he is away at university, but I,m sure when he come home he will love driving it. Its great on fuel, turns on a dine, gets lots of cute comments. just can't says enought great things about it.
LOVE OUR ECHO

Marc -

I got my Echo HB 3-door Automatic in April 2004. In the summer I was getting over 15km/L (~6.7L/100km), it was basically all hiqhway driving (up to 120km/h). For the past few months now I've been getting ~9.5km/L! (10.5L/100km) for city driving. I know that since I'm doing almost only city driving the comsumption goes up... but that seems excessive. I saw some people posting they hit 800km/tank...
Is anyone else getting this type of consumption? or maybe there's something wrong with my car.

Reg -

I'm living in quebec, canada and we are in the winter season. The consumption of my echo is now 750km per thank.(41 liters). This is for 95% of highways driving.

Echo Hatch RS -

QUOTE "He found out this morning after going to toyota.ca that with all the options, a fully loaded '04-05 Echo HB can be a $550 CDN/mth lease! A fully loaded Pontiac 4x4 SUV is $325-400 CDN/mth lease. I mean, how stupid is that?" QUOTE

Your "friend" is misinformed about the cost. My top-of-the-line Echo Hatch RS fully loaded with 0 down is a $355 per month lease. The only way it would be $550 is to purchase finance it. If your "friend" is adding dealer installed aftermarket options like lowering springs, borla exhaust, or cold air intake, or alloy wheels etc. he is adding items that cannot be included in the lease and must be purchased separately. I have these dealer installed items but they were purchased and installed independent of my lease as I had to pay for them at the dealer.

Wayne Harris -

I would like to comment on the statement of the Saturn floating on light snow verses the Echo. Tire size and tread pattern is the culprit that makes the difference in winter driving far more than the car itself when comparing similiar cars. Wider sporty tires that work best in summer are usless in winter. Tall narrow tires provide much more wieght per square in. No snow winter tire on a small car should ever be wider that a 70 series tire. A 78 series would be better still. 60 series and wider should never be used in winter conditions. Snow and ice tires have undergone major improvements in rubber technology and are a min. of %50 better traction than the best no season tire on snow and up to %80 better control on ice. So called all season tires do not use the new ultra soft rubber compounds that provides the winter ice and snow traction. Thses compounds are too soft to withstand extended summer driving. They do seem to work miracles on black ice or any ice and snow.
Snows should always be mounted in sets of four on front drive cars. Never put snows on just the front on a front drive car. It is a dangerous practice that can cause cars to spin out when slowing or braking on wet or slippery surfaces. The best traction tire ALWAYS goes on the REAR or mount four new tires of the same type. It may become illegal in the near future to mount snows on the front only of front drive cars. The Echo like almost all front drive cars is a fine winter car if four quality ice & snow tires of 78 or 70 series are used.

Rick van der Heide -

Just a comment on the instrument panel. The one big advantage I have found to the centre mounted instrument panel is that there is no glare on the windshield directly in front of me. I find this can be a distraction when driving at night.

mIchel -

Hi , I'm considering buying a echo hatchback but I'm 6foot 2 (1,85m m) so can anybody tell me if I'll enough leg room? It's small but i love how that car looks!

Florence -

Hi all,

I've been looking for a first car and initially wanted to buy a used one... but after looking at Toyota and Honda cars I think I'm leaning towards an Echo. I made arrangements to test drive a 2001 Corolla S tomorrow but I just stumbled on this fantastic review and comments page and I think I'm in love with the Echo!!! Good AND bad thing I suppose :) I'll see if I can stop by a Toyota dealership this weekend and give the Echo a test drive.

Mike -

Hello, just wanted to say i loved your review and all the responses you got to it. I presently drive a 2001 f150 with a v8 engine and i do plenty of highway driving throughout the year. I really have no need for the big v8 as well as the size of the vehicle i drive so i was thinking of changing to a more fuel efficient car. I think ive found it. Thanks for all your info, and im sure ill find ill have much better fuel milage with the echo hatchback (as well as reliablity).

Abdel Mohammed -

Did some winter driving with my little guy. I was impressed with the speed in which the car warm up. Takes about 3 to 5 minutes. Head lights on the car is of the brightest I have even seen. The car starts well in cold weather... -25 degrees celcius and under.

One thing though I would go for four winter tires next season. Not that the car does not handle well, but because I travel longer distances and meet different conditions throughout my drive and I would prefer to have some confidence driving in adverse conditions. I wish this car had a variable intermittent front wiper mode, and an intermittent rear wiper mode...just for convenience sake.

Fuel economy seems to go down in the cold to about 14km /litre (for automatic). Still economical though considering fuel economy get worst with some cars.

I have one comment though...for the folks who get 850km and above on the manual transmission car...your figures are erroneous and I find them hard to believe. My buddy and I did a test on his manual transmission vehicle, and he got 740km / 40 litres of gas at 70% highway / 30% city driving. I don't know what type of fuel some of you guys use though. I must say though if you are serious on fuel economy get the manual transmission

So for my winter drive with my Echo HB Auto, I must say an overall thumbs up.

Sam -

I am 5"10 and the car fits me really well. If you're 6"2 the person behind you might be a little cramped for leg room.

For the ppl thinking about buying this car...don't let the salesman talk you into buying a Corolla! They do that for the price markup / commission reasons!

Toyman -

Questions for Echo HB owners...

How strong is the air conditioner (does it cool the car quickly)?

For those with no power steering, is it a pain at slow speeds? Do you wish you had chosen power steering? Did you get used to the lack of PS quickly?

thanks

CJ -

RESPONSE TO TOYMAN....I HAVE THE BASE CE W/ AIR / 5 SPEED....NO PROBLEM WHATSOEVER WITH ITS HANDLING WITH MANUAL STEERING AT ANY SPEED...I DROVE IT THROUGH DEATH VALLEY IN CALIFORNIA LAST JULY....A/C WAS EXCELLENT.

PLUS YOU GET A COUPLE MORE MPG WITHOUT THE POWER STEERING PUMP AND BELT, AND YOU REALY FEEL THE CAR ON THE ROAD.

CJ

Toyman -

Thanks CJ, good point about the improved MPG. I was also thinking of getting the CE with air only. My only concern with no PS is when it comes to things like parallel parking. But I suppose it shouldn't be a major problem unless the driver is really wimpy. On the positive side, without the pump and belt, that's two less things that would need servicing in the long term.

You bought your car in Ontario? Do you think they might drop the price a bit on a cash deal? Anyone else pay less than sticker in Ontario or is the demand high enough that they won't budge?

thanks again!

bboy -

I'm interested in the Echo HB but I have heard that they are very expensive to insure (ie: $1,800.00 for an average male driver in Toronto). Comments from any Echo owners in this regard would be greatly appreciated. Thanking you in advance for your help. bboy

Marc -

As far as I know, at least in Quebec, Toyota does not bargain on the price of the car anymore. They give you a price and that's it. On the Eco the profit margin isn't large anyways so even if they did, it wouldn't be that much less.

wing -

bought one in 02/04 5sp, manual tran with no p/s. car gives me a specail feeling. the feeling of you having fun with no one really knows about it. car handles very predictably with very stable and secure feeling on the highway.the limit might not be high on those skinny tires but you can ring out 95% of that limit with total confidence. (on ramp 75-80km/hr not a problem) more so then 02 corolla, 04 miata, 94 toyota camry and 00 acura integra.(these are the cars i have access to) i have gone to 190km/hr max speed in 4th gear on hwy404 and its completely stable. 0-100km takes 8.5 seconds, faster then a 4 cylinder toyota camry and honda accord with automatic. highway on ramps can be taken at about 75-80km/hr limited only by the skinny tire, but those tires are so resistantless that for the slighest incline on the road, the car will just roll forever in neutral. as for gas millage, it really depends on the way you drive it, for example, in city driving you see so many idiots floor the car when there is a red light ahead or the light in the distance has just turned red, only to brake hard when they get to see the car infront of them stopped. if you dirve like that, you wouldnt get 750km to a tank (40litres).
now the negtives: gear ratio way too long.(for saving fuel), 2rd gear will take you to 110km, and 3rd will take you to a ridiculous 160km/hr before the fuel shuts off!!!! but also for this reason, highway performance will catch a lot of people in their sporty cars by surprice. the ECHO will go from 120km/hr to 160km/hr pretty fast, faster then a honda civic SI. but if you need to rush in the city, you have to rev it up.

manual steering ratio too slow(dont know if PS cars has faster ratio), have to change hand in a normal tight right turn. a big turn off for spirited driving.(although it provides great road feed back)

car will wander a bit in cross wind, but only when its pretty strong. you have to remember its a 2100lb car with very skinny and fuel saving tires. changing to wider tires will help the matter a bit.

to sum it up, the EChO hatch is a great car. a car thats well engineered with a european heritage. for someone who hates the SUVs and love the enviroment, its the car to get, and you will have a ton of smile even before you beat them at the pump.

CJ -

04....H/B....C/E...AIR...5 SPEED...I BOUGHT MINE OVER THE INTERNET IN ONTARIO..USED ON THE ROAD PRICING...FARMED IT ROUND...RECYCLED THE CURRENT LOWEST PRICE AROUND TO EVERYONE....AND AGAIN...AND AGAIN.....FINAL RESULT $16,296.00 OTR, EVERYTHING IN.....JUST GIVE ME THE KEYS..BALKED AT THE RADIO (TOLD THEM TO LEAVE IT IN THE TRUNK)...INSTALLED PIONEER CASSETTE WITH CD CHANGER (FITS UNDER THE DRIVER'S SEAT...PUT JACK INTO THE NOW INVERTED SPARE UNDER THE TRUNK)....6 BY 9'S IN THE PARCEL SHELF (PLUG AND GO WIRNG FOR W/O PARCEL SHELF)....

AS FOR INSURANCE I PAY $ 1085.00 (500 DEDUCTIBLES) IN NORTHERN ONTARIO....BUT I AM A 51 YEAR-OLD EX-RALLY GEEZER (LOOKS ARE DECEIVING..!!!)...I HARDLY GET A SECOND GLANCE....POUNDING DOWN THE 400 @ 140 KPH WITH HENRIX BULGING OUT THE WINDOWS.......

ITS A GOOD CAR.....

wing -

echo cost no more then any other small compact cars to insure.

Pippi -

Hi,
I'm looking into getting my first car (just graduated and now have my first job), and I've been looking into the 5dr Echo Hatchback. Does anyone know the safety ratings on this car? My parents and boyfriend are a little concerned because of it's size what would happen in an accident (not that I'd get in one...). Does anyone know? I've seen the Echo Sedan ratings, but nothing for the H/B.
Another question... Roof racks are an additional buy, right? Toyota doesn't supply any? Because we kayak in the summer, and I want to make sure I can fit 2 kayaks on the roof... Has anyone tried this before? Or what about skis in the back seat? Well, thanks! Hope someone can help me out! :)

wing -

crash ratings is about the same as the sedan. small cars in generall survive better in a crash, as long as they dont collide with something heavier headon. thats why people drive SUVs, thinking in a headon collision, they will come out the winner. But small cars can handle better, brake shorter, and rollover lesser then those behemoth.
roof rack is a dealer installed option. measure both your kayak and skis and the length/width of the echo roof and interio to see if they will fit.

jenny rosterville -

hi im jenny and i love the echo hatchback
i have 2 of my own with my ferrari and mustang and convertable!hopefully i wont drive it into the pool since i am 16!yours truly jenny

jenny rosterville -

hi im jenny and i love the echo hatchback
i have 2 of my own with my ferrari and mustang and convertable!hopefully i wont drive it into the pool since i am 16!yours truly jenny o ya does ur car come in pink?
please responde today and do u take $100 bills and does your car come in like a convertable??

Shazza in Oz -

Hi all!
In the process of buying an Echo 3dr hatch - finalising tomorrow!

I managed to negotiate with the Toyota dealer: AU$16,490.00 auto,1.3L, 3 dr metallic pewter colour incl a/c, keyless, mp3/cd, dark tinting (essential with ozzie sun)& car mats.

All your comments are really helpful. But am having second thoughts with it's 'cute' & a 'chick car'(which I love)- but my hubby will also be driving it-tho seems there's alot of big blokes in this discussion too!
Guess I just wanna feel better about parting ways with our gas guzzling '98 Subaru Outback ltd ed :(

Other option is the Corolla, the deal wouldn't be as sweet. What made you decide the Echo over Corolla?

Anyone know if a ridgeback x lab dog would fit in the back of an Echo with seats down?

Also, they've offered optional paint protection lifetime quarantee extra $399 - is that necessary? did anyone else get this? it seems there are already precautions for this...
LINK

Hope to hear soon ;)

some helpful reviews:
LINK

Perry -

I enjoyed the review. How difficult was it to import the hatchback into the US? What is involved?

Thanks.

jpej -

I bought an Echo 2005 HB in december of 2004. My gas mileage is off the predicted mileage by the manufacturer. City driving with a little highway driving gives me around 38 miles to the gallon. It is rated for 44. My car is 5 on the floor. Maybe better mileage is yet to come.
Compared to my 2000 Chev Trailblazer which gives me 15 miles to the gallon in the city, I'm not complaining. It will most likely improve in time.
I must say that I am very satisfied with this vehicle. I think it is well made and will contribute, in time to helping out 'Kyoto' in Canada. It is but a small effort to keep our planet green.

Thank for the above comments.

Sam Rogers -

I just did a 1200 km day trip around the Gaspé peninsula. Last time I did it was when I was 14 and all I remembered was being terrified at my dad's driving. Well, doing it myself with the 2004 Echo hatchback, automatic transmission and 4 season tires, in mid February, let me tell you the main problem was loosing my grip on the steering wheel! I started sweating at the first cliff and stopped 800 km later. 20C outdoors, and snow on the pavement, but the car preformed marvellously. I particularly liked the automatic downshifting when going down hill. With my right hand holding on to the steering wheel and the left hand holding on to a Tim Horton's large cup of coffee, it was a life saver. The antilock brakes would occasionally kick in when I was distracted by the view and would notice the sudden absence of land in front of me.

My only problem with the Echo are the headlights. The high beams just don't seem to be that bright. But it may simply be all those moose warnings that have gotten me paranoid as I'm new to moose country.

The great advantage of a winter tour around the Gaspé is the total absence of traffic. I highly recommend it. Just watch out for the moose (aim for their tails)!

In Canada -

How much can I spare during the price negotiating process?
For example, MSRP is $14000 Canadian, location is Alberta.

Echofever -

hey shazza dont have second thoughts about your echo. I just finished getting mine ready for a car show here in Edmonton/Canada with the stage 3 performance upgrades, brakes, suspention, we finally got mine up to 450hp 447 at the tires. there are tons of body kits/accessories for the car however the most prominant is the Toyota "Vitz" which after about $22k I couldnt finish my echo to vitz convertion. corolla's are good cars but i wouldnt trade my vitz for any car. and ya a ridgeback x lab could fit in the back.

Tim Walker -

Reading through the initial article and all the posts, it looks to me like there is quite the community here.
I currently own a 92 Camery and i am still very happy with the car I get about 11km per L which i think is pretty good for a 13 year old car with 310,000km on it. I am torn between the 2005 Camery, corolla, and EchoHB.

To answer the questions about the insurance costs. All car insurance is based on the rating of the car, which supposedly takes into account the amount of accidents, the average age of the drivers and the cost for repair. here are some examples of the rating:

Camery = 8
EchoHB = 10
Corolla= 12
Celica = 17

So the EchoHB will be more then the Camery but less then the Corolla and much less then the Celica, enough about that.

I have heard rumors about the echo being redesigned for 2006 and taking a look at the japan Toyota site the Vitz sure has! http://toyota.jp/vitz/concept/concept/index.html
you can click on some of the links on the left to look at different views and stuff.

from what i can see from the site (in japanese) i looks like the new Vitz will get about 22km per L which is amazing! it also turns off the engine when the car comes to a stop and then turns it back on again when you start to release the brake.

I am hoping the this is what the new EchoHB will look like and i am planning on waiting till the summer to see if it is.

Rustcheck -

Hi Everyone,
liked all the comments on the Echo H/B, there is never a bad comment, like there is never a bad question, as someone will learn from both; I Rustproof vehicles for almost twenty years, and seeing everything from a different view; Toyota and Lexus seems to be so far ahead of everyone, when it comes to the underside of there vehicles too, like works of art, with quality materials for there exhaust, and hangars, fuel and brake lines, how electrical wiring are run and protected, grade of there nuts and bolts, and all underbody seems are neatly caulked, its nice to see a company with so much money, actually putting it back into there vehicles; No other manufactures take it to this level on the underside, mainly because they know no one ever see or think of the underside when they are shopping for there vehicles, and as we all know its the most expose area of the vehicle, subject to all elemnts that will contribute to corrosion.
I know a few complaints came about some of the things this Echo should have but, you have to remember, this is the cheapest vehicle offered by Toyota in North America, and does what it was design to do, what is amazing to me that it cost less than my (89 Corolla) when I bought it back in 89, and I am not sure but probably close to the price of a (89) Tercel also, with so much advances, mainly body and engine, everything else is a bonus, to all purchasing this vehicle great choice no matter what mileage you get, as there are not many vehicles out there that comes close to (MPG) at that price and quality.
Rusties

Don Schultz -

Hi Guys:
I only have one question that I can't seem to find an answer to.
Can someone tell me what the recommended fuel octane rating is, I can't find it anywhere. The compression ratio is very high 10.5 to 1 I think, so I would expect high test is required. This would make the economy not as good as it first appears. Thanks for any and all answers!
Don.

Scott -

Just finalized my order for a new HB with the RS package. Had to have something to take a bit of the "cuteness" out of the car, which seemed to be the only issue with me deciding to buy the car. One question I do have, which was asked above, has anyone tried to carry a kyack on the roof? Image this would make for an interesting ride in any sort of wind conditions. Suppose I'll find out soon.
Scott.

wing -

octane rating is 87. just use regullar gas.

jpej -

Hello out there!

Well I just made my first long distance highway ride. I travelled 600 klms to find out that at a steady 100 klms hr I could get 47 miles to the gALLON WITH MY 2005hb. The ride was comfortable and surprisingly solid, even when meeting transport trucks. My car is the RS model and I realy appreciated the cassette cd fm radio on such a trip. I enjoy driving and again this is surprisingly a good driver's car...5 on the floor.

I thought I would share this with you. I just turned 3000 klms and am impressed a bit more every day.

Thanks for reading. Hope it helps you out.

Sunny day!

Gina -

Incredible...It is very moving to read what has been written here.

Last week I took my '95 Nissan Sentra in for its 120,000 mile service and was told that the poor thing is ready to "go to pasture" relatively soon.

So I have embarked on a week-long quest for a 'new' car. Never assuming I'd actually get a REAL new car (usually I buy rental-return cars...used for less than a year typically, and then the agency sells them w/ the rest of the warranty intact. I have had good results my last two cars), I THOUGHT I wanted another Sentra. BUT NO! After a little research I found it didn't do well in crash tests and its owner-satisfaction figures were no longer what they used to be. So I thought of Corolla and Echo.

I test drove a couple of Corollas, and this afternoon got to test drive the Echo Sedan. Hey!..It is all we have here in the Other CA (California)! I was not sure what to expect. The legroom was exactly the same as in the Corolla!! I have the legs of a 5' 10" person, so having room to be comfy and ready to react on the road is important.

No intermittant wiper was a small downer. But it sure was peppy! 1.5 liter is smaller than my current and former cars, but it had some vroom! I was impressed with the visibility and of course the price was great too.

Here's the diconcerting thing for Californians that you guys in Canada may not know-- we don't get new Echos at all in this state!!! Nope! I was told today at the dealership (in Berkeley, CA) that Toyota isn't allowing new ones to be sold here anymore (competition for the Scion). So I will either have to drive to Nevada for a sedan... or Heck! maybe I will take a Canadian vacation!

You are fortunate to be enlightened about non-gas-guzzlers. There are oh-so-many loopy SUV drivers down here...not to mention other large vehicles.

Consumer Reports Magazine just put out its April 2005 edition (the car issue) and said the Echo is "recommended". They state that the miles per gallon for a stick shift (avg. mixed driving conditions) is 38.

Regular in my area currently is running $2.39 a gallon. Thank you all for your postings! Congrats to you all!

David -

Hi Gina,

Glad you found Steven's site about this fun car.

We live in Washington State and own both an Echo Hatchback, 2004, and a Scion xA, 2005. They're both built on the same underpinnings, have the same track and wheelbase and the same engine. The Scion is slightly heavier and the final drive gearing is not as optimized for fuel economy as is the Echo HB. We get 40MPG (US Gallons) in the Echo and about 32 MPG in the Scion. Both are automatics driven similarly.

We love both cars, for slightly different reasons.

If you're interested in having an absolutely unique car, probably the only one in the State of California, it is possible to get an Echo HB from Canada and have it imported. It cannot be done through your local dealer though.

The reason the dealers in California may not be selling the Echo Sedan anymore is most likely a logical realization that the Scion is actually a better car, much better equipped than the Echo Sedan, for less money when similarly equipped. If you read customer reviews of the Scion (for instance at www.edmunds.com) you will see that the #1 comment is that the car is very well equipped for a great price and it has the quality and reliability one can expect from a Toyota.

David

Ian Wish -

Hello everyone,

First off... great review,

Anyway, a question for anyone out there... I am thinking of adding the option dealer installed Toyota Racing Development (TRD) performance suspension + lowering springs, cold air intake, performance exhaust, strut braces, sport seats, and front and rear sway bars. Has anyone opted for these parts and have any kind of independant review of them? or know where I could find one? It's impossible to test-drive the car in this configuration.

I've read a the few inadequet reviews on how writers think the individual parts will inprove the performance and their commments are obvious... but I'd like to hear from the average Joe/Jill how the whole package comes together and works for the everyday drive.

Please email me if you have any input (and forgive my spelling)!!
Cheers,
Ian

Craig Stanley -

I am thinking about buying a 2005 Echo hatch. I am recently retired & the gas Mileage is appealing...........HOWEVER....These liitle babies can get expensive when you start adding the "extras". Even a manual transmission model can get to $20,000 Cdn very quickly. A similarly equipped Matrix can be had for app. $3,000 more (if one needs a hatchback), & is a lot more car, even if it is more boring to drive.........Anyone looking at an Echo should check Toyota's EXTENDED warranty options........200,000 km 7 years can be added to an Echo for app $1,400. CDN......most other companies only go to 160,000, & at a much higher price...How is the winter heat in these hatchbacks....everyone mentions the great A/C....but for us northerners....HEAT in winter is also important

Babe -

Heating is not a problem. At -25C it takes less then 5 minutes before you can fell heat. It's really fast. In my opinion, the extended warranty is not interresting. Toyota is a very reliable product and you have to pay more to have it. Don't pay and extra above that.

Raza -

Can any one help me in getting owner's manual of Echo any site from where I can download that.

Matt -

Excellent reviews on this inexpensive incredible little car. Was thinking of purchasing the 2005 5dr. LE model, now I know I will. Everybody seems to say mostly positive things about the Echo hatchback. Naturally what impresses me most is the price. Different people say different things about it's looks, but in the end it's really a matter of personal taste. I for one love it- hatchback that is- the sedan..well, that's another story. Similar to the Pontiac Aztek story lol! I guess the only concern I have is whether the car has enough horses under the hood to avoid excessive engine strain in what will be mostly city driving. There seems to be mixed opinions here. Too bad it doesn't come with an optional V6. Yeah, I know- fuel economy out the window. Nevertheless it's nice to know you've got ample passing power when it's needed. Some would even argue that a V6 can be better on gas than a 4cyl. if the 4cyl has to work it's guts out everywhere you go.

Bennybob -

Hey there!

Great review of a great little car! I'm currently in the process of leasing a red 05 Echo Hatchback RS with A/T, Air, CD and Keyless Antitheft. Needless to say, I can barely contain myself!

A note about insurance rates...I just got off the phone with my agent and according to him, the Echo and the Corolla (which is our other car) both have a '10' rating. When asked why, he said they base it almost entirely on replacement value, which makes sense, considering we payed about $21,000 CDN for an 04 Corolla CE and will be paying about $20,500 for the new Echo. My wife and I are in our early 30s, so for us this means $1167 per year, per car, or about $200 a month total.

I've done a lot of digging for information about this car, and it really looks like a winner from every angle: great european looks, fantastic fuel economy, decent storage capacity (with back seats down), comfy and roomy interior, and world-class Toyota reliability. What more do you want?

I was originally considering a Smart ForTwo, which, in its own right, should be great little car, however, there are a number of areas where the Smart just doesn't cut it for me:

1. The storage is puny. With only 2.5 M from bumper to bumper, there is only room for two passengers and their groceries. Now some may argue that this minimalist approach is part of the ForTwo's appeal, but occasionally, I'm going to need to haul a TV or maybe even a third person! :O) It should also be noted that, because it's a hatchback, the Echo will carry much larger items than could ever fit into our Corolla eg. dog crate!

2. The passenger seat is not adjustable. Huh? From everything I've read, you can have it upright or lay it flat for more storage, but nothing in between.

3. Oddball gear shifting. You only have a choice of steering wheel mounted 'paddles' or quasi-automatic shifting. I don't mind learning a new way to drive, but my wife would never let me live it down... What's wrong with offering a straight automatic as an option?

4. Slower. Yes, it's got a little 3-banger, but it's also speed limited to 135km/h. I'm not sure if that's because the engine can't take it, or it's just not safe at anything higher that that speed.

5. Expensive. Okay, it's got some pretty neat features, like anti-this and that as well as interchangable body panels, but for what I'm getting on the Echo, it would have cost me almost $8000 more on the Smart! And I'm losing two seats!

6. Unavailable. It's a hot item right now and probably for the immediate future, but since it's only manufactured by one plant in France, the Smart ForTwo has at least a five-month waiting list. It's April. Summer's almost here. I need a car now, not when the fun's over.

And that's my little rant. Of course there are economic and environmental benefits to owning the Smart in the long run, but the differences are so negligable, that the Echo, IMO, is the hands down winner.

Anyway, enough of that, I should be picking up my little red pocket rocket in about a week or two. If I'm not too distracted, I might post some first impressions to add to this already impressive collection!

Happy motoring!

Bennybob -

Oh and Raza, here is the link for the promotional brochure. It's not a full owner's manual, but it's a start! Just copy and paste this URL into your browser window.

LINK

Dave -

Matt - re your concern about passing-ability: My Echo HB 5 speed somehow has great acceleration in 5th on the highway, I can easily go from 100 to 140 and passing is not a problem. Take it for a test and you'll see.

I've had the car for 9 months now and I'm still convinced that overall it's the best car on the road.

Sam Rogers -

Insurance (in response to bboy and bennybob)

Iâ??m 30, never had an accident, but Iâ??m paying $1,800 a year to insure my Echo Hatchback in Northern New Brunswick (at 15,000 km per year for leisure, 0 km to work). It would be $20 more if I had the two door versionâ?¦ One company wanted to charge me $3000! However, please note Iâ??m paying so much because I have not been insured continuously over the last 6 years (somehow that is important), I could have had it for $1100 per annum if that were the case.

If insurance is an issue (at those rates it should be), consider buying a used Echo sedan. Although apparently up here even used car drivers paid thru the roof. Iâ??d be curious about premiums in civilized parts of the country that have government insurance programs.

Doug Cherniwchan -

Hi,
I've had my red Echo hatchback for just over a year, and after 26,000km I can't begin to describe what a GREAT little car it is! I commute 130 km a day, and it averages 750-800km per tank of gas. I've never spent more than $35 CDN to fill it. It's comfortable, roomy inside, and quiet. It's got lots of zip and parks on a dime. It passed a northen Alberta winter with flying colors. It actually handles cold weather better than my '99 Dodge Ram 1500.
I've owned 11 GM vehicles and 1 Dodge over the last 31 years, but my Echo is by far the best and most fun car I've ever owned. I'd buy another Echo tomorrow.

Bob -

May 11, 2005

I am about to purchase a '05 Echo 4 door hatchback and was interested in Steve's review which is a great site. Could not believe all the responses!! I am leaning towards having undercoating and paint protection when my new baby arrives. Any feedback out there? Is it necessary and about what should I expect to pay?
Thanks. Bob

Echomania -

Hi Everyone!
I've had my 2dr red Echo Hatchback for 1 month and I still have ½ tank left from when I picked it up at the dealership and lemme tell ya, I've zoomed around in it quite a bit! I was the ultimate non-believer that when it came to small compact/hatchback cars, that there's no way it would ever be roomy/comfortable. Boy was I wrong! My dad (biggest pessimist when it comes to small cars) "wowed when he sat in the front and back seats! Lots of leg room and head space! Car's got amazing pick-up. My insurance wasn't so bad after I shopped around for awhile ($750/yr)and trust me, you need to shop around (rates varied from $1200 to $2800.!)But I digress from the actual performance of the car. Although the hatchback is small for some people, I've managed to stack about 12 grocery bags with no problem and without putting the back seats down! My 1993 Saturn which I loved was "set out to pasture" and I had intended to buy another one until my sister bought a ION lemon, not to mention the numerous recalls on it. I researched compact cars for 3 weeks, test drove about 15 cars and was sold on the Echo..which was the 1st one I tried. Only bad experience I had with Toyota were the salesmen! I went to 3 dealerships and I tell ya, they need customer service training! Horrible!But I bought the car for it's performance and reviews. Yeah that rude salesman got his commission but I do have the last word now that I received the Toyota Canada Experience survey :D!

Anyways, if you're looking into the Echo Hatchback....look at all the previous reviews on this awesome site and you will agree with me that you will be very happy you bought one!

Terry Stone -

I received my 2005 Blue Echo 5 door Hatchback this week. I ordered it in a 5 speed, CD and Air. The last car that I had that was so much fun to drive was a 1980 Renault 5 (Le Car). The Echo is wonderful and after having a truck the gas savings alone pays for itself. It has lots of pep with the 5 speed, handles well but having such a short wheel base you do feel the city street pot holes. All in all I love my Echo.

Stuart Goddard -

G-Day all. We just purchased a second hand Echo hatch back (2001)with 64,ooo km on the clock for my wife. The trouble is I like driving it so much she does'nt get to drive it very often. It's in as new condition and all those of you buying new one's will be very happy with them if ours is any thing to go by. It seems we may get a better deal here in Australia (which is unusual)because it came standard with power steering, remote central locking and digital gauges with tacho which look pretty wild. It's also fitted with A/Con, drivers air bag and seat belt pre-tensioners. These little cars rated very well in the international safety ratings. We are also offered the US style sedans (ugh, they are so ugly) but it seems only sensible old ladies buy them. The fuel economy is fantastic (my other car is a Landcruiser) and there are no leaks underneath. The dealer even threw in 12 months warranty which I think shows his confidence in it's reliability. Interior room? I'm 6'7" and I can drive it no problems, and it's a manual. Enough said there. Hope this has been of some help and or intrest. Any questions or comments please just drop me a line.
Thanks for the site, it's excellent.

Tim Walker -

Hey! i just received an email from Toyota Canada regarding the new 2006 Echo. it's a little
vague but it's something read the email on my site.

David M -

Hi

I test drove a Echo automatic. It will be my next car. I want a manual, no A/C and I can't imagine that power steering would be necessary. It looks like it will have to be a special order. It would be nice to have operational windows in the 3 door or at least pop out (I wonder about the 2006 version). My kids will complain if they can't open a window occasionally in the back.

Has anyone special ordered a 5 dr ECHO without the power steering option ?

CJ -

RESPONSE TO DAVID M....I HAVE AN 2004 H/B,CE MODEL.....5 SPEED, A/C....POWER STEERING IS NOT NECESSARY UNLESS YOU'RE A PARALLEL-PARKING PIZZA DELIVERER. THE MANUAL STEERING HAS GREAT FEEL...ONE LESS BELT AND AT LEAST ONE MORE MILES PER GALLON....ONE ISSUE THOUGH...THE MANUAL STEERING BASE MODEL ONLY COMES IN A 2 DOOR.....AND HAS NO REAR WIPER.....I JUST USE RAIN X TO KEEP THE REAR WINDOW CLEAR.....

Marcus -

Phenomenal car
I rented one and drove it over 1000km from Kelowna through to Whistler and all over Van Island. Handles better than 05 Corolla and Matrix (these felt like driving minivans).
So I went out and bought a 05 - 5 door 5-speed (555) and as pleased as piss. Was concerned about having to upgrade tire size - not an issue. Roof rack is nice, as is everything else people above have mentioned. My only gripe are the seats - seemed a bit cheap so I bought Toyota seat covers which are very much worth it.

All in all - outstanding value. Don't let paranoid fearmongers talk you out of this car (it's too small, what if you got into an accident etc). Its our culture to buy bigger and equate with safer.
In reality the interior of this thing is larger than many domestic road hogs like the Grand Am, Malibu etc. So to contrarians - lets see who is right when gas hits $2/litre...
mn

Doug -

I purchased a 2004 HB, 5 SPD. with A/C and Cruise. I am totally impressed. It surpasses EVERYTHING I ever wanted in a small package. But I, like a lot of owners, have but one gripe. Why in the world did Toyota EVER think of leaving the TACHOMETER out of the Cdn. model? It seems that we Cdn's are the only ones forgotten with regard to this feature. Has anyone found a way around this? Maybe someone has a 2005 pod. Other than that, the car is EVERYTHING one comes to expect from Toyota, reliability, good looks, great gas economy, and the name one can TRUST....... TOYOTA

mn -

All 2005 Echos have tach. This can be manually added (aftermarket)although engine signature is a pretty good sign to shift (no need).

CJ -

RESPONSE TO MARCUS......I'M 6'4"...AND I FOUND THAT BY PUTTING 4 OR 5 WASHERS BETWEEN THE FLOOR AND THE FRONT TWO SEAT ANCHORS (GIVING THE SEAT A SLIGHT TILT BACK)...THAT THE WHOLE SEAT IS A MORE COMFORTABLE RIDE.

SINCE I HAVE A '04 HATCH IT HAS NO TACH....TWO QUESTIONS TO THOSE WITH A TACH...WHAT ARE YOUR IDLE RPM'S FOR A 5 SPEED..????...AND WHAT ARE THE RPM'S @ 100 KPH FOR A 5 SPEED..???

CJ

lazybeam -

I was searching online to find how to adjust the clock in one of these things...

I'm in Australia too, my work car has the CD player and I can't figure out how to change the time on it, it's about 13 minutes fast.

If anyone wants to email me, take out the dashes from my domain name. (It's a catch-all)

PS, Stuart Goddard, I'm 200cm tall too, and I doubt work would have paid more than the minimum and our Echo has remote central locking, aircon, power steering, 4 speaker CD player, digital dash (with the handy mirror thingy which make it appear further away than a normal dash, meaning less work to focus between it and the road) and some handy lights near the rear-view mirror. Only tonight in my google search have I seen analogue dashes - and it would appear to be funny to look to the right instead of the left.

Adam Burry -

Someone asked about the value of the undercoating, but no one answered. I live in Newfoundland where they use a lot of salt in the winter. Is the under coating worth it for rust protection? How about for reducing road noise?

Adam

Richard Haines -

Toyota Canada has announced that they will replace the existing Echo hatchback based on the Platz/Vitz/Yaris platform this fall with the new Vitz/Yaris currently on sale in Japan and Europe. Toyota has hinted that the Echo hatchback will be renamed 'Yaris' for the Canadian domestic marketplace. The 'ugly' sedan is known as the Platz in Japan and Yaris sedan in Aruba.

Richard Haines -

Sorry that should read www.echodrivers.com

Annie Stirling -

Well, Steve,
I'm a Canadian living in Mexico, presently in England for six months. Have been researching the Yaris for weeks and have never found such an informative and thought provoking web-site as yours...
congrats on chosing a great bride and a great car! I loved your pictures...can't wait to test drive the Echo in Toronto in October and buy one in Guadalajara when I get back home...Still wishing I could find a way to buy it in Canada and broker it to Mexico with a Mexican licence plate.
Thanks sooooooo much for your site...it is awesome!
Annie

Dave -

I just wanted to point out that the turn signals over the front fenders are actually not a feature borrowed from VW. The Echo is primarily designed for Japanese(where it's called the Vitz) and European(Yaris) markets in which every vehicle must have an amber turn signal in that same area. They didn't bother to remove the turn signal for sales in Canada, no point plus it makes the car more visible. :-)

ed -

Hello. I'm new here but I see I'm in good company. I've had my '04 hatch since August of '04 and have logged 42,900 km's since. I'm need my car for work and as such, I've put it through the paces. Recently, I was on a road trip from Calgary, AB to Farmington, New Mexico and back. Here's the details:
7 Days
5713 kms
4 Snow storms
1 Hail Storm (3 inch diameter stones!! - ouch!!)
$163.00 U.S. in fuel.
9 Mountain passes over 10,000 ft.

I had 790 lbs of payload on board (in the Hatch, footwells etc..) and it handled 80 MPH no problem.

Suggestion: Install a K & N Airfilter (Part #33-2211)in the stock air box and you will see an improvement in the torque when climbing hills and an improvement in performance off the line.

Over all I can't be happier. Lots of room (I'm 6'3" and 230 lbs), great fuel economy, and good performance from the stock engine (although I will be opting for the bolt on supercharger when it comes out next year, I'm already saving my money).

eugen -

my odometer stops is it possible fix it by myself

André -

Hi,

I enjoyed your article on the Echo, its so true what you say.

We bought our Echo Hatchback while on a trip to Québec City in September 2003. Our Neon let us down during our trip. We tested the Echo and fell in love with it so we bought it. The people in the Province of Quebec love the car and its a big seller there. Quebec has lots of mountains and the winters are terrible. As for the Echo, it seems quite at home in the mountains and in winter.

We filled it up before leaving Québec City and drove all the way to Ottawa on one tank of gas. Since it was brand new, we didn't push it too much.

Last year, we drove from Ottawa to Kitchener on one tank. Then from Niagara Falls to Ottawa on onother tank.

Last week we left St Thomas Ontario and drove to Ottawa, 643 Kms one way and only one tank of gas.

Gas in our area is $.94 a litre. When I got to my destination in Ottawa, we had driven 643 Kms and still had gasoline in the tank to take us shopping the following day. The tank contains 45 litres when full. We used a total of 37.8 litres from St Thomas to Ottawa. The 643 kms trip cost us a little over $33. We had lots of money left over to eat in the finest restaurants instead of feeding the car with costly fuel.

The car is fun to drive and on highway 401, I had no trouble keeping up with traffic at 115-120 kms an hour. I did push it to 140 kms for a short distance but that was calling for trouble so I brought it down to 120 kms.

If I really push the little car to its limit, I believe that I can get pretty close to 700 kms on one full tank providing I don't exceed 120 kms an hour.

In winter, I install 4 winter tires and remove them in the Spring. Winter tires are recommended on all four wheels. They are softer and make it easier and safer to drive on snow and ice when the weather reaches minus 20C.

My wife and I enjoy driving our little Echo Hatchback, be it short or long distances.

André from Ottawa, Ontario Canada.

Diane -

I am looking at buying an Echo HatchBack, but am wondering if it is possible to put one of those luggage racks on this car? How bad is the lack of space in the back? I need something that can hold two kids and some luggage.
Thanks for any input.
Diane

Tim Delaney -

Hi Steve (and the rest of the folks who've posted replies),

Thanks for your review and your comments. I read your review prior to leasing our '05 hatchback LE and it gave me more confidence in our decision. We've only had the car two weeks and have filled the tank twice. First go 'round we got 46.7 mpg (Canadian!), while we got 49.2 mpg on the second tank. That's in mixed (mostly highway) driving. And, that's with the automatic transmission.

I'm really impressed with the quality, space and comfort. It's replaced my '84 Mercedes 300SD as my favourite car and now I'm considering selling it!

Excellent review, excellent car,

Tim Delaney
Stewiacke, NS, Canada
2005 ECHO Hatchback LE, black 3 dr, auto, air

ED FRASER -

I've bought the 2004 Hatchback with the R.S package new. The trick to understanding this car is simple..it LOVES to rev. and it holds it own against some pretty meaty competetion bearing that philosophy in mind. As far as the no tach(now in the 2005 and on) goes you get to know the approximate rpm by feel. On gas mileage ..it depends how it is driven.I have a heavy foot so don't do as well as others might but it's hard not to "play" when driving.If this car is "weak"(breakable) in any department as far as the running gear goes I have yet to find it. I also have the stock Mp3 player and sub woofer. I wish I had sprung for the mags and exhaust in retrospect.I have tested the Corolla(and others) against it and well....in one word it lacks...FUN! and fun is what the Echo H/B is all about! What a riot and needless to say when driven lightly gets 1,000,000 miles to the gallon. People stop and ask what is it and how cute it is. For the price ..hands down..the best bang for your small car buck. One question to those in the know ...where can I get a the Vita symbol to replace the stock Echo that is on the back hatch.
Thanks, Harry.

ED FRASER -

Sorry folks..I meant Vitz or the Yaris sticker(I can't think of the correct term right now..but it isn't sticker...lol) to replace the chrome Echo sign, label etc. on the back hatch. Thank you.

J. MacDonald -

Thank you so much for this site.This is some much more informative and personal than the professional ones. As I research I have inquired about insurance. I reside in Southwestern On.Vehicles are rated in a class of 1-5-Echo being a 5 (highest), Collision is 24,25 or 28 (sedan,hb3 and 5)respectively average is about 20 Comprehension 11,15,13. I travell less than 5km to work for $1532/yr and if more than 5km $1691/yr (HB) 1444/1599 (Sedan). I am the only driver and have all applicable discounts. I also inquired about the Corolla and Mazda 3 and they were in the same ball park figure.
Hope this helps.

Roberto Calleja -

Hi,

I have read most of the reviews dating back to 2004. It was really informative and it would have given a clear picture on the Echo even without ever knowing about it.

I am myself thinking about purchasing the Echo Sedan, here in Malta its called the Platz. Most of the driving here is city style and fuel economy, comfort and reliability are things im searching for. From what i have read, i have nothing to fear regarding the latter two.

However, i was wondering if it makes a lot of difference when it is a sedan. The Echo sedan is longer and i guess heavier than the echo hatch.

Does it consume more fuel?
Does turning on the A/C reduce a lot its performance?
How does it cope with a load of 4 people+some luggage?
Remember im talking about the 1 litre engine.

Having read your comments, if there is a place i can get an answer, its here. Please let me know either via this site or by email.

Thank you in advance for your help.

chuck -

I'm thinking of buying an Echo RS. Loading it with the lowering springs, K/N filter, Borla exhaust, cold air intake.

Does anyone have any data concerning the improved handling and performance, ie. passing, 0-100K/h times?

NOUMAN YOUSAF -

HI ALL,

I am looking for Right hand manul toyota corolla,camry,echo hatchback or saloon models between 2003 and up if any body selling it pls e mail me .

Thnaks!

SALEEM JAFRI -

I WISH TO BE A PROUD OWNER OF SUCH A BEAUTIFUL CUTE CAR....................CALLED TOYOTA ECHO

MikeCapone -

My girlfriend has bought a blue, 4 doors, 2005 Echo Hatcback last july, and my sister has just bought a 2005 4 doors RS. Both seem very happy with their cars and the fuel economy has been particularly impressive. Even my father was impressed by a test drive. Personally, I'm waiting for the next generation to come out (which is basically the new Yaris), and then I'll consider it along with the new Civic and maybe the Honda Fit, depending on when it comes out.

Roberto -

Thanks Mike, good to know. Although was confused when u said 4 doors and then hatchback, coz i immagined 4 doors to be a sedan.

Any idea about power? When i discussed with my friends, they said that since its a small engine, it might be rather burdened with A/C and even more when one has 2 or 3 passengers. Do you know anything about it?

Thanks

Dave -

For lots of information about the ECHO/YARIS/VITZ and mods, performance and discussions...a good resource is www.echodrivers.com
Use the search engine for specific discussions about various topics.

Bernie -

Just wanted to tell you that the US will be getting the Yaris (Echo Hatchback) in early 2006. It's a new body style and is slightly bigger than the last model. It can seat 5.

Mary -

I've had my 2004 3-Dr HB (red) for 1 1/2 years now, and I absolutely love it. I do both city and highway driving, as I live and work in Halifax, Nova Scotia, but have family in New Brunswick that I visit regularly. I also drove to Ontario this summer. The gas mileage is terrific - on my last tank I drove 689 km on 31.62L of gas - that works out to 21.79 km/L (I have no idea what that works out to in MPG)!

Handling on the highway is pretty good, and the performance at speeds b/w 120-130 is just as good as around 100 km/h. I drove it all last winter and had no problem with snow or ice in the city or on the highway. I also found that the interior heats up quickly because of its size - great for those cold, cold mornings!

I find the car is very comfortable, and with the seats folded down has lots of room for anything I might want to carry, even a small refrigerator!

As far as leg room, I'm a high school teacher and have one student who is over 6'6". He took driving lessons last year in an Echo HB and found that he had no problem fitting in and being comfortable while he was driving - he is trying to convince his parents to buy one! I also agree with a comment up above that the back seat also has a surprising amount of leg room - none of my passengers have ever complained about a lack of leg room, even when my front seat passenger and the person behind them have both been close to or just over 6' tall.

I love my little hatchback - his name is Artoo - I think he is the cutest car in the world and I wouldn't trade him for anything!

Daniel -

The car is great, It zips real nice! I have the 5 door hatchback edition, manual transmission. Ive run it up to 190km/h on the 401 in Toronto. Don't tell the police!!! Great car tho! Very fuel efficent! I love it!

Selina -

I'm doing a budget project for school and was wondering what the depost for this car would be? I looked at a lot of other models and fuel wise/stability I figuer this one would be better long term.
Thanks!

Jeff -

I am picking up my '05 5 dr LE convienience this Saturday (last one that was left in black/5sp/air, in all of Canada!!!) and am very excited. I am curious about the talk of a possible supercharger availability and cannot get any info. Can someone comment and also share their performance improvement stories? I would love to turn it into a pocket rocket as well as help the enviroment....LOL

glen -

Glad to see this board is still up. I havent been here for awhile.
Wanted to see the buzz the Yaris is making. I havent bought one yet (just a motorcycle to zip around town) Hard to beat that kind of gas mileage though.
the Yaris looks promising......

jeff -

Just came back from a 1500 km jaunt to Montreal and I have to say that the performance on my 05 stick is better than expected (glad I puchased the convienience LE pack with the cruise). After the 1st 1000 km decided to bring her up to 150 km/hr.... in fourth!!! I gave her a few higher rev runs through the gears and found the puppy quite responsive. Must be the 125 km average and the high rev runs that kept my mileage to 6.5 lt/100 km...LOL. Still waiting for any performance improvement stories.

Dave -

Jeff,
Join http://www.echodrivers.com/ and you'll have a great resource for performance issues with this car. There will be a lot of jealous people on that forum if you mention you've just purchased the last '05 in all of Canada.

Jean -

Awesome site, thanks everyone for all the great stories. Might have to consider this as a companion for my '97 Ford Aerostar... which I love dearly but I'll now be able to save for sleeping-in trips and house-moving ventures. I'm wondering about the Echo's load-carrying capacity on a roof rack- several people have asked so far, but no-one has answered yet. Can this car carry a canoe on top? or preferably, two canoes? And how would it do in a wind with something on top? Otherwise I may have to go with a Corolla... Also, how's the clearance? Can you take it over a slightly bad road? Does it have a rain gutter, and/or can you attach a Thule/Yakima style roof rack?
I have a friend with a Camry wagon with over 750,000 km on it, so I know a Toyota is a good investment! But does anyone know anything about the Honda Insight? It's at the top of the fuel economy list by far...

jeff -

Dave,
I said the last black 5 door stick w/ air and LE convenience package (includes security/key entry/cruise/etc....plus I took the MP3 CD player which sucks with all the speakers in front). I will definetly be looking into some 6x9 speakers in the hatch cover which will quick release on those rare times I need the cover out and have the rear seats down.
Have you seen the new Yaris commercial? No talk... just a 360 degree spin with a gas hose plugged in...funny and the message gets across to buyers with our current gas prices. No sour grapes, but I think the echo is cuter, although on the Yaris the radio/cd is located higher in a better position. BTW Dave, thanks for the link. I surfed around and found more info on a supercharger unit they use on the european model. No specs however, and apparently won't fit ours (boo hoo) but the unit is VERY expensive around like 8 grand!!! I'm starting to rethink performance upgrades and maybe just go with the rally spoiler, cold air intake, performance exaust and "styled" side skirting with a chance for the TRD lowering/handling kit... all from toyota. Also some ASA 17" rims ($129 each) and special order BF Goodrich 40 series tires ($249 each....but KICK ASS!!!) from Canadian Tire. Will wait for spring though. I think the new Michelins that came with her will be fine for the first winter, but will use the stock rims and covers for winters next year.
I am still waiting for the dealership to phone me regarding my ECHO seat covers and front plexiglass stone chip piece that they are supposed to be installing when the seatcovers come off backorder.
Talk at ya later.

TomR. -

I bought my Echo in Feburary of 2000, when they first hit the American market. It's an automatic, with overdrive. The Echo has been a fantastic car. We live in Schenectady, NY, so we get some snow in the winter. I've never put snows on the car. Currently, my Echo has 65,000 miles. Original brakes, battery, and exhaust. NO engine or transmission problems. No rust, in fact, the paint job still looks like new, even though it's never seen the inside of a garage. My wife wants me to get a Prius but it would be foolish to do so; this car gets 37mpg in the city and we've gotten as high as 50mpg on the highway. Spending $22,000 on a Prius to get the better mileage would foolish because the savings in gas would be overwhelmed by the actual car payments. (The Echo is PAID FOR!) I've owned Toyotas since 1977; all but one, a 1994 pickup, have been excellent vehicles. (The pickup's engine blew at 87,000 miles; quite a surprising dissapointment.) If you need a reliable vehicle, a used Echo might be a real bargain! No, I'm not selling mine.

CJ -

WELL DEAR FOLK...THE ECHO IS DEAD...REPLACED BY THE YARIS....IT WEIGHS MORE...IT HAS MARGINALLY MORE ROOM THAN THE ECHO HATCHBACK I HAVE.....AND EXACTLY EQUIPED AS MY 2004...WOULD COST $4000.00 MORE (ICL TAXES)...AND IT GETS 5 MPG (CDN) LESS...!!!!!!!!

WHAT IS TOYOTA THINKING...??????....BRING US (NORTH AMERICANS) THE YARIS DIESEL....THAT CAR WILL MAKE UP FOR ALL OF THESE INDISCRETIONS.......

jeff -

pssssst......CJ
I have seen the yaris and it....shhhh.....IS THE ECHO with some minor changes...has to be the same milage, and base price has gone up $400 not $4000 dollars ($12995 to $13495). Same VVT-I engine...etc....but not quite as cute as the Echo hatchback.
I'v heard the States will be getting the 3 door only...BOO WOO......lol
Totally agree with a diesel option as long as it didn't cost tons more!

Willys -

Hi Guys:
I have just recently bought a 2005 Echo HB 3 door silver 5 speed base model car!! Fantastic!!!! As they say on TV!!! I bought it mainly for looks and economy! Plus I like the English style of cars, being from England. I regularly get 48mpg highway or roughly 850km per tank! How can anyone complain about those types of numbers???? I am extremely pleased with all aspects of this vehicle except I wish the stereo was a bit better. I can fix that one easily myself buy installing my stereo from another vehicle I have!800watts should do it!!!...not that I'm a music nut or anything just like the occasional oldies a bit louder than average. I'm looking forward to the winter driving experience, I've installed the winter snows already and have had it Rust checked , changed the wipers, put in seat covers,rubber floor mats( which I now think may not be enough, so I'll take out the factory floor mats and make up completely covering floor mats underneath the rubber ones)I'd hate to have those neat floor mats wrecked by that salt! The new Yaris isn't as nice to look at in my opinion. Maybe it will be next year when it has time to grow on me! I think the HB Echo is a better looking car by far. As for the diesel engined vesion Echos, untill the fuel companies start producing high grade diesel it won't be brought here from what I was told. The diesel sold here isn't good enough to get the diesel engines to run efficiently. I went to England this summer and rented a diesel car similar to the Echo,a Reneulf(? spelling has gone)Cleo, it was what sold me on the size and overal small car package and only wish they had diesel here too!! The thing went forever on a tank of fuel!!!!
I also thought of the supercharger and also found it expensivebut only around the $4000 mark, and was told it would fit. Still not worth it. I have thought about just going over and getting one off of an older Yaris in England and bringing it back in my suitcase!!! lol I'm sure the emissions test would soon ruin that idea though.
Anyway I can't say enough good things about this little car and am very happy that I finally spent the money to get one!!!

CJ -

YEPPERS...$500 BASE INCREASE...NO SPLIT FOLDING REAR SEATS...HAVE TO GO UP TO HIGHER PRICED MODEL....NO ABS ON BASE MODEL....5 MPG LESS...400 POUNDS MORE.....THE MOVE FROM THE ECHO TO THE YARIS COULD BE A LOT MORE PALITABLE IF TOYOTA HAD MADE THE SAME LEAP INTO SOMETHING THAT EVEN MORE UTILITARIAN AND GOT 70 MPG...NOW THAT'S PROGRESS....!!!!!.....THE YARIS IS A YAWNER....

Lisa Bevis -

Can anyone recommend a great dealer for Yaris hatchback in the Vancouver area? I live in Los Angeles but am liking what I hear about the Yaris and would like to fly up and check them out. Sounds like everything I want - economical on gas, lots of storage space, 5 doors, easy to get gear in and out - and cute to boot! Also, for those who live in US and bought in Canada - do I need special permits or to pay something extra to bring it into the USA?
Thanks!

Orion -

Just a note. If you want this car in the US, I believe the Chevrolet Aveo is mechanically the same car.

dAVE -

The Chevrolet AVEO is absolutely not the same car. You're totally mistaken.

Jeff -

Heya Orion,
Better take another look bro....Aveo is old tech and smaller int., no VVt-i eng or anything, plus less performance and mileage. Spend your money wisely and get the bargain of the opening price point Toyota. I believe that the 3 door Yaris is coming to the US or better yet...find a used Echo hatch or '05 if you can find any. Very cheap extended warranty's available on the '05's. I bought a 72 month, 160,000 km bumper to bumper!!! for $1199 including 6 years of roadside assistance and first 4 oil changes.

LT -

GIVE US THE YARIS RS!!!!!
TOYOTA USA!!!!!!!!!!!

Andre DeMerchant -

I leased a 2004 Echo hatchback RS in the spring of 2004. Since than I have put just over 50,000 miles (about 84,000kms currently) on that car and most of that is highway miles........I work south of Detroit but visit family in Canada about every 2 weeks, a 4 1/2 hour drive each way. Best fuel mileage I have had consistently is 48mpg and that is at speeds of 70~75 mph (~125km/hr). I am fairly big guy at just over 6 feet and I find it quite comfortable for these trips. It also holds a ton of gear, including a complete drum set. It has all the cool stuff you need....CD player, air conditioning, automatic. I like it so much that 6 months later I leased another one for my girlfriend!!!

jeff murray -

Hey all. 14000 k's on the lil black beauty now and went to Virginia Beach and back on $114 CDN in gas...most fill up in the States and US$ converted to reflect total. None of my friends can believe what this "half a car" can hold (all of my big DJ equip and lighting, have to use the side mirrors though LOL) or the performance and great gas mileage I am getting.
Jeff

Tim Delaney -

Someone asked how the ECHO HB handled the slush and snow. I've only got 23,000km on the original all season tires, but I drive it with confidence. It can drive circles around our 2002 Saturn VUE (front wheel drive). Obviously, the major problem would be getting hung up in the snow.

It's been a fantastic car!

Tim Delaney
Stewiacke, NS Canada
2005 ECHO 3-dr hatchback LE, auto, black sand pearl, 23,000km

Carol -

Just found this site and have read all comments. Very interesting!

In a very stressful situation at the moment. Toyota dealership is holding a 2005 Echo HB 4-dr until tomorrow. Asking 16,995.00. They bought out the lease for the lady that brought it back for $14,850.26.

Has A/C, auto, power door locks. Also 4600 kms. What do I do? Am driving a '95 Civic HB at the moment. The thing that pisses me off is it hasn't got power windows and I really wanted that.

Did they come with that option? Compared to the new Yaris not much price difference but have to content with freight, shipping costs.

How has everyone found the reliability of these cars to date? Any problems?

Can only get them to budge $870.00 so far, but haven't really made them a serious offer. It's about $2000.00 more than I think it should be.

Any advice?

John -

Hey nice review im just wondering if you knew the model of dat car audio player. I have just installed a dvd player and im planning to sell the default one and i want to know how much its worth. Please reply

edron -

i got an Echo 2004 1.3 L... very satisfied. i just want to ask how much quantity i should put for engine oil ? every when do u usualy change engine oil? what do u recommend: 20/50 or synthetic ?

Dave -

Have been looking at a second car for the family. We had a 92 VW Jetta and found trunks to be a pain. So we are opting for the hatch. Oh and 4 doors is a must with kids. I have been looking and trying to find a system when pricing used Echo's and this is what I have come up with. (we are going used to save $5000). Automatics cost $1000 more than 5 speed stick. Air conditioning another $1200. When comparing used vs used, there should be a differnce of $1000 for every 10,000 km on the spedo. Expect to pay $15-15,500 (asking $16,900)for a good used automatic from a dealer with air, CD/MP3, 30,000km. If its a standard with the same options $14-14,500. Again, depending on how the person has taken care of it. There are alot of rental return vehicles purchased by dealers at auctions, so automatics are easy to find. Standards are scarce. It seems most people who buy Echos know they are going to be keeping them for a while. ANyone have another system?

canecho -

Hi,

The original review is great. I've had my Toyota Echo Hatchback for 8 months now and have put on 22000 kms. It has been a great car, one of the few cars that I fit in well (I'm 6'7"). The car is great on gas and handles well on all types of roads (I've driven mine in the city, on highways, on winding rough country roads). I average 5.6 L/100km with all sorts of driving conditions and habits. The wind does knock it around but it's not that bad. I've driven it through many snowy days (not as bad as Steven Garraty's) and it handled very well with four good snow tires. The trunk is small, but I rarely use it anyways. I've also found a tub at Wallmart that fits perfectly and allows for extra storage in the car (I think it's designed for under beds). Also I agree with the person who said there is a lot of room around the spare to hide jumper cables etc. plus there is a lot of places in the car to store things. If you want a good reliable car that handles very well in all conditions get this car.
Also, Toyota is opening a new plant in Canada and in Texas, and are rated one of the top employers in Canada, so the old thing about north american Cars doesn't work anymore. My home town produces Toyotas and they are an amazing employer and company.

Kevin -

Hey Steve, you ever filled up your car with Sunoco Ultra 94? I notice that my Echo runs better on that than 87 octane. Am wondering if any of you experience the same or if it's just me.

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