RogerB HalfDork
Jan. 12, 2012 1:57 p.m.

After having 2 cars totalled in a span of 26 days (neither my fault), I'm trying to find a daily driver. Shooting for Cheap, Economical, and Reliable. I found a 2000 Echo that's in my price range. I remember someone on here several years ago autox'ed one. Anybody have any experience with them? Any aftermarket, or rather, what parts for other Toyota's will fit?

Jan. 12, 2012 2:24 p.m.

We rented an Echo in St. Thomas. It was ok. It was just the thing for St. Thomas and St. Johns roads which are narrow and twisty. Never had a chance to explore its limits due to dense traffic and a nervous passenger.

nderwater SuperDork
Jan. 12, 2012 2:27 p.m.

Cost of ownership is very low, but that's the only real positive. It's about the least interesting car in its class in terms of driving experience. You can do better. What's your price range?

RogerB HalfDork
Jan. 12, 2012 2:35 p.m.

Right now, $3K. I'm expecting more for "pain and suffering", but don't know how much, or how long it's going to take, and I need something soon. I'm finding Civics in that range, but a lot of them are riced out or in rough shape.

Jan. 12, 2012 3:14 p.m.

Am I to assume that the US never got the Echo hatchbacks at all?

I saw a TRD badged 2dr Echo hatch with some sort of awesome, subtle body kit at the Trader Joes a few weeks ago and kinda fell in love with it.

It looked similar to this but in white

RogerB HalfDork
Jan. 12, 2012 3:26 p.m.
ditchdigger wrote: Am I to assume that the US never got the Echo hatchbacks at all? I saw a TRD badged 2dr Echo hatch with some sort of awesome, subtle body kit at the Trader Joes a few weeks ago and kinda fell in love with it. It looked similar to this but in white

Nope, just Coupe and Sedan. I never knew a hatchback existed, although I never really paid any attention to them until now. That thing looks pretty cool!

spnx
spnx New Reader
Jan. 12, 2012 3:36 p.m.

This guy didn't catch me (Atlantic Motorsports Park in Nova Scotia), but he was much quicker than I expected!

I actually have an Echo as a beater DD. It's dull as dishwater. You'll never get a ticket, but it's bulletproof and I get 50 mpg in it (Imperial gallons, I'm in Canada).

I think it's a great car to save money in and I'm realistic that you're not getting much more out of it than that. It also holds a surprising amount, which is a nice bonus.

motomoron HalfDork
Jan. 12, 2012 3:49 p.m.

Ughh.

Even if all you want is a transportation appliance, at least you can get one that's remotely interesting or at minimum has it's instrument cluster where it belongs.

Friends don't let friends buy Echos.

spnx
spnx New Reader
Jan. 12, 2012 3:52 p.m.

Having it is instrument cluster in the centre isn't so bad.

DeadSkunk Dork
Jan. 12, 2012 3:56 p.m.

Canada got the hatchbacks. Occasionally, I see one in Ann Arbor and it has Ontario plates. It's that same blue as the pics above and looks quite good on some 15" wheels. Can't speak to the vehicle dynamics though.

Zomby woof SuperDork
Jan. 12, 2012 4:01 p.m.
spnx wrote: Having it is instrument cluster in the centre isn't so bad.

I really liked that. It seemed perfectly natural to me. Not what I was expecting.

I think they're fine as a commuter, but don't stand up when run hard.

spnx, are you sure that's an Echo behind you?

Stealthtercel
Stealthtercel HalfDork
Jan. 12, 2012 4:23 p.m.

I read a review of the Yaris when it came out that said, "at least it doesn't have the huge turning circle that was such a pain in the Echo." This seems odd, and I would be happy to have somebody set me straight, but I thought I should mention it if we're talking about a DD appliance.

plance1 Dork
Jan. 12, 2012 5:09 p.m.
RogerB wrote: After having 2 cars totalled in a span of 26 days (neither my fault), I'm trying to find a daily driver. Shooting for Cheap, Economical, and Reliable. I found a 2000 Echo that's in my price range. I remember someone on here several years ago autox'ed one. Anybody have any experience with them? Any aftermarket, or rather, what parts for other Toyota's will fit?

I remember the dude. Any car is ok as long as it serves your needs but the guy got on here demanding that "it was time to show respect" for his choice of cars, at first I thought he was joking but at some point he came out as one with short man syndrome and was annoyed because no one else felt Echo love. There far too weird looking for me but some would say that about most of the cars I owned. Personally, I would look for something a little better.

spnx
spnx New Reader
Jan. 12, 2012 5:13 p.m.
spnx, are you sure that's an Echo behind you?

Absolutely. I know it looks like it could be a Suzuki, but it is an Echo hatchback.

Jan. 12, 2012 5:30 p.m.

The only one that I drove was the 1st one that I had seen in person. It was a rental in Nassau , Bahamas. It drove ok and did not get damaged when my copilot hit a big dog with it. That is all that I can add.

sethmeister4 New Reader
Jan. 12, 2012 5:32 p.m.

Always were too tall for my tastes....the old Tercels were way cooler than the Echo. And the Yaris is way better still. Can't speak for the driving dynamics, I just always thought they were awfully weird looking...but then again, it's hard to argue with 50 mpg's!

@spnx-- Hey, a fellow Nova Scotian! I was born and raised in Yarmouth, but have lived in the US since 98. Where is Atlantic Motorsports Park?

spnx
spnx New Reader
Jan. 12, 2012 6:08 p.m.

It's in Shubenacadie.

Nova Scotia's just one of the places I've lived - I'm in Saskatchewan now :)

irish44j Dork
Jan. 12, 2012 6:58 p.m.

I once rode with a good local autocrosser, who usually drives a Miata, in his wife's stock Echo on course when the Miata broke down. I did a ridealong to show him the course since he got there too late to walk it. He drove it "flatout" and it was the scariest thing I've ever done in my life. At least on 10 occasions (on the same run) I swore it was going to roll over, but somehow it didn't.

Travis_K SuperDork
Jan. 12, 2012 7:45 p.m.

My neighbor has one, i drove it once when he asked me to do some work on it and it was alright, but sorta uncomfortable and boring, and has the widest gear ratios of any 5 speed I have driven. The only problems I know that had had with it were the alternator died (that was when I worked on it), and a number of times one or more coilpacks failed.

oldopelguy Dork
Jan. 12, 2012 7:51 p.m.

Echo drivetrain = Scion xA drivetrain = Scion xB drivetrain = First gen Prius engine with Otto cycle instead on Atkinson cycle.

Manual trans would be tolerable and even OK, auto is awful.

I enjoyed my xB a lot. The Echo weighs a few hundred lbs less.

Appleseed SuperDork
Jan. 13, 2012 2:31 a.m.

So.. if its guts = xB guts, when do you add the TRD supercharger?

92CelicaHalfTrac SuperDork
Jan. 13, 2012 8:35 a.m.
Appleseed wrote: So.. if its guts = xB guts, when do you add the TRD supercharger?

There was never a TRD supercharger for the 1.5.

Gearheadotaku SuperDork
Jan. 13, 2012 12:40 p.m.

the only good thing I've ever heard about an Echo was the price.

spnx
spnx New Reader
Jan. 13, 2012 2:33 p.m.

Not reliability or fuel economy?

I'd say those are pretty good reasons for owning one.

integraguy SuperDork
Jan. 13, 2012 2:36 p.m.

"...manual would be okay auto would be awful"

The proportions of Echoes (height to width) are a little too cartoonish for my tastes, so I'm not all that interested in them. Luckily, 99% of the ones I've ever seen (for sale, or not) had automatic transmissions. Buy one because they were usually owned by old folks who NEVER thrashed them and because they will often last forever...or at least longer than you care to own them. As a plus, I would bet you don't need theft coverage on your car insurance...only the TRUELY desperate would steal one.

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