2004 Toyota ECHO from North America

Summary:

Best car on the market, and with the economy the way it is, the safest bet of cheap transportation

Faults:

Needs a new fan belt.

General Comments:

This car rocks. I had a black sleek '95 Pontiac Trans Am that I absolutely loved. BUT it was in the shop every other day it seemed, and as the years went by and the gas prices got higher, I found more and more reasons not to go anywhere.

I then bought a '96 Toyota Paseo to boot around in; I loved it but it was small, and I was worried about getting into an accident, which I did. A minor one, but it was a write off and I got 4,000.

So I didn't want to put my Trans Am back on the road, and I decided to get either a Corolla or an ECHO. I had had enough with 2 doors and getting people in and out, and decided a 4 door was in order. I searched Craigslist and was just about to buy a Corolla when I saw this 04 4 door sedan Toyota ECHO listed. I couldn't believe that I got it down to 4,500 because it had 164,000 kms. The car had come from Nova Scotia, and the couple who lived up north would come back and forth from there to Vancouver so it was basically all highway anyway. Now, for the Americans, this is NOT miles.

It was also a standard (transmission) and I love that. I have had the car for a few months now and love it more and more. It does need a fan belt, but that is not affecting anything.

The car is CHEAP CHEAP on gas. Did I mention cheap? Maybe because it's standard it gets even better gas mileage. I filled it up the other day - $22.00. I thought there was something wrong with the pump and the attendant came out and tried it and said that my tank was full. I was shocked.

There are so many little compartments to put things in, and they are all hidden away in nifty places.

The car only came with a basic CD MP3 system, but it kicks butt. I burn MP3s off Limewire and boot around town with my booming stereo.

The seats are SO comfortable and the headrest is perfect. My lower back has prblems, but these seats don't cause it a dent.

The dash has a little blue thermometer which goes on when the car is cold, and if the car is hot it would show. This car never overheats.

Driving is smooth, tight, and easy to maneuver around. It doesn't have a lot of power so I am glad I got the standard, but I get what I need and that is fine with me.

There is no tachometer and I think it should have one. I don't care, but for those who need one, I believe the '05 has it.

I notice the reverse gear doesn't always go in smoothly, and I don't know what that is caused by, but someone said maybe it needs to be synched. Who knows?

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th December, 2008

19th Feb 2009, 14:29

Hey I have a 04 Echo hatchback and I noticed the same thing about getting it in reverse gear. It is really a normal thing and nothing needs to be adjusted. In any car it is harder to get into reverse but the Echo also has the SIMPLEST gear box there could be. Although it is written in the user manual (check it if you have it) that if you have trouble getting into reverse then you should put it back to neutral, release the clutch and then try again. I honestly tried doing this and it doesn't seem to work on my car so I have found my own trick. If you can stick it in reverse, release just a little bit your clutch and it will get in. Try it and write me back if it worked :).

Thx, and hope this was useful.

30th May 2009, 19:23

Regarding problems with getting the Echo into reverse gear: My Tercel did that too--for 21 years and 360,000 km. Ha.

2004 Toyota ECHO Base Sedan 1.4L I-4 from North America

Summary:

Great Little City Car

Faults:

My Brakes needed to be replaced after 55k.

Factory recall for rust-proofing in cabin floor.

Rear-defroster broke (replaced under warranty).

General Comments:

I bought this car new; my first Toyota. I was amazed at the operating cost (very cheap in maintenance and quite inexpensive in fuel).

I'm 6'5" and fit quite comfortably in the car. My original choice had been a 2001 Corolla, but I couldn't fit in it, despite it being slightly bigger.

The seating isn't great for long trips. There isn't an armrest, which got annoying after a while.

Knowing full well how small this car is, I must say that I found the car to be underpowered, especially in acceleration. Despite it's 5-speed manual transmission (certainly better than the automatic versions I've driven), it certainly lacked any ability to pass vehicles on the highway or simply accelerate up hills. Forget any form of power with more than two people in the car.

I must say, however, that the ECHO is an amazing, cheap, roomy, compact. Many of my friends have also purchased them and found them great for students and in the city.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st August, 2007

15th Feb 2011, 20:29

I have an 05 automatic and I find it's quite peppy. I've never really felt mine is underpowered. It's certainly no speedster, but it has very good weight to power ratio. It's a lot of fun to drive.