2005 Toyota ECHO LE Hatchback from North America


Really good car. Great on fuel


Noise in the belt after replacing it, but was fixed.

I accidentally backed over a big rock, which knocked off the front bumper, no major damage.

I was in a rear in collision (March, 2011). The back of the car was crunched in a little, enough to have it written off.

General Comments:

Car handles really well.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th April, 2011

12th Jan 2015, 13:34

Which belt did you have replaced? I once was told by a mechanic my Echo needed a new timing belt. Imagine his surprise when I told him these cars have a timing chain, not a timing belt, which never need replacing or attention as they are self adjusting. Needless to say, I ran from that mechanic!

I have a 2002 Echo manual transmission; never a squeak, rattle, shimmy or shake, inside or out. Before I had my clutch replaced at 258,000km, I always had difficulty shifting into reverse, sometimes having to go into first, then reverse, and always had difficulty shifting into first. I believe another contributor had the same issues.

Additionally, if I let the car sit for a couple of days with the emergency brake on, then went to release and drive it, the car would not move. You could see the effort the car was making to move forward or reverse, and only depressing the gas pedal fully would get it out of this 'lock'.

Otherwise, I love my car! My daughter has a 2005 Echo, and my other daughter a 1999 Tercel. I do regular oil changes on all cars at 5,000km, use a Fram oil filter (the added black texture at the base makes it easy to put on snuggly and remove), keep all fluids topped and change the brake pads as needed, and we have had trouble free driving for a total of 560,000km!

Our Toronto winters are very unpredictable, so we all have snow tires, too. These cars drive better in the snow than my 2005 Highlander with snow tires and ECT, and the tires are easy for me to manage when changing.

Basic, regular maintenance and a bit of common sense provides trouble free, safe driving, and keeps repair bills to a minimum over time. Enjoy your ride!

Cheers! Onesmartchick

2005 Toyota ECHO Base model 1.5L from North America


Very good



General Comments:

Overall this car has been great, not that I expected anything else.

I do have a couple minor complaints:

1) Annoying plastic rattles, not all the time, but they seem to come and go, and sometimes it is difficult to pinpoint what exactly is causing it. The door lock slides for example have a lot of play, and are constantly causing noise.

2) Shifting into reverse isn't very smooth, sometimes it's hard to put it into reverse, and I have to put it into 1st and then into reverse. Also, when slightly rolling backwards and trying to put it into reverse, it grinds, even though the clutch is fully engaged.

Also shifting into 1st is difficult most of the time.

All of the above is quite minor, especially considering the cost of the car. The fuel economy is great. I was getting 6.5-7 L/100 km during winter with snow tires. I am expecting 5.5 -6 during the summer.

Reliability is obviously the main strength of this car. Performance is quite decent for a 1.5 L. My old Corolla had 1.6 L (and was much older), but had a lot less pep to it.

The lack of tachometer and even a clock (!!!) on the base model is quite unpleasant, but no big deal.

Overall the car is very good, very cheap to own, the comfort is quite good (you sit almost like in an SUV), and it has adequate power.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th March, 2011

28th Mar 2011, 17:44

I've got an 05 Echo, too. Bought it used in 07, and I couldn't be happier with it.

It's been four years, and not one single thing has gone wrong with it. People say it's slow, and ugly, but I like its look. It's different. It's not fast, but it's peppy, and I have fun driving it. The 1.5 litre engine is very durable, and fuel efficient.

It's hard to understand why Americans rejected this car, yet embraced the awful Aveo in its first couple of years.

30th Mar 2011, 20:59

Very true.

And Aveo is inferior to Echo in all ways, from what I've heard.

I didn't know that the Americans embraced it, must be because it's a Chevy, although it is built by Koreans on the Deawoo platform.

31st Mar 2011, 17:55

Yeah, it's hard to believe, but the Aveo was the number one selling subcompact in the US for a year or two. That quickly changed once gas prices fell a bit, and people realized this Daewoo was not a very good car at all.