2005 Toyota ECHO Base sedan 1.5 from North America


Yaris vs. Echo


No repairs. Worn out front brake pads and rotors.

General Comments:

1. Interior

Yaris wins hands down : looks much better; the dash has a special plastic that absorbs much less the heat from the sun and stays cooler on sunny days - the dash plastic in the Echo gets very hot, making the A/C less effective; the Yaris also has more interior space.

2. Comfort

Front leg room is the same in both cars, would not recommend this cars for 6ft+ drivers. The seats in the Echo look cheaper; however they are very comfortable, despite lacking lateral comfort. The seats in the Yaris look better, but have horrible lumbar support, no comfort for drives longer that 30 minutes.

3. Handling/driving pleasure.

Manual transmission in Yaris is painful to use, clutch action is horrible. Automatic transmissions work fine in both cars.

The Echo is very sensitive to side winds on the highway, being at times scary to drive. The Yaris is much better in this aspect : while the steering feels a little weird when side winds are blowing, the car stays in track with no effort.

Driving the Echo, it's a pleasure thing, especially from a Toyota. The car feels tight and maneuverable, the steering and the engine are both responsive. My previous Honda Civic was also a pleasure to drive, the Echo also feels funny in a different way. However, the Yaris is a total disappointment in this matter, the fun factor is purely nonexistent. Maybe the suspension has been changed or the electric steering doesn't help, but I felt no pleasure at all driving the Yaris. It just doesn't have that fun factor.

4. Engine

Yaris and Echo have similar engines (there is a difference in the injectors size, but the main engine is the same). However, the Yaris is heavier, therefore the acceleration is clearly better in the Echo.


All in all, the Echo looks on the cheap side about the interior design, yet it has a very pleasant drive and is surprisingly comfortable for such an inexpensive car. On the other side, the Yaris looks much better with better interior materials, but disappoints in the comfort and driving pleasure areas.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th September, 2009

1st Oct 2009, 21:46

The reviewer neglected to point out that the Yaris has distinctive, albeit quirky, styling. The Echo is just a homely-looking economy sedan.

3rd Oct 2009, 21:13

Thanks for the comment. I did not include anything related to personal tastes, with the exception of the driving feeling. One could also add that the Yaris is safer than the Echo but again, the review targets the practical side of this two cars.

26th Sep 2010, 05:19

The echo is a great car, apart from the fact when I went head on into a barrier, the airbag failed to deploy.

18th Jan 2011, 17:17

I have a 2005 Echo, and love it. It's fun to drive, reliable, and fuel efficient. I'd love a new Yaris, but I think I'll be driving my Echo for a long time. I read negative reviews about the Yaris' driving position. Many say it's awkward and awful. I have no complaints about the Echo. I'm wondering if Yaris owners have this complaint, and if the driving position is different in a Yaris than in an Echo.

29th Jun 2013, 19:56

It definitely has to do with the way the pedals and the steering wheel are placed. In most cars, there is a specific distance between the steering wheel and the pedals, so as to fit the geometry of the human body when sitting. In the Yaris, the steering wheel is too far away from the body, while the pedals sit too close. Adjusting the driver's seat doesn't help. It depends on each person how long their arms and legs are, but for the average person, the Yaris has a design issue.

2005 Toyota ECHO 1.5 from North America


The Echo is a typical Toyota with solid reliability and good value that's fun to drive


Nothing has gone wrong with the car. Mechanically, it has been perfect.

General Comments:

It's very peppy, nimble in the city, and fun to drive on windless, dry roads. However, it's a different story on wet or windy roads. In those weather conditions, I'm almost afraid to drive my car on the Highway. It's very difficult to keep on track as the car constantly wanders. I suppose this is because the Echo is a skinny, tall car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th July, 2008