Drive — Toyota Echo 2001-05 Used Car Review

5 мая 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »
Toyota Echo hatchback

David Morley


quality and reliability

Engine is a woorker and seems able to go the

Funky interior sets the apart from the pack

hatch version is flexible and

Simple to drive


version a bit lacklustre

Safety was an option. Many owners bother

Bigger, better engine mainly available in the which was pretty unattractive to at.

The local appetite for light, cars exploded in the years up to the turn of the millennium.

A market that had previously attracted interest was suddenly where big was being done.

You can probably the bubble-shaped Hyundai Excel for of it but this was also a time sharp drive-away pricing was the move to smaller cars.

The problem for Toyota was that it really have an appropriate

The first solution was to package the Japanese-market Starlet as a city Its proportions certainly fit the bill but the slayed it for packaging and dynamic

Clearly, something better was and that turned out to be the Echo. into the market’s new acceptance of confronting shapes, the Echo was a device. The sedan was plain but the hatchback was all curves and organic and seems to have aged well.

Available in both and five-door hatchback formats, the is the smart buy purely for the extra

Inside, the Echo was even The centrally located instrument pod a bare expanse of plastic in front of the driver, while the themselves — including a speedometer — were down a virtual tunnel, to a projected-image arrangement. It could a little strange at first but drivers seemed to adapt quickly.

Under that little bonnet was a four-cylinder measuring 1.3 litres. It wasn’t powerful but it was willing and relatively

The sedan got a 1.5-litre engine, the fact it was more likely to be with the optional four-speed By 2001, the bigger engine was available on limited variants of the

The better bet is the five-speed manual because it simply makes of the Echo’s engine.

The trick buying a second-hand Echo is to precisely what model looking at. The price-leader models basic in their safety and

Early batches of the Echo in form didn’t include steering, and airconditioning was an extra-cost even in the ritzier versions. The cars were also plainly, with lots of plastic and vinyl trim, not to carpets that felt recycled hessian bags.

The did get a standard driver’s airbag the start but anti-lock brakes and a airbag were add-ons.

The to remember is that people who Echoes new were often consumers, so the chances of finding an lacking anti-lock brakes, and power steering are depressingly Again, you want to know you’re looking at and pay the right The other thing you want to out is who has owned the Echo before Because of its keen pricing and reputation for hassle-free motoring, an Echo was first put to use as a rental car or as a for courier companies, pizza or florists. So it does pay to know a car’s history.

A florist mightn’t have an Echo too much but a succession of or teenagers delivering pizzas easily have taken off the car’s life.

Check for to the bumpers, kerbed wheels and in strong sunlight for shadows on the where company decals have once been Don’t forget to also the rear window for the telltale that all rental-fleet cars to carry. While many will now have travelled big it’s worth checking things such as the pedal and the carpet in the driver’s footwell what the odometer is telling

The other check on pre-facelift is the build date (listed on a under the bonnet). Any pre-facelift car to be a 2003 model is almost a 2002-build car. It might been first registered in but the build date, not the date of registration, is what determines its price.

Mechanically, the thing you to see is a stamped service book. as the little engine was, oil changes will almost have shortened its life.

As as the up-to-date service book, you to see clean oil on the dipstick. Thick, stuff is a bad sign.

Toyota Echo hatchback

Watch for from the exhaust on start-up and for rattling when the engine is For that reason, also be of an owner who has warmed up the car before you to inspect. If they have, to come back the next to start it from cold.

Graunching gear shifts a worn manual gearbox, any shuddering or slipping from the transmission is a sign all is not well in department.

And since there are so Echos out there, finding a one with a proper history, a of private (not fleet) owners and the options you want is the effort.

Find such a and it’ll be a good chance to going for a long time to

Need to know

#9632;Many life as fleet or rental Make sure you establish the before shelling out the money.

the service record is

up-to-date. No likes having oil changes

#9632;Plenty of Echoes were as first cars. Check for damage and smaller parking and scrapes.

#9632;Manual shifter can a bit baulky but that’s normal for model.

The competitors


Long-lived and popular, the Mirage is a hatch with a 1.5-litre that really does some performance. Rear in a crash is questionable and build apparently variable.

Three- and five-door versions of the are available and it’s a better car earlier Hyundais. Popular youngsters, the Getz also to be made of stern stuff. sure it hasn’t gone its life without a service.

The of the littlies with a hugely interior. Features Honda’s sparkling engine and a good Check trim and body carefully.

Toyota Echo hatchback

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