Compact car; Built in Japan
  • 2-door coupe
  • 4-door sedan
  • transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $1,800 – $4,800*


2000 Toyota Echo 4-door sedan


2000 Toyota Echo 4-door sedan


2000 Toyota Echo interior


2000 Toyota Echo 2-door coupe


2000 Toyota Echo 4-door sedan

Pros:
  • Fuel economy
  • Interior storage space
  • Maneuverability
Cons:
  • Acceleration (w/automatic transmission)
  • Rear-seat entry/exit (2-dr)

Pleasant and efficient, the Echo blends tempting prices with Toyota’s strong reputation for quality and reliability. Sales have been tepid for such an affordable car, suggesting that the targeted young buyers have not taken to its styling. Performance is nothing special, but Echo is roomier than many rivals and the quirky look gives it a certain “character.”

Overview

Toyota launched an all-new “entry-level” front-drive subcompact for 2000, priced well-below the larger Corolla. Despite its smaller exterior dimensions, the new Echo featured interior space similar to the Corolla’s. Two- and 4-door sedans were offered.

Power was supplied by a 1.5-liter 4-cylinder engine that produced 108 horsepower. Manual shift was standard, but the available 4-speed automatic transmission featured Toyota’s “uphill shift logic” programming that was claimed to minimize “hunting” between gears on long or steep upgrades.

A tilt steering wheel was standard, but power steering was an option. Also on the option list were antilock braking, air conditioning, cassette and CD audio systems, power door locks, and a split folding rear seat. The Echo was one of the few vehicles on the market with power windows not available.

No less distinctive than the Echo’s exterior profile was its dashboard, which consisted mainly of a speedometer and gauges mounted in the center, not ahead of the driver.

Yearly Updates

2001 Echo
Except for one new color choice, the Echo was unchanged for 2001.
2002 Echo
There were no significant changes for 2002.
2003 Echo
Overall length grew 1.6 inches via new front and rear sheetmetal with revised bumpers, hood, front fenders, headlights, taillights, and trunklid, plus a new slat-design grille. Optional 15-inch wheels replace 14s.
2004 Echo
The Echo is unchanged for 2004.
2005 Echo
Echo is unchanged for 2005. The Yaris is due to replace Echo early in 2006 as an update of this basic design.

Engines

transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive

A 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine, rated at 108 horsepower, drove either a five-speed manual transmission or a four-speed automatic.

dohc I4
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 1.5/91
Engine HP 108
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 105
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed manual
4-speed automatic
34/41
32/39
31.0

Road Test

Mechanically, Toyota’s Echo is modern but ordinary, promising thrifty driving. Although its engine is no powerhouse, acceleration is almost brisk with manual shift. Automatic is generally smooth and responsive, though it may hesitate when asked to downshift at midrange speeds.

Noise suppression is nothing special, and exhaust boom occurs near peak engine rpm. Still, the Echo feels substantial for such a lightweight.

A tall, upright profile makes it feel different to drive. An Echo corners with good stability, but feels a tad tippy if pushed–aggravated by skinny tires. Front-end “plowing” sets in early. Close-quarters maneuverability is great, despite slightly dull steering action.

Ride comfort beats the small-car norm, with a little jiggle on washboard-surfaced freeways. Even at moderate speed, the bluff-sided Echo reacts to stiff crosswinds. Minor tire-induced wander can occur on grooved surfaces.

Even though it’s one of the roomiest subcompacts, the cabin is too narrow for an adult in the center rear position, but leg room is no problem, rear foot space is good, and all-around head room ranks as generous. Seats are comfortable, if rather flat, and occupants sit higher than usual.

Rear-seat entry/exit isn’t so easy in the 2 door. The high steering wheel is angled for a slightly minivanlike position. Visibility is commanding.

Less likable is the gimmicky central gauge pod, which is angled toward the driver but may be too distant for some eyes. Cargo room is ample, but the short tail leaves little fore-aft length without the optional split folding rear seat. Interior materials are attractive, but have an “entry-level” look and feel.

Ratings

Model Tested: 2001 Toyota Echo sedan w/manual

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.

Performance

Acceleration - 4
40%
Fuel Economy - 8
80%
Ride Quality - 4
40%
Steering/Handling - 4
40%
Quietness - 4
40%

Accommodations

Controls/Materials - 5
50%
Room/Comfort Front - 5
50%
Room/Comfort Rear - 5
50%
Cargo Room - 3
30%

Other

Value - 7
70%

Total: 49

Specifications

2-door coupe
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
93.4 163.2 65.4 59.1
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
13.6 11.9 5
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
39.9 37.6 41.1 35.2
4-door sedan
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
93.4 163.2 65.4 59.1
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
13.6 11.9 5
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
39.9 37.6 41.1 35.2
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 2000 Echo 4-door sedan

NHTSA

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 4
80%
Front Passenger Injury - 4
80%

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - 3
60%
Rear Passenger Injury - 4
80%

HLDI

(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision 124
Injury 178
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

Climate control
Description: The knob for the heater-flow control may be hard to turn. A revised
mechanism improves the feel. (2000)
Wheels
Description: The wheel covers on early production models clicked or squeaked and were being replaced under warranty. (2000)
Seatbelts/safety
Description: The button that prevents the retractable portion of the seatbelt from going
too far comes off. New buttons are available to fix this. (2000-01)

Recall History

2000 w/speed control device
Description: E-clip that holds speed-control assembly to accelerator linkage could break; could result in accelerator sticking.
2000 w/automatic transmission
Description: In cold ambient temperatures there is a possibility that the vacuum in the intake manifold could be insufficient for the brake booster, leading to increased stopping distance.
2000
Description: Rubber seal ring at end of master cylinder may be corroded, allowing brake fluid to leak or small amount of air to enter the braking system, which could lead to increased stopping distance.
2001 registered in 19 specified states
Description: Condensed moisture from PCV port could seep toward brake-vacuum port inside intake manifold at freezing ambient temperatures, and start to freeze; vacuum assist to brakes would decrease and increased pedal pressure would be required.
2002
Description: Snow could accumulate inside the rear wheel and freeze, possible damaging the rear brake line and decreasing brake effectiveness by allowing brake fluid to leak.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.

Pricing

Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.