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Could Someone Else Eulogize the Toyota Echo for Me?

Alex Kierstein April 28, 2011 Quick Shifts 52 Comments

Image courtesy Wikipedia

Because I spent all day in one, and I can’t think of a single nice thing to say about it.

  • Rory Carroll

    I would be more than happy to.

  • Zach

    It frees up more decent cars for the rest of us. That way no one ends up buying an E30 or a WRX because "its red."

  • Sorry to hear about your luck dude…..Echo…can you hear me now? Can you hear me now?

  • M44Power

    Thanks to the trick center-mounted instrument cluster, buyers typically didn't begin to feel remorse until at least 30 seconds after starting the car. The mightily-buzzing 1.5L engine was coupled with an equally lousy automatic transmission that made sure the buyer spent as much time as possible in the car thanks to its laggardly nature. Truly, the Gods of Poor Decision Making and Shrewd Marketing have smiled upon this noble beast.

  • humblejanitor

    It's a hell of an ugly car that never really caught on.

    The absolute worse example of beige? Maybe.

  • MattC

    Maybe tepid praise for the Echo, but a coworker used to rave about easily pegging over 40mpg with his work commute in one. Also, the chassis essentially spawned the original Scion Xa/Xb. That is about it.

  • You know what? It's not a Chevy Aveo.

    My wife ran the marathon on Oahu. While she ran, I decided to circumnavigate the island in a rented Echo. It served its purpose and was fuel efficient. By the time I finished my drive, she was still running.

    The Aveo is a POS, in every sense of the term.

  • alcology

    Do svidanya you piece of shit. You could barely hold a grown man, but at least you could onto a tank of gas like it was the last you were able to play with yourself.

    I actually don't mind it that much, but I don't fit.

  • Han_Solex

    I thought of a nice thing to say: "At least I'm not in it anymore."

    • alcology

      If you paid to rent it, you should double the state laws

      • alcology

        I keep leaving out words. "If you paid to rent it, you should probably double check the state laws."

  • Number_Six

    "Tired of not being able to park near your own home? Slide one of these into your spot before you go to work. They'll think it's a real car and park somewhere else! It's the Toy-ota dEchoy!"

  • Maymar

    You can recommend it to your aunt…

    Unless your aunt is severely awesome, but that's not the Echo's responsibility.

  • salguod

    It's easy to spell …

  • An ex-girlfriend of mine had an Echo exactly like in the picture, with a manual trans. I drove it countless times, and it is without dispute the worst car I have ever driven. (Sebring rental is the penultimate.)

    The clutch pedal felt like it was mounted on a spring. The gear selector was like stirring bread pudding with a three-foot spoon. The steering wheel felt tacked-on, probably because when you looked through it all you saw was a sloping dashboard thanks to the podlike center cluster. (That damn pod, always making you crane your neck to confirm that, yes, you are going 5 under the limit.) It bobbed back and forth under acceleration or braking. It was surprisingly spacious inside, but that only added to the "plastic deathtrap" character it exuded vis-a-vis safety. You could chirp the tires no problem because that lawnmower engine didn't put any weight on the front wheels.

    But that marshmallow monstrosity ran like a watch. It got 40+ MPG without effort, and highway mileage could make a Prius green with envy. She sold it one summer when gas prices were up and the little fucker moved overnight for more scratch than any used car of such heinous virtue should sell.

    That Toyota Echo was a constant reminder that driving is indeed an experience, and you choose whether the experience will be interesting or soul-sucking.

  • fhrblig

    I don't have it in me to totally hate a little car that gets good mileage, but their refusal to send us the mildly-better looking hatches means I can't ever really like it either.

    • Lotte

      Same here! I think it's an honest little car. Basic, but there's a charm to something like that. And , at least it's trying not to suck up all the gas we'd rather burn in a more hoon-worthy manner. Dare say I even like it a little…

    • Han_Solex

      Yeah, I'm with you there. The Echo 5-door was not a terrible looking car, to be honest. That's about as complementary as I'm willing to get with it.

      Although the 3-door would be absolutely perfect for a widebody, snorting, tarmac-shredding Renault 5 Turbo mid-engine conversion. A TRD supercharged 2AZ-FE would be pretty sweet.

  • smokyburnout

    Eulogize or euthanize?

    • FЯeeMan

      I came here to say that.

  • dukeisduke

    They always look ridiculous, with a tall body and shopping cart wheels. Robin Williams as the creepy photo processing guy drove one in One Hour Photo.

    Also, a woman here in my town (one of her daughters was on a soccer team with one of my girls) was killed in one, hit head-on by a nitiwit in a pickup, pulling a trailer loaded down with landscaping stones. He changed lanes to avoid rear-ending someone else. She was out taking her baby (in the backseat) out for a drive, to get her to fall asleep. The baby was unhurt, thank goodness.

    • Robin Williams in that movie always made the Echo creepy to me; this story will now make me sad when I notice them. Hopefully they will all be crushed soon.

  • Jim-Bob

    It was an appliance's appliance. An unremarkable little car except that it was good on gas, reliable and…umm… available in white. However, it was a truly small car-something that has become quite a rarity in the US market of today. While not quite as good on gas or as cool to be seen in as something like a Geo Metro hatchback, it nonetheless filled the market niche left by the Tercel. And that is all that could have ever been asked of it.

  • At least the Roxy Edition was a rousing success. Surfer chicks bought them by the thous…um, hundr…er, doze…uh…pairs?
    <img src="; width="400">

    • Han_Solex

      Tercel Blackhawk, eat your heart out …

      <img src=";

  • clunkerlove

    They sold like hotcake.

    • smokyburnout

      Man, who's the idiot who thumbs-downed this comment?


  • facelvega

    Apart from the new Fiat 500, it's the recent car most likely to be found in eighties Anime stills. If you think Japanese cars should look like Japanese animation, then the Echo was right on.

    • Han_Solex

      If you think Japanese cars should look like Japanese animation

      You've made the second deadliest mistake! The first is getting involved in a land war in Asia, the second is assuming that Japanese cars should look like anime! Ha! Ha! Ha! [Drops dead.]

  • tristan

    i own a white 1.3 manual hatch
    it goes good, gets incredible mileage and costs nothing to maintain.
    it seems pretty rewarding at 9/10ths turn in is pretty keen, lift off oversteer is easy and grip under acceleration works well.
    sure, its not as exciting as many other cars but for me it does the job
    maybe your roads are too straight to appreciate, or the US spec suspension settings are shit?

    • joshuman

      When comparing the same car in two different markets, U.S. spec suspension is almost always shit.

  • Alff

    It made it easy to identify the cat-loving spinsters?

    • I have ridden in an Echo numerous times. Each time, I have ejected from that shit-box, I have been covered in cat hair, and funky cat smells.

  • omg_grip

    I dont like the paint but this seems to solve many of the echos problems

  • lame_as_ever

    You could not kill your self in the car because if you crashed t into something, you would only be going about 7-12MPH unless you had a 1/4 mile downhill to gain speed.

  • Chris

    My first car was a 1992 Tercel, the Echo's progenitor. Say what you will, but its 2050 lb dry weight, 5-speed, and, er, unpredictable suspension geometry made it almost as fun as my newer Impreza. Compared to a newer car, you feel much less weight and bulk getting in your way. Fortunately, the gauges are in the proper location too.

    That Tercel is still on the road, regularly abused by my parents now.

    • skeptic

      I had a 93 tercel. no options not even a passenger side side view mirror or 4 speakers, and instead of automatic seatbelts, the shoulder strap just blocked you from getting into the car every time you opened the door. I put some decent tires on it and abused it to no end commuting to college. Then I sold it for twice as much as i bought it for two years later. best car i have ever owned.

  • No. Sorry.

  • P161911

    Toyota Echo, for when a Corolla is just too much car for you.

    • Damn. I meant to thumbs up this and accidentally thumbs downed. Sorry dude!

      Stupid touch screen…

  • The best I can say is that it had potential.
    <img src="; WIDTH="500">

    • It's like a hot rod hamster… I kinda like it.

    • Han_Solex

      You can't just post a picture of a breath mint and pretend it's a car, dude.

      • I think "breath mint" is a serious step up when the stock one is much closer to "urnal cake."

  • chrystlubitshi

    the only 2 people i know that have owned one of these are beautiful women (that i tried very hard to date… but got relegated to the friend zone… 'cause i'm good at that) both (of the cars– i didn't get to find out about the girls) were 5 speed manuals, both were the family's first ever new car (and they bought it for their daughter as she went to college). one was a four door. the other was a "holy crap, i didn't realize that there wasn't a door to the back seat even though the vehicle looks almost exactly the same as the 4-door" coupe…. they were the absolute minimal cars- utilitarian and useful. not fun…. and like the commercials…. yes… that center gauge-pod does feel like it's staring at you ( was going to post the ads i was thinking of, but couldn't find them in a quick search… so screw it.)

    eulogy: "YOU (YOu You you) WERE (WERe WEre Were were) AN (An an) APPLIANCE (APPLIANCe APPLIANce well you get the idea…) but you worked. and were cheap. and keep running. a good little commuter for in town peoples that never venture above 45 mph. you are not, and never were meant for me. goodnight"

    • FuzzyPlushroom

      The man who owned a rebadged Mitsubishi Mirage has stated his belief that the vehicle parked here before us is insufficient for his needs.

      That says more about the Echo than I ever could.

  • Møbius

    Would have single-handedly prevented teenage pregnancies if only more parents would have just given it a chance!

  • If every single one of these were recycled into razor blades, I wouldn't shed a tear.

    • FuzzyPlushroom

      Nor would emo kids. This is a win/win hypothetical situation.

  • topdeadcentre

    What's it good for? Perfect city car. More sort of a utility cart rather than a car.

    Nobody wants to steal it for any reason whatsoever, including joyriding, parts, racing, or to free up a parking space. Also, people "park by braille" against the bumpers, and there's no reason to care. Damage? Whatevah…

    • P161911

      They MIGHT steal it for scrap metal. They steal guard rails for scrap metal in some places.

  • RichardKopf

    Assembly is for monkeys, and children being tested for Special Ed. Echo.

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