The 2001 Toyota Echo marks some kind of achievement, but not the kind of achievement that many car manufacturers want. You can essentially skip everything about the peppy engine and the good gas mileage. That information falls secondary to the Echo’s absurd aesthetics.
Even more insulting than the clown car design, though, Toyota tries to pass this off as a great buy. Yes, it has a really low sticker price that most new car buyers can easily afford (with a little help from the bank). A low sticker price, however, does not automatically equal good value. When you take a look at the standard features that come with that price, you immediately feel taken advantage of. Once you add on optional features to make the car worth driving, you could have bought a much better car without spending much more.
Body Styles: coupe, sedan
Engines: 1.5-liter four-cylinder
Transmissions: automatic, manual
Models: Toyota Echo
The 2001 Toyota Echo offers optional side airbags. A new color called Brilliant Blue Pearl joins the lineup as well.
Let's get to the heart of the problems with the Echo by first checking out its exterior. If you go to the carnival to ride the bumper cars, you will think the Echo looks really, really cool. Take that same car and stick it on the road next to other vehicles, though, and you notice a few things. Suddenly, it looks cartoonish and goofy. The snubbed nose make you feel like you've stepped into an animated series
The 2001 Toyota Echo, in other words, looks ridiculous. The sedan looks slightly more appealing than the base model, but it still leaves a lot of room for improvement. Even if it had the best engineering in the world, you would still feel like a dope driving around town.
Like the rest of the Echo, there aren't many good things to say about the interior. The cabin feels a little cramped for anyone over average height. It has so-so styling that doesn't look quite as absurd as the exterior.
The interior of the 2001 Toyota Echo might work well for a highly organized packrat since it has storage bins built right into the dash. Yes, you read that correctly: it has storage bins built into the dash.
Performance & Handling
The Toyota Echo contains a decent 1.5-liter, twin-cam, four-cylinder engine that offers 108 hp. This little amount of power proves adequate for this lightweight car. Want proof? It can go from zero to 60 mph in just 8.5 seconds. It won’t get you on the racetrack, but it certainly works well enough for your daily commute.
So, the 2001 Echo has a good enough engine, and it probably will last forever given Toyota's reputation for solid engineering. However, it handles poorly. It has a high center of gravity that makes the wheel feel weird in your hands. Many worry about tipping over just backing out of a parking space. The tall profile also makes it difficult to drive in windy conditions. Just hold on tight and try to stay in your lane.
This poor handling looks even grimmer when you consider that just about every feature you want remains optional. If you want a 2001 Toyota Echo with ABS, an automatic transmission, and side-impact airbags, it costs about 50 percent more than the sticker price. Suddenly, that good deal doesn't look so appealing.
The 2001 Toyota Echo has some pretty decent safety features, including ventilated front disc and rear drum brakes and electronic brake force distribution. Unfortunately, we cannot say how well it holds up in a crash, since neither the NHTSA nor the IIHS has tested it. Given its small size and lightweight (barely over 2000 pounds), though, you’d better keep an eye out for anything that might so much as tap your bumper.
EPA Fuel Economy
Toyota Echo: 29/37 mpg city/highway
- Excellent fuel economy
- Roomy interior
- Strong acceleration
You Won't Like
- Poor handling
- Ridiculous interior and exterior aesthetics
A few good qualities, but you can buy a much better car for about the same price.
If You Like This Vehicle
- Chevrolet Aveo
- Hyundai Accent
- Kia Rio