Car reviews - Toyota - Echo - 5-dr hatch
The Euro-chic Echo is a radical departure for Toyota, and one that is most welcome
29 Mar 2001
TOYOTA has shed its conservative small-car image with the all-new Echo. It has also introduced Mercedes-Benz A-class style packaging into the light car market with its tall, wide (but short) body providing excellent interior space.
Topping this off is a high-tech alloy engine with variable valve timing. This should all add up to make the Echo an unavoidable choice. But one ingredient fails to match up: pricing.
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Model release date: 1 October 1999 to 1 October 2005
Did you know?Echo is known as the Yaris in Europe and Vitz (hatch) or Platz (sedan) in Japan.
Vitz is German for brilliance or wit. Yaris is a contrived name intended to convey a European impression. Echo, as it's also known in the US, is intended to Echo nothing.
At the car's Australian launch in October 1999, Toyota identified families and retirees, and young singles of course, as key buyers ... which could explain why Echo's advertising has been so, er, (let's put this nicely) non-specific.
It expected 65 per cent of buyers to be women.
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