2000 Winter Auto Guide

Reviews of 16 new vehicles

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Although Toyota enjoys its position as the largest and one of the most highly regarded Japanese brands in America, the company is worried about its conservative image. To retain its reputation for another generation, Toyota is reaching out to the youth market, and the Echo represents the first effort aimed at a new and younger car-buying audience. Although the Echo takes the place of the Tercel, it’s nothing like that car save for a frugal, yet peppy 108-horsepower 1.5-liter 4-cylinder engine.

This is a tall car, able to pack in as much interior room as the Corolla with a foot less overall length and 6 inches more height. Available with either two or four doors, this car should sell with starting prices near $10,000 and m
oderately well-equipped models for under $13,000. Unusual features include the offset instrument cluster in the center of the dashboard. Although not a sporty car, the Echo is fun because it’s unique and absolutely practical when it comes to function and features.

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