Toyota Echo

Carpedia

Nov 29th, 2019

Toyota Echo

In Japan, Toyota Echo refers to two Japanese models from Toyota’s XP10 series – Toyota Platz (XP10 sedan) and Toyota Vitz (XP10 hatchback).

Background

Funtime Concept

The XP10 Series, from which Toyota Echo came, was previewed by the Funtime Concept at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 1997. Shuhei Toyoda developed the concept which led to Funcoupe and Funcargo concept models and the Fun Cargo production model. These early models evolved into the New Basic Car program (NBC) of Toyota, from which several models derived their underpinning, including the Vitz and Platz. 

Toyota Vitz 

The word Vitz is the anglicised spelling of Witz, which is a play at the word “wit” and is the XP10 hatchback’s nameplate for Toyota’s home market. Toyota produced the Vitz lineup of 3-door and 5-door supermini, subcompact, or B-segment hatchbacks on the NBC platform. It went in production from 1999 to 2019 from its assembly facilities in Japan, China, and France. It had a front-engine, front-wheel-drive layout, with an FWD option exclusive to Japan versions. It succeeded Toyota Starlet and preceded the fourth-generation Toyota Yaris.

For international markets, Toyota rebranded it as the Toyota Yaris and Toyota Echo. It’s the same vehicle badged as Daihatsu Charade in Europe from 2011 to 2013. In Australia, it wore the Echo badge for the first generation (until 2005), after which, it became the Toyota Yaris. In Japan, Toyota used the Vitz name until the third generation, and afterwards, it adopted the Yaris nameplate, too. The first two generations sold more than 3.5 million units of Vitz/Echo/Yaris worldwide. 

Toyota Platz

Toyota derived the name Platz from the German word for “space” and used it to name the XP10 sedan built from 1999 to 2005. The Platz is a 4-door subcompact sedan. Like the Vitz, it had a front-engine, front-wheel-drive layout with 4WD also exclusively offered in Japan, and was built on the NBC platform. Its predecessor was Toyota Tercel. Toyota Belta/Vios/Yaris succeeded it.

The Platz came by several names too, including Yaris, Echo, and Xiali 2000. In Australia and North America, it was known as the Echo sedan. It shares this nameplate with the Australian-spec Vitz, with which it has other identical features, including front doors, interior design, dashboard module, and most mechanicals.

Toyota Echo (1999-2005)

Toyota Echo arrived in Australia in 1999 as supermini or subcompact 3-door/5-door 5-seat hatchbacks (Vitz) and 4-door 5-seat sedans (Platz). The base models got here in the first year, with the Sportivo and Rush hatches coming in the succeeding year. Below are their specs and features.

Hatchback, 3-door base model (1999-2005)

  • Powertrain: 1.3L (1,299cc) 2NZ-FE I4 petrol engine mated to either 4-speed auto transmission or 5-speed manual gearbox, 63 kW peak power, 122 Nm peak torque, 5.35-5.75L/100km fuel consumption (combined driving)
  • Features: driver’s airbag, adjustable steering wheel (tilt & telescopic), cloth trim, engine immobiliser, radio cassette with 2 speakers, seatbelts pre-tensioners (front), optional ABS and passenger’s airbag, independent MacPherson struts with gas shock absorbers and stabiliser bar for front suspension and trailing arm torsion beam with coil springs and gas shock absorbers for the rear, disc-ventilated front brakes and drum rear brakes

Hatchback, 5-door base model (1999-2005)

  • Powertrain: 1.3L (1,299cc) 2NZ-FE I4 petrol engine mated to either 4-speed auto transmission or 5-speed manual gearbox, 63 kW peak power, 122 Nm peak torque, 5.35-5.75L/100km fuel consumption (combined driving)
  • Features: same as base except for radio cassette with four speakers instead of two

Sedan, 4-door base model (1999-2005)

  • Powertrain: 1.5L (1,497cc) 1NZ-FE I4 petrol engine coupled with either 4-speed auto transmission or 5-speed manual gearbox, 80 kW peak power, 142 Nm peak torque, 5.65L/100km fuel consumption (combined driving)
  • Features: driver’s airbag, adjustable steering wheel (tilt & telescopic), cloth trim, engine immobiliser, power steering, radio cassette with 4 speakers, remote hatch release, independent MacPherson struts with gas shock absorbers and stabiliser bar for front suspension and trailing arm torsion beam with coil springs and gas shock absorbers for the rear, disc-ventilated front brakes and drum rear brakes

In 2001, Toyota introduced the Sportivo hatchback in 3-door and 5-door variants, but both were available in manual gearbox only. It used the same engine as the sedan's but slightly uprated. The Australian Sportivo had distinct features not found in other international versions - its T-CAM body kit and 14-inch alloy wheels.

Hatchback, 3-door Sportivo model (2001-2005)

  • Powertrain: 1.5L (1,497cc) 1NZ-FE I4 petrol engine coupled with 5-speed manual gearbox, 80 kW peak power, 145 Nm peak torque, 5.4L/100km fuel consumption (combined driving)
  • Features: Same as the base model but added alloy wheels, body kit, central locking remote control, front fog lights, leather steering wheel, power steering, radio CD with four speakers, sport seats

Hatchback, 5-door Sportivo model (2001-2002)

  • Powertrain: 1.5L (1,497cc) 1NZ-FE I4 petrol engine coupled with 5-speed manual gearbox, 80 kW peak power, 145 Nm peak torque, 5.4L/100km fuel consumption (combined driving)
  • Features: same as 3-door Sportivo

In 2003, a facelift added the following:

  • Hatchbacks, base - air conditioning, central locking remote control, radio CD with two speakers, power steering, redesigned bumper, and teardrop front lights
  • Sedan, base - air conditioning, power steering, radio CD with four speakers, and remote hatch release
  • Sportivo - a rear spoiler, redesigned bumper, and teardrop front lights

In 2005, a new hatch variant (Echo Rush) replaced the Sportivo models, although remaining stocks of the 3-door sporty hatch sold alongside the newcomer. It sported the 1.3L engine of the base hatch model.

Hatchback, 3-door Rush model (2005)

  • Powertrain: 1.3L (1,299cc) 2NZ-FE I4 petrol engine mated to either 4-speed auto transmission or 5-speed manual gearbox, 63 kW peak power, 122 Nm peak torque, 5.35-5.75L/100km fuel consumption (combined driving)
  • Features: same as the updated base model but added 14-inch alloy wheels, front fog lights, and power windows (front)

Hatchback, 5-door Rush model (2005)

  • Powertrain: 1.3L (1,299cc) 2NZ-FE I4 petrol engine mated to either 4-speed auto transmission or 5-speed manual gearbox, 63 kW peak power, 122 Nm peak torque, 5.35-5.75L/100km fuel consumption (combined driving)
  • Features: same as the updated base model but added 14-inch alloy wheels, front fog lights, radio CD with four speakers, and power windows (front)

In Australia, Toyota Echo (Toyota Yaris elsewhere) ended its short tenure in 2005, but only to allow its second generation (now Toyota Yaris in Australia) to continue in the market.

If you own an Echo with a power option, such as the Rush models with front power windows, consider yourself lucky because it’s a rare find. If you happen to need parts to repair one, it’s going to take some of your time. But you can let your fingers do the walking for you by checking out Carpart.com.au. Visit our website now for our current listing of auto replacement parts and even entire cars in various makes and models! 

-JMSL