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Old 4th May 2005, 11:18   #31
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Originally Posted by Mpower
Hey Man
Just kidding about the Echo Coupe. I just think it looks funny because of the small wheels and the fact that its trying to look sporty.
I'll take a 2 door Echo hatchback (T-sport) anyday.
Check the FAQ on how to post pictures. Would love to see a detailed review with pictures. Also, what do you think about the center gauges. Is this the way forward???
The wheels are not small from any angle, But yeah they are not as wide as some of the other cars. But the wheels do their jobs very efficiently.

Well, when i bought this car, I didn't know much about cars anyway... (Imagine, i bought this vehicle the 2nd week after i landed in USA). Besides, this was the only car that fitted my budget. Also, don't be misled by the size of the car, the boot is quite comparable to the Camry or the Accord.

I could pack my entire stuff (during my bachelor days) in the car and drive off to another town. I've relocated quite a bit between Massachussets, rhode-Island, New-Hampshire and Connecticut in this vehicle. I sold the vehicle only because i was relocating back to India. During my next stay in US, i bought a used V6-Camry 1990. But i still missed the Echo. When you drive an Echo, you don't have to worry about the GAS and the Volume of space that you get.

The low weight of the vehicle was also a blessing in disguise in the snow and ice. My Echo would glide over snow-fields and even out of the parking lot easily, whereas the more heavier cousins, (read Corolla and Camry) had to be dug-out quite often..

Another good thing, the car-heater was quite good. By the time, you come out of the drive-way, the car is nicely warmed up and ready for the road..

I'll post the pictures soon..

Cheers,

Manish.
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Old 4th May 2005, 11:32   #32
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Originally Posted by Mpower
Hey Man
Also, what do you think about the center gauges. Is this the way forward???
The center gauges is a very good piece of engineering done to the Echo. And i think that Toyota also has centre-gauges in Echo's hybrid version "The Prius". The white background of the centre with the light green lights console gives a soothing effect to the eyes. Your eyes are not strained during long drives at night. I've driven this vehicle over I-90 from Boston to the Niagara falls overnight.

Also, the side dash reduces the level of distraction than the front dashboard. A front dashboard is like its staring at you all the time and that can be quite distractive especially on long drives. The centre dash-board is not as intrusive to the vision. The red-warning lights are just right to catch your attention and are nicely placed.

The worst car i ever drove in terms of the dashboard was a rented "pontiac sunfire". The black-dashboard, with red lighted numbers was just horrible. Its just not right for night driving. Although the car was very peppy and powerful. But lacked the F.E of the echo.

Toyota would do very well to launch the Hybrid Prius in India. That would be a winner in Indian conditions. I also feel that the Echo and Prius share the same components sans the engine.

Manish.
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Old 4th May 2005, 13:01   #33
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Originally Posted by man23ish
Toyota would do very well to launch the Hybrid Prius in India. That would be a winner in Indian conditions. I also feel that the Echo and Prius share the same components sans the engine.

Manish.
Unfortunately hybrid vehicles won't be popular in India (and are not popular in Europe) because of one factor: the price difference between petrol and diesel. Due to this, most people would rather buy a diesel car rather than a fuel-efficient petrol vehicle.

Now if someone could make a hybrid diesel vehicle, that would be a hit for sure!
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Old 6th May 2005, 12:34   #34
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Originally Posted by johnjacob
Unfortunately hybrid vehicles won't be popular in India (and are not popular in Europe) because of one factor: the price difference between petrol and diesel. Due to this, most people would rather buy a diesel car rather than a fuel-efficient petrol vehicle.

Now if someone could make a hybrid diesel vehicle, that would be a hit for sure!
I don't buy that argument. For one, the price difference between a petrol and a diesel won't be much with both the fuels being priced in India as per the international market rates. Already, we've seen diesel prices shoot up from 16-17 Rs to more than 30 Rs now, that is a jump of nearly 100%. Whereas in the same period, petrol prices have jumped from Rs 32 to Rs 44, which means a jump of nearly 50-60%. Going by the statistics, it won't be long when the diesel rates catch up with those of petrol.

Secondly, The diesel engine is upto 2-3 times heavier for a vehicle with similar power-to-weight ratio. Correspondingly a hybrid diesel vehicle will need more powerful batteries adding to its overall weight. Now such a heavy vehicle might be suited for Mass Transportation vehicles but is extremely unsuitable for individuals.

On the contrary, a petrol hybrid vehicle is not only light-weight, but also gives excellent fuel-efficiency. The regenerative braking techniques charge up the batteries, thereby saving some more energy. All-in-all, i am for Toyota to launch its hybrid vehicles in India. I feel that the government of India should encourage or give some Tax concessions to TMC so that they launch their hybrid range of vehicles in India. This would also provide motivation to other players, since we know how the auto Industry in india works. No-body innovates on their own, but everybody simply follows the more successful models.

e.g.
1> Look no further than the B+ segment vehicles. Fiat launched it first, followed by Hyundai Getz, Maruti Swift, etc.
2> CRDI Technology: Launched by Hyundai, Followed by Mahindra and Mahindra, Tata and others now.

I am hoping that Toyota launches its Hybrid Technology for which it has more than 8 patents and leaves all the other companies far behind in the race.
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Old 6th May 2005, 13:02   #35
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[quote=man23ish]I don't buy that argument. For one, the price difference between a petrol and a diesel won't be much with both the fuels being priced in India as per the international market rates. Going by the statistics, it won't be long when the diesel rates catch up with those of petrol. [/QUOTE[
I dont agree. Diesel being the goods mover fuel, it will always be subsidized so that inflation doesnot raise.

Quote:
I feel that the government of India should encourage or give some Tax concessions to TMC so that they launch their hybrid range of vehicles in India. This would also provide motivation to other players, since we know how the auto Industry in india works.
You are right. Goverment should provide tax exemptions. As it is hybrid cars are expensive.. Without tax exemptions, not many can afford it !
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Old 6th May 2005, 13:19   #36
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You are right - look at China where big cars are selling well.
Indians believe in bigger the better. Even China does the same i guess. In Malyasia NHC is cheaper then its hatch version
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Old 6th May 2005, 14:46   #37
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Originally Posted by shankaranand
I dont agree. Diesel being the goods mover fuel, it will always be subsidized so that inflation doesnot raise.
You are getting me out of context, Diesel will be subsidized for Indian Railways and for the public Transportation vehicles. But for the general public, the price of owning a diesel vehicle including the maintenance will become more or less the same as that for a petrol vehicle, even though the price of diesel is less than that for petrol. Going by that argument and considering the weight of the diesel engine, its not an ideal fit for hybridization.

A petrol engine can be hybridized easily. Apart from petrol + Electric option, we also have petrol + CNG and petrol + LPG vehicles running on the roads.

Manish.
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Old 30th July 2005, 09:13   #38
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TOYOTA is planning the AYGO for the Indian market to take on the SWIFT. May come out with a 1.0L or 1.3L variants.
As per TOI.
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