GetawayThe Student Driver

The Dudent Striver: gRosh’s Toyota Echo

‎When you’re the Editor-In-Chief of The Getaway, only the best will do for your whip. In this episode of The Dudent Striver, I’ll be reviewing Grosh Moshmore’s 2001 Toyota Echo. For this review I’ll be looking into the car’s handling and performance, comfort and general characteristics.
Firstly, Grosh’s Echo is an ultra-high performance machine in the range of an Acura NSX or Audi R8. When you get behind the wheel you’re welcomed by the smell of magazines and old car fresheners from a time when BlackBerries were cool. With a broken key, it’s just a mere twist to have the car cough to life with the fervor of a hungover university student at 8:00AM.
Alex Cheung
The Echo is powered by a 1.5L non-turbo 4 cylinder DOHC putting out a heart pounding 106HP as mated to a 4 speed PDK clutch tortoise-fast automatic. In reality since the car is over 15 years old I was probably getting a strong 80HP at the axle. On the road — back to a more serious note — the car is powered by old school hydraulic steering, but road feel is still absent. Cornering feels numb and while the car is plenty fine for commuting it pales in comparison to the Lexus IS 300 F Sport I was also reviewing that week.
Putting your foot to the floor is like watching paint dry… in slow motion, as it tries to take control of your car and kill you. First you can hear the transmission down shift with a clunky thud followed by a hoarse race to the engine’s redline. Second, you get massive amounts of torque steer (endemic of older front wheel driver cars) which is when the steering wheel suddenly pulls really hard either left or right. This is due to differing axle lengths between the front power wheel and the other three wheels. Without adequate correction you might find yourself in the tree line on the shoulders of the road. Acceleration is a total buzzkill as you are so hype for some massive acceleration thanks to some deadeningly loud engine revs but instead are met with a minor increase in speed. It’s like waiting for the beat to drop at a Skillrex concert only to have the music suddenly stop. Get wrecked. My homemade, “track testing” of the vehicle resulted in a 0-100km/h time of around six months.
Alex Cheung
When it comes to the brakes, they are mushy and lack the feel I’m used to in modern cars. The upside is that it is decently comfortable; the seating is upright and easy on one’s back. Visibility is also arguably quite good with few blindspots. It is also a good looking vehicle that can compete with the likes of Audi and BMW.


It does smell a bit funny though and it wouldn’t be a bad idea to have the car serviced (the check engine light was blaring in my face the entire time) and cleaned. It is a Toyota though and I’m told it has a decent reliability record.
In conclusion, I’ll probably stick with my 2017 Lexus IS 300 F sport which puts out nearly three times as much power as Grosh’s car and takes the corners like a dream with loads of grip. If you like torque steer, funky smells and an uninspiring ride on your way in to work, the 2001 Toyota Echo is for you. I guess the biggest upside of Grosh’s car is it is a Toyota and despite all its problems it’s still here and it will probably remain so for at least another few years.
Conclusion: 100% Dank Tweets certified.
Alex Cheung

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