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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey guys... new to the forum, and hoping you can answer some of my questions regarding the Echo Hatchback (2004/2005 model). I'm currently interested in purchasing an Echo HB, but have a few questions:

1) When I was in Young Drivers of Canada, we drove a 2004, 4-door Echo Hatchback, and although it was smooth driving, there was one concern-- the gas pedal is so very tight and takes quite a bit of force to push down and get going from a stop - is this the same in a manual-transmission model of the same car? I found it very annoying. Or is it just me? How do like the gas pedal?

2) How's it like driving the manual transmission model over the automatic? I've only driven the auto model of it, and quite frankly speaking, I can't stand auto over a manual.

3) This is my biggest concern -- power steering. The hatchback model doesn't have it standard, and I'm not sure I want to pay for the LE package (which does have it). How big is the difference?

4) I see now that the 2005 models have a tachometer, unlike the 2004 models. How many of you look at the tachometer when shifting? I just learned to drive a manual a few months ago and even now, I pretty much *always* feel the need to look at the RPM level before shifting, and since the dash is in the middle (kinda annoying), I think it may get annoying to always check the tachometer. I find it annoying enough that I have to look at the center just to check how fast I'm going.

5) Anything else I should know about the hatchback? Sorry if my questions seem obvious, but this will be my first-ever car, and I have a load of questions and concerns.

The other cars I'm competing with include the Hyundai Accent GSi. I just love the smallness and "cute factor" of the HB Echo over the Accent (although the Accent has more features).

EDIT: One more question... why is that the Sedan version (which looks ugly) gets all the options, but the hatchback version doesn't? i.e, power windows/door locks.
 
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