Toyota is renewing its commitment to youth.
The Echo, a subcompact replacing the Tercel, will be on dealer lots this fall. The Echo will be priced significantly lower than the current-year Corolla.
The Echo represents a 'major stage dive back into the scene,' said Don Esmond, vice president of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.
Toyota built its sales base in the United States by focusing on young baby boomers. As boomers have aged, Toyota has refined its products. Most Toyotas are now priced out of the range of entry-level buyers.
The Echo offers first-time buyers an entrance into Toyota's line.
It features a center-mount instrument panel dominated by a large speedometer. The center positioning lets the driver focus on the road, Esmond said.
A 1.5-liter twin-cam four-cylinder engine will win low-emission vehicle certification from the EPA, Esmond said. The engine will produce 108 hp and achieve 45 mpg.
The Echo will be built in Japan.