The YouTube revenues should do more than cover costs. An Echo is worth next to nothing. Honestly, this smells just a bit fishy to me. Not trying to be overly-skeptical or cynical, but there are too many unanswered questions. A decent $1500 car is not hard to come by, and if they still have the camera equipment and did not gamble away youtube profits, they are left with more than enough. How can the channel even exist in the first place? It's too easy to milk the internet for money.
Also if an ultimatum is made [i.e. give us money or we can't possibly keep making reviews], then there is some possibility fans are being a bit exploited. To butt in with my opinion, we need to keep level heads and come at this from a less emotional approach. Objectivity is key if you don't want to be duped.