The Toyota Spacio is a mini-station wagon that is favoured mostly by the youth and women as their first or even second car. This is mainly attributed to its relatively low fuel consumption as well as service and maintenance costs. These motorists share their experiences of owning the car with Roland D. Nasasira
I have had my Toyota Spacio 2003 model since 2014 and I bought it with a mileage of 40,000 kilometres. What I like about it is that it is spacious compared to the 2000 model and has two extra foldable seats at the back where other passengers can sit. This means it can carry up to seven passengers, including the driver.
When I am to visit the garage for periodic basic service and maintenance, I spend between Shs120,000 to Shs150,000. The service comprises replacing engine oil, oil and air filters as well as spark plugs, among other parts. It is cheap to maintain because its spare parts are readily available and affordable. It does also not require specialised mechanics.
Much as it does not cost a fortune to service and maintain, there are some parts that cost somewhat highly. For instance, some time back, I had to replace its shock absorbers at Shs450,000. Every time I have to replace its tyres, I spend approximately Shs700,000 because each tyre costs Shs175,000. It takes me approximately two years to replace the tyres because I mostly use the car in Kampala and rarely drive it upcountry.
I have test driven other cars such as a Subaru Forester, Mercedes Benz Kompressor, Mark II and a Volkswagen Golf but a Toyota Spacio is lighter than these cars. This is because when I drive it at higher speeds, it starts shaking and becomes unstable on the road. It is more comfortable at low speeds.
In terms of fuel consumption, I spend Shs100,000 on fuel in a week because I drive from home in Kira, Kampala, to work in the city centre and back home. This is when I factor in traffic jam. I would not exchange my Toyota Spacio for any other car because it is pocket friendly. It is a car you can drive even when you are broke.
I have owned my Toyota Spacio for one and a half years. During this time, I have found it to be a spacious car. Besides having the capacity to carry five passengers including the driver, when I am travelling upcountry and have a lot of luggage, I fold the rear seats to create more space.
It has a 1500cc engine and this makes its fuel consumption affordably low. Besides the low fuel consumption, it is also cheap to maintain and has a high resale value. If I ever want to sell it off to buy another car, I stand a high chance of a higher bargain because it is cheap to maintain and service but expensive to buy.
I service the car every five months and spend between Shs90,000 to Shs150,000. This will replace parts such as the engine oil, oil and air filters, among other parts. I find the Toyota Spacio to have a high ground clearance compared to the Toyota Alteza that I have also test driven before. The only car I would trade the Toyota Spacio for is a Toyota Rav4.
I bought the car in May 2017. Overtime, I have found it not only to be spacious but to also have a high ground clearance. There are no roads I have driven on and the lower part of the car touches the road surface, unless it is on a murram road and the speed humps are too raised. But even then, I drive over them longitudinally.
I preferred importing to buying locally from the bond because I did not want to buy something that had stayed in the bond for a long time. As such, it rarely develops mechanical issues. I go to the garage once or twice in a year and even then, it is for a really complex mechanical fault. I either drive to Kisekka Market or my mechanic picks it from home or at work, take if for service and then return it.
Since 2017, I have replaced the shock absorbers, besides the tri-monthly service I go for at the fuel station. After the three months, I spend between Shs70,000 to Shs80,000 and this involves replacing the engine oil, brake pads, brake fluid, engine coolant, among other parts.
I have previously driven a Toyota Vitz. Besides the Vitz having a low consumption rate compared to the Toyota Spacio, the two cars are of the same family because they have the same ground clearance. Where the Spacio beats the Vitz is that it is spacious. Its name (Toyota Spacio) must have been derived from how spacious it is in the interior.
It has a 1500cc engine size. When I refuel, I fill the tank with approximately Shs160,000 and it takes me for two and a half weeks. I would not trade it for any other car. If I had the capacity to maintain its fuel consumption, I would go for a Toyota Harrier but for now, I am very comfortable with the Toyota Spacio because I can afford fuelling it.