There is no doubt that beyond being perceived by many as a family car, the Toyota Noah goes beyond that.
According to David Mukwaya, who has owned a Toyota Noah Field Tourer for approximately six years, its full-time four wheel drive system (4WD) enables one to drive on any murram road without the worry of getting stuck. It is a closed body car with a 2000cc engine size, runs on a four-cylinder engine and has a maximum speed of 180km per hour.
Mukwaya says the car comes built with six speakers- one on the driver and co-driver’s doors, two positioned on the passenger door and the other two positioned in the trunk area, opposite each other. Family-wise, a Noah is a seven or eight seater van.
It also uses one litre of fuel to cover six kilometres regardless of whether it is on a tarmacked or murram road.
“I am a farmer and I use this car to carry chicken feeds. It is also a car I use in case of a tragedy such as loss of a loved one to carry the casket. This is possible because its rear seats can be adjusted or tilted to create big space that stretches from the boot to the driver’s seat. It serves the same purpose as a double cabin,” Mukwaya says, adding that it is an all-season car.
A Noah also serves as a vehicle that Mukwaya uses to transport shop merchandise from anywhere he buys them to his shop, courtesy of its 1,650 kilogramme carrying capacity.
Much as a Toyota Noah can be used to do a number of things, Mukwaya observes that in traffic jam, it consumes more fuel because of its full-time 4WD system. When driving on a murram road and you drive beyond 160 kilometres per hour, it starts to shake and becomes uncomfortable, which is quite different when driving on a turmacked road where he says it can be driven even at 180 kilometres per hour and it remains stable.
Servicing and maintenance
Like a human body, Mukwaya says the way you service a Toyota Noah, just like any other car, determines how long it lasts, regardless of its number plates series.
“Since I bought the car, it has never broken down. I spend a lot of money to maintain it because I do not drive it above the recommended service mileage. If any of its parts shows a warning sign of breaking down, I do not panel beat. I replace it immediately. This is the secret to it looking newer than vehicles with latest number plates,” Mukwaya says.
“I also do not share my car because when you do, the person with whom you share it may damage something and may not open up. They let you find out the hard way when they have returned the car,” he adds.
Mukwaya also says his car is only washed by a particular person who uses a special type of liquid soap.
“After washing, he uses body polish for the exterior and dashboard polish for cleaning the interior of the car,” Muwkwaya concludes.
Mathias Kakwenda, a car dealer, says the Toyota Noah comes in the Toyota Noah Hybrid X and Y, Toyota Noah Field Tourer and Toyota Noah Town Ace, among other types.
According to Wikipedia, the first generation of the Toyota Noah was first launched in November 2001 and was manufactured until 2006. The second generation (R70) was released in 2007. It has a 2.0 litre gasoline direct injection engine and standard front wheel drive or available four wheel drive. It was discontinued in Japan when the third generation Noah was released in January 2014.
When Mukwaya bought his Noah in 2013, it cost Shs22m. However, Mathias Kakwenda, a car dealer, says of late, taxes and the ban on importation of used cars that are more than 15 years old has pushed the cost of the Toyota Noah to approximately between Shs30 and Shs35m in car bonds.
“Besides high importation taxes and the ban, a Toyota Noah is one of the most sought after cars because it serves many purposes. It is a car you can use to drive to work, the farm and any other kind of work you put it to. It is non-discriminatory,” Kakwenda notes.