I have had my Premio since 2014. It is a car that does not break down easily unless the problem has been ignored. It’s maintenance costs are also low. On average, its service will cost you Shs90,000 to Shs150,000. I only spend Shs150,000 on service, twice a year and it involves replacing engine oil and transmission fluid. I source for its spare parts from downtown at Kisekka Market.
The Premio was my first personal car but I had previously driven a Subaru Forester. It (Forester) was expensive in terms of service and maintenance and fuel consumption but the Premio is cheaper to maintain compared to the Subaru Forester. It is a car that is suitable for any kind of terrain. Sometimes when I drive it upcountry where the roads are hilly, it easily maneuvers through the hills and any slippery roads without getting stuck. It is not a fast performance car when it comes to speed but it is tough, durable and can withstand most situations.
Mechanically, it is a car that understands the owner. This means that if you are someone who wants to drive without the worry of spending much on either fuel or service, the Toyota Premio is the car to drive. Fuel of Shs10,000 can take you for some distance without the car stalling. Most garage visits will cost only Shs30,000.
Although I fuel on a daily basis, I realised that if I fuel with Shs100,000, it can take me for a week and if I fuel full tank, it can take me to Mbarara and return to Kampala without adding more fuel. It is fuel efficient. It covers approximately 12 kilometers or more using one litre of fuel depending on where you are driving.
Apparently, I would not exchange it for any other car. I have seen the new Toyota Premio model and liked its comfort but in terms of durability because of the hard body and pocket maintenance friendliness, I would maintain the 2000 model. Since 2014, I have only had to replace the four shock absorbers at Shs600,000 as the highest cost I have incurred.
I have had my Toyota Premio model since 2017. It has a 1800cc engine size and this makes it economical in terms of fuel consumption. It also picks up speed from the onset of stepping on the accelerator to whichever speed you can handle. It is not like some cars where you accelerate and it picks up speed much later.
It is affordable when it comes to its service and maintenance.
On average, I spend approximately Shs120,000. I will service parts such as engine oil, air and oil filters, brake pads and transmission fluid. I have not replaced any major part since I bought it. The most expensive part I have replaced were the tyres at Shs1m, with each costing Shs250,000. The shocks cost me Shs600,000 and since then, I have not replaced any other major parts.
After driving for every 10,000 kilometer mileage, I carry out service that costs Shs120,000 to Shs140,000. I replace the brake pads, check whether the spark plugs are still intact, replace the air cleaner, fuel filters and oil filters.
Refuelling depends on the journeys I make. However, I refuel weekly and each time I drive to the fuel station, I spend Shs100,000 and this takes me from home to work and back home.
I would not trade it for any other car because in the three years I have been with the Toyota Premio, it has turned out to be cheaper to maintain compared to the Volkswagen Golf I had prior.
I used to spend between Shs250,000 to Shs300,000 on the Volkswagen Golf, which is double what I spend on service for the Premio. The Golf was just costly for nothing. Besides, it (Volkswagen Golf) could not permit me to drive to wherever I wanted because it had a low ground clearance, compared to the Toyota Premio that is raised and can be driven in any kind of terrain.
The boot or trunk of the Toyota Premio is spacious and can carry up to six bunches of bananas. If the bunches cannot fit, they can be broken down and packed in sacks to carry more.
When I do service, my mechanic picks the car from office, services it and returns it. When he gives me the bill and the cost of labour, it does not cost more than Shs200,000.
Most people look at it as a Japan brand on the low end. Once you maintain it well, it will outlive the Toyota Mark X or the Mark II of the same brand which are considered to be expensive and fast.
I bought my Toyota Premio in 2016 at Shs28m. It runs on a 1800cc engine and is one of the cars I have driven that are cheap to maintain. I have not been to a garage where I have spent more than Shs200,000 on service and maintenance, except if I am to carry out a major spare part replacement. If you wish to spend longer with the Pemio without getting any disappointments or regretting why you bought it, you have to be disciplined and service it on time.
Personally, I service it whenever I drive for 4,000 kilometers. Surprisingly, I have not been to the garage for major parts repairs more than 10 times in the four years. And since I bought it, I have never replaced its spark plugs. Every time I inspect them with my mechanic, they are not due for replacement and have never experienced any mechanical or performance issues with them.
When it comes to fuel consumption, it covers 10 kilometers using one litre of fuel in urban areas like Kampala where there is traffic congestion. On a highway, it covers between 12 to 18 kilometers on one litre because it then consumes less and yet performs faster. I spend Shs160,000 on fuel and this gives me 40 litres to run for a week because the nature of my work involves driving a lot around town. I am a speed merchant and it equally gives me the speed I want when I accelerate.
Much as I have previously driven a Toyota Spacio and the Toyota Harrier, I still find the Premio less hectic and less costly to maintain. It is cheap to maintain and yet it has a high resale value.