Which Toyota should I buy?

Thursday August 15 2019

Toyota Spacio

Toyota Spacio 

By Paul Kaganzi

Hello Paul,

I am in the process of buying a car and I need your guidance on comparing the Toyota Allex/Runx 2004 model, Toyota Spacio 2004 and Toyota Wish 2004. Please tell me about affordability, fuel consumption, stability on the road, comfort as well as resale value.


Hello Mukasa, a comparison of the four Toyota Corolla vehicles Runx, Allex, Spacio and Wish in design terms, is not exactly ‘apples with apple’s. The 2004 Toyotas Allex and Runx are five-door compact hatchbacks with a fixed five seat arrangement.
On the other hand, the 2004 Spacio and Wish are five-door compact multipurpose vehicles (MPV) with three row flexible seats that can be adjusted or removed to accommodate cargo.
In terms of practicality and space, the MPVs offer a better deal. Flexible three-row seating accommodates five to seven passengers while more luggage can be carried when seats are removed. Spacio has better headroom, while the Wish provides superior legroom. All four cars have the same shoulder room. In drivability terms, the Toyota Allex, RunX and Spacio are good city run abouts because of their compact sizes.
Also, Allex and RunX are easier to park in tight Kampala parking spaces. Their higher ground clearance makes it easier to drive over portholed roads in some suburbs. On the other hand, the lower profile Toyota Wish has better handling and manouvering through sharp highway corners at higher speeds. It feels more settled on the tarmac than all the three higher shorter alternatives because of its longer lower profile.
In fuel economy terms, the Allex and RunX 1.3 litre 2NZFE engine gives least power (84 horse power), slowest speed but the best highway fuel economy 18.2 km/litre. Allex/RunX and Spacio share the 109 horsepower 1NZ-FE 1.5 litre engine but the two Allex/RunX deliver 16.6km/Litre while the slightly bigger and heavier Spacio gives you 16km/litre.
Spacio and Wish both share the 140 horse power 1.8 litre 1ZZ-FE engine. The Spacio gives you fuel economy of 14.62km/litre while the bigger Wish does 12.8km/litre. Wish also comes with the 2.0 litre Direct4 injection 147 horse power 1AZ-FSE engine with the efficient CVT gearbox. This one has a fuel economy of 14.4 km/litre on a highway.
All fuel statistics can be improved with use of efficiency improving fuels, better car tyre and engine maintenance as well as sensible driving. Maintenance and running costs for all the four Toyota cars is affordable if you service regularly with good parts and use reputàble engine oil and cleaner efficient we fuel.
Prices in the bond/locally used:
Allex/RunX: Shs28m and between Shs12m and Shs15m
Spacio: Shs27m and between Shs15m and Shs18m
Wish: Shs26m and Shs17m

Why is my Toyota Carina jerking?

Hello Paul, my old Toyota Carina has developed poor starting and a jerking problem when I accelerate. Could this be caused by a faulty gearbox? Mary


Hello Mary, it is important to distinguish between car jerking caused by your car engine and jerking caused by the transmission or gearbox. The two kinds of car jerking are caused by different reasons. Normally, jerking by the engine will be experienced as soon as you accelerate or try to start the engine. On the other hand, a jerk in the transmission or gearbox will be experienced when shifting gears. This kind of jerking is violent and felt around the midsection where the gearbox is located.
Gearbox-induced jerking is usually caused by a faulty transmission fluid or electrical systems and occasionally damaged transmission mountings or insulators. An experienced mechanic can tell the difference. The car jerking on your Toyota Carina seems to be engine related. This may be a result of poor fuel air ratio, a necessary condition for smooth engine running.
It is important to inspect or test performance of components in the fuel system such as the fuel hoses, fuel pump, long life fuel filter as well as the fuel injectors. A dirty fuel filter will affect the performance or even cause damage of the fuel pump due to back pressure and fuel injectors when it allows dirt through.
This will reduce fuel pressure and cause the engine to jerk. The air intake system is crucial for balancing the fuel air ratio in order to ensure smooth engine running. There are air intake system components such as the air filter, air intake hoses, throttle potentiometer and vacuum hoses that should be inspected to ensure that there is no restriction of air intake.
Occasionally, a faulty ignition system will cause an engine misfire. Critical components to check are spark plugs, ignition coils or high tension leads in the case of your Carina. A good mechanic should help to identify the faulty components.

Can a new driver display L plates when driving?
Hello Paul,

My sister has bought her first car. However, she is a first-time driver and not so confident on the road although she has a driving permit. Can she use the “L” sign? Dennis

Hello Dennis, it is illegal to display “L” (Learner) plates on a car and drive without a licensed driving instructor. If your sister is not yet confident on the road, she should take refresher driving lessons until she is competent to drive safely. The Traffic and Road Safety Act of 1998, statutory instrument 361, part IV subsection 40 clearly highlights how to use “L” plates and who is authorised to use them.
1) Upon payment of the prescribed fee, the chief licensing officer shall issue to every licensed instructor a set of “L” identification plates in the prescribed form for the motor vehicle, trailer or engineering plant used by the instructor for the purpose of instruction.
2) When the motor vehicle is being used by a licensed instructor for the purposes of instructing a learner driver, it shall display the “L” plates issued under subsection 1.