Ask the Mechanic: Is the Wish a good car to buy?

What you need to know:

I have been told it is not a strong car

I am considering buying my first car and I have always wanted a Toyota Wish since it is big enough to accommodate my family. However, I have been told it is not a strong car. Please list its advantages and disadvantages.


Hello Veronica, the Toyota Wish is a multi-purpose vehicle and its strongest attributes are its efficient engines, versatile multi-purpose design, practicality as a spacious seven-seater family wagon, and affordable running costs. It also has a few major challenges such as its low ground clearance, which makes it easy to damage when driving on uneven murram roads. Also, its VVTi engines are sensitive to engine oil and fuel quality, and are known to have failed when not serviced or fuelled with good quality oils and fuels.

The Wish is a spacious seven-seater family wagon good for a family road trip since it offers ample legroom for the five passengers on the first two rows. However, the higher headroom is available for the first two rows, leaving the third row cramped and suitable for younger passengers. Also, if the three rows are occupied by passengers, this significantly reduces the cargo space. However, should you need to carry more cargo than passengers, the second and third rows can fold away to create a van-like cargo space. The Wish provides the usual average comfort and convenience amenities such as air conditioning, a good stereo and electric windows and mirrors. However, the rear passengers do not enjoy the air conditioning since they do not have vents.

The Wish also has the popular 1.8 litre 1ZZ FE engine, which has a good balance of fuel economy (14.4 km/Litre) and reasonable performance. It also offers the punchier 2.0 litre engine popular for highway driving.

The Wish’s engines are fuel efficient and fairly responsive for a quick dash on the highway. However, these Variable Valve Timing (VVTI) engines require professional attention during service and running on cleaner fuels to avoid damage of the VVti assembly and other sensitive precision fuel and lubrication system components. The car’s continuous velocity transmission (CVT) also helps to improve fuel economy as it shifts using engine ratios. However, when servicing the CVT gearbox, you must use only the Toyota recommended CVT oil to avoid damaging the gearbox.

The Wish is not as agile and responsive as other MPVs such as the Corolla Fielder because of its poorer weight-body ratio (It feels as driving a school minivan so it should not  be driven fast around sharp bends). The Wish’s front bumper and engine floor tend to easily get damaged when driving over humps because of its longer profile (2750mm), lower arrival and departure angles. Its low ground clearance (155mm) and smaller wheels and rims augment this problem.

The Wish is a good car to go for if you have a family of five to seven people. It requires patience on the highway and careful driving to avoid damaging the lower ride and suspension or steering components. Maintenance is fairly easy if you stick to manufacturer advice and will cost between Shs21m to Shs23 million in the bond. Its resale value is between Shs10 and Shs15m, depending on the condition.

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