The Toyota Raum is popularly believed to be a feminine car because it is low and small but I believe it is a suitable car that any first-time motorist can buy and drive until they have the financial capacity to upgrade.
From a user point of view, like most Toyota brands, the Toyota Raum is easy to maintain since its spare parts are readily available and can be fixed by most qualified mechanics. Everything, especially the spare parts are locally available and can be sourced without spending a lot of money.
For instance, brand new tyres cost approximately Shs180,000 per piece, depending on the type and where you buy them, whereas average service costs between Shs100,000 and Shs150,000.
Compared to the 1998 model, the 2008 model Toyota Raum I own is much more comfortable, has a neat interior with a number of storage pockets in the doors. It is also more stable at high speeds and spacious, both in the trunk and the passenger area.
The co-driver and driver’s seating area offer enough legroom that allows you to drive for longer distances without disembarking to stretch. A full tank with capacity to contain more than 40 litres of fuel can take me from Kampala to Mbarara City in western Uganda without need to top up on the way.
I love small cars because they are easy to drive and maintain, easy to clean at home instead of spending money at the washing bay and this is where the Toyota Raum comes in handy. When I am driving in the city centre and it is inevitable to park on the street much as it is unsafe, the Raum can fit in the smallest space. Even at home, where parking space is limited, the Raum can easily be parked.
The advantage with small cars such as a Toyota Raum is that you will not be bullied off the road by trucks or bigger cars, especially in traffic jam and when joining the road.
Besides its size, its consumption is also friendly and affordable because of its small engine size of 1500cc. For instance, I live in Bugolobi and work in Kampala City centre but in a week, I spend approximately Shs50,000 on fuel.
The Raum’s cost of maintenance is equally affordable depending on how often you drive it. For service one every four months, my mechanic picks the car from home, services it and returns it and this usually costs as low as Shs100,000 and labour of approximately Shs70,000.
It is also a small family car that can accommodate five people when I drive out of town for a weekend getaway.
I drive a Toyota Raum 2006 model. It is a car I can comfortably use for my journeys upcountry since it can easily manoeuvre through any terrain without getting stuck. Although it is a small car, its front wheel drive (FWD) system protects the car from skidding, especially on slippery murram roads.
It also has raised ground clearance that allows you to drive through potholes and humps without underneath parts of the car rubbing against the road surface.
On the highway, it has the capacity to give you approximately 15 kilometres using one litre of fuel and approximately seven to 10 kilometres in urban areas with slow moving traffic.
I have not carried out any major service on the car but on average, I spend approximately Shs200,000 to replace the engine oil, brake pads, air and oil filters, spark plugs and a few other crucial parts.