What you need to know:
As the fuel prices sour, many motorists are begining to feel the pinch. Roland Nasasira talked to Raum owners who are glad their car choice does not dig deep into your pocket
I acquired the Toyota Raum 2008 model in November 2021 and I do not regret my choice. Not only is it pocket friendly to maintain, especially with fuel but is also affordable to service. I live in Kulambiro and work in Kololo and spend between Shs200,000 and Shs260,000 on fuel per month depending on the number of errands. However, to minimise the costs, I also use bodaboda for nearby errands. I also avoid scratches and vandalism since fortunately, I park in work premises. I service it once in six to seven months because I rarely use it for long distances. Then, I replace engine oil and brake pads and, top up brake fluid and transmission fluid which cost approximately Shs100,000. Upon recommendation by the mechanic, I also replace parts such as the fuel and oil filters, otherwise, I usually do preventive maintenance for one and a half months.
My Toyota Raum runs on a 1500cc petrol engine. In these tough economic times, characterised with unstable fuel prices, the Raum becomes the perfect choice. Much as a litre of petrol is almost costing Shs70,000, I sometimes refuel with as low as Shs20,000 for approximately two and a half litres and it will take me through the day, provided I do not make lots of movements. I like the Raum because it is also affordable to maintain in regards to servicing. In the three years I have owned the car, the only costly parts I have replaced were the tyres that cost me Shs800,000 (Shs200,000 each). Since then, I have only been replacing basic parts such as brake pads and lubricants such engine oil that cost not more than Shs150,000, for minor service. Much as I use it every day, the distance I drive is short; I live in Naalya and work in Ntinda. The Raum also has enough interior space because the driver and co-driver have enough leg room while the boot has enough space to carry luggage. When the passengers want to have more leg room space, the rear seat row can be pushed backwards or reclined to provide a sleeping posture when travelling over long distances.
I previously drove the Raum 1999 model but one of the models after it, the 2006 model is much better in terms of comfort, stability and reliability. The 2006 model is also more electric, stylish and classy compared to the 1999 model. Its passenger doors open and close by pressing a button, unlike the older version that requires manpower. In terms of performance, the Raum is not sporty by design but it is a car you will drive between 80-100km/hr and it remains stable. Much as some components were made electric in the newer models, it is still reliable in a sense that even when it develops a mechanical fault, you can still drive for some time. The seats of the 1999 model Raum are of bucket shape but those of the 2006 model are somehow flat, with a soft cushion and these provide a comfortable sitting position. The latter model also has well amplified speakers; well distributed on all doors to enjoy a fun-filled trip should you travel over long distances.
Power - 91 - 109ps
Drive type - AWD/FF
Engine Capacity - 1,496cc