What you need to know:
Since 2002 when the Toyota Probox was released, it has been a favourite among many motorists for a number of reasons including its loading capacity, fuel economy and being a multipurpose car, writes Roland D. Nasasira
Before I bought the Toyota Probox, I owned the Toyota G-Touring which I would use for commercial purposes. However, after eight years, it started developing endless mechanical issues, the reason why I sold it and bought the Toyota Probox. I do not regret my decision because I have found the Probox to be more of a workhorse than the G-Touring.
I am a businessman and I use it purposely to supply retail shop merchandise, especially eggs in Kisaasi, Ntinda and Bukoto, all Kampala suburbs. I drive it on a daily basis except on Sunday when I do not work. Although I bought it with five seats, for more space, since I do not carry any passengers, I removed the passenger seat column.
Because of the nature of my work that involves many movements, on average, I spend Shs200,000 on fuel per week.
Because I drive on roads of all conditions, I replaced the ordinary shock absorbers with a heavy duty suspension system that can withstand rough road conditions.
I am a marketing agent for one of the bakeries in Kampala and I operate mostly in Kawempe Division where I supply their products. I first used a tricycle to do my work but it would break down often, forcing me to buy the Toyota Probox. It is a multi-purpose car. Besides using it as a delivery van, I also sometimes drive it to the farm in Bombo District where I use it to transport perishables such as tomatoes and farm inputs.
I service after covering 5,000km, a distance I normally cover in two to four months or less, depending on how often I drive it. Because it is my daily car, during service, I pay attention to the brake system, engine oil, spark plugs as well as fuel and oil filters. On average, I spend Shs130,000 on service.
However, sometimes I do not wait to cover the 5,000km because there are some mechanical faults that cannot wait. For example, the front suspension arm of the suspension system got broken as I drove two weeks after I did minor service. I had to drive to the garage the next day to have it fixed.
I have driven the Toyota Probox for four years. One of the features I like about it is its powerful engine performance and durability. I mostly drive it upcountry and on the highway, I maintain my driving speed between 80km/hr to 100km/hr. At 100km/hr, it covers approximately 16km per litre of fuel. It uses a smaller size of tyres and this helps in maintaining speed but also keeping the car stable at relatively high speeds.
When it comes to maintenance, the Probox is not a car that easily breaks down. It has capacity to carry a 1,000kg load and still remain stable on the road. When you offload it and carry out a mechanical inspection, you will be surprised that it has not developed any mechanical fault even after seeming as though it was overloaded. However, this does not mean that you load it beyond the recommended load weight.
If you want the Probox to perform to its loading capacity, it has to be well maintained. You have to use the right tyre and rim size, use quality engine oil and the right suspension system.
One of the downsides of the Probox is that it does not provide ample headroom for tall motorists. When it is not air conditioned, it becomes hot and uncomfortable to drive during hot weather. The other downside is that it does not have the best ground clearance to drive through roads with deep gullies, especially if you operate upcountry.
The performance advantage it has is that it generates its wheel power from front wheels that it ably uses to drive through slippery roads as long as you drive it on tyres with treads.