By Paul Kaganzi
Hello Paul, I need to buy a family car for five people suitable for town runs and occasional dash to the village. I am torn between the 2003 Toyota Corolla Fielder and Toyota Wish. Help me to choose between the two. Jessica
Hello Jessica, the Toyota Corolla Fielder and Toyota Wish are two multi-purpose Toyota Vehicles with almost similar attributes.
If you are looking for a versatile and more practical five-seater family wagon, then the Toyota Corolla Fielder may be a better choice. However, it is a close call because the Wish has some strong attributes too.
Toyota Corolla Fielder and Toyota Wish share the popular 1.8 litre 1ZZ FE engine. This engine has a good balance of fuel economy (14.4 km/litre) and reasonable performance.
The Wish also offers the punchier 2.0 litre engine popular for highway driving. Fielder also has the smaller 1.5 and 1.3 litre engines which are fuel efficient but sluggish when you need to take off.
The Wish is also a longer seven-seater with more spacious seating legroom and higher headroom for the first and second rows. However, the third row is crampy and suitable for children. The three rows in the Wish substantially reduce the cargo space and you may need to fold away the third row to make more cargo space.
The Fielder on the other hand has slightly smaller seating legroom but more balanced seating space for five passengers because of the two row seat configuration. It also has much better cargo space, which makes it more suitable for a family road trip.
Both cars provide reasonable comfort and amenities such as electric windows, good entertainment and air conditioning. The Wish air conditioning is not effective for the third row passengers because there are no vents at the rear. Fielder provides more practicality with ample storage bins and cup storage.
On the road, the Fielder is more agile and responsive because of its better weight body ratio. Fielder’s slightly shorter profile (2600mm) and higher ground clearance (160mm) gives it a better approach and departure angle which helps to navigate uneven humps and suburban or upcountry roads.
The Wish 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. The lower Wish ground clearance (155mm) and smaller wheels and rims cause this problem.
For reliability, ensure that when you buy a Fielder or Wish with the CVT (Continous Velocity Transmission), use the correct CVT oil to carry out service. Both vehicles have VVTi engines which are sensitive to the quality of engine oil and fuel. Therefore, VVTi and timing chain kits in these engines require prompt and consistent high lubrication standard.
Fuel with detergent additives is recommended to keep the sensitive precision engine fuel system clean and working well. Maintenance and repair parts are readily available.