By: Rashid Abubakar
The Toyota Corolla Spacio and Toyoya Raum are two of the most common minivans in Africa and other places. If you are looking for a stylish, spacious and small minivan that is built in the style of a compact car, one of these two should serve you just right. Both cars went into production in 1997, capturing a segment of the market that had been looking for a cross between a compact car and a minivan. In this article, we are going to compare the two vehicles side by side so that you can make an informed decision when buying your car of choice. Continue reading to discover which of these great vehicles is right for you!
The Toyota Corolla Spacio
The first Toyota Corolla Spacio was released into the market in 1997. Also called the Corolla Versa, the 1st generation was replaced by the 2nd generation in 2001 with certain improvements. In 2004, the 3rd generation of the Spacio was unveiled and it came with more advanced features like giving buyers a choice between two engines – 1.6 liter and 1.8 liter petrol and diesel engine choices of 2.0 liters or 2.2 liters.
The 3rd generation of Spacio was designed out of Japan (in Turkey) and was aimed at the European market. The 3rd generation would later find its way to Kenya, South Africa and Morocco, but it was not sold in Japan.
The Toyota Raum
The 1st generation of the Toyota Raum went into the market in May 1997, and the 2nd generation was unveiled in May 2003 and in Japan, it was marketed as Toyota Netz. The word Raum was adopted from the German word for “space,” and this car is indeed spacious inside. It is a small compact minivan with rear sliding doors.
The 1st generation was replaced by the 2nd generation in May 2003 and this one came with advanced features such as enhanced protection for side impact, electronically controlled sliding doors for the rear. In addition, the Raum shared the same engine with the Toyota Prius. In 2011, the production of the Toyota Raum was discontinued.
Interior and Exterior Comparison
To be fair to the Raum, which was produced over only two generations, we are going to compare it against the Spacio’s 2nd generation model for an even analysis.
The interior of the Toyota Corolla Spacio 2nd generation is much bigger than that of the 1st generation. Some of the features to look for include adjustable driver and passenger’s (front) seat. The seats are manually adjustable both horizontally and vertically. The second row seats are adjustable and can be moved forwards and backwards. The second row can seat three adults comfortably as the space between the first and the second row seats was increased. The addition of the third row seats means you can seat two additional passengers, mostly children.
Other interior features for the Spacio included a foot parking brake, and a gearshift that is located on the dashboard thus creating room for movement, airbags, AC, CD player/FM/AM radio, power windows and power steering. It is a 5-door, 7-seater minivan, although the back seats are not very comfortable for adults, and the first four doors open conventionally. The 2nd generation was bigger in size compared to the 1st generation, measuring 4240mm, offering an increase in comfort.
The front grill is bigger and is enjoined to the bumper, and both of the same come in the color of the vehicle. The body shape is more consistent and emphasizes a uniform shape thanks to the continuous roof line. The front headlights have also been improved a bit from horizontal to auto-leveling types. The ground clearance is 165mm. For a minivan, the Spacio looks good as it doesn’t bear that boxy look that many others come with, and it is a super efficient family vehicle with a lot of room inside.
The total cargo volume for the Spacio is 14.7 cubic feet/416 liters.
The 2nd generation Toyota Raum is a small minivan that comes with 5 or 4 seats and 5 doors. It is a feature-rich vehicle with many improvements in the interior and the exterior. Starting with the interior, a 2005 Raum has cup holders, airbags for the front passenger and driver, power steering, climate control, foot-parking brake and with the gear lever having been moved to the dashboard, there is a lot of legroom in the front. Large door pockets provide more storage options, as does the glove compartment.
Some of the improvements that you will love about this car is that the C pillar and the D pillar have been painted the color of the car. This makes the car look stylishly uniform all around.
The passenger seats split 40:60 giving you more cargo volume if you need more space when getting groceries for the family. The rear seats are very easy to fold just by pulling the tab to increase cargo space. If you are carrying tall items, you can also fold down the front passenger seat to accommodate the length.
With 14-inch tires, this car is quite low to the ground, thus making it easier for children and the elderly to board. It is also easy to load cargo into the car. The back/trunk door opens sideways, and the two rear sliding doors are joined together.
Engine and Fuel Efficiency Comparison
The 2nd generation Toyota Spacio came in an EFI engine, but the latter ones came in a 1.5 liter, 4-cylinder VVT-i engine, with an output of 110 horsepower. However, there is also a bigger 1.8-liter engine. The drive train is 2-wheel, front wheel drive while the transmission is automatic 5 speed, but it is also easy to find a manual 5 speed gearbox.
The fuel type is petrol and the average fuel consumption for both highway and city combined is 7.4 liters for 100 km. The fuel tank has a capacity of 52 liters. The fuel system is multipoint injection.
Featuring a 109HP, 1.5-liter (1496 cc) 4-cylinder engine with EFI fuel system, the Raum is a very economical hatchback/MPV. The 2nd generation version comes with an average fuel consumption rate of 16km/l, very good indeed. It is available in a 2-wheel drive or a 4 wheel drive train but for both varieties, the transmission is 4-speed automatic. The consumption varies slightly because the 4WD has a consumption averaging 15km/l. The fuel tank capacity is 45 liters.
These vehicles are very similar in features and are almost the same size. However, the Spacio has more ground clearance at 165mm as compared to the Raum’s 150mm.