In 2003 the Toyota Raum won the Japan Good Design Award, emphasising the Raum’s ease-of-use for extended families. But just what exactly makes this car an award winner? From the Raum’s fuel consumption through to its roomy interior.The Toyota Corolla Spacio and Toyota 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 German, “raum” means “space, room, or area,” which is entirely fitting. When Toyota designers came together to work on Toyota Raum’s features, they used the keywords “An-Raku-Tan,” which calls together the ideas of affordability, safety, ease-of-use, and simplicity. The Raum is solid enough to handle highway driving, even long distances, with a minimum of noise and vibration, but where it really shines is in the everyday urban and suburban driving that most families have to deal with.
One interesting feature of the Toyota Raum is the body and door configuration. First, the small 14-inch tires and the low floor make entry and exit very easy. Like many MPVs, the Raum has conventional front doors and two sliding side doors, but with one key difference. Instead of the front and sliding doors latching to a common pillar, they latch to each other.By eliminating the B-Pillar and lowering the floor height, loading children and groceries or making deliveries is a breeze. The elderly and those with disabilities can enter and exit with little difficulty. Additionally, the passenger sliding door can be electronically activated, meaning the driver doesn’t have to leave the driver’s seat for picking up or dropping off passengers.
As far as flexibility goes, the seats are made with this in mind. If you need more space for cargo, the rear seat splits 60:40, folding flat and forward. If you need more room for entry and exit to the second row seats, the front passenger seat is of the same fold-and-tumble design.
Another interesting feature is the automatic transmission gear shift lever, which has been moved to the dash, freeing up floor space and making even more room for moving around the cabin.
As with all Toyota products, the Toyota Raum delivers, not only in excellent design and functionality, but long-lasting reliability. The second-generation Toyota Raum, starting in 2003 and running until the model was discontinued in 2011, has proven to be a very popular vehicle for busy families, especially those living with the elderly.Because of its flexible design, the Raum is also very useful as a light delivery vehicle. In spite of being discontinued, parts are still readily available, as the engine is the same as used in the Toyota Prius hybrid, and the chassis is shared with the Toyota Vitz hatchback.
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