The Transformation of the Toyota Raum
First Generation (1997 – 2003)
The first generation TOYOTA RAUM is a compact car with a minivan taste, developed using the chassis of the TERCEL/CORSA/COROLLA II. The outer design was kept very simple. A distinctive feature was the C pillar being made the same color as the body, but by blacking out the D pillar and the area surrounding the rear combination lamps, the design was such that the rear window extended around to the side of the body. Moreover, the rear doors were made sliding on both sides, boasting improved passenger experience when getting on and off the vehicle, as well as enhanced usability. The body size measured in length, width, and height at 4,025mm, 1,685mm, and 1,535mm respectively, and the wheelbase measured at 2,520mm – which was long for its class – thus leading to a comfortable and spacious interior.
By utilizing a column-mounted shifter and foot pedal parking brake, on the inside, any bumps and differences in levels were removed to make a flat floor, thus allowing walk-through in between the front and rear seats. For the back door, a switch was made from one that opened upward to one that opened sideways; combined with the sliding door, usability in narrow and/or low-ceiling places was improved. Furthermore, the equipment options were enriched with high-class installments, such as self-luminous meters.
As for the equipment, UV cut glass that cuts 90% of UV rays was used for the front window and front side window. Of these, the front window had shielding functions to cut not only UV rays, but also infrared rays. Moreover, the Raum was the first vehicle to use Toyota Eco-Plastic, which is derived from raw materials like sugar cane and corn, by utilizing it to such areas as the spare tire cover and floor mats, demonstrating efforts to contribute to a cleaner environment.
The 1,496cc gasoline engine with 94 horsepower was carried, and the designated fuel was regular gasoline.
The transmission option was the 4-speed automatic for all vehicles.
As for the drive system, the FF was made available.
Fuel consumption for the FF measured at 13.8km/L.
In August 1998, a new drive system option, the 4WD, was added. For this grade, though the displacement of the gasoline engine remained the same at 1,496cc, power output was 91 horsepower. As for the transmission, only the 4-speed automatic was made available, and fuel consumption measured at 12.2km/L.
In August 1999, minor changes were made to the interior and exterior. For the outer design, by surrounding the front grille with metal-plated parts, a more refined and sleek exterior was achieved. Moreover, in terms of the interior, the tachometer was newly installed in all vehicles as standard equipment.
In April 2002, improvements were made to the engine of the FF vehicle, achieving “2000 Gas Emission Standards 25% Reduction Level.”
Second Generation (2003 – 2011)
In May 2003, a full model change led to the Raum’s evolution to its second generation model. A specialized chassis was developed for this model, and efforts were made to base the design on Toyota’s Universal Design Concept that was being promoted at the time. In particular, the B pillar was newly built into the rear sliding door that had been a characteristic of the previous generation model; thus, the opening was enlarged and passenger experience when getting on and off the vehicle was improved. In addition, by installing a function to the passenger’s seat that allowed it to be pulled up using the front edge as the point of support, combined with the sliding door, improved storage capability was achieved.
The basic concept of the outer design remained the same as that of the previous generation model, maintaining a simple look; however, small changes like the installation of an integrated, uniform bumper led to heightened quality. Moreover, a distinguishing feature of this model was the distinctive rear combination lamps that were built into the D pillar being moved to a lower section of the D pillar. The body size measured in length, width, and height at 4,045mm, 1,690mm, and 1,535mm respectively; as the increase in width was kept at a minimum, usability on narrow roads was maintained.
The 1,496cc 109-horsepower gasoline engine was carried by the FF vehicles, and the 105-horsepower engine by the 4WD vehicles. The designated fuel was regular gasoline. In addition, the FF vehicles were certified as “2010 Fuel Consumption Standards Achieving Vehicle.”
The 4-speed automatic transmission was carried over for all vehicles.
Fuel consumption improved to 16.2km/L for the FF and 15.0km/L for the 4WD.
In August 2005, the equipment options were enriched through the addition of such equipment as discharge head lamps with auto-leveling functions and LED high-mount strap lamps.
In December 2006, minor changes were made to the exterior design. The main alterations revolved around the fog lamps being built into both sides of the lower front bumper, and the design being changed for the rear combination lamps.
In August 2010, adhering to JC08 mode fuel consumption, the model was certified as a “2005 Gas Emission Standards 75% Reduction Level (☆☆☆☆, Super Low Emission Vehicle) (SU-LEV).”
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