10 July 2022

More than an old car #195: Toyota Corolla Spacio

Family-friendly cars have always been a top favourite among car owners, as circumstances dictate the need to transport children, pets and groceries alike. While multi-purpose vehicles (MPVs) remain firmly in the public consciousness, you would be forgiven for not knowing that this 1998 Toyota Corolla Spacio was an ancestor of your slick MPV today...

Introduced in 1997, the Spacio was a compact minivan version of the E110 Corolla. It stood out from the other Corolla variants because of its curved shape, and it was the only one fitted with a digital speedometer. Its name is a variation of the Italian word 'spazio', which means 'space'. 

Different seat layouts were available along with trims such as Standard, L Package, G Package and Black Sports Package. A facelift in 1999 saw changes such as a front spoiler and a separate tachometer, and an 'aero tourer' version fitted with an aero kit was also available.

The Spacio was powered by a 1587 cc 4A-FE i4 engine. With dimensions of 4135 x 1690 x 1620 mm and weighing in at 1190 kg, it was on the heavier side but it could sit up to 6 adults depending on the seat configuration.

Production of the 1st-generation Spacio ended in 2001 where it was replaced by the E120 version. Interestingly, this is 1 of 2 that still exists here (at the time of writing): it was not a popular car when new and it is amazing to know that 2 people have still decided to hold on to this relative obscurity. Spacios were sold here by Borneo Motors, the official Toyota dealer in 1998, and retailed for $97,998 for the 5-seater variant. 

This particular unit is noted to have a lifespan of up till 2023, where it has to be scrapped or exported after that. While it may have been pretty unknown even when it was around, I hope that this may be something new you have learnt today...hopefully you will be able to see it before it's gone!

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