An idiot's guide to the Toyota Fielder
What is it?
The Toyota Fielder- contrary to popular belief, it is not a role in the popular game of cricket, but an Estate Car produced by Toyota. A station wagon, if you will. Formally known as the Corolla Fielder, the Fielder became tremendously popular in Bangladesh ever since its introduction via the grey and recon markets.
Generations and Powertrain
The 'Fielder' name adorned the trunk of three generations of Toyota wagons- the E120, E140 and E160, while the latest generation of Corollas (the E210) discarded the 'Fielder' name for the Corolla wagon altogether, opting to call it the Corolla Touring instead.
All three E1xx generations entered the country and can be seen on the streets every day, albeit with steel bumpers and an increased ride height in most cases. Every 3 seconds, a Fielder crosses Gulshan 2 Circle. Do not hold that against me.
Since this is an idiot's guide, I shall not be going into details and instead, simply address the fact that most common Fielder powertrains available in Bangladesh are 4-cylinder hybrids, or non-hybrid 4-cylinders in the form of a 1NZ-FE (or 1NZ-FXE if it is a hybrid) mated to either a CVT or an automatic transmission.
Driving experience and livability
Note that everything I am about to say only extends to bone-stock base to mid-trim level Fielders that most of us may end up buying (read: the Fielder X and Fielder G as well as the Hybrid model) and not the 'sporty' trim levels as I have not had the chance to drive them yet.
Experience? Eh. Fun factor? Non-existent. Hotel? Trivago. These wagons are purpose-built for practicality and decent levels of comfort at a budget without throwing a fuss. The engine goes 'brrrr' and the car moves forward. As simple as that. They are easy to place on the road and are easy to manoeuvre in traffic, regardless of the fact that these are station wagons and thus, are slightly bigger than your average sedan. I get around 9km/l in terms of mileage from my non-hybrid Fielder while hybrid Fielders can get you over 10km/l easily based on owner reviews, however, this varies significantly from owner to owner as this greatly depends on how you or your chauffeur drive the car. You can also convert the non-hybrid ones to run on CNG or LPG, if that is your thing.
The trunk is as big as a layman would expect the trunk of a station wagon to be- big enough to carry a week's worth of groceries from Unimart, Agora, Shwapno or the kacha bazar (we don't judge here), and you can drop the rear seats to further expand your trunk space in case you need to carry a, erm, dining table, They are efficient while being great cars for you to take your kids to school or yourself to work with and go on a long drive alone or with your family in (say, from Holy Family Hospital to Dilu Road or whatever your definition of 'long' is).
Toyota Fielders are easy to live with, easy to service since it is a Toyota (although replacing the batteries in the Fielder Hybrid, if they ever need replacing, may be somewhat expensive) and they are great commuter cars. I use mine for everything- pulling up to car meets, using it for daily chores, going to Butlers and even dropping the rear seats and lying down on the back to take pictures of cars during shoots. It is practical and daily drivable which perfectly sums up the ethos the car was built around for every generation. However, the Fielder is terrible at fielding during a cricket match. Take that for what you will.