The Toyota Raum is a small, 5-seat compact MPV that first appeared in May 1997. The second generation was released in May 2003. It was sold only in Japan at Toyota Netz retail sales channels.
The vehicle's name is German for chamber, berth, room, space, expanse, scope, area, or sphere and attempts to emphasize the vast amount of space it contains relative to its size. This is because the front doors on both the driver and passenger sides open conventionally, but the rear doors slide open rearward and attach to the top and bottom of the door openings and interlock to the front doors. The Raum uses a similar door approach also used on the first-generation Mitsubishi RVR/Space Runner.
There is no doorjamb between the front and rear doors that the doors attach to on the passenger side, and the passenger front seat folds flat upon itself and then can be folded forward while still being attached to the floor at the front bottom of the seat. The rear seats can be folded flat with a 60:40 split or can also be folded forward individually for a rear flat cargo floor.
The automatic transmission gear selector is dashboard mounted, thereby freeing up the flat floor space between the front seats, allowing movement to the back seat from inside the vehicle.