What you need to know:
- I really don’t want to import second hand cars way owing to various reasons, number one being the mileage that the car usually comes with, meaning it’s old even before you start enjoying it.
- I have admired the Polo Vivo and I am really working hard to own it by whatever means.
- Currently, they are financing clients via Stanbic Bank, and I am thinking of taking that route.
I am really interested in owning the locally assembled Polo Vivo Maxx that goes for Ksh 1.65 million (brand new). It is my first time to buy a car. I really don’t want to import second hand cars way owing to various reasons, number one being the mileage that the car usually comes with, meaning it’s old even before you start enjoying it.
I have admired the Polo Vivo and I am really working hard to own it by whatever means. Currently, they are financing clients via Stanbic Bank, and I am thinking of taking that route.
Kindly advise me on whether the car is the best for me, and if I should invest in it.
I am intending to use the car for family outdoors and going to work. Thanks
I cannot insist enough how quickly you should darken the doorways of DT Dobie and demand they install you into a Vivo sooner than immediately. Not only will this purchase make economic sense to you (the generous warranties and light monthly installments make for great peace of mind), it makes industrial sense to your home country and is the second most patriotic thing you can do after paying your taxes.
I am beginning to sound like a scratched record, but I cannot insist enough the importance of this little car to the economy of the country... nor can I insist enough its pertinence as a personal runabout. For more details, see my October 4th review and my 2017 Car Of The Year Award from December.
You don’t need any lectures here; you are on the right path.
I’m torn between Volvo and Subaru
I am keen on getting a 2009 Volvo XC70 here in Kenya. Though they are not common, I know they are good cars in terms of safety and perhaps reliability.
I currently drive a 2009 Subaru Outback and I know that it tops this range and easily beats the Volvo in terms of off road handling capability. It is also a very reliable car both in town and upcountry. On consumption, both cars guzzle, with the Volvo on the upper. I also know that the Volvo is fully loaded and well built.
Having all the above in mind, what’s your advice for someone who has driven for like 16 years with a clean record?
My advice is that you seem to have done 90 per cent of the work already and all that is left is to make the choice. Seeing how it’s not my money on the line here, I don’t think it’s my prerogative to pick a vehicle either...
Congratulations on your decade and two thirds of clean driving. We need more drivers like you; though this will cause a surge in the population of Subaru Outbacks on the road simply because it is the vehicle I would recommend you acquire over the Volvo. There is nothing inherently wrong with the Volvo - in fact it may be the superior vehicle overall - but there is just one glaring omission from its East African existence, and that is believable dealer support. I don’t know if Amazon Motors still exist and if they do, whether they still sell and maintain these Sweden Specials. Someone needs to lecture Corporate Kenya about the upshots of advertising and PR to potential clients...
Subaru on the other hand suffers no dearth of enthusiastic followership, so out of every three garages, one will be a Subaru specialist; not counting Subaru Kenya itself. Both genuine and “alternative” spare parts exist, so you are spoilt for choice. You could stumble over a flat engine or two just roaming in the seedier sections of Lang’ata, where all the horizontally opposed rumbling seems to come from.
Get the Subie simply on the grounds that you will never come back here asking where to buy Volvo spares or where you can find someone who speaks mechanical or electronic Swedish.
For now, anything goes provided it’s Japanese
I want to buy my first car, and I am limited to a budget of Sh500, 000- Sh600,000.
Advise me based on fuel consumption, maintenance and durability. Kabata Mwaura
I want to answer your questions but I am limited to only four useful words from your end: “limited to a budget...” Advise please considering where the vehicle will be used, how the vehicle will be used, the average number of passengers it is expected to carry and if you have any particular preferences. Someone needs to lecture my Kenyan readership about the upshots of being clear when requesting assistance. The service may be free but it does not run on telepathy. The field is too wide and the question too ambiguous for me to have specific answers just yet. In the meantime, almost anything goes provided it is Japanese.
Let’s do some comparison, once again
I am an avid reader of your column,
Have you done a piece on these five: Toyota Hilux vs Mitsubishi Triton vs Nissan Navara vs isuzu D-max vs the Ford.
If not, looking forward to your column on this.
I have done these comparisons in one form or another over the years but the vintage of the vehicles has varied greatly and sometimes mere updates of these vehicles within the same model cycle create massive differences in the outcomes of the showdowns. Case in point: the Toyota Hilux failed the Moose Test in spectacular fashion; it went for an update and shortly afterwards it passed the test...
This is clearly a major comparison test in the making and would make for good content, more so if presented in audio-visual format. I have tried the latest Isuzu (with traction and stability control) and Toyota (with the GD engine) and both are exemplary evolution of their model lines, particularly the Hilux. Mitsubishi would prefer I talk about their FH truck (which was many years ago) rather than submit a double cab Triton for review; the Nissan has since been replaced and much as I was due to fly to Morocco (again) to drive the new version, the fellows at the Moroccan embassy thought it would be amusing if they hid my passport in a desk drawer at the watchman’s cubicle for three weeks then hand it back, complete with the visa application documents totally untouched from when I handed them in; and a refund of the application fee in the exact same bank notes I paid it in. They may have found it funny but I was not tickled by the implied lack of respect. That is one embassy I will not be looking forward to revisiting any time soon. Someone needs to lecture the diplomatic corps in Kenya about the upshots of politeness and honesty to the citizens of their host country...
Back to the topic at hand, and ... Ford. Still no word from them to date. They ignore my existence, I ignore theirs. Moving on...
l want to buy Toyota 100. Tell me more
Hi. Thanks for your article on Wednesdays, you really make my day. I would like to buy a Toyota 100, kindly advise me on fuel consumption and power. Hesborn
Someone needs to lecture you on specifics, just like your friend Kabata. When you talk about a “Toyota 100”, which exact Toyota are you referring to? There are several, the two most popular being the Corolla AE100 and the Landcruiser J100; closely followed by the famous Hiace Shark H100. There is even a Mark II X100. All these 100s will have different responses to the fuel consumption and power queries with the Landcruiser being “highest” on both counts and the Corolla lowest, with the Hiace and Mark II lying somewhere between the two extremes. That vibration could be wheels in need of balance or alignment; or it could be a bent chassis or worn out suspension components. It could be the steering geometry is out of whack. It may even be one or more of the wheels and/or rims are out of round.
The goodness or badness of a vehicle is relative
Dear JM Baraza,
Your analysis has been a great contribution to the world of motoring as well as the quality of Nation newspaper. The Wednesday paper is really an educative piece on motor and motoring issues.
Straight to the point; The Nissan Teana. Just wondering, have you ever done an analysis on this vehicle, especially the xtronic CVT 4x4 model? Your articles of February 7, 2018 and June 14, 2017 clearly degrade this car. I have driven and owned one and the car is great, from comfort to performance. And despite being a four wheel drive, consumption is more or less than that of Toyota Mark X or Crown, the features are great and acceleration superb. Maybe, just like the Range Rover, which your articles continue to discourage those who dream of owning one, has its own issues when it ages.
May be you need to do an analysis of this car and clearly demonstrate to your fans why it’s a bad car.
My articles do not degrade vehicles, the manufacturers themselves do; and only when outclassed by the competition. The ‘goodness’ and ‘badness’ of a motor vehicle is all relative; it would be impossible to criticise a car if there was nothing comparable to use as a yardstick. The reason the Teana always plays second fiddle in my commentaries is because it is always being compared to equivalent Toyotas and we all know how that argument goes...
My February 7, 2018 article touched on the Teana’s flimsy unreliability (again, compared to its Toyota nemesis) and the propensity of its optional beige interior to gather stains like a politician’s reputation. I also touched on the high end grunt-y 3.5 litre V6 sourced from a sports car.
This does not sound like vilification at all, does it? The June 14, 2017 article tried to rationalise why Nissan was getting trounced in a game it once dominated, and I remember making reference to its financial woes preceding the Renault bailout. Car-making is a capitalist, resource-intensive enterprise, you cannot build proper cars if you have no money; what are you, the child of a deity? In a strange twist of events, the Renault-Nissan alliance has turned around from the money-based arranged marriage it initially was to an economic success story: the alliance is currently the world’s biggest car manufacturer. These folks shifted a lot of metal in 2017. Carlos Ghosn is a corporate god.
As for Range Rover... yea, that particular week did not go well as far as Their Lordships good graces were concerned, and all for what? Because I said an uncomfortable truth?
Did I actively dissuade anyone from buying a Range Rover, or did I specifically indicate that owning one is not for those living at or near the breadline? I’m not going to present a lie to the thousands of readers out there, so I will repeat what I said: you need voluminous pockets to own and operate a Range Rover; otherwise you are looking at transforming what is in reality one of the finest SUVs ever made into a metallic sculpture on a four-wheeled plinth... unless the suspension fails in which case it will just be a metallic sculpture lying on its belly.
Someone needs to lecture both you and the PR agents of these car companies on the mind-clearing qualities of facing reality, as well as the nuances of the written word. I’m not here to shill for anyone or to write ad copy. I am here to open people’s eyes.
Challenge accepted. One video review of the Nissan Teana coming up, complete with the highlights I brought up and many more I did not.
I first have to find someone with a Nissan Teana to give out; I doubt any of them will be generous or forthcoming after they read this... You, on the other hand, show me exactly where I said a Teana is a “bad” car without paraphrasing or extrapolating my metaphors and analogies to illogical conclusions. It’s okay to like a Teana; many do. This, however, does not make it the best vehicle in the world.