Small car to pamper Kenya ministers’ egos

Mercedes Benz S-Class: Engine capacity: 3000cc, Price: Sh13-20million, Fuel: Petrol and Mercedes Benz E-Class: Engine capacity: 1796cc, Entry price: Sh9million, Price with extra features: Sh18million, Fuel: Petrol.

Kenya’s status-obsessed politicians may soon rush to comply with Finance minister Uhuru Kenyatta’s directive that they stop using vehicles with an engine capacity of more than 1800ccs.

But you are unlikely to see your favourite minister in a Toyota 100 or a Volkswagen Passat similar to the one Mr Kenyatta used on the day he read his Budget speech.

Because there is a luxurious vehicle that fits the bill — a 1796cc Mercedes Benz E- Class. The engine is small, but the luxury (not to mention the price tag) is exactly how ministers like it: Big.

Extra features

The model with extra features costs Sh18 million, Sh10 million more than the entry-level variety. Extras that inflate the cost of the car include metallic paint that would set you back Sh192,000, a sunroof at an extra cost of Sh396,000 and the leather interior which costs more than Sh300,000.

Standard equipment for the E200 Kompressor include 5-speed automatic transmission, alloy wheels, electronic stability programme, six airbags and active front seat head restraints.

At a consumption rate of 8km for every litre of petrol, its fuel usage might be lower, but its cost is not much different from that of cars with bigger engines.