5 Affordable Cars for people earning less than Ksh 100,000

Who isn't attracted to shinny objects? Especially one of those opulent four-wheeled toys that turn heads as we drive by the local shopping center. Whether motivated by simply getting from point A to point B to ego boosting, It is everyone’s dream to own a classy magnificent  toy. While it's true that to most people, a car is a status symbol and to others it's just a means of transport not everyone is on that salary bracket that would earn them a car.

However while our dreams are valid, not everyone can afford one of those swanky fuel guzzling machines, the likes of Range Rovers, Porches  the Toyota Prado's of this world.

To be honest, if you earn a monthly salary below Kenya shillings 100,000, you have no business owning a car, but anyway who are my to tell you what to do with your hard earned money? Therefore here are a number of toys that would be pocket friendly if you consider owning one.

Suzuki Alto  

The Suzuki Alto was first Introduced in 1979 and built by Suzuki and is a very popular toy on Nairobi roads. I would describe it as a very small compact car popular used mostly in the ride hailing/sharing industry such as uber chap chap and taxify in Nairobi. When you purchase this car, you are guaranteed low price, low maintenance and good fuel economy. Currently in its 8th generation. The Alto label has often been used on different cars in Japan and in export markets, where it is considered an urban car. Even though it will not turn heads when you drive this car, you might get attention from “meme makers” who would want to take a pic of your toy to go and create that internet breaking meme.  Nevertheless, isn’t it fulfilling your need to get from point A to B?

 It is a very practical car for those doing delivery services, such as online stores , you will be able to deliver your wears without worrying about costs.

I cannot guarantee your safety and security when on the road with this car, but during this Nairobi rain season, you will be better off in an alto than your average bodaboda  motorbike.  

Mazda Demio

Manufacturted since 1996 in Japan , The Mazda Demio is a bijou 5 seater hatchback. It's competitors are the likes of Toyota Vitz, Honda Fit, VW Polo, and Nissan Note and it is best suited for light urban commute but can be used from time to time for long distance travel.

You will not incur a large bill for servicing this car and is  comparable to that of the Toyota Vitz. A friend of mine jokes about how this cars service is comparable to that of a typical boda boda bike , to mean how easy it is to service this toy. Its body parts like the headlights, side mirrors and taillights are somehow slightly expensive as compared to those of the Toyota Vitz. Overall, the Mazda Demio is not an over the odds car to maintain and you should not worry about maintenance costs.

As a buyer you have options of engines ranging in capacity from 1.3L to 2.0L. The transmission performance of the engine is underpinned by 4 speed auto transaxle, 5-speed manual and CVT. Demio with its broad options in the engine puts out the power of 100hp on roads and 98lb-ft of torque around the circles. The acceleration and speed of the car is a bit behind what is available in the above mentioned competition yet there are differences that make Mazda Demio a better choice in numerous sections. Mazda’s body roll is a observable problem but it doesn’t overlay everything it has. The Demio is a light weight car on 15-inch wheels which are adequate enough to support its grip.

For driving comfort, the used Demio 2010 may present a quick steering that would respond well in every situation. The interior room is not a disaster but the position of the seat is uncomfortable to some while others find it perfect. For small families with children in the backseat, the car is a yes by means of comfort and performance. However, the car is not much of pleasant surprise for adults in the back due to strange seat positions.

Looking at a monthly budget between Kenya shillings 3k and Kenya shilling 4k will not damage your pockets that much.

Nissan note

I used to ignore this car as just another Nissan car, you know the negative attitude of Kenyans on non-toyota cars, not until I had a chance to drive one, and liked it.  It actually easy to handle than my previous Nissan B15. It has superb interior space, advanced infotainment system, good safety features and is a good value for money.

 Nissan first commenced the production of the Nissan Note back in 2005 with an initial target market of Japan and some select markets. The first generation known as the E11 was in production from 2005 to 2013. The second generation known as the E12 has been in production from 2012, which is the present generation. The Nissan Note is marketed alternatively as the Nissan Versa and in the local market competes with the Honda Fit, Toyota Ractis and Mazda Demio.

The initial engine on this car was a 1386cc petrol engine which is a 4 cylinder engine running on a multi point injection fuel system and later upgraded to a 1600cc , both were petrol engines. Of the two, the 1386cc Twin cam engine is the most popular in Kenya I guess due to the love middle class Kenyans have for small engines. 

The Nissan Note has a petrol tank size/capacity of 46 liters and an average consumption of 15.9 Km/l. As a buyer you have an option of either manual 5-speed gear or automatic with a top speed is 165 km/h and  a 2 wheel  drive train.

If you consider this car, you might want to check with your local mechanic for experience on maintenance. I have heard feedback from some of my friends that this ride is a bit firm, interior is rather drab and plasticky while the diesel variant is noisy.

Toyota Vitz

This sub-compact Japanese car launched for the first time back in 1998 is available in three and five door variants. Well know due to its small size and spacious interior and stylish exterior design, the Toyota vitz is in third generation launched in 2010. Blame our local media houses for this cars fame; apart from the probox this is one car that was subject of talk and ridicule by certain media personalities. This free advertising (or maybe paid, just maybe) worked to the Toyota vitz advantage and fame as the car flooded Kenyan roads.

The vitz just like other cars, the likes of Ractis and Platz are cheap to maintain as spare parts for the widely available in Kenya. Body parts are somewhat expensive as the car is still new in the market but they will definitely come down with time. Since this car shares service parts with platz and ractis, it makes it very easy to find spare parts in most spare part shops in industrial area and Kirinyaga road.

Even though it is associated with women, do not shy away from this small, sub-compact toy, as you will save your money big time.

Toyota Passo

My friend owns one of these, very cool car, it is a cheap maintenance or should I say it is a Toyota because Toyotas are known for their cheap maintenance here in Nairobi.  Parts are easy to get and you will not sweat trying to import parts unlike German machines.  It is I deal for a small family, and given your less than 100K p.m I would totally recommend this car.   

This car was born as a collaborative development of Toyota Motor Corporation and Daihatsu Motor Corporation, for the first time in the domestic market.

It is sold under the moniker of  Boone  from Daihatsu. It brings together Daihatsu's compact car development technology and Toyota's production knowledge of vehicle planning potential. Under the theme of My partner and compact, Passo was deliberated for proposing a car life as a lively partner of everyday life.

Unlike the Vitz and March, which are seen as feminine blame it on local media houses, I see the Passo as more masculine.