With the introduction of the third generation in December 2013 the Toyota Harrier was decoupled from the Lexus RX and they are now separate entities. The Harrier has undergone extensive changes with the most notable being the futuristic frontal redesign. The driving dynamics have also changed significantly with the introduction of a 2.0 Litre powerplant.
The Ractis has proven to be a big hit in the Kenyan market thanks to its excellent fuel economy, space and affordable maintenance. It can be configured to carry passengers or luggage depending on the need, thanks to its high roof and flat fold seats. It's closely related to the Subaru Trezia and its more or less the same car with different badges. It competes locally with the Honda Fit, Nissan Note and Mazda Demio.
The Toyota Prado is the most popular and the most recognizable SUV in Kenya today and it competes with some of the most established brands such as the Land Rover Discovery, Mitsubishi Pajero and Ford Everest. It is one of the most reliable SUVs in the market and it comes with a range of engines from the slow 2.7L petrol to the powerful 4.0L petrol that give buyers a wide choice.
The Toyota Land Cruiser is a multi-generational SUV that has been in production for decades and has had the largest impact on the popularity of 4x4s as we know them today. In Kenya, the Land Cruiser is wildly popular and is seen as the penultimate SUV that is favored more for prestige than its mud-plugging capabilities. Its closest competitor is the Nissan Patrol that's respectable in its own right and followed closely by the Land Rover Discovery.
The Toyota Hilux is a time tested workhorse that has been the mainstay of light commercial transport in Kenya for many years. It’s longevity is unquestionable and it’s commonplace to find older versions still kicking on the roads even after years of abuse and thousands of miles. The newer versions have been criticized for not being as hardy as their predecessors and their reliability has been put to question. In this review, we will tell you whether this is true and why the storied Hilux has been dethroned by the Isuzu D-Max in the Kenyan market. Other competitors include the Ford Ranger, Nissan Hardbody, Nissan Navara, Mazda BT-50, Mitsubishi L200 and VW Amarok.
The Toyota RAV4 has greatly improved in terms of interior space and driving dynamics. This has been achieved through clever design and new technologies but still, it lacks the crucial third row seat that made the Toyota Vanguard so popular in Kenya. Regardless, the Toyota RAV4 is an excellent SUV that has undergone change and is now in pole position to compete with the Honda CR-V, Mazda CX-5, Nissan X-Trail, Subaru Forester, VW Tiguan and Mitsubishi Outlander.
Since its launch in 2005, the Toyota Fortuner has established itself as a legitimate SUV that performs almost at the same level as the Toyota Prado but it was historically hindered by rear leaf springs that gave it a bumpy truck-like ride. But now the second generation comes with coil springs all round and a new 2.8-Litre turbo diesel engine that transforms the Fortuner into a silky smooth SUV. This leads us to think it could be a better value for money than the Prado considering its lower price point. It competes with the Toyota Prado, Mitsubishi Pajero, Nissan Pathfinder and Ford Everest.
The Toyota RAV4 continues to be one of the best selling compact SUVs in Kenya and its demand is projected to grow with the phasing out of the Toyota Vanguard which is no longer available for import into the Kenyan market from 2021. It's also important for buyers to know that both the 3rd generation(2005 - 2016) and the 4th generation(2013 - 2018) RAV4 will be sold in Kenya concurrently until 2023.