The Toyota TownAce is a long running light commercial vehicle that is widely used for cargo and passenger transport. In Kenya, it is popular in the rural towns where it enjoys great success and is regarded as a reliable workhorse. Though not famed for its looks, it offers a high level of adaptability which appeals to business people. It's the same as the Toyota LiteAce and competes with the Mazda Bongo, Nissan Vanette and Mitsubishi Delica D2.
The Toyota Axio is one of the most fuel efficient saloons to buy in Kenya and with the introduction of the new hybrid model in 2013, it's now super efficient. Much as the hybrid technology is making inroads in this market, early signs indicate a slow adoption and it will take time before people fully embrace it. The good news is that the non hybrid models are still available and nothing significant has changed with them.
The Toyota Vellfire is largely the same as Toyota Alphard and differences are more cosmetic than functional. We were greatly impressed by the Toyota Alphard especially its lavish interior and we expected nothing less from its sibling. True to form, the Vellfire did not disappoint and it put on such a rousing performance that left no doubt about its claim to fame.
The Toyota Alphard was introduced to the Japanese market in 2002 as a direct competitor to the Nissan Elgrand. Up until that point, the Nissan Elgrand was dominating the 8 seater luxury category and its nearest competitor, the Toyota Hiace was woefully outmatched. Toyota went to the drawing board and answered with the Alphard and later its sibling the Vellfire which showed up in 2008. Together, they blew the Nissan Elgrand out of the water. They come with all imaginable luxuries such as remote controlled double sliding doors, lie flat seats, roof mounted Alpine monitors, dual zone climate and many more.
The Toyota Porte is a utilitarian car that would best be described as a box on wheels. It is a compact MPV that is proving to be quite a hit with businesspeople in Kenya who are drawn by its affordability and utility. It replaced the Toyota Raum which was discontinued in 2011. Thanks to its spacious interior, the Porte can be configured for multiple roles such as carrying passengers or hauling cargo. It competes with the Nissan Cube, Mazda Scrum Peugeot Partner and VW Caddy.
The Toyota Belta was an attempt to reimagine the popular Vitz in a saloon body and obviously the experiment did not work as it was scrapped in a little over 6 years. Before it, there was the Platz which was similarly built on the Vitz platform and suffered the same fate. That aside, the Belta has connected well with Kenyan buyers and is among the most popular saloons in this market. Its key selling points are affordability, fuel economy and utility. It competes with the Honda Fit Aria, Nissan Tiida, and Toyota Axio.
The Toyota Sienta is 7-seater compact minivan that is sold predominantly in Japan and select Asian markets. In Kenya, it’s popular with business people and people with large families thanks to its affordability and utility. It’s a practical car that's not overloaded with sensors which makes it reliable and easy to maintain. It simply gets the job done in a practical and efficient way. It competes with the Honda Freed, Honda Fit Shuttle, VW Touran and Peugeot Partner
The Toyota ISIS is a 7-seater MPV that is sold exclusively in the Japanese domestic market and targets people with large families. It’s a fairly luxurious car with a spacious cabin and unique features such as the large pillarless doorway on the left side and the flat-folding seats. It's popularity in the Kenyan market is driven by its affordability, utility and fuel economy. It competes with the Nissan Lafesta, Mazda Premacy, Subaru Exiga, Honda Freed and VW Touran.