2010 Toyota Premio Review

The Toyota Premio is an all-time favorite amongst Kenyans who love it for its style, comfort and class. It is comparable in size to the Audi A4, Subaru Legacy Saloon, Mercedes C180, and the BMW 318i. The Toyota Premio is arguably the most balanced of these in terms of maintenance costs, fuel economy and reliability.

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Detailed Review

The Toyota Premio was introduced to the Japanese Domestic Market(JDM) in 1996 and was known as the Toyota Corona until 2000 when it split from the Corona lineup. The Toyota Premio and Toyota Allion were then introduced to the market in 2001 as a new lineup. The Toyota Premio is marketed as a luxurious, upscale saloon whilst the Allion is marketed as a no frills economic saloon.

So far, there have been 2 generations of the Toyota Premio, the 1st generation T240 in production from 2001 to 2007 and the 2nd generation T260 in production from 2007 to Present. The Toyota Premio is sold exclusively in the JDM and only available for export in the second hand market.

The 2010 Toyota Premio T260 is available with 3 engine variants: The 1.5Litre 1NZ engine, the 1.8Litre 2ZR engine and the 2.0Litre 3ZR engine. All are mated to an automatic CVT transmission and available in both 2WD and 4WD. The 4WD options come with the 1.8L engine.

The 2010 Toyota Premio is available in 3 Grades: The Toyota Premio F, The Toyota Premio X, and The Toyota Premio G. Below are the specs for each of these grades.

Toyota Premio Grades

1. The Toyota Premio F: This is the base level grade that comes with the 1.5 Litre 1NZ-FE engine, CVT Transmission and 2WD.

2. The Toyota Premio X: This comes with the 1.8 Litre 2ZR-FE engine, CVT Transmission, 2WD/4WD options.

3. The Toyota Premio G: This is the premium grade version that comes with the 2.0 Litre 3ZR-FAE engine, CVT Transmission and 2WD. Its got many other extras such as Alloy Rims, fog lights, navigation, and a sunroof option.

Legroom & Space
The 2010 Toyota Premio is a comfortable car with seats that are well padded, all with headrests. At the 1st row, the driver’s seat is electrically adjustable(optional) while the passenger seat is manually adjustable for all options. The legroom at the front is good and a tall driver will have sufficient room. The 2nd row has good legroom even for the middle seat. The reclining seats with headrests really enhance the comfort of the car.

Cabin Storage
There are several storage compartments in the 2010 Toyota Premio. These are useful for storing items such as smartphones, beverages, goggles, handbags etc. For the 1st row, there 4 cup-holders on the centerbox and door panels, a storage shelf below the dashboard, a glovebox and the centerbox. For the 2nd row, the only storage is the seat jacket pockets.

Boot Space
The boot space for the 2010 Toyota Premio is typical of any saloon car. It can carry medium sized luggage such as suitcases and groceries. The rear seats can be folded to create extra space. However, it cannot carry bulky or oversized luggage that station wagons would typically carry.

Other Extras – Double Din Stereo, Navigation(Optional), Reverse Camera, Auto Headlamps, Keyless Entry

The exterior dimensions are close to those of the Toyota Allion and Avensis. Most come with steel rims with plastic covers, but go for alloy rims as much as possible.

2010 Toyota Premio Fuel Consumption
2010 Toyota Premio 1.5F Fuel Consumption: 16.6 km/L (On Average)
2010 Toyota Premio 1.8X Fuel Consumption: 15.3 km/L (On Average)
2010 Toyota Premio 2.0G Fuel Consumption: 15.0 km/L (On Average)

2010 Toyota Premio Acceleration :
2010 Toyota Premio 1.5F accelerates from 0-100 km/h in 11.0 secs.
2010 Toyota Premio 1.8X accelerates from 0-100km/h in 10.5 secs.
2010 Toyota Premio 2.0G accelerates from 0-100km/h in 10.0 secs.

2010 Toyota Premio Fuel Tank Capacity: 60 Litres

2010 Toyota Premio Ground Clearance
The Toyota Premio has a ground clearance of 6.4Inches(165mm) when unmodified. This height may not be a problem if the vehicle is lightly loaded. However, when fully loaded the vehicle may not clear some speed bumps on Kenyan roads. In this case, you many need to increase ground clearance. Read our guidelines here on how to safely increase a vehicle’s ground clearance.

2010 Toyota Premio Stability and Handling
The Toyota Premio T260 is a very smooth car to drive. It glides effortlessly on the road thanks to its CVT transmission and the VVT-I engine. However, under hard acceleration the 1.5L’s weaknesses are immediately manifested. The engine struggles to haul the weight and clearly there’s an imbalance in power to weight ratio. In my view, the most ideal engine for the Premio is the 2.0L 3ZR. It has got the power to quickly propel the car under hard acceleration and its fuel economy is above average. The 1.8L engine offers a compromise between the two with its moderate power delivery and good fuel economy.

In terms of stability, the Premio is a well built car that can handle sharp corners better than the Allion, Axio, and Belta. This is due in part to its larger body weight and low center of gravity. The other part is due to a better quality suspension.

Service and Maintenance Costs
Minor Service(Done after every 5000kms can be done by any reputable petrol station) – Air Cleaner, Oil Filter, Engine Oil
Major Service(done after every 20,000kms has to be done by a competent garage)-Air Cleaner, Oil Filter, Fuel Filter, Plugs, Front Brake Pads, Rear Brake Pads(If available), ATF Oil, Engine Oil, ATF Filter

Spare Parts Availability, Cost & Where to buy
The beauty of driving a Toyota in Kenya, so it goes, is that spare parts are relatively cheap and readily available. This statement holds true for the Toyota Premio. Service parts and suspension parts are readily available. With a monthly budget of Ksh.5,000/- , you will cover maintenance costs. Used parts generally require negotiations and their prices vary depending on your knowledge. In Nairobi, most spare shops in Industrial area and Kirinyaga road stock these spare parts. You can get listings for these shops here follow this link

2010 Toyota Premio Reliability
The driving conditions in Kenya are significantly different from those in Japan and Europe. Reliability reviews done for those markets largely do not apply to the Kenyan market. There are differences in roads, fuel, climate, spares, and technical expertise. To give you accurate and reliable local insights, we interview experts such as mechanics and car dealers, who have in-depth knowledge of the Kenyan market. We also test the cars ourselves. Our aim is to give you the right information to enable you make an informed decision when buying a car.

The 2010 Toyota Premio is a very reliable car with no known mechanical defects. As usual, we interviewed several Toyota Mechanics and experts around Nairobi for this review. They particularly praise the 1.5L 1NZ FE engine as being a reliable workhorse with bullet proof reliability. The 1.8L 2ZR and the 2.0L 3ZR are also well regarded and no major issues were reported. These engines can clock high mileage without skipping a beat.

One particular concern is around the CVT gearbox that is sensitive to poor quality ATF. The general recommendation is to avoid using cheap ATF as this will definitely kill the gearbox in the long run. Always follow the recommended guidelines as per the Owner’s manual. To download the 2010 Toyota Premio Owner’s Manual click here

Resale Value – Very Good

Comparable Cars: Toyota Allion, BMW 318i, Subaru Legacy Saloon, Mercedes Benz C180

Cost of Ownership
Purchase Price: From Ksh. 800,000
Comprehensive Insurance: Average Ksh. 32,000/ per annum- Or
3rd Party Insurance: Ksh. 7,000/- per annum
Change of Tyres(If neccessary) Ksh. 20,000/- for 4 Tyres
See Latest Toyota Premio Prices here

What we like about the 2010 Toyota Premio
1. Top notch Reliability
2. Excellent fuel economy
3. Affordable parts
4. Good cabin comfort

What we don’t
cheap steel rims on lower grades

The Toyota Premio is a reliable, economical car with cabin comfort that approaches German levels. The dashboard is minimalistic and somewhat plain but the wood trim adds some touch of class . I found the price tag to be high for the car of its class but understandably so due to its strong demand. Given its good fuel economy and affordable parts, I guess it makes some long term sense as you might recoup through these . The Premio also commands a strong resale value in the Kenyan market even after many years of use. Other models such as BMW, Mercedes and Subaru do not retain such a strong resale value.

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