2012 Toyota Vitz Review

From Ksh 700,000
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  • Toyota, Vitz
  • Petrol
  • 1,300 cm³

The impact of the Toyota Vitz in Kenya has been tremendous and it’s not a far stretch to credit it with the widespread acceptance of sub-compacts in the past decade. There were others before such as the VW Polo and the Toyota Starlet but they never gained the same success as the Vitz. It’s comfortable, affordable to buy and fuel efficient which are factors that greatly influenced people’s perceptions of the small car. It competes with the Honda Fit, Mazda Demio, Nissan March, VW Polo and Suzuki Swift.

  • Body Type: Hatchback
  • Extras: Alloy Rims
  • Safety Features: ABS, Curtain Airbags, EBD, SRS Airbags, TRC, VSC
  • Exterior Features: Fog Lights
  • Interior Features: DVD player, Navigation system

Detailed Review

Currently in its third generation, the Toyota Vitz has been in production since 1999 and is sold exclusively in Japan. In other markets, it’s sold as the Toyota Yaris. The first generation known as the XP10 was in production from 1999 to 2005, the second generation known as the XP90 was in production from 2005 to 2010 and the third generation known as the XP130 has been in production from 2011 to Present.

The 2012 Vitz is offered with 3 engine options. These are, the 1.0 Litre 1KR engine, the 1.3 Litre 1NR engine and the 1.5 Litre 1NZ engine. These are linked to either a 4-speed automatic, a CVT or a 5 – Speed manual transmission. It is available in both 2WD and 4WD.

Toyota Vitz Grades

  1. Toyota Vitz F – This is the base grade that comes with either the 1.0L engine or the 1.3L engine, 2WD/4WD, halogen headlights, plain steering wheel, keystart, 14-Inch steel rims, and a manual AC. The F Grade has 2 subgrades. These are the SMART STOP and M Package. The SMART STOP comes with the 1.3L engine, 2WD and Toyota’s Stop & Start System that switches off the engine when the car is not moving to conserve fuel. The M Package comes with the 1.0L engine, 2WD and a bi-color interior trim.
  2. Toyota Vitz Jewela – This grade has the same features as grade F but with more exotic colors such as pink, purple, maroon and red. Its targeted at a more feminine clientele.
  3. Toyota Vitz U – This is the luxury grade that comes with either the 1.3L engine or the 1.5L engine, 2WD/4WD, xenon headlights, steering audio controls, chrome trim, keyless/smart start, 15-Inch steel rims, turn signal on side mirrors, luggage cover, padded seats and automatic AC.
  4. Toyota Vitz RS – This is the sports version that comes with a supercharged 1.5L 1NZ engine, 2WD, Xenon Headlights, Fog lights, steering audio controls, chrome trim, keyless/smart start, 16-Inch alloy rims, turn signal on side mirrors, luggage cover, padded seats and automatic AC. A subgrade of the RS known as the C Package which is a basic RS that comes with halogen headlights, manual AC, and keystart.

Interior
Legroom & Space
The Toyota Vitz is comparatively spacious and similar to the Mazda Demio in size. At the first row, the legroom is sufficient for people of average height but a tall driver will find the space a bit tight. At the second row, the legroom is practical and ideal for short urban commutes.

Cabin Storage
There are several storage compartments in the cabin that are useful for storing items such as smartphones, beverages and documents. At the first row, there are four cupholders, door panel storage, a glovebox and a center tray that stretches to the back. For the second row, the storage is on the door pockets and the front seat jacket pockets( Only on the U and RS grades)

2012 Toyota Vitz Boot Space
For sub-compact, the boot is actually big and can carry sizable luggage. If extra space is required, the rear seats can fold flat.

Other Extras: DVD/Navigation, Smart Stop, adjustable steering

Safety Features: SRS Airbags, Curtain Airbags, ABS, EBD, VSC, TRC

Exterior
The third generation Toyota Vitz is longer and wider than previous generations. The body styling is angular giving the Vitz a much more needed fresh and sporty look. The U and RS grades come with more extras as alloy rims, fog lights, and blinkers on side mirrors.

2012 Toyota Vitz Fuel Consumption
The Toyota Vitz 1.0L consumes 20.8 Km/L (On Average)
The Toyota Vitz 1.3L SMART STOP consumes 23.5 Km/L
The Toyota Vitz 1.3L consumes 20.6 Km/L (On Average)
The Toyota Vitz 1.5L consumes 18.8 Km/L

2012 Toyota Vitz Acceleration
The Toyota Vitz 1.0L accelerates from 0-100 km/h in 15.3 sec.
The Toyota Vitz 1.3L accelerates from 0-100 km/h in 11.7 sec.
The Toyota Vitz 1.5L accelerates from 0-100 km/h in 9.5 sec.
The Toyota Vitz 1.5L RS accelerates from 0-100 km/h in 8.5 sec.

2012 Toyota Vitz Fuel Tank Capacity: 42 Litres

2012 Toyota Vitz Ground Clearance
The 2011 Toyota Vitz has a ground clearance of 5.5 Inches(140mm) which is below the minimum recommended clearance of 6.5 Inches for Kenyan roads. It is necessary to modify the ground clearance to adjust the car to Kenyan roads. Read our guidelines here on how to safely increase a vehicle’s ground clearance.

2011 Toyota Vitz Stability and Handling
The Toyota Vitz is a light car that weighs in at around 1000 Kg. For the size of the car, it handles well at moderate speeds and the gear shifts are smooth. The 1.0L takes too long to accelerate but when it gains speed, it moves surprisingly well. At higher speeds, the steering feels a bit light and responds a tad too fast. The RS feels more composed at higher speeds and has better steering judgement. Stability-wise, the Vitz is a light car that can easily roll-over if pushed beyond its limits. It’s important to exercise caution around corners.

Service Intervals
Minor Service: At 5,000 km. Requires Air Cleaner, Oil Filter, and Engine Oil
Major Service: At 10,000km. Requires Air Cleaner, Oil Filter, Fuel Filter, ATF Filter, Cabin Filter, Plugs, Front Brake Pads, Rear Brake Pads, ATF Oil, and Engine Oil

Spare Parts Availability, Cost & Where to buy
Spare parts for the Toyota Vitz are widely available in Kenya. Service parts are shared across many other Toyotas such as the Ractis and Platz, so availability is good. Body parts are somewhat expensive as the car is still new in the market but they will definitely come down with time. In Nairobi, most spare shops in Industrial Area and Kirinyaga Road stock these parts. You can get listings for these shops follow this link

2012 Toyota Vitz 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 2012 Toyota Vitz is a reliable car with no major problems reported. The CVT gearbox is sensitive to bad quality transmission fluid and failures have been reported. Always follow the recommended guidelines as per the Owner’s manual. Download the 2012 Toyota Vitz Owners Manual here.

Resale Value: Good

Toyota Vitz Competitors: Honda Fit, Mazda Demio, Nissan Note, VW Polo

Cost of Ownership
Purchase Price: From Ksh.700,000 to Ksh.850,000
Comprehensive Insurance: Average Ksh. 49,000/ per annum- Or
3rd Party Insurance: Ksh. 7,000/- per annum
Change of Tyres(If neccessary) Ksh. 16,000/- for 4 Tyres
NB: figures as at July 2019

What we like about the 2011 Toyota Vitz
1. Best in class fuel economy
2. Cheap to maintain
3. Reliable

What we don’t
1. Low ground clearance.

Conclusion
When it comes to fuel economy and cost of maintenance, nothing beats the Toyota Vitz. It’s ideal for people on a shoestring budget who want a simple car to move around with.

Where to Buy the Toyota Vitz in Kenya
Are you interested in buying the Toyota Vitz? Visit our showroom through the link below for more details

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