2010 Mazda Demio Review (DE Series)

The 3rd generation Mazda Demio is a Japanese small hatchback ideal for single people and small sized families. It's a five seater best suited for urban driving though it can be used for long distance travel occasionally.

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Detailed Review

The 3rd generation Mazda Demio is a Japanese small hatchback ideal for single people and small sized families. It’s a five seater, best suited  for urban driving though it can be used for long distance travel occasionally. It’s comparable to the Toyota Vitz and Honda Fit but costs slightly less when buying from Japan. The most common model in Kenya comes with a 1.3L engine that is well balanced for both fuel economy and power. For someone looking for a small sized car that is affordable and classy , then the Mazda Demio 2010 makes a compelling case.

 Interior Legroom & Space: It’s a small car so the legroom is limited especially for tall people, but for day to day commute to the office, a person of average height should be ok. If you’re a tall guy(6ft and above) this is not the car for you.  The front seats are adjustable so it’s much more roomier there. For rear passengers, the legroom is restrictive and the middle seat is really crammed.  If three adults are seated at the back, they will be tightly squeezed at the shoulders. For a family with 2-3 children, the space is sufficient. The Calculated EPA passenger volume for the Demio is 89.4 cu ft/2.53 m3, typical of a small car.

Cabin Storage: There are 3 pockets to stow drinking water bottles, 2 on the front door panels and 1 on the cubby box. There is space on the cubby box for 2 smartphones and the glove box can be used to store important documents such as DL. Rear passengers will have to keep stuff in their pockets as no storage space exists there.

Boot Space: The Demio’s boot space is meant to carry bare necessities and nothing more. You’ll be able to carry one large suitcase with just space to spare.  However with the rear seats folded down you get more space and can carry medium sized luggage such as a cooker, small fridge etc.

Other Extras: Double Din Stereo or inbuilt Stereo, Air Condition, Heater,  12V 120W Power Output


Unlike its predecessors which were boxy and narrow, the 3rd generation Mazda Demio is curvy and wider. It comes with either 14 Inch alloy rims or 13 Inch steel rims. As much as possible, go for alloy rims as they offer better ride quality, fuel economy and really look good. A package that comes with body kit and alloy rims is highly desirable and is worth the extra shilling.


Displacement: 1349cc

Fuel: Petrol

Cylinders: Straight 4

Valves: 4 with C-VT(Sequential Valve Timing)

Power: 67Kw/91 PS/90hp

Torque: 124Nm/91-ft-lb

Acceleration :  The Demio makes the 0-100km/h dash in about 11.6 seconds. That’s average for many cars on the road, and you’ll not really be left behind when coming out of a red light. However when fully loaded or going up a steep hill, the 1.3L engine feels underpowered.

Fuel Consumption: The 3rd generation Mazda Demio DE3FS  we tested was really fuel economical. Without getting too technical, we spent Ksh. 1,000/- to fill about 10 Litres of petrol into an almost empty tank. The digital fuel gauge came up just below the half tank mark. Two guys in the car on a Sunday morning, we drove from Nairobi’s CBD to Thika town and back, then to Donholm and back, then headed to Ngong road. Amazingly, after all these trips, the car still had 2 bars of fuel left. That’s almost like driving a motorbike, really. The Demio is excellent on fuel economy. Depending on your driving style you should be able to return the fuel consumption numbers below:

Urban light traffic: 15.1Km to 19.9Km per Litre

Urban heavy traffic: 10.8Km to 14.2Km per Litre

Highway: 11.1Km to 14.6Km per Litre

Fuel Tank Capacity: 41 Litres

Ground Clearance: When buying a car to drive in Kenya, ground clearance is a major consideration. We’ve seen guys leave samp guards and oil pans on the road. Others spend their precious time trying to wiggle themselves over speed bumps. By the way, have you ever wondered why all those speed bumps on our roads are badly scratched? Its due low riding cars hugging them. Ground clearance is very important guys and I cannot over emphasize this.  irrespective of where you want to drive the car in Kenya, you need good ground clearance otherwise you will suffer unimaginable grief on the speed bumps and long hours at the mechanic. – This is our advice.

As we stated earlier, the Mazda Demio comes with either 13inch steel rims or 14inch alloy rims. The 14Inch alloys provide more height compared to the steel rims, but overall the ground clearance is ok for this car. However take caution when fully loaded as this considerably lowers the car and may not clear some bumps.

Service and Maintenance Costs

Minor Service:(Done after every 5000kms can be done by any reputable petrol station) – Air Cleaner, Oil Filter, Engine Oil = Total

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, ATF Oil, Engine Oil, ATF Filter  = Total

Spare Parts: Availability, Cost &Where to buy

Unlike previous years when Mazda spare parts were really hard to find in Kenya, nowadays they are readily available. Most spare shops in Industrial Area and Kirinyaga Road stock them, in other major towns such as Mombasa, Kisumu, Nakuru and Eldoret, they are also readily available.

The cost of service is comparable to that of Toyota Vitz. Body parts such as headlamps, side mirrors and taillights are slightly expensive as compared to Toyota. Overall, the Mazda Demio is not an expensive car to maintain and you should not really worry about maintenance costs.



The Mazda Demio is becoming very popular in Kenya due to it’s good fuel economy and low cost of ownership. We sought the advice of Mazda mechanics in Nairobi to find out any inherent problems that a buyer should be aware of and the right engine to buy. All this information is contained in the Mazda Demio Buyer’s Guide. It’s a book available for purchase and we highly recommend it for first time buyers and owners. Click here to purchase the Mazda Demio Buyer’s Guide

Resale Value: Average

Comparable Cars: Toyota Vitz, Honda Fit, Nissan Note, VW Polo (See a detailed comparison in the Mazda Demio Insights)

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You can get more about this Mazda Demio