A VW Tourage or a XC90 Volvo?

Thursday October 17 2019


By Paul Kaganzi

Hi, Paul, I am buying an SUV, but I need your technical guidance in terms of reliability, availability of spares in Uganda and comparison of Diesel or petrol. Help me chose between the 2011 to 2012 VW Tourage or xc90 Volvo.


Hello Paul, the 2012 Volvo XC90 and 2012 VW Touareg are both top notch SUVs all round. If you are sceptical about Volvo maintenance ability and parts situation go for the VW Touareg with a 3.6 litre V6 petrol engine. Whereas the seven seater Volvo XC90 has higher safety ratings and handles slightly better around tight corners, its spare parts are pricier and not as readily available as the VW Touareg. If you have to drive the Volvo you can still buy the parts online with a lot of logistical hassle. Some Touareg non service parts also have to be imported when needed, however they are easier and cheaper to find.
The 3.6 Litre and 3.2L petrol engines on the VW and Volvo are thirstier than their respective 3.0L and 2.5L diesel engines. However petrol engines are easier to maintain as they age. Diesel engines on 2012 and newer cars are smaller and more powerful with better smoother performance and impressive fuel economy. However these diesel engines require precision in the intake and fuel systems. They are sensitive to fuel system cleanliness (require diesel designed with fuel system cleaning additives) are dogged by potential failure of DPF diesel particulate filter traps either due to: fuelling with adulterated diesel, non use of recommended 5W30 fully synthetic engine oil or frequent short trips which don’t allow DPF regeneration.

I need to buy a fuel efficient car

Hello, I would like you to advise me on the best fuel efficient car to buy with easy maintenance. I want it to be a Uganda used car. My budget is between Shs8m and 10m. Musimenta.


Hello Musimenta, if you are looking for the most fuel efficient locally reused car with a budget of between Shs8 and Shs10 million, you can choose between the slightly more spacious, higher and better looking 1998 Toyota Corolla Spacio 1.6 Litre or the boxier more brawny 1998 Toyota Raum 1.5L. These two compact Toyota mini vans have flexible seat layouts, are fuel efficient and retain excellent value for money if well-maintained. In comparison the Corolla Spacio’s bigger 1.6 litre petrol engine gives you 110 horse power output and a fuel economy of 13.6 - 14 km/Litre while the Raum 1.5L petrol engine gives you an output of 93 horsepower and fuel economy of 13.8 - 15 km/Litre. These fuel economy statistics can be altered upwards or downwards depending on how you drive, tyre condition, engine service condition as well as choice of efficiency and economy enhancing fuel saving petrol. For such low budgets look out for hidden major repair needs especially for the engine and gearbox.

What’s your take on Subaru Exigas
Good afternoon Paul, I am Richard, I seek your opinion on Subaru Exigas. I intend to purchase one as my first car.

Hello Richard, the 2008 Subaru Exiga is a compact multipurpose vehicle and cross over utility vehicle. The sharp front curves and long lines to the flat tail gate are playfully bold and adventurous in a subtle way. This station wagon is built around the concept of exciting family travel. This theme underlies the theatre style seat layout with rear passengers seating higher than the front ones. The panoramic glass roof and eight cameras around the car add to the all round visibility status. Leather seats and comfort amenities such as airconditioning and power mirrors and windows add to comfort. The interior though plasticky remains stylish. On the road you can enjoy an exciting drive with 221 horse power from the 2.0 litre turbo engine. This feels like driving an Imprezza which shares the same engine. Handling of the Exiga is very different from the much more youthful, agile and nimble Imprezza WRX. The long stature of the Exiga doesn’t accommodate rally type antics such as drifting around corners however Exiga offers reasonable road holding and good steering response on our windy and straight highways. You have a choice of two gearboxes: the simpler easy to maintain 4 speed ATF auto gearbox or the more fuel efficient but delicate 5 speed CVT auto geabox. As a first time car owner be aware of the challenge of having a unique cross over car in the event that you lose a tail light or headlight courtesy of the errant boda boda who bumps into you. Engine service parts are easy through multiple Subaru parts dealers. Body parts will challenge you a bit. But that should not rain on the parade of this excellent car choice.