What you need to know:
- Although the decision to buy a car is usually personal, the need for information before making that ultimate decision is paramount. Experts weigh in on what cars they think will be popular among buyers this year owing to their likable features.
The ban on importation of cars older than 15 years into the country has not only pushed the cost of cars up but it has also pushed the popularity of certain brands and models. For those wishing to fulfil their dream of buying a car, here are some models expected to make attract many this year.
Toyota Passo Sette
The Toyota Passo Sette was introduced in December 2008. The Sette, like the Toyota Spacio, is a multi-purpose vehicle designed to carry passengers or light cargo.
“However, the Toyota Passo Sette rivals the Spacio and the Ractis and other cars in the same class because it offers an increased sitting capacity of seven. A friendly fuel consumption with its 1500cc petrol engine and the fact that it is a multipurpose family car are some of the reasons it is sought after,” says Robert Baguma, a car dealer in Kyambogo, Kampala.
A pick-up truck, the Ford Raptor is an all-round car, with an all-new body and features as well as a new engine. Andrew Kananura, a car importer, says the Raptor will give the Toyota Hilux a run for its money.
“It comes standard with a push-to-start ignition. Some of the Raptor models have heads-up displays and lesser high beam lighting system which makes the car look grand. It also has an electric slide window at the rear. These and more features make the Raptor a pick-up truck to consider buying this year,” Kananura says.
The subcompact Toyota IST 2008 model could be small in size but according to Mark Lubega, a car dealer in Nakawa, Kampala, it is a car that most first time car owners yearn for. Like most Toyota brands, the IST, Lubega argues, is a low maintenance cost car.
“When you compare the 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005 model Toyota IST to the 2008 model, the latter is more stylish, fancy, classy, bigger in size and comes with improved features and comfort and as well as a larger interior compared to the former. The 2008 model is also more raised and boasts a 4WD system that improves its performance on and off-road,” Lubega says.
Range Rover Vogue and Range Rover Sport
When it comes to British brands, the Range Rover Vogue and the Range Rover Sport have been around for a while although not as common among buyers. However, Kananura says, these are bouncing back among the middle class, especially the 2018, 2019, 2021 and 2022 models due to their advanced features.
“They are comfortable. If you have had a chance to drive one, you do not want to drive anything else. They are suitable for long journeys, especially because of the nature of our rough roads. Their all-round performance is also excellent,” Kananura says.
Mercedes Benz GLE Coupe
Just when you thought the Mercedes Benz AMG G63, popularly known as the cross country and the Mercedes Benz ML 4Matic were some of the few sport utility vehicles manufactured by the German brand, the Mercedes Benz GLE Coupe could be the latest entrant in the Mercedes SUV category. It comes as a second hand or brand new buy, depending on what you perfer.
“Mercedes Benz SUV enthusiasts who cannot afford the AMG G63 because of its cost and maintenance have found an alternative in the GLE Coupe. The beauty of the GLE Coupe is its relatively smaller engine size of 3000cc compared to the AMG G63’s 4000cc,” Kananura adds.
According to Lubega, other cars to watch out for include the Toyota Land Cruiser 2022 model, the Kia Sportage Sorento and the Kia Seltos, among others.