I have had my Toyota Nadia since 2013 and I love it because of its ample interior space. Even better, the rear seats can be folded to create space for luggage. Although it has a seating capacity of five, I can sometimes carry six passengers. It also has enough leg room for passengers who occupy the rear seats.
I used to buy spare parts from Kisekka Market in downtown Kampala myself but since Iam not so knowledgeable about the different parts and would be cheated, my mechanic sources and buys the spare parts.
When I carry out minor service, I spend approximately Shs75,000 tochange engine oil and air filter. For major service, I spend approximately Shs120,000, which caters for hydraulic and brake fluid and other key lubricants.
I have previously driven a Toyota Corolla and the Toyota G-Touring but compared to these, the Nadia is expensive in terms of fuel consumption and maintenance. From Kabale in western Uganda to Kampala via Rukungiri and Mbarara, I once refuelled with Shs200,000 and the tank was empty by the time I reached Kampala City centre. From Kampala to Mbarara (without driving out of Mbarara City) and back to Kampala, I spend approximately Shs250,000. I am not sure how many kilometres it covers using one litre but what I can confirm is that it is a guzzler.
From Nansana Town to Ntinda where I work (a distance of about 13.9km), I spend Shs20,000 on fuel daily.
I can drive my Nadia through any terrain. Regardless of whether it has rained or not, or whether I am driving uphill.
I looked for a family car that could carry more luggage since I still have school going children. When picking my children from school, my Nadia can comfortably accommodate them with their luggage such as mattresses without struggling to fit it in. The boot is wide and the seats are adjustable to create more space.
When driving on the highway, I can drive at high speeds without worrying about losing stability. What I do not like about the Nadia is the fact that it is a fuel guzzler. If you drive daily and have a limited budget for fuel per day, getting stuck in traffic jam will definitely derail you from your plans. To beat the Kampala traffic jam and use less fuel, I leave home by 6am and leave work as early as 4pm. From Kiwatule where I live to Kampala City centre, I use about Shs150,000 on fuel per week.
Unlike most compact vehicles, the Toyota Nadia commands a high ground clearance. This makes it drivable in the roughest of upcountry roads without causing damage to the car. It runs on a 2000cc four cylinder engine that makes it consume a lot more fuel, especially if you are driving in areas with traffic.
Like most Toyota brands, it is a car whose spare parts are readily available on the local market. When I experience a minor mechanical issue, I can drive to the garage and have the car fixed in time to return home with it. The parts are also affordable.
I spend between Shs200,000 to Shs250,000 on every garage visit for periodic service. This is normally after three or four months, depending on the mileage covered. If you want the Toyota Nadia to serve you long, use the right engine oil and service it on time.
What spoils most cars, the Nadia inclusive, is that sometimes you want to save on service and drive above the recommended mileage on the service manual which will end up causing more wear and tear.