I bought the Mitsubishi Pajero iO because it is a small family car that can accommodate five people. Also, in case I travel upcountry, it has enough space in the trunk making it easy to travel back home with foodstuffs.
On the road, it is comfortable with good ground clearance. It has provisions of engaging the active (AWD) and four wheel drive (4WD) modes depending on the terrain. It runs on a 2000cc engine size.
I service the car depending on the mileage and how often I use it. Sometimes, I just drive from my home in Zana to Kampala city centre (a distance of about 7km) and then back home. With such a routine, I can spend between two to three months without the need for service.
But on average, I spend approximately Shs170,000 if I am to service the car after 5,000km. In a week, I spend approximately Shs100,000 on fuel from home to work.
Like any other car, you need to service the Pajero iO on time. If you do not, the normal wear and tear it experiences within the 5,000km mileage you are recommended to cover before your next garage visit may cause more parts to wear out and this exposes you to more expenses.
Also, some of its spare parts are expensive compared to those of other cars.
For instance, a pair of its front shock absorbers costs Shs250,000 while those at the rear cost between Shs150,000 to Shs200,000. A brand new tyre will cost Shs250,000.
If you are a female motorist who prefers to drive a raised mini sport utility vehicle with minimal maintenance and fuel costs, this is the car to go for. When travelling upcountry, I fill the tank and it gives me between 10 to 13km using one litre of fuel whereas one litre of fuel will cover approximately eight kilometres in urban areas such as Kampala with high traffic.
From my home in Kira, Kampala, to my workplace in the city centre (a distance of about 11km), I spend approximately Shs120,000 on fuel every week. This cost, however, reduces with less traffic jam.
When the car is due for service, the mechanic picks it either from home or office and I am given a bill of approximately Shs200,000 after service. This is done at least once in four months. The only time I have spent more money was when I replaced the tyres which cost me Shs800,000.
I have had my Mitsubishi Pajero iO for four years. It is a car with a not-so-big engine of 2000cc but with relatively enough engine capacity to drive through the roughest of murram roads without worry of getting stuck.
As long as you have good tyres and you know how to engage and disengage its 4WD system, you will have a smooth drive all the way. Its engine has more power but is economical at the same time. I prefer using it for my upcountry travels compared to my other car, a Toyota Mark II.
It is smaller in size but when you have additional luggage to carry when going for a trip, if it does not have a rack, you will have to fold the rear seats to create space. I work in the city centre and from my home in Kiwatule, Kampala (a distance of about 12km), I spend approximately Shs100,000 on fuel per week.
Its service and maintenance, just like fuel consumption, is also affordable. I spend approximately Shs300,000 on major service and this is normally in four or five months because it is not my daily car. This will cater for things such as engine oil replacement, brake pads, transmission fluid, wipers and other key parts.