What you need to know:
- Subaru Outback, Forester, Exiga are a common sight on Ugandan roads but they are in the race for most popular cars of 2021 in Uganda alongside other more recognisable brands such as Harrier, Sienta, Fielder and Ractis.
The Toyota Harrier is a medium Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) with a high ground clearance suitable to drive in any terrain on and off-road. Running on a 2400cc engine size, Bilal says the Harrier comes in both two wheel drive (2WD) and four wheel drive (4WD) respectively. It has a roomy interior and costs between Shs55m to Shs65m. It is classy for the middle class who look forward to bigger SUVs such as the Land Cruiser TX.
A station wagon by design, the Toyota Fielder costs between Shs29m to Shs35m at most local bonds. It is a five-seater car that comes with a spacious trunk which enables the owner to carry a sizeable amount of luggage.
Saeed Bilal, a sales manager at Yuasa Investments Limited, says when you adjust the rear passenger seats, the space becomes even bigger.
The fact that it runs on a manageable engine size of 1500cc also makes it a darling among many motorists.
Toyota RAV4 and Vanguard
One of the differences between the Recreational Active Vehicle (RAV4) and the Vanguard is that the latter is a seven seater while the former is a five seater. They also look similar in shape, only that the Vanguard is longer than the RAV4. While the RAV4 runs on a 2400cc engine, the Vanguard comes in both the 2400cc and 3500cc engine capacities.
According to Kabogoza, the fact that the two cars are luxurious, comfortable and have high ground clearance and can manoeuvre through any road terrain makes them popular, especially among the middle class.
Range Rover Autobiography and Land Cruiser TX
These are both considered SUVs. A shared feature between the two cars is their admirable performance off-road. They also have similar engine sizes of 3000cc, which, Kabogoza says is affordable for cars of their size and the driving comfort they give.
“The other feature they have in common is that you never hear external noise when driving with windows raised and it is something that most people look out for in sport utility vehicles. They are as quiet as an empty room. They are big body cars with smaller engine consumption,” Kabogoza explains.
Other cars that have been relatively popular include the Kia Sportage and the Kia Sorento, as well as the Toyota Premio 2008 model. Kabogoza and Katende expect smaller engine cars such as the Premio 2008 model of 2000cc to bounce back more popular in 2022 because of the increased fuel costs.
Some Subaru motorists have been branded all sorts of names because of their driving behaviour. Kabogoza says what has still endeared the Subaru models to many motorists is mainly their performance. Much as there are more Subaru Forester 2005 models on the road, the improved version, the 2008 model that looks like a Toyota Rav4 has also been quite popular. Other Subaru models include the saloon Subaru, Legacy, Subaru Exiga and the Subaru Outback. The cost of the Subaru Forester 2008 model ranges between Shs40m to Shs60m, depending on where and from whom you buy it, while the Legacy, Exiga and Outback cost in the range of Shs30m to Shs45m.
Toyota Ractis and Sienta
The Ractis and the Sienta are more or less of the same family. Charles Kabagoza, a car dealer at Lumumba Avenue, agrees with Bilal, noting that the Ractis has been popular not only because of its low cost of between Shs25m to Shs27m but also its affordable maintenance.
“It (Ractis) comes in two engine sizes of 1300cc and 1500cc and are both considered to be low maintenance and fuel friendly. It is a small basic car for first time motorists regardless of sex,” Kabogoza says.
Similarly, the Sienta’s small engine size of 1500cc, according to Bilal has also contributed to its popularity. It is one whose consumption is manageable, especially in urban areas with slow moving traffic.