What you need to know:
There is no doubt the Toyota Axio is one of the saloon cars that meets a motorist’s needs. It is one of the few saloons that gives you the choice between one with the 1500cc and 1800cc engine, but also affordable to maintain, writes Roland D. Nasasira.
I have driven a number of Toyota brands but none offers the driving comfort and fuel economy as the Axio. I imported it one and a half years ago and it is one of the few cars that will give you the best fuel economy. I chose the one that runs on a 1500cc petrol engine instead of 1800cc because of the more mileage per litre it gives. I live in Kyanja and work in the city centre but I spend Shs130,000 on fuel a week.
Before fuel prices increased, I spent Shs80,000 to Shs100,000 depending on the movements I made. I have driven to Mbarara in western Uganda and it cost me Shs160,000. On my way back to Kampala, I refueled with Shs120,000 and it was enough to use for the next one day of city drives.
The Toyota Axio is not a fast performance car so you cannot race and compete with other motorists the way you want. It has enough leg room for the driver and the other four passengers.
One of the features I like about the Toyota Axio is its fuel efficiency and reliability especially during current times when fuel prices go up daily. My particular model runs on a 1800cc engine that I refuel with as low as Shs20,000 on a day I am broke. When driving in urban traffic, depending on the intensity of traffic jam, I cover eight to 10km per litre of fuel, and up to 16km per litre on a highway.
It is a car I would recommend for any first time motorist because its maintenance is as affordable as its fuel consumption. It is my daily car and I service it once in four months.
On each garage visit, I spend Shs150,000 to replace the oil filter, brake pads, fuel filter, automatic transmission fluid and engine coolant top-ups and a few other basic parts and lubricants. I replace the spark plugs on recommendation of the mechanic.
Because the Axio is built with the latest technology such as a push-to-start engine, if you want to enjoy it, you have to respect its service manual and have it serviced when maintenance is due.
Be ready to read and interpret the lights it signals on the dashboard because it is where most mechanical issues are identified before they become complex. The care you give to this car determines how often you will visit the garage.
I acquired the Toyota Axio because it is not only easy and cheap to maintain in terms of daily fuel and servicing but it is also a suitable family car you can have. I recently owned a Spacio but the Axio provides more space especially in the trunk compared to the Spacio. It (Axio) is also more comfortable and offers better driving leg room compared to the Spacio.
It is also easy to manoeuvre around narrow roads within Kampala because of its short length. This also makes it easy to park by the roadside. If you have not mastered reverse parking, it has a rear view camera that displays what is at the rear on the dashboard. When I need to replace any spare parts, my mechanic gets them from downtown at Kisekka Market or Wandegeya.
I have not replaced any major parts except the tyres when I had just bought the car two years ago. On average, I spend Shs200,000 every time I do service.
The Axio is more of a town car because of its relative ground clearance. Like some cars, you also have to be careful when driving along roads with potholes or raised road bumps.