What you need to know:
Although it appears small, it has a spacious interior. It is also fuel-efficient and cheap to repair and maintain.
A year ago, Fahad Waguma bought his second generation Toyota Vitz. A 2008 model and an XP90 by classification, Waguma’s Vitz, such as most of its predecessors, runs on a 1,000cc petrol engine, making it one of the smallest engines.
“Although it appears small, it has a spacious interior. It is also fuel-efficient and cheap to repair and maintain, especially now that the cost of fuel has remained high at an average of Shs5,000 per litre with little hope of dropping,” Waguma says.
When he had just bought it, he replaced the engine mounting and the shock absorbers. Whereas the engine mounting cost him Shs70,000, the shocks cost Shs140,000. He also replaced the suspension system.
In terms of fuel consumtion, Waguma says he has driven his Vitz to Masaka District, a distance of approximately 120km from Kampala City centre and used fuel worth Shs120,000, even for his return journey. To Iganga District and back to Kampala City centre, he used fuel worth Shs90,000.
Joan Arinaitwe, who bought the same car in 2021 says the Toyota Vitz comes with a digital fuel gauge, which is able to indicate the exact amount of fuel left in the tank before you completely run out.
“Apart from knowing that one bar on the fuel gauge has approximately eight litres of fuel, no car beats the Vitz when it comes to fuel economy. I have driven it on the highway where I cover 16kms per litre of fuel. With a full tank, I can drive from Kampala to Kisoro District in western Uganda without the need to refuel,” Arinaitwe explains.
As most cars on Ugandan roads, Arinaitwe services her Vitz after every 5,000kms, a distance she covers in five months since she uses the car daily. There are, however, times when she covers the same distance in three months when she uses the car for upcountry trips.
“I have never parked my car as a result of failing to get a given spare part. I spend between Shs80,000 and Shs120,000 for minor service. For major service, where I replace or top up the coolant, transmission fluid, engine oil, spark plugs, brake pads, oil filters, air cleaner and fuel filter, the cost increases to Shs250,000, which is okay since the car is serviced once or twice a year,” Arinaitwe adds.
One downside Waguma mentions about his Vitz is the black colour that absorbs and retains heat, making the car uncomfortable while driving. Arinaitwe says the Vitz’s low ground clearance makes it unfit to drive, especially on rough upcountry roads. The fact that it becomes unstable above the 80km/hr mark means you cannot drive faster asdesired.
Toyota Vitz grades
According to Top Car, an online portal, portal explains that the Toyota Vitz comes in different grades. These include Toyota Vitz F, which is the base grade that comes with either the 1.0L engine or the 1.3L engine, 2WD/4WD, halogen headlights, plain steering wheel, key start, 14-Inch steel rims, and a manual AC.
“The F Grade has 2 subgrades. These are the smart stop and M package. The smart stop comes with the 1.3L engine, 2WD and Toyota’s Stop & Start System that switches off the engine when the car is not moving to conserve fuel. The M package comes with the 1.0L engine, 2WD and a bi-color interior trim,” the portal explains.
The second grade is the Toyota Vitz Jewela. This grade has the same features as grade F but with more exotic colors such as pink, purple, maroon and red. It’s targeted at a more feminine clientele.
Toyota Vitz U, the portal explains, is the luxury grade that comes with either the 1.3L engine or the 1.5L engine, 2WD/4WD, xenon headlights, steering audio controls, chrome trim, keyless/smart start, 15-Inch steel rims, turn signal on side mirrors, luggage cover, padded seats and automatic AC.
Toyota Vitz RS, according to the portal, is the sports version that comes with a supercharged 1.5L 1NZ engine, 2WD, xenon headlights, fog lights, steering audio controls, chrome trim, keyless/smart start, 16-Inch alloy rims, turn signal on side mirrors, luggage cover, padded seats and automatic AC.
According to Top Car, an online portal, the first generation known as the XP10 was in production from 1999 to 2005, the second generation known as the XP90 was in production from 2005 to 2010 and the third generation known as the XP130 has been in production from 2011 to Present.
The portal further says the 2013 Vitz is offered with 3 engine options. These are, the 1.0 Litre 1KR engine, the 1.3 Litre 1NR engine and the 1.5 Litre 1NZ engine. These are linked to either a 4-speed automatic, a CVT or a 5 – Speed manual transmission. It is available in both 2WD and 4WD.