The car you drive is and should be an extension of your charisma. For the sort of person you are, the type of car you drive should speak to your personality. People that know you – your friends especially, or those that have heard about you, should see your car and realize why you got that particular car.
Many car makers try and manufacture cars to cater for every type of person. Others simply don’t care and they have decided to cater for a specific type of people i.e. Rolls Royce.
Brands like Rolls Royce celebrate moguls that appreciate that they work hard, they work smart and at the end of another million dollars in profit, they deserve their private jet interior but on road.
Also Read: REVIEWS BY IAN PAUL: 2004 Toyota Spacio
Toyota, on the other hand, manufactures cars to cater for anyone and everyone. This does not necessarily mean that anyone and everyone can afford a Toyota, no! This means that everyone that has enough money to buy a decent car within the budget, is better off looking at Toyota.
The availability, the cost of purchasing and owning a Toyota is what makes them very popular in Uganda. They don’t cost much, and maintenance is easy because everyone drives the same Toyota you drive.
The fuel economy on most Toyotas is also the best you might find. Unless it’s a hybrid from its rivals. With fuel prices that allegedly baited the UGX 5000 mark, you cannot afford a guzzler unless you are rich – which most of us aren’t.
The introduction of VVTI (Variable Valve Timing with Intelligence) engines has seen Toyota manage to give what would normally be guzzlers i.e. the 2.5 Liter Toyota Mark X, manageable everyday fuel consumption. This also made some already small engine cars seem like they sip their fuel unlike their cousins that gulp.
This sipping fuel economy conversation and VVTI technology bring me to the 2003 Toyota Vitz. One of Toyotas most decorated low fuel consumers. A favourite on Ugandan roads, and my latest hands-on experience.
Besides the fact that I felt like I was seated on a church pew rolling down a hillside, the Vitz isn’t as bad as I had thought. It is shockingly worse.
It’s a tiny compact city car that imagines you are the sort of person that eats your bread without blue band or honey and takes your tea from a saucepan, that is; you don’t care for any sort of luxury or comfort as long as it gets the job done.
What job? It got you to the office, did it not? You are stuck in a pool of water in the middle of the road at Banda but you are not wet, isn’t it? Meanwhile, that pool of moving water if not for your fat friend in the passenger seat would have you washed up and into the trench already. The Vitz is very light.
“Very light” sounds like it’s a merchant of speed? Simply put; if you own a Vitz you don’t have to go anywhere quickly. After all, you only have about 72 Horsepower.
The ground clearance? What ground clearance? It’s as low as T-Pain featuring Flo-rida.
The only upside to the Vitz is the fuel economy. A 1.3-liter inline-four engine. A small unsophisticated engine, with VVTI technology, perhaps the only intriguing factor about it. I have never quite wrapped my head around this VVTI technology, and why one needs it in a 1.3-litre city car. Already, that’s too little power. In a world of giants, this car is a power bank for your iPhone.
Also, the Vitz is so tiny parking isn’t an issue. Like my dad once said, “You can call a friend and carry it onto the verandah and no one will even notice it’s there.” Or simply park it under Bobi Wine’s Tundra.
Speaking of your personality, the Toyota Vitz says you don’t really care as long as you are getting to the office, not wet and you are saving money. For you, comfort, space and technology are only secondary. It’s great as a city car and its fuel economy is as good as it gets.
Author: Ian Paul Byamugisha
Ian Paul Byamugisha is a writer/author/novelist and car journalist. As a writer for Newslibre, he writes car reviews, cars news, tech news and anything that one might find interesting to read. Currently working on a spy novel collection titled “Arthur Vintage.”