Dar es Salaam. The choice of what car to buy is often influenced by several reasons and issues that guide our buying decision. As an individual car buyer, it is always helpful to consult the collective wisdom of prospective buyers before making car buying decisions.
More interestingly, these variables keep changing and evolving with the passage of time. Automotive manufacturers keep a close eye on the prevalent trends and preferences in the market as guidelines for the development of future cars. In Tanzania where most people buy used cars, most cars are Japanese made and above all by Toyota, this is because many consider them ‘easy to maintain’ and have a ‘resell value’ compared to European made cars.
Below is a collection of Top 5 bestselling used Japanese cars in Tanzania for the past year as compiled by used car seller’s platforms in both Japan and Tanzania.
- IST ( Sh11 to 12 million)
The ist was developed from the Toyota Vitz super-mini in a crossover SUV body style offering the flexibility of larger SUVs, but with the advantage of better fuel economy from a smaller vehicle. It first appeared at the 2001 Tokyo Motor Show, and was placed into production in 2002.
The body dimensions are a notch above those of the Vitz, giving more space to the cabin and the trunk. The 6:4 split rear seats could be fully folded to widen the deck as necessary. The sturdy body structure was realized through the advanced Global Outstanding Assessment process, which enhanced safety in collisions with heavier vehicles.
The ist is meant to cater to younger drivers, being sold as a Scion in North America and as the xA in the Middle East. The ist interior features a unique interior with an easy to read central instrumental cluster position similar to the five-door Toyota Yaris/Vitz and the four-door Toyota Vios sedan. At its introduction, 42,000 orders were received in Japan.
- Toyota Harrier (Sh25-30 million)
The Toyota Harrier is a compact, later mid-size crossover SUV sold by Toyota since December 1997 in Japan and is exclusive to Toyopet Store Japanese dealerships. In export markets, the Harrier was rebadged as the Lexus RX from March 1998 to July 2013. At this stage, Toyota had yet to retail the Lexus brand to its Japanese customers.
The second generation model debuted in February 2003, along with the export Lexus version. The third generation RX arrived in late 2008, while the Harrier continued on in second generation form unchanged. Lexus had by now made its debut in Japan as an independent marque, thus the third generation RX was sold in the domestic market in the same livery as its export counterpart.
Toyota refreshed the Harrier in 2013, when it morphed into an independent model line constructed on a separate platform from the RX but retaining a visual link with it.
This is more common with the city’s stylish middle class.
- Rav 4 (Sh20-30 million)
The Toyota RAV4 was the first compact crossover SUV; it made its debut in Japan and Europe in 1994, and in North America in 1995, being launched in January 1996. The vehicle was designed for consumers wanting a vehicle that had most of the benefits of SUVs, such as increased cargo room, higher visibility, and the option of full-time four-wheel drive, along with the maneuverability and fuel economy of a compact car. Although not all RAV4s are four-wheel drive, RAV4 stands for "Recreational Activity Vehicle: 4-wheel drive", because the aforementioned equipment is an option in select countries.
In most markets, the RAV4 is the only compact SUV or crossover available from Toyota. In other markets, it is the crossover counterpart of the FJ Cruiser.
For the third generation model, Toyota offered both short- and long-wheelbase versions of the RAV4. Short-wheelbase versions are sold in Japan and Europe; long-wheelbase versions in Australia and North America. Toyota of Japan also sells the longer-wheelbase version as the Toyota Vanguard. Also a preserve of the middle class who in most cases live outside town.
- Corolla Spacio (Sh11 to 13 million)
Although the design of the car is based on the Verso's namesake, the Corolla, the Verso does not share a platform with the Corolla, instead being built on a separate unique platform.
The second generation Corolla Spacio was released in Japan in May 2001. It entered the European market as the Corolla Verso later in the same year after being shown at the September 2001 Frankfurt Motor Show. It received a facelift in April 2003 for the Japanese market. It was discontinued in Japan in October 2007 and replaced by the Corolla Rumion.
- Wish (Sh 11 to 13 million)
The Toyota Wish is a compact MPV produced from 2003 to 2017. It is available as a six and seven-seater, equipped with either a 1.8 or 2.0-litre gasoline engine. It is positioned below the Ipsum and above the Spacio in the Toyota minivan range.
Apart from Japan, the Wish was also assembled in Thailand and Taiwan. The Wish was developed under code name "760N" and was first introduced to the public at the Tokyo Motor Show in October 2002 and then launched in Japan in January 2003, under a massive publicity campaign with Japanese singer Hikaru Utada.
This is a family car with it space and sitting capacity.