The 5 Most Economical Cars to Buy in Kenya

For many years, radio presenters have joked about Kenyans bringing out their cars around the end of the month – when they have money and can afford to have the vehicle on the road. What happens to these cars on other days? 

Today’s cars are not just about functionality. They are eye-candy machines built for comfort and entertainment.

It’s easy to get lost in the car’s overall features and forget about related costs like fuel consumption and maintenance costs. Costs that can blow through your budget in no time.

If you’re in the market for an economical option, read on. We explore the 5 most economical cars to buy in Kenya right now.

Nissan Tiida

This low-cost maintenance car is available in hatchback or saloon body styles. 

It’s a family-friendly car with a roomy cabin that can accommodate five adults, although tall occupants may find the rear middle seat a little tight.

Nissan Tiida offers its occupants plenty of storage compartments for their mobile devices, beverages, water bottles, documents, and other portable items.

The boot is unremarkable holding two medium-sized suitcases, although the rear seats fold to create greater space.

With a 1500 to 1800 engine capacity, the Tiida sprints 15 kilometers per liter. It rides well on tarmac roads within urban areas and highways and can handle all-weather upcountry roads. 

Its ground clearance is rather low, which can pose a challenge for drivers tackling off-roads or gliding over bumps when heavily loaded.

Toyota Prius

The Toyota Prius is a hybrid, equipped with an electric motor and a petrol engine that can run on their own.

 If you’re stuck in traffic, you can run on the electric motor then shift to the petrol engine when you need strong acceleration.

The petrol engine’s capacity ranges 1400 to 1800 cc and you get an amazing fuel efficiency of 34 – 38 kilometers per liter. Yes, you read that right. 

Due to low ground clearance, the Prius may struggle on upcountry roads or to clear speed bumps. Modifying ground clearance may make things smoother. 

This five-seater car is spacious with plenty of legroom in both rows although its slanting roofline eats into the rear seat roof space. 

Storage compartments abound ensuring your documents, phones, cups, bottles, and other accessories fit nicely. 

The boot can accommodate luggage for a family of five with rear seats folding flat to free up space.

Subaru Impreza

Subaru Impreza is offered as a four-door sedan or five-door hatchback. It’s a compact car favored by those who love cars with a sporty edge.

This car comes with multiple engine options including 1.5L, 1.6L, 2.0L, and a powerful 2.5L engine.

With a modest fuel consumption ranging 12.5 – 17.2 kilometers per liter, this car has earned its spot in the top economical cars in Kenya.

The Impreza offers good off-roading ability, is pleasant to drive, and feels stable at high speeds. The ground clearance is shorter than you’ll find on the Tiida and Demio and it may be wise to modify the same to suit our roads.

The car has a spacious interior giving those in the front row and on the rear outboard seats sufficient legroom. Like most compact cars, the space around the middle rear seat is tight.

There are multiple storage compartments for mobile devices, beverages, documents, and other accessories. 

The boot is big enough to accommodate three to five medium suitcases with the rear seats folding down using the split configuration mechanism. 

Toyota Vitz

Toyota Vitz is a compact three and five-door hatchback that’s popular among drivers looking for an affordable and practical vehicle. 

Over the years, the manufacturers have improved its exterior design which now looks very chic.

Despite its small size, the cabin offers ample space for average height drivers and occupants. It seats five passengers but the limited legroom may make long trips uncomfortable.

Under the hood, you’ll find three engine options including 1.0L, 1.3l, and 1.5L that provide reasonable performance. 

Fuel economy ranges 18.8 to 23.5 kilometers per liter allowing you to get more coverage from the fuel purchased.

Owners may want to modify the ground clearance as it’s rather short making clearing bumps a challenge—especially when the car is loaded.

Just like the Tiida, the Vitz can hold two to three medium suitcases with the rear seats folding to increase capacity. 

Equally, the car comes with several storage compartments for your personal items.

Mazda Demio

Boasting low ownership costs, good fuel economy, and a lightweight body, the Mazda Demio is a supermini car that graces Kenyan roads. 

It’s a small car, suitable for drivers and occupants under 6 feet tall. The interior offers decent legroom for average-height occupants but gets tighter around the middle rear seat.

It can accommodate up to five occupants, albeit for short urban commutes. 

The Demio offers two engine options namely 1.3L and 1.5L that make for effortless driving and handling. 

The car covers 18.2 to 20.6 kilometers for every liter of fuel making it a highly economical option.

The Mazda Demio is touted as an urban-road vehicle but it also cruises smoothly along highways. It has a low ground clearance, which means drivers should approach bumpy roads with care.

Unlike the other vehicles we looked at before, Mazda Demio’s cabin storage is limited to the front row only. 

The boot can hold a large suitcase with space to space and you can fold down the rear seats for more room.


While owning a car is no longer a luxury, keeping it on the road can be.

Over and above looking at a car’s ability to meet your needs, it’s necessary to count the cost of keeping it up and running.

We’ve shared our list of economical cars on the Kenyan market, what’s your favorite economical car? Let us know in the comments.