10 Best Cheap Saloon Cars In Kenya: Top Picks for Budget Buyers

Whether you're commuting to work or embarking on a road trip, these affordable saloon cars in Kenya are perfect for your needs.

Aug 17, 2023 - 14:06
Aug 17, 2023 - 14:06
10 Best Cheap Saloon Cars In Kenya: Top Picks for Budget Buyers
10 Best Cheap Saloon Cars In Kenya

The price is one of the most important factors to consider when buying a car. While luxury cars may be tempting, they're often outside the average consumer's budget. However, this doesn't mean you must settle for a vehicle that doesn't meet your needs or is poor quality. In Kenya, plenty of cheap saloon cars offer great value for money without compromising quality or performance.

Kenya's best cheap saloon cars balance affordability, reliability, and performance. Whether you're looking for a vehicle to commute to work, run errands, or take on long road trips, a cheap saloon car is perfect for you.

Which is the cheapest car to maintain in Kenya?

In this article, we'll look at some of the best cheap saloon cars in Kenya and provide tips and advice to help you make the best decision.

Now, let us get started. Shall we?

BMW 3 Series 2023 - KES 5.3 million

BMW's 3-series gets a tech-heavy makeover for 2023. It has an updated exterior design, an all-digital dashboard, and two smooth potent gas-powered engines.

The 330i has a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder, making 255 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. Meanwhile, the M340i has a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six and a 48-volt hybrid system (the total output is 382 ponies and 369 pound-feet).

The 330e plug-in hybrid combines a turbo 2.0-liter engine with an electric motor that generates 288 horses and 310 pound-feet. The BMW 3-series has a modern interior design and a big trunk with a power-operated deck lid and an infotainment system for quick and easy navigation.

Mercedes Benz C Class 2023 - KES 5.6 million

The 2023 Mercedes-Benz C-class sedan is similar to the brand's flagship sedan, offering luxurious materials and modern display screens in a smaller, sportier package. It is powered by a 255-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder and is enhanced by a 48-volt hybrid system.

The sedan now offers three trim levels; premium, exclusive, and pinnacle (the complete trim has the best value). The C300 4Matic hit 60 mph in 5.3 seconds but handling lacks steering feel, and the ride quality is flinty.

The infotainment system features an enormous 12.3-inch display and runs the most up-to-date version of Mercedes's MBUX infotainment system. Safety features include standard automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist, and adaptive cruise control.

2020 Jaguar XE - KES 5.2 million

The 2020 Jaguar XE hit the market in 2017 with much promise as a small-luxury-sedan. The XE has a good look and drives well, but it misses the XE's 380-hp solid V-6 that's no longer available for 2020.

It has two turbo four-cylinders—an entry-level P250 model with 247 horsepower or a P300 with 296 horsepower —that aren't class-leading in either performance or efficiency.

Its tiny back seat and trunk hinder the XE on the practical front. A substantial update for 2020 adds upgraded interior materials and features but still leaves the XE vying for mid-pack status.

2023 Honda Civic - KES 3.7 million

The 2023 Honda Civic is a compact sedan and hatchback fully redesigned for 2022. Honda has made no changes to the model for 2023 other than dropping the base LX trim. The high-performance Civic Type R hatchback rejoins the lineup this year but is reviewed separately.

The model has the same powertrain options as the previous-generation car, which includes a 158-hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder and a turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder that now makes 180 horsepower.

It is offered solely as a front-wheel-drive car and only comes with a CVT transmission. The car's fuel economy is 33 mpg city, 42 mpg highway, and 36 mpg combined. The 2023 Honda Civic also has a streamlined interior design with clean lines and a dashboard featuring a full-width honeycomb-patterned mesh design element that cleverly hides the air vents.

The infotainment system comes standard with a 7.0-inch touchscreen display, but a larger 9.0-inch unit, as is a 10.2-inch digital gauge display, is optional. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard and offer wireless connectivity when paired with a larger screen.

2023 Mazda 3 - KES 3.3 million

The 2023 Mazda 3 saloon and hatchback have dropped their base 2.0-litre four-cylinder for a new entry-level engine, a 2.5-liter four-cylinder that was offered as an upgrade last year.

This new engine has a 5-hp bump to 191 horsepower and also features cylinder deactivation to help it deliver more fuel-efficient EPA estimates of 28 mpg city and 37 mpg highway. The mid-range Carbon Edition model is now available with optional all-wheel drive. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are now standard on all trims.

We recommend the Preferred frame level as it has standard features such as heated front seats and a power-adjustable driver's seat with memory settings. All-wheel drive is available as an option on the Carbon Edition and Premium models or as standard on the Turbo models.

The turbocharged engine is the only one that makes the three satisfyingly quick, with a brisk 5.6-second run to 60 mph. The three sedans and hatchbacks offer a refined ride, tight body control, natural-feeling steering, and a firm ride.

The most fuel-efficient model is the sedan with the base 2.5-liter four-cylinder, with ratings from the EPA of 28 mpg city and 37 mpg highway. The interior of the three is thoughtfully designed with premium materials, but the best features are tied into the trim-level hierarchy. The sedan offers more cargo space than the hatchback and has better rear visibility.

2023 Audi A3 - KES 4.9 million

The 2023 Audi A3 is a compact luxury sedan in two trim levels: Premium and Premium Plus. The top-spec Prestige trim has been discontinued for this model year, but the remaining trim levels gain more standard and optional features.

All models now come with LED headlights and nicer door armrests. You can now have the Premium Plus trim with an LED interior lighting package, and the optional Convenience package now comes with a wireless smartphone charging pad. The Black Optic package now includes unique 18-inch wheels. The recommended model is the Premium Plus which offers the best features and prices.

The A3 is powered by a 201-hp turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder with a 48-volt hybrid system and a seven-speed automatic transmission. The A3 is rated at 29 mpg city and 38 mpg highway when equipped with front-wheel drive and 28 mpg city and 36 mpg highway for all-wheel drive models.

Mercedes Benz E Class - KES 3.5 million

The 2023 Mercedes-Benz E-class has a slight bump in standard content as non-Manufaktur metallic paint options are now included in the base price. The recommended model is the E450 saloon wi,th its potent six-cylinder powertrain and traditional 4Matic all-wheel-drive system.

It comes with blind-spot monitoring, a fully digital dashboard, heated front seats with memory settings, an infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and passive entry. The engine is an obedient nine-speed automatic transmission that pairs with three different engines.

The E450 models are powered by a turbocharged inline-six-cylinder engine with a 48-volt hybrid system that doubles as an electric supercharger. The setup sends 362 horsepower and 369 pound-feet to the wheels. 

2018 Hyundai Accent - KES 2.5 million

The Hyundai Accent is a subcompact car that is all new for 2018 and is available only as a Saloon. It comes with a 130-hp 1.6-liter inline-four engine that drives the front wheels through a six-speed manual or automatic transmission.

The manual gearbox offers a more engaging driving experience and better highway fuel economy than the automatic. The Accent's interior is well-built but lacks the bold style of some rivals and has less rear-seat space than others.

The base SE trim offers few luxuries, but the SEL and Limited trims add features such as a telescoping steering wheel, upgraded infotainment system, and heated front seats. The Accent's trunk is smaller than most rivals, but its shape makes it practical. The car has a standard touchscreen. The more extensive 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system on SEL and Limited trims also offers Apple CarPlay, Android Auto connectivity, and SiriusXM satellite radio.

2020 Nissan Versa - KES 2.1 million

The 2020 Nissan Versa has been given a makeover, with a sleeker exterior and more upscale interior. The saloon also boasts driver-assistance features such as adaptive cruise control and rear automated emergency braking.

Its four-cylinder powertrain is well-behaved but underpowered. Although it is not the cheapest new car in Kenya., the Versa has the style and substance to compete with other subcompact cars. The top-of-the-line Versa SR is the best option, with standard features such as 17-inch rims, LED headlights, passive entry, and remote start.

The car has a smooth ride and is better to drive than previous models, with accurate steering and consistent brake-pedal feedback. The interior has been improved with excellent materials and soft-touch surfaces.

The Versa also has an EPA estimated rating of 32 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway, identical to the 2020 Toyota Yaris. The back seat is comfortable for two adults but has less legroom than the older Versa. The trunk can fit six carry-on suitcases.

2023 Volkswagen Jetta GLI - KES 3.8 million

The 2023 Jetta GLI is a sport compact saloon that boasts a 228-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine, a six-speed manual transmission, and an optional eight-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic. The car has a fully-loaded trim level, similar to its competitor, the Honda Civic Si.

The GLI has various premium features, such as heated and ventilated power front seats, leather upholstery, and a crisp Beats audio system. However, it lacks the performance of cars like the 286-hp Hyundai Elantra N. For 2023, there are no significant changes to the GLI, and it is only available in one specification, which includes all the upgrades that were once reserved for the Autobahn trim level.

The vehicle has a fuel economy of 26 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway for the manual transmission version and 26 mpg city and 36 mpg highway for the automatic version. It has a comfortable interior with generous passenger space.

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When buying a saloon car in Kenya, plenty of options offer great value for money without compromising quality or performance. The BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, 2020 Jaguar XE, 2023 Honda Civic, and 2023 Mazda 3 are great examples of affordable saloon cars that balance affordability, reliability, and performance. While each of these cars has unique features and strengths, they all provide a great driving experience and are sure to meet the needs of the average Kenyan consumer.

Whether you're looking for a car to commute to work, run errands, or take on long road trips, a cheap saloon car is perfect for you. It is essential to consider your budget and your needs when making your final decision, but one thing is for sure, these cars are certainly worth considering.

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Joseph Richard Joseph is a graduate of Mathematics and Computer Science (Applied Option). With expertise in Technology and Finance, he brings his knowledge to the field, demonstrating an authoritative understanding of these interrelated areas. Joseph is pursuing a Master's in Software Engineering, further expanding his skill set.