Top 10 Cheapest Cars in Kenya: The Ultimate List of the Budget-Friendly Options

Looking for the cheapest cars in Kenya? Check out our top picks that are perfect for those on a tight budget.

Aug 17, 2023 - 14:00
Sep 22, 2023 - 08:53
Top 10  Cheapest Cars in Kenya: The  Ultimate List of the Budget-Friendly Options
Top 10 Cheapest Cars in Kenya: The Ultimate List of the Budget-Friendly Options

Owning a car in Kenya has become a necessity for many people. With the high cost of transportation, owning a car has become a way to save money and increase mobility. However, purchasing a new vehicle can be a significant financial commitment, especially for those on a tight budget. Nevertheless, with the increasing availability of cheap cars in Kenya, owning a car has become much more accessible to a broader range of people.

New cheap cars in Kenya

This article will explore the top options for the cheapest cars in Kenya, helping you find the vehicle that best fits your needs and budget.


Let us get started:


Toyota Vitz

 The Toyota Vitz is a subcompact car from Japan that was first introduced in 1998 and is currently in its third generation, launched in 2010. This car is known for its small size, spacious interior, and stylish exterior design. Several variants of the Toyota Vitz are available, such as the Jewela, F Package, FL Package, F Limited, F Smile Edition, and U Package, each equipped with different features. 


The latest version of the Toyota Vitz has a 1.3-liter petrol engine that the company claims provides the highest fuel efficiency. It consumes 26.5 km per liter, making it one of the most fuel-efficient vehicles powered by a petrol engine. The car also comes with electronic power steering and features such as dual airbags, ABS, power steering, a central locking system, front fog lights, steering adjustment, USB connection, AC, power door locks, and more. 


The Toyota Vitz has excellent resale value in the market due to its reliability, durability, exceptional fuel consumption, and superb engine performance. This car is one of the best cars in Kenya because it costs between Ksh 400,000 and Ksh 800,000 or less.


Honda Fit

The Honda Fit is a subcompact hatchback that offers exceptional versatility and practicality in a compact package. Despite its small size, the Fit offers more passenger space than most people expect and a multi-way folding back seat that allows it to carry more cargo than you would think. The 2020 Honda Fit has four trim levels: LX, Sport, EX, and EX-L. The Fit comes with a choice between a six-speed manual transmission and a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT).


Fuel economy is one of the strong points of the Honda Fit. The LX model with the CVT has an excellent 40-mpg highway rating from the EPA, while all other Fits score a 36-mpg highway estimate. The Honda Fit is worth considering if you're looking for an affordable, fuel-efficient, practical, versatile car. It may not have the fun-to-drive personality of its predecessors, but it still offers an excellent combination of fuel efficiency, versatility, and comfort. It costs between Ksh 600 000 and Ksh 900 000.


Mazda Demio

The Mazda Demio is a compact car offered in 2WD and 4WD. It comes with two engine options: a 1.3L ZJ engine and a 1.5L ZY engine, both of which can be paired with a CVT, 4-speed automatic, or 5-speed manual transmission. The Mazda Demio is available in 5 different grades, including the base model 13C, the 13-SKYACTIV, the 13C-V, the 15C, and the sports-oriented 15S. The car has a stylish design that appeals to both masculine and feminine clientele.


The car has features like DVD/Navigation, Smart Start, adjustable steering, and safety features like SRS airbags, ABS, DSC, and TCS. On average, the Demio 13-SKYACTIV consumes 25.0 Km/L, while the 1.3L and 1.5L engines consume 20.6 Km/L and 18.2 Km/L, respectively. The car has a ground clearance of 6.1 inches (155mm) which is suitable for driving on Kenyan roads but may require modifications for some speed bumps. It costs between Ksh 500,000 and Ksh 700 000 depending on the year of production.


Nissan March

The Nissan March is a Japanese mini-car produced for five generations. The fourth generation, K13, was produced from 2010 to 2017; the fifth generation, K14, has been produced since 2017. The 2014 Nissan March has a three-cylinder 1.2-liter HR12DE engine and an EXTRONIC CVT transmission. It is known for its efficiency, with features like idling stop, which switches off the engine when the car is not in motion.


The Nissan March is offered in various grades, including the base model 12S, the mid-level model 12X, and the luxury model 12G. The car is compact, making it best suited for light urban use, and it has several storage compartments in the cabin. The exterior design is conservative, with chrome trim on some higher grades. The 2014 Nissan March has a fuel consumption of 26.0 km/L and a fuel tank capacity of 41 liters. It handles well and has various safety features, such as SRS airbags, ABS, EBD, and 3-point seat belts with ELR. Nissan March costs around Ksh 300,000 to Ksh 700,000.


Toyota Auris

 The Toyota Auris is a practical, reliable, no-frills family car with three options: hatchback, hybrid, and Touring Sports estate. In 2015, the car received a facelift, and they added a new 1.2-liter turbocharged petrol engine to the range, which improved fuel efficiency over the previous naturally aspirated 1.33 unit. The new engine offers 114bhp and 185Nm of torque, making it flexible and robust. However, the 2015 facelift did not impact the car's styling, which remains bland and boxy.


The interior of the Toyota Auris is functional, with a straightforward design and an easy-to-use central touchscreen. The plastic materials feel durable but not as solid as those used by the best in the business. There are minor issues, such as a clock that is too far from the driver and a small tray ahead of the gear lever. Despite these minor issues, the Toyota Auris has a good reputation for reliability, making it an economical and practical choice for family car buyers. Toyota Auris cost between Ksh 800 000 and around Ksh 1200,000.


Toyota IST

The Toyota IST is a compact car first released for sale in May 2002. It was designed for young people, focusing on providing a compact vehicle for mobility. The car has a stylish design, featuring a wide front grille, wheel arches, and large 15-inch tires, which give it a sense of activity and high quality.


The interior of the IST is simple and dynamic, with a horizontal and vertical basic configuration combined with rounded front and rear parts. It has a comfortable interior, with enough space to accommodate four people. The car has various safety features, including dual SRS airbags, ABS, and brake assist functions. The driving system can be either front-wheel drive or full-time 4-wheel drive for the 1.5-liter model. A minor update for the IST in May 2015 improved the interior, exterior, and technical equipment. It costs between Ksh 400 000 and around Ksh 1000,000.


Honda Civic

The Honda Civic is set to receive a hybrid powertrain in 2024. This hybrid model will be offered as a sedan and a hatchback, powered by the same hybrid powertrain found in the Honda Accord hybrid. This hybrid powertrain will consist of a four-cylinder engine and two electric motors providing 180-200 horsepower.


As for pricing, the EX sedan is the most recommended option, with a starting price of $28,000. This model has blind-spot monitoring, a power sunroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated exterior mirrors, and heated front seats. 


The hybrid sedan is estimated to start at $29,000, while the well-equipped EX-L hatchback with leather upholstery is estimated at $30,000. When it comes to performance, the Civic is offered with a front-wheel-drive system and a CVT transmission. The turbocharged Touring sedan has a 0-60 mph time of 7.5 seconds, while the manual Sport Touring hatchback is slightly faster at 7.3 seconds. It costs Ksh. 2,900,000 to Ksh 6,000,000.


Nissan Cube

 The Nissan Cube is one of Kenya's best se,li8ng cheap cars. The second-generation model of the Cube is expected to be a sales success with the full backing of Nissan Kenya. The new model boasts a distinctive design with round edges, flared wheel arches, and a long bonnet, making it 160mm longer, 25mm wider, and 10mm taller than its predecessor. The interior of the Cube has been designed to feel as relaxing as a jacuzzi and is much more spacious, with ample head and legroom for five tall adults.


A 1.5-liter petrol or diesel engine powers the Cube mated to a CVT auto or five-speed manual transmission. The petrol model has a 107bhp engine that returns 47mpg on the combined cycle and has improved response and fuel efficiency thanks to a revised CVT gearbox and a tweaked engine management system. The ride and handling of the Cube have been significantly improved, with a stiffer chassis, anti-roll bars, and independent struts up front, resulting in improved stability and a more compliant ride. The Cube is set to rival other supermini-MPVs like the Vauxhall Meriva, Citroen C3 Picasso, and Ford's B-MAX. It costs around Ksh 600,000.


Volkswagen Golf

The 2021 Volkswagen Golf is a compact hatchback that offers excellent value for its price. The Golf's turbocharged inline-four engine is refined and reliable, providing enough power for around-town driving. Its compliant ride and athletic handling make it an enjoyable car to drive. The EPA estimates the Golf to have fuel economy ratings of 29 mpg in the city and 39 mpg on the highway with the manual transmission, and 29 mpg city and 33 highway with the automatic.


Subaru Impreza

The 2023 Subaru Impreza is an excellent compact car, offering excellent fuel economy and standard all-wheel drive, which makes it feel sporty without sacrificing ride comfort. The interior of the Impreza is straightforward, with spacious seats and a good amount of cargo space in the hatchback model.


However, the Impreza has some downsides, including a sluggish engine and a smaller trunk in the sedan models. While budget-conscious shoppers or those wanting all-wheel drive should consider the Impreza, it is not as well-rounded as some of its competitors, such as the Honda Civic and Mazda3, which offer lively handling, inviting cabins, and technology features that the Impreza does not have. 


The cost of insuring the Impreza will depend on various factors, such as location, age, driving record, and the level of coverage chosen. Subaru Impreza costs between Ksh 400,000 and around Ksh 2000 000.


READ ALSO: Top 10 Car Dealerships in Kenya That Offer High-Quality Cars at Competitive Prices

How do these cheap cars compare in terms of safety ratings?

Safety ratings stem from many factors, including the car's design, the materials used in its construction, and the safety features it offers. A common misconception is that cheap cars might compromise security due to a lack of advanced features. National Transport and Safety Authority conducts extensive crash tests and assigns safety ratings. Considering the results from both these organizations offers a comprehensive perspective.

While evaluating the safety of cars, it's crucial to be aware of the critical safety features that can safeguard you during an accident.


Airbags act as a cushion, significantly reducing the impact during a collision. They are a critical safety feature that should be present in every car, regardless of cost.

 Anti-lock Brakes

Anti-lock brakes prevent the wheels from locking up and the car from skidding during a sudden brake, allowing the driver to maintain steering control.

Electronic Stability Control

Electronic Stability Control helps drivers maintain control of their vehicles during extreme steering maneuvers by keeping the vehicle headed in the driver's intended direction, even when the vehicle nears or reaches the limits of road grip.

Which car models offer the best resale value in Kenya

Having a suitable vehicle is always the pride of any driver, and choosing the one with high resale value ensures a good return on your investment. In Kenya, specific car models outshine others regarding resale value due to their reliability, fuel efficiency, and affordability. A few of the models, like the Toyota Vitz, Honda Fit, and Mazda Demio, that we have covered in the article stand out. 

 So, what gives these cars their high resale value? The answer lies in four main factors:

  • Reliability: All three cars are known for superior build quality and infrequent mechanical issues.
  • Fuel efficiency: Their impressive fuel economies mean more savings, making them a practical choice in the long run.
  • Affordability: With a relatively lower price tag, these cars appeal to budget-conscious buyers.
  • Popularity: Their popularity in Kenya ensures there's always a market when it's time to sell, thus maintaining high resale values.

 READ ALSO: Best cars for sale under 200k in Kenya (2023)


When searching for a new car in Kenya, you will have several options, each with unique features and benefits. Depending on your needs and budget, you will be able to find a vehicle that is both reliable and efficient. Factors such as fuel efficiency, passenger space, and safety features should be considered when deciding. Taking a test drive and thoroughly researching each car before purchasing is recommended.