With so many varieties of vehicles to meet different needs and tastes, it is little wonder that Japan has become the to-go place for Africa. However, one breed of Japanese used vehicles that are a favorite for many people in Africa are the 2-in-1 mini vans. These multipurpose vehicles can be used for business, for family transport, as well as public passenger service! Come to think of it, even most ambulance service providers use the Japanese vans, with little or no modification.
Here are three models of Japanese used cars/mini vans that you will be likely to find prying the roads of Pretoria in the south, Casablanca in the North, Mogadishu in the East and Lagos in the West.
This was meant for use in Asia, but it has found its way to Africa from the secondhand Japanese car exporters. The Noah van is one of the most sought after used cars in Africa. While this multipurpose van is designed as an eight-seater making it very good for business travels, it is also used as a cargo van in many instances. Therefore, it is used for business as well as passenger ferrying services.
It can accelerate from 0 to 100km/h in approximately 9.8 seconds! For Africa, it is mostly available in 2.0-liter engine, as well as front and all-wheel drive. Its sister van, the Toyota Voxy is equally pleasing, but has a lower ground clearance. In Africa, multipurpose vans (MPV) are well loved for business as well as family use.
The name ‘Dion’ is coined from Dionysus, the name of the Greek god of wine and joy. This van comes hot on the heels of the Toyota Noah and Voxy in that order. Although Mitsubishi has long been associated with great trucks like Fuso, gallant cars like the Mitsubishi Galant, Lancer and Cedia and road beasts like the Pajero, the Dion minivan has also become a common sight in the used car lots in Africa.
The excellence in performance that we enjoy from other Japanese brands is clearly outstanding in this van. It is a five door, 2.0-liter engine and has seven passenger seating capacity. In Africa, it is used to ferry passengers as well as cargo, mostly in town service. Sold at an affordable price, from around $1000 depending on the year, it is fast becoming a competitor for Noah Ace and Voxy in the Japanese used car market in Africa. Soon, we will see many of these vans.
Where the Noah and Dion look sturdy and rough-ish on the edges, Nissan Serena is the sexiest looking of all mini vans from Japan, thanks to its well-rounded curves, a streamlined body and different versions to choose from. It is hard to miss this vehicle from any secondhand car exporters.
The latest version, which was produced up to 2012, features a 2.5 liter engine, although there are other smaller engines available, including 1.6 liter engines. The most common in Africa though is the 2.0 liter engine, that comes in front-wheel drive as well as all-wheel drive versions. It is great for business, ferrying cargo and on the family day out. It can seat 7 passengers.
Available with most Japanese used car exporters to Africa, Nissan Serena is one of the most common compact multipurpose vans in Africa, clinching the legacy that Nissan has in Africa. It is also comparably cheaper.
As Africa rises and becomes more commercialized, the race is on to find the best 2-in-1 van for business as well as family use. Used car exporters are making the Toyota Noah, Nissan Serena and Mitsubishi Dion mini vans readily available for Africa.