The Toyota Passo: Malawi’s Favourite Hatchback Reviewed

by Makhumbo Chikaonda in Malawi

In recent years, the boom of modern infrastructure in Malawi has welcomed an influx of new drivers to the road. Like most other countries across Africa, Malawi loves used Japanese cars. In particular the peppy Toyota Passo hatchback has found a large following in this landlocked country, but just why has it become so popular?

Driving in Malawi

Driving in the roads of Malawi has never been a thrilling experience as it is now. The well constructed new roads tempt one to go beyond the speed limits now and then. However, the peak hours offer a horrible experience as motorists are bombarded with queues on all roads that connect the city centre to residential areas. But this gives one the chance to monitor and do a survey as to which cars are the most popular and sometimes ends up in conversations between people driving the same car model on the goodness of their vehicle models.

Victoria Avenue in Malawi featuring used Japanese cars.

However, most compliments go toward economic factors such as fuel efficiency and the pricing of auto parts. This is no surprise regarding the fact that Malawi is a hyperinflation economy. I recall a conversation I had with one fellow about his Toyota Passo, when he said “I use about MK17,000 ($23) to change the engine oil, oil filter, and plugs, plus pay the mechanic. Also, the fuel consumption is just amazing!”

Toyota Passo: One of Malawi’s Most Popular Cars

The Toyota Passo can be seen at almost every corner of every road in the city centre, at the parking lot of every shopping mall, every stadium car park , and at every church parking area. Here are 3 common reasons as to why a used Toyota Passo is so popular in Malawi.

1. Affordability

A used 2006 Toyota Passo from online used car exporter BE FORWARD.

Click for Low Cost Passo Models

The worst-kept secret for its popularity is affordability and range of economic advantages. This vehicle usually comes with a 990cc engine size which allows one to use approximately 1 liter of petrol for every 12kms. This makes it very economic as most people in Malawi now prefer to live in the outskirts of the city for cheaper house rentals but long distances require one to dig deep in ones pockets if you own a big engine size car. This has necessitated the disposal of big engine cars for smaller fuel efficient cars.

2. Easy Accessibility of Auto Parts

The interior of a used 2008 Toyota Passo from online used car exporter BE FORWARD.

Above: Interior of a used 2008 Toyota Passo

The other secret for Toyota Passo’s popularity is due to availability of auto parts at relatively low prices from car breakers and online on websites like BE FORWARD Auto Parts. For example, the small tires that are fitted on a Toyota Passo can be found easily. The Toyota Passo’s design is not sophisticated, and its popularity has made almost every mechanic an expert at it. For this reason, out of all garages I have ever visited, I have never seen this vehicle grounded due to mechanical problems.

3. Fuel Efficiency

The engine of a used 2007 Toyota Passo from online used car exporter BE FORWARD.

Above: Engine of a used 2007 Toyota Passo

The Toyota Passo has been proven to be one of the most profitable cars to use in business as a taxi, especially in the northern region of Malawi, because of its fuel efficiency, cheap repairs, and low initial purchase cost. For car dealers like myself I have never found the Toyota Passo hard to sell, as a customer’s face looks convinced way before all its advantages are communicated—all that’s left is a test drive.

Ready to take the plunge and purchase a used Toyota Passo of your very own? Tap or click the button below to browse BE FORWARD’s current offering of high-quality, low-cost Toyota Passo models.

Click for Low Cost Passo Models

This article is written by BE FORWARD Supporters ID 78379 Makhumbo Chikaonda in Malawi. What is BE FORWARD Supporters? Click here to join!

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