List of The Cheapest Cars in Kenya 

AutosList of The Cheapest Cars in Kenya 
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List of The Cheapest Cars in Kenya. Let’s face it, times have been tough and yet things don’t seem to be getting any better. With that being the case, it makes perfect sense to shop for the cheapest cars available in Kenya so you can maximize your value for money.

Talking about cheap cars, our editors have searched the entire length and breadth of the local markets and managed to compile the following list for you.

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Top 11 Cheapest Cars in Kenya

In brief, the following are some of the most affordable small and medium-sized cars you’ll find on Kenyan roads.

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  1. Mazda Familia
  2. Nissan Ad Van
  3. Nissan March
  4. Toyota Passo
  5. Mitsubishi Mirage
  6. Nissan Wingroad
  7. Suzuki Swift
  8. Nissan Note
  9. Toyota Vitz
  10. Toyota Probox
  11. Mazda Demio

Let’s break them down for you.

Mazda Familia

Mazda Familia

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Originally based on the Nissan Ad Van model and later (from 2018) modeled on the legendary Toyota Probox, the Mazda Familia is one of the cheapest cars one can own in Kenya. The car comes with a 1500cc inline engine that generates 98 Horsepower which is just enough to get this car hauling luggage without breaking a sweat.

Talking about luggage, the car has a huge boot – enough to fit all manner of bulky things from potato sacks to refrigerators and even washing machines. So, whether you’re into farming, construction, or simply looking for a spacious car for your family the Familia has got you covered.

So, what are some of the weaknesses associated with this affordable car? As we mentioned earlier, the current Mazda Familia model (pre-2018) is based on the Nissan Ad Van. Like all other Nissans, it uses a CVT gearbox from a company called JATCO. JATCO gearboxes are notorious for breaking down when abused – they need to be serviced regularly to last long.

The Mazda Familia van costs from Ksh750,000 for ex-Japan, non-locally used cars. Thanks to the fact that this is just a Nissan car wearing a Mazda logo, its spare parts are readily available. However, its resale value can be low especially if poorly maintained.

Nissan Ad Van

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Although its production in Japan was discontinued in 2018, the Nissan Ad Van has proven a force to reckon with since its production began in 1982. The van comes with pretty much everything you would find in the Mazda Familia save for a Nissan badge.

For instance, it comes with an inline 4-cylinder engine code-named HR15 generating 98 horsepower. It also boasts a CVT gearbox from JATCO

If well maintained, the Ad Van can be a good beast of burden. However, like all other Nissans, it is not a car you’ll abuse and get away with it.

It has a delicate transmission and a less-than-stellar suspension meaning it might not comfortably put up with the kind of abuse a typical Probox would. However, with thorough maintenance, the Ad Van can still get the job done and give its owner good value for money in the long run.

The car is easy to maintain as it shares most of its parts with other Nissan cars. It can also enjoy good resale value if well maintained.

A “new” (ex-Japan) Nissan Ad Van will set you back some Ksh780,000.

Nissan March

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If you are looking for a mini-car that prioritizes fuel efficiency the Nissan March is your best bet especially if you’re on a tight budget. This vehicle comes with a 1200cc 3-cylinder engine generating 79 horsepower. The best thing about this engine is that it is highly fuel efficient – it is capable of delivering well over 18km/L.

Also known as Nissan Micra in other markets, this cute little car comes armed with a CVT gearbox which aids in smooth acceleration. Previous versions of the March were mated with a 4-speed automatic gearbox.

Thanks to its fuel efficiency, the car can make a good choice for those looking to venture into the Uber business. Plus, it is comfortable and more spacious than any of the Kei cars (e.g., Alto, Pixis, and Daihatsu Mira) available out there.

The car is still in production and continues to enjoy raving reviews from its users thanks to the fact that it is easy to maintain. Needless to say, this is a high-demand car with good resale value but good maintenance is critical.

For those looking for a premium interior finish, the Nissan March Nismo model is worth considering.

Poor ground clearance, a delicate CVT gearbox, and a small boot are some of the key downsides of owning a March.

A new one will set you back a cool Ksh800,000 on average.


Toyota Passo

Toyota Passo

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Known as the Toyota Passover in full or the Daihatsu Boon in some cases, the Toyota Passo is one of the cheapest cars you can find in Kenya. This compact car has been in the market since 2004 and offers two engine variants namely 1000cc and 1300cc. It’s mated with a CVT tranny.

The 1000cc engine generates 66 horsepower and can deliver a fuel economy of 20km/L. So indeed, this is a good car for anyone looking to venture into the taxi business – but it certainly won’t cut it if performance is what you are looking for.

The Passover is easy to maintain and its parts are readily available. It, however, is tiny in size meaning its interior feels a bit cramped up and its boot is only enough to carry a few bags of shopping.

Thinking of going off-roading? Never take a Passo with you because its poor ground clearance means its bumper and sump guard will always be on the receiving end.

An ex-Japan Passo goes for Ksh820,000 and above although that figure may go higher depending on the year of manufacture and trim of the vehicle.


Mitsubishi Mirage

Mitsubishi Mirage

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Mitsubishi is known for manufacturing sports cars like the Evolution or simply “Evo”, but did you know they also have a tiny “dudu” that ranks among the most affordable cars in town? Well, the Mirage comes with either a 1.0L or 1.2L engine generating 70 – 74 horsepower.

The car is powerful enough for most daily runs and can be used either as a personal car or for a taxi business. That’s because it comes with a continuous variable transmission which ensures its power reaches its wheels much better than most 4-speed autos available out there.

One thing you need to know about the Mirage is that it is built with reliability in mind. However, some of its parts e.g. a/c bearings are difficult to find.

The car’s resale value is not too good either – and in some cases loses as much as 30% of its value within just 2 years of ownership.

If you wish to purchase a pre-owned Mitsubishi Mirage from Japan then you need to cough out in the range of Ksh900,000.

Nissan Wingroad

Nissan Wingroad

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Nissan Wingroad is a van just like the Ad Van but the difference is that it has a better-done interior – and generally looks better. The Wingroad comes with a 1500cc engine and a 4-speed gearbox (up to 2014). Post-2014 Wingroads come with the more advanced Nissan Xtronic gearbox.

The car has been around for close to a decade now and that means its spare parts and the technical know-how needed to fix its problems is readily available.

However, the car has a delicate suspension which requires constant attention, especially for those who tend to drive on murram roads with potholes.

Other than that, this is a great car with a massive cargo space. You can use it to haul all your earthly belongings with ease.

An ex-Japan Wingroad will cost you anywhere from Ksh950,000. The car has a good resale value especially when properly maintained.

Suzuki Swift

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Looking for an affordable car that combines good looks with a bit of performance? The Suzuki Swift subcompact car is worth considering.

The car started production in 1983 and has evolved to change with the times. It currently features a 1300cc engine that generates 84HP which is just enough to propel this 1000KG machine like a small rocket.

Like all other Suzukis, the Swift can be reliable if well-maintained but problematic if abused.

Recent versions of the Suzuki Swift come with a CVT gearbox but earlier ones were either 4-speed automatic or 5-speed manuals.

The car’s interior is really well done considering its price tag.

That said, its parts are expensive compared to what you would need to pay for Toyota car models.

To own a Suzuki Swift, one needs to spend at least Ksh1,000,000 or thereabouts.


Nissan Note

Nissan Note as used in the article about cheapest cars in Kenya

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In 2004, the Nissan team sitting in Japan decided to proceed with the production of a subcompact hatchback to replace an earlier unpopular car called the Almera Tino. In doing so, Nissan knew they had to create a car that resonated with the needs of the people and that’s how the Note was born.

The car previously came with a 1500cc engine but was later downsized to a 1200cc 3-cylinder engine in the quest for greater fuel efficiency. The new, smaller engine was equipped with a supercharger to enhance the car’s performance (although some non-supercharged variants are still available).

Nissan Note offers a sizeable boot, adequate leg and headroom, and above all – great performance for its price range.

However, it has a poor ground clearance and a finnicky suspension meaning this is by no means an offroad car. Above all, it comes with a JATCO CVT gearbox which needs lots of attention to remain in good shape.

The car’s parts are readily available. Generally, the Note is considered an easy-to-maintain car.

An ex-Japan Nissan Note will cost you Ksh1,050,000 (anywhere in that range).

Toyota Vitz

Toyota Vitz

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No subcompact hatchback is as popular as the good old “Kavinye” or Toyota Vitz as it’s officially known. Available in both 1.0 litre and 1.3 litre variants, the Vitz provides you with ample performance and excellent reliability.

The “dudu” is renowned for its remarkable fuel efficiency something it achieves all thanks to its peppy Super-CVTi gearbox from Toyota.

One thing you should know about the Vitz is that it has been in production since 1999 and is popularly known in other parts of the world as the Toyota Yaris.

Thanks to its Stop & Start idling stop system, the Vitz is capable of delivering a staggering 18 km/L fuel economy.

An ordinary Vitz costs anywhere from Ksh1,100,000 but you can expect to pay slightly more for upper trims like the Jewela and RS-sport variants.

Toyota Probox

Toyota Probox

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The legendary Probox needs no introduction! The car provides you with all the bells and whistles you’d expect from a high-end Saloon car but at a reasonable budget. This is a great car if you’re on a tight budget but won’t mind an outdated (1980s kind of) interior.

The Probox was launched in July 2022 and is categorized as a medium-sized van thanks to its massive headroom and cargo space. What’s more, the “box” has a sister called Toyota Succeed.

Toyota Succeed differs from Probox by having a slightly longer cabin length. The Succeed is 0.5 Meters longer than the Probox.

Older versions of this car came with either a 1300cc or 1500cc engine. The 1500cc engine is more popular and generates a whopping 107 horsepower which is more than enough for this 1-tonne beast.

Worried about maintenance? Well, the Probox has got your back as its spare parts are readily available across the nation.

Above all, the car has a fantastic resale value thanks to its popularity on the local car market scene. An ex-Japan Probox costs in the range of Ksh1,100,000.

Mazda Demio

The Mazda Demio

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Mazda Demio is one of the relatively cheap cars that money can buy here in Kenya. The subcompact car comes with a choice of two engines i.e., 1300cc petrol engine and 1500cc diesel engine.

The 1300cc engine produces 90 horsepower while the 1500cc produces 104 horsepower.

So, if you simply want a daily drive for use around Nairobi, the 1300cc would be a safe bet. The 1500cc variant offers slightly more performance and would be a good bet for long-distance use on major highways thanks to its well-tuned 6-speed gearbox.

Small qualms with the Demio would be that it offers limited head/leg room for its passengers and that it has a weak rear suspension. Therefore, if you go for a Demio you’re better off using it sparingly so it can serve you for long.

One good thing about this car, however, is that its parts are readily available. And thanks to its popularity on our road, it continues to have an above-average resale value.

A pre-owned Demio from Japan will set you back a cool Ksh1,100,000 at best.

How To Choose the Best Cheap Car in the Kenyan Market

It is easy to go for the cheapest-priced car available but that can often lead to serious regrets down the line. Before settling for any low-priced motor vehicle, it is important to consider the following key factors.

  1. Your Individual Needs

Are you planning to use the car for taxi business, cargo haulage, or as a personal car? If you’re thinking of trying your hand at the taxi business you might want to prioritize fuel efficiency over all other things, you can even install an LPG kit to drive costs even lower. On the other hand, if you’re considering using the car for cargo transport you want to go for something that has got lots of space – particularly boot space.

Those shopping for personal cars might need to prioritize comfort features such as AC and quality infotainment systems.

  1. Reliability

Just because a car is cheaply priced does not mean it has to spend every other day at some mechanic’s stall in Grogon or Likoni Road. Fortunately, thanks to the advancements in motor vehicle manufacturing technology, companies like Toyota, Suzuki, and Nissan are able to build cars that combine reliability with affordability.

So, no matter what, don’t settle for a poorly done vehicle all in the name of saving a few bucks. Always insist on reliability otherwise you’ll end up losing even more money in routine garage visits.

  1. Availability of Spare Parts

We cannot emphasize this enough. When shopping for a low-budget car always remember that spare parts can be a bother. You don’t want to end up stuck with a car whose parts can only be shipped from abroad or cars that can only be handled by a few “specialist” mechanics.

If affordability is what you crave, always go for cars whose parts are easy to find.


And there you have it – a detailed list of Kenya’s best cheap cars. Whether you are looking for a reliable van such as the Probox or are simply hunting for a subcompact hatchback like the Nissan Note, we believe you’ll find every part of this article useful in your quest for the perfect match. All the best!

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