Here in Pakistan, one of the best things about importing cars seems to be not the red ferarri you sometimes see on the streets of Lahore, but the car for the people, Toyota Vitz!
Now, this is a great car. I have talked to at leas three owners of this sharply round car and all three did not have good things to say about the car; they had great things to say about it!
Toyota Vitz (also marketed by Toyoto as Yaris in countries like Australia) is a small car, a direct comptitor to Suzuki’s Cultus (I do not have good things to say about the pathtetic excuse for a car in the form of Cultus, I just hope Suzuki gifts us the highly cool Swift!). Anyways, Toyota Vitz is small and that is where the goodness starts.
It is highly fuel efficient. The engine seems to be built for CNG as all the three owners I talked to had CNG-fitted Vitz. One of them insisted I drive the car to see that the CNG does not affect the car’s pick up! Compare that with the folks at Honda showrooms ‘encouraging’ people NOT to use CNG in Honda cars. (That is another story waiting to be told here at Car Advice, for updates please subscribe! ).
Vitz comes in 3 and 5 door varities with 1300 and 1500 CC engines. Some models also come with a 1500 CC engine though I have not heard of this model in Pakistan. (Have you? Let us know in the comments please). If you are considering to buy Toyota Vitz then I must tell you my friend, the car has no competition. Seeing the newer models of the car (especially the three door Vitz) is really a cool thing to see. Stuck like lemmings in shiny metal boxes, a red Vitz next to you can perhaps make you a tad more comfortable. (Or perhaps I am stretching this a bit too far? Hmmm).
The prices for Vitz have been fluctuating, ranging from 6 lacs all the way up to 9 lacs (in part, thanks to the ‘fluctuating’ conditions of the Pakistani economy). The banks will not loan any car that is more than 5 years old, so this means Vitz with models as new as 2008 running the streets of Pakistan, one can easily get the car leased as well. (And then get crunched by credit perhaps? :/ )
The pick up is great, fuel economy is what Vitz owners rave about, the shape (especially of the newer ones) is way above average, the engine is tough and takes CNG like a hand to a glove, the parts are available in the market, has signigicant resale value (if you plan to sell it; the three owners, all of them were intent on keeping the car indefinitely!). If you are in the market for a car in this category, think about it, what will you buy instead? A Cultus? Please!
P.S. For more pictures and history and information about this car, check out the Wikipedia page. Image coutesy of Wikipedia (the car is parked not anywhere in Pakistan that I know ).