Category: News

8 Emergency Essentials You Should Have in Your Car at all Times

 

There is an endless list of items you could have in your car, depending on your needs and preferences. But how many of these can come in handy in an emergency? Whether you are visiting relatives in Nyeri or Kisumu, going on a road trip to the Masai Mara, or your usual town run, there are emergency essentials that you must have in your car at all times.

Emergency essentials are items that come in handy in case of unforeseen obstacles such as car trouble. Their role is to get you back on the road again as quickly as possible.

Here are 8 emergency essentials you should have in your call at all times:

Spare Tire

One of the most likely hiccups you will get on the road is a flat tire. Kenyan roads can be rough, particularly if you are going off the beaten path.  You should therefore carry a well-inflated spare tire at all times. In recent times, most car models, particularly SUVs such as the Rav 4 are coming without a spare tire as standard equipment. Instead, they have a tire repair kit. If you drive long distances and have space, it may be advisable to invest in a spare tire for your vehicle.

 

Jack & Lug Wrench

Of course, having a spare tire won’t solve your problem if you don’t have a jack and lug wrench. The jack is a lifting device that helps you raise the level of your vehicle to enable tire changing. The lug wrench is used to loosen/tighten the nuts on the wheels. Occasionally, your nuts may be rusty or too tight, in which case it may help to carry a bottle of WD40 to lubricate and loosen them.

 

Jumper Cables

A flat battery happens even to the best of us when we least expect it. Ensure that you have a pair of jumper cables in your trunk. Trust me; it is much easier to ask for help from a passing driver when you have your own jumpers.

Side note: Check on your jumper cables now and then to ensure that they are in good working order. In my experience, they do tend to get rusty and, eh, useless.

 

Life Savers

If you are lucky, your car will give you some sort of warning before it stalls for whatever reason. This may give you a chance to park safely on the side of the road. If you don’t have this luxury and stalls right in the middle of the road, you will need life savers/ warning triangles. Reflective metal triangles are designed to warn other drivers that there is a stalled car ahead. They should therefore be placed at a safe distance on both sides of the vehicle.  

First Aid Kit

A well-equipped first aid kit is necessary to nurse emergency cuts, burns, and scrapes, in case of an accident. Its main purpose is to manage the emergency as you wait for medical help or make your way to a hospital.

Torch

 

A torch is one of the most practical items you can keep in your car.  If your car stalls or breaks down during the night, a torch can come in handy as you take a look under the bonnet, connect jumper cables or change a tire. Similarly, it can help you signal to oncoming traffic about a stalled car, keeping you safe. Because you don’t know how long you may need to use the torch, keep a pair of fresh batteries in the glove compartment.

Duct tape

You will be surprised at how versatile duct tape can be. If you have been in a minor accident and your lights or side mirrors have been broken, duct tape can hold them together long enough to get to your mechanic. Basically, duct tape can hold together almost any car part, including the bonnet, doors, and even the bumper. It will even seal any unexpected leaks until you get help.

Water

A bottle of water will come in handy in case you experience a radiator emergency. Your car may overheat for various reasons. The coolant may be low, or the cooling system may be faulty. Whatever the reason, use water to cool off your engine. This will buy you time to get to your destination or a garage.

What is the Catalytic Converter and Why are Thieves after It?

Catalytic converter theft is on the rise in different parts of the world, including major cities in Kenya.

Move over spare tires; there is a new attraction for car thieves in town.

Recently, the catalytic converter has become somewhat of a holy grail. As a vehicle owner, you may already know about this gadget, or you are hearing about it for the first time. Everywhere around the world, including here in Kenya, catalytic converter theft is suddenly on the rise. So, what is it, and why is it in such demand?

What is a catalytic converter, and what does it do?

The catalytic converter is a ‘metal box’ found under your car between the engine and the muffler as a part of the exhaust system. Its primary role is to clean up the harmful gas emissions produced when the vehicle runs, turning them into harmless gases such as Co2 and water vapor.

To do this, the catalytic converter uses chemicals called catalysts. These catalysts are coated on the converters’ honeycomb’ interior. Their job is to break down the molecular structure of the harmful gases being released by the engine, thus ‘cleaning’ them up as they are released into the atmosphere.

If you wonder why this clean-up is necessary, think of Limuru on a cold, foggy morning. Now imagine Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, and other major cities filled with such fog, only this time its pollution being emitted by cars. This kind of smog would quickly become harmful to man and the environment.

Why do thieves steal the catalytic converter?

This brings us to the problem. Remember the catalysts that are used to breakdown harmful gasses? They not your ordinary catalysts but precious metals such as palladium, rhodium and platinum. Imagine that. As stricter car emissions are rolled out worldwide, the demand for these metals has gone up, and so have the prices.

Five years ago, 28g of palladium cost $500. In 2021 it has jumped to $2000-2500, higher than the price of gold. Rhodium is estimated to be retailing at 12 times the price of gold. While this jump in prices can be attributed to the increased production of electric cars, it is nevertheless fueling a vibrant black market of stolen catalytic converters.

The COVID 19 pandemic has not helped matters either. Rhodium is mainly mined in South Africa, and with the pandemic slowing everything down, supply has  gone down, raising demand.

Of course, if your catalytic converter is stolen in Nairobi or Mombasa, it is likely to be sold to a scrap yard for much less than its worth.

Fun Fact- The Ferrari F430 carries around not one, but two of the most expensive catalytic converters in the market. Each goes for a mind popping $3,770!

Will I know that my catalytic converter has been stolen?

Unfortunately, you may not realize that your vehicle’s catalytic converter has been stolen. For starters, it is located under the car, so you are unlikely to look there. Industry experts say that you will notice a ‘different roaring sound’ when you start a vehicle with a missing catalytic converter. This sound may get louder or sputter as you accelerate, and generally, the drive will not be as smooth as usual.   

Can I drive my car without a catalytic converter?

Technically, yes. A missing catalytic converter will not interfere with your driving. Newer models may activate the engine light to signify something is wrong when the system doesn’t detect it.

In most developed countries, driving without a catalytic converter is an offense due to the harmful emissions that a vehicle produces without it. Here in Kenya, NEMA regulations stipulate that ‘No person shall cause or allow the emission of visible air pollutants from a stationary or mobile vehicle in excess of the limits set out under the prescribed Standard.’

Similarly, through KEBS, Kenya has adopted the Euro 4 Emission directives, which seek to limit the emission of harmful gases like carbon monoxide by vehicles.

Going forward, the catalytic converter will become even more critical, particularly for the environment.

Which cars are at the most risk for catalytic converter theft?

There are no statistics in Kenya showing which vehicles are at most risk for catalytic converter theft. Going by international trends, hybrid cars such as the Toyota Prius and Lexus RX are at the most risk. This is because hybrid cars run less on fuel, so their catalytic converters are less eroded and contain more precious metals.

It is important to note that most thefts are acts of opportunity. To steal a catalytic converter, a thief has to crawl under your car. Unless someone has targeted your car because it is a hybrid, for the most part, a thief will strike when they see a chance.

This makes it easier to steal from SUVs, trucks, and pickups as they are generally higher than small sedans. Theft can also be influenced by where you park your car. If you leave it for long periods in a poorly lit area or in a basement, chances for theft are higher.

How can I protect my catalytic converter from being stolen?

You can do some things to protect your catalytic converter from being stolen, or if not, make it as difficult as possible.

Remember, thieves can remove a catalytic converter in under five minutes and less if they are experienced.

  • Have your mechanic weld it to the car’s frame. This won’t make it impossible to steal, but it will definitely make it harder.
  • Where possible, park your car in a well-lit area, near entrances, and in the vicinity of CCTV cameras.
  • Have your car serviced in a garage that you trust
  • Consider installing an alarm that can detect vibration in the car

 

 

6 Things You Should Do After a Road Accident in Kenya

Car accident in Nairobi Kenya

 

Road accidents happen, even to the most careful drivers. Unfortunately, in Kenya, major and minor road accidents are continually on the rise. According to the NTSA, there was a 5.8% increase in road accident fatalities in Kenya by October 2020, compared to the same period in 2019.

Causes of road accidents in Kenya include poor roads, unroadworthy vehicles, flouting of traffic rules, over speeding, incompetent drivers, drunk driving, and weak enforcement of road rules, among other factors.  

Perhaps you have wondered what steps you should take if, God forbid, you found yourself in a car accident.  Whether it’s a serious accident or a minor fender bender, there are specific steps that you should take.

This article outlines 5 things you should do immediately after a car accident in Kenya.

1. Check yourself and your passengers for any injuries

Depending on the extent of the accident, the first thing you should do is to check yourself and any passengers for injuries. If you are seriously injured, try not to move as you wait for help. If you can ask bystanders for help or call a family member or/and the police. If it is a minor accident with damage only to the car, move away from the road to a safe place.

2. Remain at the scene of the accident

Whether it is a minor or major accident, do not attempt to drive away even if you are in the wrong. Leaving the scene of an accident is an offence under Kenyan traffic laws. Instead, call or wait for the police to arrive at the scene for processing. Switch off your car engine and put out lifesavers at a safe distance to warn other drivers of the accident.

Temperatures may run high at the scene of an accident, particularly if one party is clearly in the wrong. Avoid taking any rash action as this can make things worse. Although it may sound easier said than done, try to calm down as you wait for the police to arrive.

3. Exchange information

As you wait for the police or in their presence, exchange information with the other party, if possible. This includes names, contacts, car registration, make, model and color, driver’s license number, and insurance information. Establish if the other driver is the owner of the car or not. Collecting such information is helpful as your insurance company will rely on these details in ascertaining fault and processing your claim.

4. Document the accident

When the police arrive, they will carry out an initial investigation and write out a report. Write down the police officers’ names and badge numbers. If you can, take pictures of the accident scene and of the cars from different angles, showing the extent of the damage and license plates. You may also speak to witnesses for any extra information that you may have missed. Note down any relevant details about the accident as this may be helpful later on. This includes things like weather conditions, road marks, the other driver’s actions, etc. Ensure that you get a copy of the police accident report as soon as it’s ready.

5. Notify your insurance company

You should notify your insurance company about the accident as soon as possible, perhaps even while still at the scene. This way, they will advise you on what is needed and the next steps in filing your claim. Your insurance policy provides for legal representation, and where necessary your insurance company will engage a lawyer in case of legal liabilities.

6. Move the cars from the scene

After the police have taken down all the necessary information about an accident, they will ask you to move your cars from the scene, possibly to the nearest police station. If your vehicles are movable, and you are in a condition to, you will be asked to drive them. If the cars are undrivable, you or the police may request for a tow truck to tow them away. If your car is comprehensively insured, and depending on the specific benefits, your insurance company will reimburse the cost of towing up to an agreed limit. Otherwise, you will have to pay for the tow truck out of pocket.

What NOT to do after a car accident in Kenya!

  • Do not run away/ drive off. If there is a threat to you, drive to a safe place or to the nearest police station.
  • Report the accident to the police and get a police abstract, no matter how minor it is.
  • Accidents can be emotional, especially if you are not in the wrong. Please do not punch or insult the other driver. Sorting things peacefully will be much faster!
  • It may be a Kenyan thing, but, unless the damage is very minor, do not ‘visually’ access the damage and exchange money with the other driver without a professional consultation. Your vehicle may need more repairs than you get paid for on the spot, leaving you to go back to your pocket.
  • Notify your insurance company about the accident, even if you don’t plan to make a claim. This is important because the other party can turn around and report the accident, blaming you for it,  even after you have worked it out on the spot. You then find yourself time barred from making a claim with your insurer.
  • Okay, goes without saying but, please do not bribe a cop to let you go (or to change the facts). Let us fix this nation one incidence at a time!
  • Do NOT ignore symptoms like nausea, headache or pain even if you are not visibly hurt. Please consult a doctor to rule out internal injuries even if you feel fine.

The 5 Greatest Car Care Sins You are Committing- And How to Redeem Yourself

 

Have you ever come across the saying that ‘if you love something, it will love you back in whatever way it has to love?’

This saying is especially true when it comes to our cars. Basically, a car is a workhorse. It faithfully ferries you to and from work, on errands, and wherever else you want to go. In return, all it asks for is some love and care. Unfortunately, we don’t always keep our end of the bargain in this relationship. This not only punishes the car but can lead to unnecessary losses later on.

In this article, we outline 7 of the greatest car care sins you are committing and how you can redeem yourself.

1. Irregular Cleaning

Some people are obsessed with cleaning their cars, and kudos to them. Then there are those who go on and on without bathing their car. This is not only unsightly, but dirt, air-borne pollutants, bugs, bird shit, and mud can damage the paint and dull your car’s finish.

How often you wash your car will depend on several factors. For instance, if you use it to ferry vegetables from the market every day, you may need to wash it a couple of times a week. If you only use it to get to the office, you may clean it once in two weeks.  Other factors such as the type of road you use, how far you drive, and the weather may also influence how often you need to wash your car.

Washing your car doesn’t have to be an expensive affair. You can actually clean it at home (fun activity to do with kids) or take it to the neighborhood car wash. We all know that in Nairobi, you will find a car wash for 200 bob or one for 1000 bob depending on where you go, and your budget. Aim to do a thorough general cleaning every few months.

 

2. Littering

If you are a parent with small children, it is possible that after the end of a long trip, your car will resemble a mini trash can. Think half-eaten bananas to potato crisps wrappers and empty water bottles. If this happens, aim to clean the car immediately after the trip. Don’t wait to look for an elusive smell of something ‘strange’ a week later!

Similarly, every day littering of one item at a time can accumulate over the week. Always carry out trash with you when you get out of the car. Another way of mitigating this is by investing in a bin that can be placed behind the front seats. You can also carry a disposable bag in the glove compartment to make trash collection and clean up easier.

We are advocating that you don’t leave trash in your car, but we don’t mean that you throw it out your window! You all have seen  the guy in front who goes littering all the way home, throwing out banana peels and pet water bottles with careless abandon. As suggested, invest in a bin, or use a disposable bag to carry your trash home. Let us care for our cars, but also for the environment.

 

3. Sun exposure

There are months of the year when the sun can be brutal. Imagine how much damage the sun’s UV rays make on our skin and the lengths we go to protect ourselves. Now think of your car, out there in the sun, day in day out. It may not always be possible to park under a shade, particularly in towns such as Nairobi. However, the sun does not only damage the exterior of the car but the interior as well. The dashboard, leather seats, and other plastic surfaces can age prematurely due to overexposure to the sun. This can affect your car’s resale value and aesthetics.

To redeem yourself of this sin, cover your car’s plastic surfaces, particularly the dashboard area, with a sun protector. Aim to apply protectants to the leather and vinyl surfaces occasionally to keep them in tip-top shape.

 

4. Ignoring dents and scratches

If you have driven on the somewhat chaotic Kenyan roads, your car may have a few scratches and dents to show for it.  Between our crazy matatu culture and all those bodabodas, it may be hard to escape unscathed. What is unacceptable and a major sin is ignoring these dents and scratches like they are not there!

No matter how cool your car is, a dent immediately makes it appear old and ugly. But the good news is, most dents and scratches can be repaired with easy DIY (do it yourself) hacks.

For example, if the dent does not have a crack in it, use a toilet plunger to suck it right out! Alternatively, pour hot water over it and see it pop right back to shape. If you have a scratch that is not too deep in, rub it over with toothpaste using a damp cloth. If these hacks don’t work, it means that the damage is too deep, and you may need to call in a professional.

 

 

5. Skipping car service

Do you remember that episode of Big Bang Theory where Penny and Sheldon are driving together in her car, and he points out that her check engine light is on? ‘Oh, I have been meaning to put gum on that,’ she responded.

Haha. Some of us are a little like Penny. We know the rules. The manufacturers recommend that we service our cars every 10,000kms, or six months, whichever comes first. And some of us faithfully do it.

It is the rest of us that are committing grave sin number five. We imagine that since we don’t hear any ‘funny’ noises or see any warning lights on the dashboard, all is well. While it may be well in the short term, it could end up costing you significantly in the long run in case of any mechanical failures.

To redeem yourself, service your car regularly as required. Don’t wait six months to do the basics like changing engine oil and replacing air and oil filters.

Remember, when you love your car, it will love you right back and serve you faithfully!

Should I Import a Car or Buy One Locally?

 

Once you have decided to purchase a car, one of the most difficult decisions you have to make is whether to import or buy one locally. The biggest question on your mind at this point is, ‘what will I gain or lose either by buying locally or importing?” As car dealers, we understand that each option has its advantages and disadvantages, but we acknowledge that in the end, you should go with what works best for you. It does help, however, to have all the information. In this article, we hope to make your decision simpler by discussing the merits and demerits of importing a car or buying one locally.

What are the Advantages of Importing a Car from Japan?

Importing a car from Japan has numerous advantages, some of which include:

A Large Pool of vehicles to choose from

When you import your car from Japan, you will benefit from the availability of thousands of cars in the auctions. This means that you can get a car fitting your specifications, such as make, model, color, mileage, interior, and most importantly, price. This is unlike at a local yard where you might have to choose between four of five vehicles of the model you want.

 Value for your money

Countries like Japan have well-maintained roads and carefully used vehicles. Even if you import a 7-year-old vehicle, it is likely to be in superb condition. This means that you can even import a vehicle with slightly higher mileage for a lower price and still end up with a car that will serve you diligently for several years.

A smooth Buying Process

Buying a car locally can be a tedious process, especially when you are looking for particular specs. This is because you will have to move from one yard to another while making a million calls in between. Why not save that energy and import? When you use a reliable import agent, they will do all the work of finding the right car for you, including shipping, clearing, and registration. All you have to do is pay and sit back and wait for your vehicle to arrive without any hustles. 

 Latest Number Plate

When your car arrives at the port of Mombasa, it will be registered as a new car by the NTSA. This means that you will get the latest number plate on the road. You can also book (at an extra fee) for a special number plate, such as triple letters.

Whole History of the car

The Japanese are stringent in their car inspections. Every car available in the auction has an auction sheet. The auction sheet gives the history and the general condition of the car. Once a car is imported from Japan, you can have it physically inspected and find that it matches exactly what was in the auction sheet.

Genuine Mileage

The auction sheet also outlines the mileage of the car. The mileage is genuine and verifiable by using the chassis number to check once the car has been purchased and inspected by QISJ or other bodies contracted by KEBS.

Cars with Unique Features

With the auction having a large pool of vehicles, one can choose a car with extras that they admire, think of things like a roof rail, fancy lights, unique colors, etc.

Are there any Disadvantages to Importing a Car from Japan?

Like everything else, importing does have some angles that might be considered disadvantageous, depending on where you stand. Some of them are:

You may have to wait longer

To import a car from Japan takes around 6-8 weeks. If you want your car immediately, the waiting period might put you off.

It may cost slightly more

Sometimes importing can be considered expensive compared to buying a car locally. This mostly happens due to exchange rate fluctuations. Similarly, low mileage cars will be more costly than high mileage cars.

There could be Unforeseen Delays

The car import process takes around 45-60days, but there could be other unforeseen delays. These mainly happen at the port of Mombasa, either with KRA or NTSA systems. Occasionally there have been challenges with the availability of physical number plates.

What are the Advantages of Buying a Car in the Local Car Yards?

Immediate Purchase

When you realize that you don’t have bread in the house and you need it for breakfast, all you have to do is rush to the local kiosk or supermarket to get one. You will find bread from different companies on the shelves, and you will settle for the one you prefer. The point is, your need is satisfied immediately, which is similar to buying a car locally. If you need a car in a hurry, all you have to do is visit various car yards and pick one.

Physical Inspection

When you import a car from Japan, you will rely on an auction sheet to give you information on the car. When the car is locally available, you will walk into the yard or showroom to look at the car. You will be able to touch it, feel it and even test drive it.

Ability for Comparison

There are thousands of yards in Kenya, most of them located in Nairobi and Mombasa and set closely together. This gives you a perfect chance to ‘window shop.’ If what is found in one yard does not appeal to you, you can shop in other yards until you find what you are looking for.

Import Financing

The majority of the banks or financial institutions in Kenya prefer to finance cars already in the country. Buying a car from a local yard means that you can secure bank finance quickly, compared to the process of importing.

Are there any Disadvantages to Buying a Car from the Local Yards?

The Mileage Question

Well, not everyone you deal with will be above board, and some unscrupulous dealers may alter the odometer to make a car look more attractive. A car could have a genuine mileage of 180,000km, but someone may be tempted to rewind it to 80,000km to make it more marketable. Unfortunately, it may be difficult to verify mileage in a car that is already here.  With an imported car, it is easier to know the car’s genuine mileage using the chassis number.

History of the car

When you intend to purchase a car, you move from one yard to another, looking for something that will suit your specifications. Once you find exactly what you want or something close to it, then you make an offer. But face value only does not give you the history of the car. Even an accident repaired car may look good to you.

Expenses

A car in the yard needs to be maintained to be in good condition once you come to view it. The yard may incur extra costs related to this, including security, buffing and cleaning costs, etc. Sometimes these service costs are transferred to the customer.

How to Apply for the New Smart Driving License from NTSA

Do you know that you can now apply for a smart Driving License from NTSA?

If you are like most Kenyans, you have at one time, or another found the red book like driving license unattractive or even cumbersome.

Well, those days are now gone. You can now easily exchange your old driving license for the new digital one by just following a few steps online.

Before we go to the application process, here is some 411 about the new digital driving license:

The new smart driving license from NTSA costs 3,050kes, and everyone will be required to have migrated to it by January 2021.

It will also contain a host of information, including your blood type, biometrics, and any traffic offenses you might have committed!

This information will be contained in a chip that can only be read by special card readers to be used by NTSA.

This digital DL, which looks much like your ID, will work on a point system where points will be docked for bad behavior on the roads.

Different offenses will carry different point’s value.

You will be started with 100 points, and if these fall to 40, your driving license will be revoked for 6 months or even permanently. So stay woke people!

But that’s not all. As the system settles down, this digital DL could have several other implications.

Because the card will record all your driving behavior, this information will be useful to insurance companies when determining how to insure you and your car.

NTSA is currently in talks with insurance companies to have good drivers rewarded with low premiums, and bad drivers punished with high premiums.

In future, your driving history will also be valuable to employers.

There might be some ethics involved here, but employers run background checks all the time.

Nothing like your driving history (multiple offenses, warnings, etc.) to tell them whether you are a risky employ or not.

Focusing on the positive, you will no longer have to carry the red book around with you much longer!

Before you can apply for a smart DL, you need to have an account on the Transport Information Management System (TIMS) run by NTSA.

To create the account:

1. Go tims.ntsa.go.ke.

2. If you already have an account, all you have to do is log in.

3. If you don’t have an account, click on the register button at the bottom of the page.

4. This will redirect you to the page below. Select ‘individual’ option and input your ID Serial Number.

5. You will then fill in other required details such as KRA PIN, names, and phone number.

6. If all the information is correct, request for a verification code which will be sent to your phone.

7. Input the code on the verification tab, and you are now registered with TIMS.

To Apply for the Smart DL

1. Once you have created an account with TIMS, go back to tims.ntsa.go.ke and sign in.

2. You will be given several options- select ‘Driving License’.

3. This page will have all the details of the current driving license that you are holding.

4. On the left-hand side of the page, select the option ‘Apply for smart DL.’

5. You will be taken to a page with your current DL details where you will be asked to verify that all information, specifically the class, is correct.

6. If all the information is correct, then you should proceed to apply by clicking the ‘next’ button at the bottom of the page.

7. If there is something that you would like to correct, do so using the red link at the top of the page. You will have to wait for your information to be corrected before proceeding with the application.

8. On the next page you will be asked to make payment, and you will be redirected to a payment page with several payment options:

9. After making payment successfully, you will be required to book an appointment with NTSA.

10. At the appointment, NTSA will take your photo, fingerprints, and any other relevant details.

11. Typically, your smart DL should be ready in 5 working days. NTSA has, however, been experiencing a backlog, and you might have to wait a little bit longer than that.

I have Imported a Car from Japan to Kenya- Is it Safe at the Port of Mombasa?

Is My Car Safe at the Port of Mombasa as it awaits Clearing?

This is one of the most common questions we get from clients who import cars from Japan to Kenya through us.

And it is a valid one. If you import a car through us, you can be sure that your car is safe at the port.

When cars arrive at port of Mombasa, they are offloaded and taken to respective terminals. At Croton Motors, we nominate all our cars to the Regional Logistics Center Terminal (RLC).

Regional Logistics has been in business for close to 20 years. This means that they have the experience and logistics required to ensure smooth processes.

RLC has a large yard that can hold up to 1500 vehicles. It is secure, and vehicles are handled by a professional team of drivers.

– Because we nominate this terminal specifically, we enjoy 45 days of free storage. This means that even in cases of unexpected delays you are unlikely to incur demurrage charges. Cars that are not nominated to any terminal have only a 3 day free facility.

As seen above, you have no reason to worry about your car’s safety while at the port of Mombasa- well, as long as you import with Croton Motors! We can’t speak for the other guys!

Let us help you find the right car for you!

How to Transport your car from the port of Mombasa to Nairobi: Road or Car Carrier

After your car has cleared customs and you have received a registration number from NTSA, the next step is to transport it to your location. There are two ways in which this can be done:

  • Via Car Carrier
  • By Road

What are the advantages of using a car carrier to transport vehicles to Nairobi from Mombasa?

  1. Safety & Reliability:We all know the deal with Kenyan roads, especially over long distances. Accidents happen. Car carriers are insured and driven carefully, so you can be sure that your car is in good hands at all times.
  2. Stress Free:If your car is on a carrier you don’t have to deal with traffic, police checks, delays or bad weather. This allows you to concentrate on other things as your car is delivered.
  3. No Wear and Tear:If your car is being delivered to Nairobi that will add a cool 500km on the odometer, more if it will go further. A car carrier will save the engine, transmission and tires from unnecessary wear and tear and other potential hazards.
  4. Saves Time:Driving the car yourself requires that you take time off work or other daily activities. Driving to Nairobi will likely take 7 hours and change, time you could spend on other things if you use a car carrier.

What are the risks of having my car driven from the port of Mombasa to Nairobi?

The biggest risk with giving your car to a driver is the possibility of an accident. Even a minor accident can damage your car, causing repair costs. It also takes time to deal with insurance.

How long will a car carrier take to transport a car from Mombasa to Nairobi?

A car carrier takes an average of two days to drive from Mombasa to Nairobi. This is because the law only allows car carriers to be driven from 6am-6pm.

Where will my car be dropped off by the car carrier?

Most car carriers have central locations where they drop off cars, and your selected car carrier will advise you accordingly. Remember, a car carrier is long, and requires enough space and time to turn and offload. For this reason, they cannot stop outside of designated drop locations.

What happens when my car arrives via car carrier?

If you are picking your car personally from the car carrier, the driver will alert you when it arrives at the designated drop off point. After identifying yourself, your car will be offloaded from the carrier, and you will get a chance to inspect it against a checklist. If everything is in order, you will then sign off, and receive the keys. After this you are free to drive away. If you import through Croton Motors, we will collect the car from the car carrier on your behalf, have it cleaned and delivered to you as per prior arrangements.

How much does it cost to transport a car from Mombasa to Nairobi using a car carrier?

The cost of transporting your car from Mombasa will vary based on factors like the size of your car and your location. On average, it will cost you anywhere between 15,000 and 30,000kes. Contact a car carrier company for an accurate quotation.

Lexus SUV LX 570 Launch in Japan

Tokyo, Japan, August 20, 2015―Lexus announces it will start sales of the refreshed LX 570―positioned as the flagship model in its SUV line-up―at Lexus dealers across Japan from September 14. The LX was first launched in 1996 in North America as the Lexus brand’s first SUV. Since then, sales have grown there, while also expanding primarily to the Middle East and Russia. The new LX boasts dramatic advances in both design and driving performance, and will be sold in Japan with three rows of seats.

The LX possesses a number of features that define it as Lexus’ flagship SUV. Its recently updated interior and exterior design language balances power and luxury. On the technological front, numerous key passenger comfort features are included as standard, including Lexus Climate Concierge and Easy Access, which automatically adjusts vehicle height during ingress and egress.

The LX comes equipped with a 5.7-liter V8 engine that provides high torque at low rpm. Additionally, a new driving mode called Customize Mode―a Lexus first―helps the LX achieve extremely stable and adaptive performance both on and off the road. Furthermore, to further increase safety and peace of mind, the LX is fitted with the Lexus Safety System + package which, as part of a multi-faceted approach to active safety, combines millimeter-wave radar with a camera to achieve high reliability and performance. This is the first time that Lexus Safety System + has been installed in a vehicle sold in Japan.

 

Chief Characteristics of the LX

Design that balances power and luxury

  • The exterior of the vehicle combines the power of an SUV with the inherent luxury befitting a Lexus flagship. The front profile provides a sense of stability with its daringly muscular lower portion, while the side profile emphasizes a refined yet bold and dynamic underbody and the rear cuts a sturdy yet graceful outline.
  • The spindle grille projects a sense of strength and elegance, and symbolizes the ever-evolving nature of Lexus. The lower portion of the grille takes on a protective shape while the inner grille bar juts out energetically from the hood and merges with the grille frame to form a single hard surface.
  • Sequential LED turn signal lamps are utilized in a Lexus vehicle for the first time. These innovative lamps light up in a flowing sequence, increasing visibility when turning right or left.
  • Also available from Lexus for the first time are 21-inch aluminum wheels. The combination of machine-cut highlights and metallic grey, and the addition of a new center ornament, together generate a luxurious feel.
  • The interior is, of course, highly functional, yet it also exudes a high-quality feel through the juxtaposition of such contrasting materials as metal, leather, and wood grain. The horizontally positioned instrument panel enables the driver to easily assess the position and stance of the vehicle, a core requirement for any true SUV.
 
 
Outstanding driving performance on and off the road

  • The LX’s 5.7-liter V8 engine boasts a wide torque band able to generate approximately 90 percent of its maximum torque at 2,000 rpm. Combined with a Super Intelligent Electronically Controlled Eight-speed Automatic Transmission, the LX demonstrates easy acceleration on-road and ample power at low and medium speeds off-road.
  • Variable Gear Ratio Steering (VGRS) improves handling by adjusting the steering gear ratio according to the speed of the vehicle, thus providing outstanding maneuverability and cruising stability despite the size of the vehicle.
  • Customize Mode has been included for the first time among the drive mode settings on a Lexus. Upon selection of Customize Mode, the powertrain, chassis, and air conditioning controls can each be freely adjusted. This enables the driver to select a driving mode better suited to his or her preferences, thereby improving the driving experience.
  • To complement the Drive Mode Select Switch, the LX comes equipped with 4-Wheel Active Height Control suspension (AHC) and Adaptive Variable Suspension system (AVS), both of which freely control the vehicle’s suspension. 4-Wheel AHC automatically controls vehicle height in various situations; for example, when the Lexus-first Easy Access feature is active, vehicle height is lowered when the engine is turned off in order to facilitate ingress and egress. In addition, AVS automatically adjusts the attenuation force of the suspension to suit the prevailing driving conditions, naturally and smoothly controlling the vehicle’s vibrations and providing outstanding comfort, maneuverability, and stability.
  • Two features assist driving depending on the prevailing off-road conditions: Crawl Control allows the vehicle to be operated at extremely low speeds through use of the steering wheel alone, without the need to use the accelerator or brake pedals, while the Multi-terrain Select switch increases AWD performance by optimizing traction and brake control. When driving with Crawl Control implemented, turn assist functions are engaged to enhance turning capabilities. This reduces the number of times the steering wheel has to be turned when executing tight turns, thus making the driver’s job easier.
  • The LX is also equipped with Multi-terrain Monitors, a system of four cameras that monitor conditions around the vehicle. The system allows the driver to check the road conditions in six blind spot areas around the vehicle, both on and off the road, and facilitates driving on narrow roads or moving over to the road shoulder. In addition, as a Lexus first, the LX features an under-floor view that allows the driver to check both conditions under the vehicle and tire positions while driving off-road.
Advanced safety technologies including the Lexus Safety System + active safety package

  • Lexus Safety System + is a package of multi-faceted, active safety technologies. The package includes: Pre-collision System (PCS) with pedestrian detection function; Lane Departure Alert (LDA), a system that alerts the driver if the vehicle is drifting from its lane; Adaptive Hi-beam System (AHS)2, which selectively blocks sections of high beams that might interfere with the vision of preceding and on-coming vehicles; and Radar Cruise Control (with All-speed Tracking function), a system for use on highways which ensures that a safe distance is maintained from the preceding vehicle.
  • A number of other safety features are also included as standard: Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) is a system that monitors any vehicles to the rear that are difficult to see with the door mirrors, plus an area in adjacent lanes of up to about 60 meters to the rear, and then notifies the driver of any rapidly approaching vehicles; Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA), a system for use when reversing out of car parks that utilizes the BSM radar to detect and notify the driver of vehicles approaching from the rear left or right; Multi-terrain Anti-lock Brake System (ABS), which, in addition to the standard ABS function of preventing wheels from locking up during braking, provides outstanding braking performance even when driving off-road; Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD); and Brake Assist.
Fine-tuned comfort features for enhanced driving pleasure

  • The Lexus Climate Concierge advanced climate control system now features the first-of-its-kind3 Climate Concierge Switch, a feature that unifies control of automatic air conditioning, steering-wheel heating, and heating and seat ventilation for driver, passenger, and second row seats. In addition, the system detects whether passengers are present in the passenger and second row seats, and switches the various functions on or off accordingly.
  • The Vehicle Information and Communication System WIDE (VICS WIDE4), equipped on a Lexus for the first time, is a new navigation system that offers increased usability, such as heightened accuracy of traffic information. It takes advantage of the LX’s 12.3-inch widescreen display, which can display maps full-screen and provides excellent visibility.
  • The rear-seat entertainment system included as an option features two high-resolution 11.6-inch monitors built into the backs of the front seats. The viewing angle of the displays can be adjusted to provide optimal visibility.
Sales Outline
Monthly sales target for Japan
50 units
Assembly Plant

Yoshiwara Plant, Toyota Auto Body Co., Ltd.

The New Lexus RX Debuts, Poised to Redefine the Luxury SUV

Tokyo, April 1, 2015―Lexus has shown that it has once again redefined the luxury-sport-utility segment with the unveiling of the totally redesigned “RX” at the 2015 New York Auto Show today. As the best-selling model in the brand’s 26-year history―with sales of more than 2.1 million units―the RX represents three out of ten vehicles ever sold by Lexus. The new model looks to build on that trend with a completely redesigned luxurious interior wrapped in a chiseled, attractive new body style. The large dose of Lexus brand DNA that’s been artfully incorporated into the details can not only be seen, but also felt. The reimagined RX boasts exceptional on-road performance and new safety technologies that include the innovative Lexus Safety System+.

RX Chief Engineer Takayuki Katsuda said: “Our ambition has been to make a bold and completely new statement in this segment while building on and staying true to the pioneering values of previous RX generations.”

 
A Bold Exciting New Look

That the new RX makes a powerful visual statement is obvious at first glance. The front features a completely new fascia that’s highlighted by an emboldened spindle grille with a chrome-plated border and triple L-shape-LED headlamps. Together with the redesigned fog lamps, this gives the RX an elegant yet futuristic aura. Muscular front fender flares add to the vehicle’s sporty attitude.

When seen from the side, the sharp character line that runs from the front fenders to the rear end, together with a flowing roofline, give the RX a dynamic profile that minimizes drag and decreases front and rear lift. All this makes the vehicle more stable at high speed with a sharp reduction in wind noise. A truly innovative styling element is the blacked-out C-pillars, which provide the illusion of a floating roofline never before seen on a Lexus. Also, newly designed 20-inch aluminum wheels with larger tires improve the vehicle stance and proportions. These 20-inch wheels can also be customized with body color-matching inserts to emphasize individuality.

The new RX’s rear appearance has been sharpened and exudes rock-solid stability, highlighted by LED L-shaped taillights that wrap around the sides of the vehicle, creating a wider, more authoritative presence when illuminated. When lit, a brilliant glow spans laterally from the body to the back door―a Lexus first.

Inside, the RX’s new luxurious cabin is one of comfort and luxury, with repositioned trim pieces that exude a high level of class, and specially finished laser-cut ornamentation available for those who desire an extra dose of opulence. A large heads-up display (HUD) takes center stage, while the information display area, featuring a 12.3-in. monitor, has been separated from the main operations area. Also, the shift lever has been moved away from the front of the instrument panel to optimize operability and create more space for the driver. But the driver isn’t the only one who benefits from the new interior: Rear-seat occupants are treated to more leg and knee space, and the newly developed seats offer heating and power reclining features that not only enhance convenience, they also provide a luxury feel and a sense of hospitality and sophistication. A retractable power panorama roof enhances the RX cabin’s spaciousness and provides occupants with a refreshing open-air experience.

Gen Ikeda, the chief designer of the RX, said: “We designed the RX to have a high amount of excitement and strength. The lengthened wheelbase and larger tire size result in sporty powerful proportions. Even while ensuring a high level of luxury and space within the cabin, the RX’s silhouette remains sleek and dynamic, while the interior has been designed for easy operation with luxurious execution.”

 
 
Smooth, Powerful and Efficient Under the Hood

Under the RX 350’s hood is an upgraded and more powerful 3.5-liter V-6 aiming to deliver 300 hp with direct injection, mated to a new 8-speed automatic transmission. Based on this improved powertrain is the RX 450h’s Atkinson-cycle 3.5-liter V-6. When combined with the electric motor generator, the total output is expected to be around 300 hp. All RX engines have been tuned to achieve high fuel economy and low carbon emissions.

Better Handling and Stability

When it comes to delivering precise, controlled handling, the new RX offers impressive dynamic capability. The entire chassis has been fortified to provide better stability and control through turns. The vehicle’s body structure has been strengthened with added stiffness, helping to drastically improve its handling response while reducing engine and road noise in the cabin. The vehicle also features innovative technology, such as Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) and Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM), each system designed to recognize potentially dangerous situations and make automatic and often transparent adjustments to ensure the car remains in control when entering and exiting corners. Also, All-Wheel Drive improves the RX’s handling performance and stability on both dry and slick surfaces alike.

The RX’s fully independent suspension system, which consists of MacPherson struts up front and a double wishbone setup at rear, has been tuned and reinforced to improve handling while keeping ride quality remarkably smooth. Available on most RX versions is the Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS), which electronically monitors and adapts the suspension damping and steering to ensure optimal handling and ride depending on the driving conditions. This means that wherever the RX goes, the AVS will automatically make lightning-quick adjustments to the shock absorber settings, ensuring the smoothest ride quality possible. The system is also designed to produce less body lean through corners, providing an engaging driving experience.

Safety is a Priority with Lexus Safety System +

Lexus has always stressed safety in all of its vehicles, so it should come as no surprise that the new RX is significantly improved in the areas concerning the well-being of its occupants. Among these new improvements are the upgraded body structure that heightens the overall passive safety of the RX, and Lexus Safety System+, which helps avoid or mitigate collisions across a wide range of vehicle speeds. Introduced globally as either standard or optional equipment, Lexus Safety System+ integrates several of Lexus’s existing active safety technologies. These include the Pre-Collision System (PCS) that detects sudden stops initiated by the vehicle in front, warning drivers of potential contact with obstacles ahead; Lane Departure Alert (LDA), which issues an audible signal if the vehicle strays from its intended lane; and Automatic High Beam (AHB) that helps ensure optimal forward visibility during nighttime driving. As part of a multi-faceted approach to active safety, the Lexus Safety System+ package utilizes a millimeter-wave radar that works together with a camera to keep the RX in its intended driving lane via the Lane Keeping Assist feature (LKA) and enhances the target detection for the Dynamic Radar Cruise Control. For even higher safety levels, Adaptive High-beam System (AHS), a Panoramic View Monitor (PVM) and Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) are available as optional equipment.

The RX F Sport

For those who prefer even more excitement and performance in their luxury sport-utility vehicles, there is the RX F Sport, which will be available with all of the model’s engine offerings. Lexus vehicles designated with the F Sport badge are equipped with a number of special visual and performance features that set them apart from other versions. In the RX’s case, the spindle grille and lower center piece of the rear bumper possess an “F” mesh design, instantly giving the vehicle a sportier flair. New alloy wheels, exclusive to the F Sport, also help give the RX a commanding presence. Inside, the driver is treated to a custom F Sport instrument cluster as well as a sport steering wheel, featuring perforated leather and an attractive F Sportemblem, complete with paddle shifters. Exclusive colors and trim pieces are also part of the sporty package.

The RX F Sport’s performance on the road has been enhanced by an active stabilizer system whose world’s first cutting-edge technology keeps the vehicle’s body amazingly flat through corners. The aforementioned AVS, which also helps keep the vehicle planted to driving surfaces through turns, is standard on RX F Sport. The driver can select the AVS-enhanced Sport S+ mode, in addition to Eco, Normal and Sports S settings, on the Drive Mode Select control located on the center console.

The Luxury SUV Bar Has Been Raised Yet Again by the New RX

One thing is perfectly clear: Lexus’ best-selling sport-utility vehicle has dramatically raised the bar yet again in the luxury sport-utility segment, flawlessly combining luxurious comfort and bold styling inside and out, as well as delivering exciting driving performance.

“The pioneering spirit of Lexus drives us to create new technology and gives rise to new ideas. It allows us to introduce new vehicles with leading-edge features. And indeed, we are committed to bringing amazement and inspiration beyond expectations to the world. I believe this new RX will not only surprise new customers, but will also delight and satisfy our loyal customers, whose high expectations will be met by many new innovations,” Katsuda said.

 
Lexus RX
  RX 450h RX 350
Length 4,890 mm
Width 1,895 mm
Height 1,690 mm
Wheel base 2,790 mm
Track (front/rear) 1,640/1,630 mm
Driveline Front-wheel drive/All-wheel drive
Tires & Wheels 235/65R18, 235/55R20
 
 

Sharply Styled Lexus NX Compact Crossover SUV Debuts at Beijing Show

Beijing, China, April 20, 2014―Lexus’ first luxury compact crossover, the “NX”, made its world premiere here today at the 2014 Beijing International Automotive Exhibition1, which runs through April 29. The NX, created for urban and active lifestyles, features an edgy, emotional design that is distinctively Lexus. Sales of the NX are scheduled to begin in world markets in the second half of 2014.

Two powertrain variants of the NX are on display in Beijing: the NX 300h, a highly efficient hybrid, and the NX 200t, the first Lexus fitted with a turbo engine.

2.0-liter turbo engine

The Lexus-developed direct-injection turbo engine features the world-first2 combination of a cylinder head with an integrated water-cooled exhaust manifold and a twin scroll turbocharger. This combination in addition to other new technologies such as a turbo-specific D-4ST fuel injection technology and continuous variable valve timing with expanded valve opening angles (VVT-iW) realizes both an excellent ride and environmental performance.

The all-new six-speed automatic transmission, developed to match the new turbo engine, uses newly-developed control logic to calculate required engine torque. The resulting maximized engine torque ensures responsive and smooth acceleration as well as high fuel efficiency.

The 2.0-liter NX is the first Lexus to be fitted with an idling-stop system, which reduces fuel consumption by automatically switching off the engine when the vehicle is idling. The system used in the NX has extremely fast engine-restart time.

To ensure Lexus quality and performance, the new turbo engine has been tested for more than 1 million kilometers.

2.5-liter hybrid engine

The 2.5-liter hybrid version of the NX combines a high thermal efficiency 2.5-liter Atkinson-cycle engine with an integrated high-torque motor. This improves fuel efficiency and reduces CO2 emissions.

The hybrid variant also features sprung-weight damping control to increase ride comfort and handling stability. Vehicle pitching is reduced through the precise control of the drive motor’s torque.

Responsive handling

The NX employs specialized Lexus manufacturing techniques such as body adhesives and laser-screw welding3 to improve the rigidity of the suspension system as well as the the body, enhancing overall driving performance.

A newly developed shock absorber, capable of controlling even the smallest micro-level fluctuations, contributes to excellent handling stability and ride comfort. Additionally, the NX features a new Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS), capable of variable control in 30 stages.

All-wheel drive turbo models feature a Dynamic Torque Control All-Wheel Drive system which automatically switches from front-wheel drive to all-wheel drive by calculating the driver’s intended driving line and adjusting the distribution of torque to the rear wheels as required. This increases cornering performance on all surfaces. All-wheel drive hybrid models also benefit from improved cornering, particularly on slippery surfaces, due to the E-Four system.

The F Sport grade boasts numerous exclusive features such as specially-tuned suspension and interior and exterior design. In addition, the F Sport variant achieves even sharper handling due to performance dampers that improve rigidity while absorbing small amounts of flex.

Driver support and safety features

The Panoramic View Monitor, introduced into a Lexus vehicle for the first time, helps the driver avoid other vehicles and pedestrians approaching from the sides. This system combines video from four cameras mounted to the front and rear sides of the vehicle, offering a view of everything happening around the car, including in blind spots. The display is automatically adjusted based on gear-stick operation, with the system able to display enlarged views from above the vehicle.

Radar Cruise Control with All-speed Tracking Function maintains inter-vehicle distance within a set speed and supports the driver by detecting the vehicle ahead and ensuring that an appropriate distance is maintained from cruising speeds down to a stop.

 

 

Lexus NX Key Specifications (Japanese Models)

  NX200t NX300h
Length 4,630 mm
Width 1,845 mm
Height 1,645 mm
Wheelbase 2,660 mm
Track (front/rear) 1,580 mm/1,580 mm*1
Driveline Front-wheel drive/
All-wheel drive
Front-wheel drive/
All-wheel drive (E-Four)
Engine Name 8AR-FTS 2AR-FXE
Type 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo 2.5-liter four-cylinder
Displacement 1,998 cc 2,493 cc
Maximum output 175 kW [238 PS]
4,800-5,600 rpm
Maximum torque 350 N-m [35.7 kgf-m]
1,650-4,000 rpm
Maximum output (complete system)*2 145 kW [197 PS]
Transmission 6-speed automatic
transmission
Electronic continuously variable transmission
Tires (front/rear)*3 225/65R17 or 225/60R18 or 235/55R18
*1235/55R18-size tires: 1,570 mm/1,570 mm; *2Using both engine power and electric motor power (in-house calculations); *3Depending on variant

 

 

Toyota Launches ‘Vanguard’ SUV in Japan

Tokyo ― TOYOTA MOTOR CORPORATION (TMC) announced today the nationwide launch in Japan of the “Vanguard”, a new mid-size SUV, through “Toyopet” dealers and “Toyota Corolla” dealers.

Vanguard 350S “G Package” (Seven-seat vehicle, with options)

The Vanguard is a new luxury-class mid-size SUV with a high degree of mobility and power to spare.  Not only does it offer a superb driving performance based on exceptional handling and cruising stability, it features styling that reflects refined urban settings and provides a truly pleasant experience to drivers and passengers alike.

A 3.5-liter V6 engine and Active Torque Control 4WD combine with S-VSC (Steering-assisted Vehicle Stability Control) to provide power, handling and stability along with one of the best environmental and safety performances in its class*.  The Vanguard benefits from interior and exterior design cues that achieve a sense of strength and quality, as well as three rows of seats that can accommodate seven passengers within a roomy and highly practical interior space.

*Compared to vehicles of similar engine displacement

Sales Outline

Sales channels “Toyopet” and “Toyota Corolla” dealers nationwide in Japan
Monthly sales targets in Japan 2,500 units
Dealer launch events September 8 and 9, 2007
Assembly Plant:
Tahara Plant, Toyota Motor Corporation
Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Prices (Prices in Hokkaido and Okinawa differ; unit: yen)
Grade Seating Engine Powertrain Transmission Price1
(including consumption tax)
  240S 5 2AZ-FE
(2.4 liter)
Four-wheel
drive
Super CVT-i2
(Seven-speed Sports Sequential Shiftmatic)
2,646,000
7 2,688,000
  “G package” 5 2,887,500
  7 2,940,000
  350S 5 2GR-FE
(3.5 liter)
5 Super ECT3 3,055,500
7 3,097,500
  “G package” 5 3,297,000
  7 3,349,500

1. Prices listed do not include recycling fees.
2. Super Continuously Variable Transmission-intelligent
3. Super Intelligent, Electronically-controlled, Five-speed Automatic Transmission

Vehicle Outline

Interior and Exterior Designs Combine Strength and Quality

    • The Vanguard’s interior and exterior designs are based on the Toyota brand design philosophy “Vibrant Clarity”, which is suited to active urban lifestyles.
    • A strong sense of discerning and sophisticated individuality is expressed through its SUV sturdiness.

Exterior

    • The front features slim, robust headlights that curve around to the side of the vehicle, while the integrated fender and bumper express stability.  The hood has two sculpted lines that combine with distinctive fog lights to convey both strength and refinement.
    • The side creates a silhouette that flows smoothly from the hood to the roof and the rear spoiler.
    • The rear displays stability with a bumper that extends to the side, while the combination of taillights with clear lenses and LED lamps convey a sense of quality.

Interior

  • The two-tiered instrument panel emphasizes the expansive breadth of the interior, as well as the openness and comfort of the cabin space.
  • The bronze-tone finish used on the center console and door trim evokes a strong sense of refinement and quality.
  • A combination of real leather and Alcantara®*, a leading international brand of suede-like artificial leather, is used on the seats.  Meticulous attention to the feel and comfort of the seats expresses an unobtrusive quality.

* “Alcantara®” is a registered trademark owned by Alcantara S.p.A..

Roomy, Practical and Comfortable Interior

  • Three-row seat models for accommodating seven occupants and two-row seat models for five occupants are available.
  • The third row of seats in the three-row seat models can be stored under the floor to create a roomy rear cargo space.
  • The second row of seats (with reclining function) have backrests that fold in a 60/40 split and a “super tilt-down” mechanism that allows both the seat cushions and the backrests to fold down to create a nearly flat luggage space.  Vehicles with two rows of seats feature release levers located on the sides of the rear cargo space, easily accessible after opening the hatch door, making it possible to retract the second row of seats.
  • By making components below the floor slimmer, and by installing the rear shock absorbers at an angle, the opening to the luggage space has been placed close to the ground and the luggage space made wider, which facilitates the loading and unloading of cargo.
  • The HDD navigation system (compatible with G-Book mX and G-Book mX Pro telematics services) is equipped with advanced navigation features, including “Map on Demand” for updating the navigation system maps with the latest information, as well as a variety of multimedia functions.
  • The Smart Entry & Start System uses a key that does not need to be removed from the driver’s pocket to lock and unlock the doors, as well as a push button for starting the engine.
  • The interior features three independent, large Optitron Meters with excellent visibility and fully automatic independent temperature controls (with temperature sensors) for the driver’s and passenger’s side, complete with a pollen-removal mode that filters out pollen, dust and other impurities from the air.

Superior Cruising Performance that Enhances the Fun of Driving

  • The 3.5-liter V6 2GR-FE engine is combined with 5 Super ECT (Super Intelligent Electronically-controlled, Five-speed Automatic Transmission) for smooth and powerful acceleration and cruising with power to spare.
  • The 2.4-liter 2AZ-FE engine achieves high torque at low and medium speeds for stable cruising and smooth acceleration at high speeds.  The engine is paired with Super CVT-i (Super Continuously Variable Transmission-intelligent) and a seven-speed Sports Sequential Shiftmatic transmission that provides the feel of a manual transmission, to achieve high fuel efficiency and smooth cruising.
  • Adopted as standard equipment on all vehicles in the series is Active Torque Control 4WD, which distributes optimum torque to the front and rear wheels depending on driving status, such as vehicle speed and road surface conditions.  The system is integrated with S-VSC (Steering-assisted Vehicle Stability Control), which optimally balances driving power, steering and braking, to achieve stable driving regardless of road conditions.
  • A newly designed suspension and a highly rigid body provide excellent handling and cruising stability as well as a comfortable ride.
  • A “4WD LOCK” mode on vehicles fitted with the 3.5-liter engine maximizes the allocation of power to the rear wheels, enhancing driving in mud and on poor or unfinished road surfaces.

Class-leading Environmental and Safety Performance

  • The 2.4-liter models boast a fuel efficiency of 12.6km/l in the 10-15 test cycle outlined by the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MLIT) with CO2 emissions under the test cycle just 184g/km, achieving fuel efficiency that exceeds by 20% the level called for by Japan’s 2010 standards*.  Both NOx (nitrogen oxides) and NMHC (non-methane hydrocarbons) have also been reduced, meaning all models achieve emissions levels 75% lower than the 2005 standards under MLIT’s Approval System for Low-emission Vehicles.
  • Eco-VAS (Eco-Vehicle Assessment System)―Toyota’s original comprehensive environmental impact assessment system―was implemented to efficiently achieve overall reduction of environmental impact throughout the vehicle’s entire lifecycle.  Environmental targets were set in the initial vehicle development stage and a life cycle assessment was carried out to achieve a reduction of air contaminants and CO2, etc., throughout all stages of the vehicle’s life from production and use to disposal.
  • A review of the materials, processing methods and adhesives used for interior parts resulted in a reduction in the amount of VOCs (volatile organic compounds) used, thereby also reducing the unpleasant odors emitted from such compounds and achieving the Japanese automobile industry’s voluntary goals.
  • An Eco Driving Indicator lights up when the vehicle is being efficiently operated to raise the driver’s awareness of environmentally considerate driving and, thus, contribute to higher fuel efficiency.
  • The new vehicle adopts an advanced GOA (Global Outstanding Assessment) collision-safety body that has been further developed to meet stricter than normal conditions by incorporating the concept of omni-directional compatibility.  Through the use of a body that effectively absorbs collision impact by diffusing it throughout its structure, Toyota satisfied all independent targets for survival space and occupant injury.
  • The body structure has been developed to further reduce pedestrian head injuries in an effort to achieve one of the highest levels of injury prevention in its class.
  • Front seat SRS side airbags and SRS curtain shield airbags that cover the front and rear seats come standard on all vehicles in the series.
  • The front-seat structures are based on the WIL (Whiplash Injury Lessening) concept and come with stronger seat frames and greater backrest give.  They were designed based on analyses using THUMS (Total Human Model for Safety), incorporating a structural design that reduces stress on the neck during low-speed rear impact.