Just what is it?

The Toyota Passo is a simple minimalistic car that embodies practicality. It’s design is reminiscent of the small cities of Italy or Spain where you really don’t need much from a car.

Different people tend to look down on different cars but to each has its own. Lets face it, we can’t all have the same desires and tastes. That is why I see no wrong in having a compact city car that gets the job done. It gets so much done on so little resources and still gets overlooked.

The Japanese are frugal with the making of this Toyota model but, it is such particular models that highlight the intellectual input regarding vehicle technological advancement versus inclusivity in car ownership. All this while turning a profit.

Why would you buy a Passo?

The Savings

The Toyota Passo is a save on so many fronts, not only on the price but the total cost involved in car ownership. It undercuts its competitors on fuel economy with an average output of 24km on the litre.  Some of the best figures for non hybrids. Spare parts  are in good supply in East Africa and still sell at a cheaper price point. Mechanics are familiar with the engine and thus offer great services to clients. The car is also greener in terms of carbon footprint and will help you do your small part in minimising carbon emmisions.

Ease of driving

Parking a Toyota Passo is easy for first time drivers and students. The body is compact and offers an stress free driving experience. I will not to bore you with dimensions and thus in reference, it is nearly the same size as a second generation vitz but with a slight height advantage.


What is under the hood?

The car comes in a 1litre or 1.3litre 3 cylinder engine, just enough for running day to day errands. Toyota has stated that the car can take you 24km on a litre on average. Specifically the 2015 model has a good record performance with fuel efficiency. With the chaos of climate change, Passo is a good option for downsizing and saving the planet from too much pollution. The only catch is you will not be getting as much horsepower as is with sports cars. Output in terms of horsepower is 68hp, however, lets not kid ourselves, this is a car for a person who wants to get to their destination with minimal cost. Buyers who would want higher output have to settle with a higher tab, not only on price but on maintenance and other aggregated costs.

The car handles as you would expect for a vehicle in this class. It requires patience with take off, but holds well at high speed. A Toyota Passo is slightly under a tonne and therefore holds the road decently. However when cutting corners and at high speeds, the car requires utmost care as it is not a sports car. In terms of general driving, I would recommend a steady driver who needs no rush. In retrospect, driving the car was no trouble as the city had traffic. I had no problem leaving the engine idle and a slow moving traffic.

What is inside?

Minimalism is the key word with the Passo. The car however impressed with the two tone brown interior. For a moment it didn’t feel like an entry-level Toyota. Everything inside is compact and has form, this eventually creates a harmonious look and feel. The dash is straightened and holds all the controls, gear included.

The cabin is pretty big for a car so small. The back seats can drop to increase boot space significantly. Seats have a bench like feel but to their credit are comfortable and still take up little space from the car. On top of the dash, there is significant space for some temporary storage. It can hold augmented media and entertainment systems.

Handbrakes are replaced with footbrakes when it comes to the Passo. The dash holds the digital centre console interface. Interestingly enough, this particular Passo – 2015 model, comes with a rear camera assist. This accentuates the modern feel and still squashes the notion that it is an entry-level Toyota. The camera works well with and provides guide lines which show proximity with rear objects. It also comes equipped with parking sensors.

Air conditioning and other small details are not overlooked. Passo 2015 still had some tricks up its sleeves. The car was equipped with a keyless entry system which means you don’t have to pull out your keys out of your pocket every minute you need to start the car. Lastly, all the four passenger windows are electric and the side mirrors are electric as well.


It is important to emphasize that this car is not for the savy and those out to impress. Regardless, it still gets the job done. Taking into account the price and technological value input, it would be safe to say this is a fair piece of machinery. Would I get a Passo, yes I would, its practicality is not something to overlook. I would rather be in a Passo and cut costs which I can later upgrade or invest. The resale value here in East Africa is quite good and willing buyers are plenty as long as it is well maintained.

SOURCE: Kevin Koech