BEHIND THE WHEEL: If it is a Forester and has an STI logo on it, walk past the sluggish Legacy

Hi Baraza, Kindly look into these two matters: I have noticed quite a number of the dual-exhaust Legacies having their right exhaust broken/missing. Does this imply these models have an inherent body flaw or have the exhaust pieces become hot cakes like Toyota rear-view mirrors? I currently own a Subaru Impreza and am looking to […]

Evos, STis, Q7s, and why a smaller engine is not always economical

Hi Baraza, I have a number of questions, but before I begin you must agree that Subarus are miles ahead of Mitsubishis. Look at this tyranny of machines: Subaru WRS STi may be outdone by the Evo, but the Forester will outdo the Outlander and the Airtrek. So, who is the winner in the ‘majority […]

The Forester’s bigger engine and weight make it more costly to run than the Allex

Hi, I recently bought a second-hand 2006, turbo-charged, 1990cc Subaru Forester LL Bean edition and have noticed a significant change in my budget on fuel (I initially owned a Toyota Allex 2002 with a 1490cc engine). I knew the larger engine size would consume a bit more but the disparity is sizeable. Could it have […]

If you have driven the J90 Prado, you have set the bar quite high

Hi Baraza, You are doing a great job to demystify cars for us, lay people. I’m in a bit of a quandary; I have been driving a superb, go-anywhere-anytime Toyota Prado with an indestructible 1KZ power plant. In the seven years I have driven “the beast”, it has never let me down! Unfortunately, with 250,000km […]

I prefer a first-generation Vitara to the tiny, bouncy Camis and Jimnys

Dear Baraza, I have been wondering why you answer questions only from people who drive big and expensive cars? This is the third mail I am sending, although I can already tell you won’t respond – if at all you care to read it. Now to my question: Which small SUV would you go for […]

Which is the fairest from the list of Rav4, XTrail, X3, Forester, CRV?

Hello Baraza, I have previously owned a Toyota AE100 and 110. I now believe it is time for upgrade. I am looking for a used car that won’t cost more than Sh2m. Though I mostly drive in urban areas, I won’t mind a four-wheel drive (4WD). I am looking for stability, safety, comfort and manageable fuel cost. […]

Automatic diffs, wipers, transmissions… boy, aren’t we all getting lazy!

Hi JM, Could you please explain to us this small mystery… Many versatile 4x4s like the (police) Landcruisers have free-spinning front hubs which you must physically get out into the mud to lock before engaging four-wheel drive. This free-wheeling, we were told long ago, enhances fuel consumption on tarmac by reducing drag on the front […]

The Merc 180’s main problem is the battery and wiper motor

I recently bought a ’99 Mercedes Benz C180 (? 202). Having driven other cars, namely, Toyota, Daihatsu Rocky and Honda, I must say this car is a different thing all together. The engine delivers real power effortlessly, the handling is very smooth and the fear of excessive consumption, I discovered, is unfounded because its consumption […]

What is the problem with modern diesel engines?

Hi Baraza,I recently bought a second-hand VW Touareg with a five-cylinder TDI engine from the UK. While I love the car (after replacing the shocks), I fear I may have not done my pre-purchase selection well enough as I have been informed that local agents refused to stock diesel Touaregs due to a potential mismatch […]

The Surf slightly edges out the Pajero and RAV4

Hello Baraza, Thank you for your advice on motoring. Could you kindly take your time to help me decide on what is the best vehicle in relation to the issues I state below? 1. Infrequent travel on the rough roads of areas like Marsabit, Turkana, and the coastal region. 2. Going to work in town. […]