By Wang’ombe Kibunja
Demio has become one of the most popular cars in Kenya thanks to its reliability and affordability. The Demio is a supermini car produced and manufactured by Mazda since 1996 currently in its fourth generation. This 5-door compact hatchback is light in weight, which adds to the quality of its performance. The Mazda Demio provides excellent fuel economy, yet it is still fun to drive. It offers superb handling and a tight turning radius. It is also known for requiring minimal maintenance and being extremely economical. Let’s see how the 2013 Demio performs as a small, efficient, and plucky five-door car that is astonishingly versatile and has a reputation for its reliability.
Interior and comfort
Demio is a small car that has a sufficient space and legroom for four adults, as long as they are below six feet tall. You can still fit two six feet tall people at the front thanks to the adjustable seats but that will mean that the rear seats will have minimal leg room which may only be enough for children. Although it is adjustable, any six feet tall person will have to forget comfort when driving for long distances. The interior is however good and has a simple but pleasant design as is with budget Japanese cars.
The 2013 Demio uses a 1.5-liter inline four-cylinder engine has 100 horsepower and 98 pound-feet of torque. A standard five-speed manual or optional four-speed automatic transmission sends power to the front wheels. The Demio does around 14 km per litre on the highway and 13 km per litre with the manual transmission. Considering that, the five-speed manual gearbox makes the most sense with this high-revving engine, and provided you don’t mind making it a habit to rev the engine a bit above 3,500 rpm. A four-speed automatic transmission is available, but it has widely spaced ratios and tends to shift too early to provide much perkiness on demand–and it lacks a true manual-shift mode.
Handling is where the real deal is, when behind the wheel, you will forget you are in a small hatchback with a pretty tall stance. The car feels lower and wider than it is from the inside, with a beautifully balanced chassis and suspension tuning that is firm but well-damped. Even the electric power steering gives the impression that the car is a hot hatch in disguise.
Looking for some cool ride which is a smooth, wedge-like look and yet it will look more sporty and classy, then the 2013 Demio is the car for you. The car comes with a sophisticated look that will stand out anywhere anytime. The model bears sculpted front and rear ends leading to lines that flow, sweeping upward, around a wide, sloping greenhouse. The Demio includes the brand’s ‘grin’ look in front, but not even that interrupts this neat, coherent design. Part of the reason the Demio looks stable, solid, and sporty is that it tends to look a bit lower and wider than it is. The wedge shape produced by the up kicked beltline, combined with the more curvaceous tail stand as fresher looking and more pleasing in general, with that the car’s more abruptly truncated rear styling and bulging headlamps.
The 2013 Demio boasts of impressive technology as its part of the lineup that pioneered the KODO design language for Mazda. It also features Mazda’s SkyActiv technology. SkyActiv technology is a series of technologies developed by Mazda Aimed at increasing Fuel efficiencies and engine output. This technology came in with new engines, transmissions, bodies and chassis introduced in Mazda vehicles from 2011.
The Mazda Demio has gained popularity in Kenya in a fairly short amount of time thanks to its reliability and affordability. This success is also backed by strong demand from taxi-hailing services that are drawn to it like a moth to light. It competes with the Toyota Vitz, Honda Fit, VW Polo, and Nissan Note. It’s best suited for the light urban commute but can be used occasionally for long-distance travel. Its price ranges from 560k to 850k but you can get an older model at an affordable price of 450k or lower.