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Torn between a Toyota Vitz and a Passo? Read this

 A side-by-side comparison of Toyota Vitz (right) and Toyota Passo (left). [File, Standard]

For many city dwellers, a reliable and affordable car that can help them commute from point A to B is essential given the skyrocketing fuel prices.

This week, we narrow down on two rival subcompact cars [Toyota Vitz and Toyota Passo] from the world's largest automakers that are not only common on Kenyan roads but have also gained popularity, especially within the taxi-hailing companies due to their efficient fuel consumption and affordable spare parts.

Both the Toyota Vitz and the Toyota Passo are popular vehicles in Kenya and are fitted with fuel-efficient cylinder engines, ranging from 1.0L to 1.8L, in both gasoline and diesel, making them two of the top ten most fuel-efficient vehicles in Japan.

It is key to note that both models have engines paired with either four-speed automatic or five-speed manual transmissions and a choice of front-wheel or all-wheel drive.

In this week's car review, The Standard breaks down some factors to consider when comparing the two models:

Performance and Fuel Efficiency

Both the Vitz and Passo are equipped with small and fuel-efficient engines that have made them popular, especially among those daily commuters in urban towns where there is a lot of traffic. It is key to note that both models have varying engine sizes and generations although a one-litre Vitz will serve you equally compared to a one-litre Passo.

Pricing and Availability

A 2019 model Vitz can set you back between Sh2m to Sh2.4m locally while the price of a Passo manufactured the same year can range between Sh1.5 million to Sh1.9m. However, it is key to note that the price can vary depending on several factors including location, mileage, and the state of the vehicle.

Design and Size

The Vitz is famed for its more modern and sporty exterior appearance compared to the Passo, making it look more appealing.

Interestingly, the Passo on the other hand has a slightly large interior space and cargo capacity in the boot thanks to its thinner door panels and the dash-forward design.

Features and Technology

Despite the trim level and model year, the Vitz still stands out in terms of features and technology due to its extensive range of advanced technologies compared to its rival- the Passo. This includes advanced safety features, push start, power windows, infotainment, vehicle stability control, and other luxurious options.

However, some Passos, depending on the year of manufacture, have the same features including Bluetooth connectivity, and keyless entry.

Engine performance

The Toyota Passo produces between 70-88 horsepower making it more powerful as compared to its rival Toyota Vitz which produces only 68 horsepower.

Fuel consumption

While a well-serviced Passo does 20.8km per litre, the Vitz will gather between 18-20km per litre consumption.


Both models are typically equipped with a small displacement engine, such as a 1.0-liter or 1.3-liter engine. They are not high-performance vehicles but deliver decent fuel efficiency, making them an economical choice for daily commuting.

Reputation and Resale Value

In general, Toyota model vehicles have a reputation for reliability and good resale value.

Curb weight

Both cars have a curb weight (total weight of a vehicle) of 990kgs when empty.

Overall observation

While both a Vitz and Passo may not offer the most thrilling driving experience including a wide range of advanced features as compared to other vehicles, the two models fulfill their purpose as economical and reliable transportation options.

Ultimately, the better choice between the Toyota Vitz and the Toyota Passo depends on one's personal preferences and budget. We recommend you test drive both models to get the touch and feel of both while putting into consideration your individual needs to make an informed decision.

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