Kenyans hate many things. They hate bad politics, they hate authority and they hate poverty. They hate other tribes and when there is nothing else to hate, they will hate themselves and when they are done kicking their own shins with hate, they will hate the Toyota Probox. But like everything else that they hate, they do nothing about their objects of hate, so they continue hating. And they do really hate this car. It has been the butt for jokes from here to kingdom come. Some people would not be caught dead riding in this car. Even people who do not own a bicycle, leave alone a car, hate it. I too boast that I cannot touch it with a ten-foot pole, but in secret, I really wish I could own one, and then I would punish it in the village by making it what it was meant to do, carry green fodder for my cows.
Probox was meant to be a commercial wagon
Launched in 2002 for the Japanese market, this vehicle was not meant to be a family car, but it was a commercial vehicle meant to be used for urban deliveries. So all you Kenyan men who buy Toyota Probox and think it’s a compact car, this is a commercial wagon. But don’t mind haters too much, I guess… if it has 4 wheels, you can drive it, right?
Haters can hate, but this small wagon has proved very good for business people and farmers. It is used all over Kenya for deliveries to the market, homes and stores and … here is the good thing, on weekends, it is cleaned, the back seat is raised and it is used as a family car. Pray, tell me, what is so bad about packing an “I hate this car” scowl-wearing missus and three kids with smug “dad’s got a car” looks on their little faces?
In some regions in Kenya where public transport is yet to be regularized, the Toyota Probox and Succeed serve as passenger vans. We did run a story here sometimes back, about how the Probox has taken over public passenger transport in some areas of Kenya. Thus, writing off this car as an eyesore on Kenyan roads just because you are behind the tinted windows of a BMW is a big mistake.
If you look on websites of Japanese used car importers to Africa, you will find that the Toyota Probox is one of the most popular cars. Maybe it is because of the dual functionality, or maybe it is just because it is a Toyota. You see, Africans are obsessed with Toyota.
Go to BEFORWARD, one of the leading secondhand car importers to Africa, and you will see that this vehicle is indeed popular, with many orders for the same processed every year. I hear this car is also popular in Vietnam, Jamaica and other places. Search for top selling cars in Kenya on BEFORWARD Kenya, and you will see that Toyota Probox is one of the fast movers. It seems as if these people hate and speak ill of the car in the day and order the same at night. Prices start at $1800.
Maybe Kenyans hate the Probox because of its blunt looks. However, compared to other models like Fun Cargo, Probox is a looker! I guess Kenyans just love to hate and use at the same time. That is why 2015 will see increased orders for Toyota Probox.