That Nigerians like cars is nothing outside normal. The love for cars is attached to both socio-cultural and economic factors. More than a mere status symbol, cars have become a necessity if you will be more productive especially in metropolitan areas such as Lagos.
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That said, some car brands and models are actually so popular that they could pass for Nigerian brands for those who are uninformed. Some even have local names. Here are some of those:
As far as cars go in Nigeria, Toyota is usually the brand of choice for most given that it ticks so many boxes for most Nigerians who want to own cars. The Camry is one of Toyota’s best-selling models worldwide since the ’80s but in Nigeria, it is more than a winner as it is by far a safe bet for Nigerian roads.
It balances affordability, second-hand value, ease of maintenance and ruggedness, hence, the compatibility with the Nigerian car market. The resale value makes it a big deal amongst low-end buyers in the car market.
The Corolla is the next option for those who fancy a slightly smaller Toyota car. The Corolla ticks the same boxes as the Camry.
This is pretty much Honda’s answer to the Camry. The Honda Accord is Honda’s flagship mid-size sedan. The model does not lack for parts or ruggedness. The Honda Accord is especially noted for Honda’s powerful and reliable engines.
Lexus RX 330/350
If you did not know, Lexus is owned by Toyota. In fact, it Is Toyota’s flagship luxury brand. So typically they are pricier than regular Toyota branded products. The brand is popular with middle-class Nigerians. It also has great resale value and is fuel-efficient for a luxury brand.
This Ford model is really popular to Nigeria’s middle class who prefer the large size model for family use. The car has the status to it although this is not its most significant feature. Ford is the most popular American auto brand there is in Nigeria so it does not lack for parts. It is a bit pricey even at second-hand rates but it is worth it as the brand equity of Ford cars gives it decent resale value.
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The Volkswagen Golf/Passat were the Toyota Camry and Corolla of their time. The car brand has a long history and is still popular even though not as it once was. These days, the Passat is really a statement vehicle for upper-middle-class individuals and most ordinary people can’t afford it anymore.
Toyota Prado Land Cruiser
This is the default vehicle of choice for politicians these days so you can imagine that it is a high-end vehicle. The Prado is about Toyota’s high-end family size vehicles and while it has some of the characteristic features of the Toyota brand such as fuel efficiency and ruggedness. It is nevertheless a pricey piece of possession.
Mercedes AMG G-Series
The Mercedes G-Wagon is what most people call it around the world and what started out as an off-road beast has now become a status symbol among societal elite around the world. Nigeria is no different obviously. It is pricey but its resale value is incomparable in this market or any other, I daresay.
This vehicle has grown so popular thanks to its association with affluence that even those who may never own one know the name. Following the same arc as the AMG G-Series, the vehicle has gone from off-road utility to high-end luxury machine designed for comfort just as much as it is for the off-road experience. Frankly, nobody buys a Range Rover to roam the wild these days but that takes nothing away from its off-road capabilities.
Kia and Hyundai belong under the same stable in the same way as Toyota and Lexus. They are some of the most recognizable in the country too. The Hyundai Sonata is especially popular among the newly rich. So is the Kia Optima. But by far, the most popular model Hyundai has on Nigerian roads is the Kia Rio. It is usually the car of choice for a company car alongside the Hyundai Elantra. Both are small-sized sedans and though the resale value is not quite on the level of others on this list, it is a decent ride to have even as a private vehicle.
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Some call me David. Others, Emerie. Others, (unfortunate fellows) Biggie. I like to think that I have sense and that is why I write too. Otherwise, I draw and paint and sing (in the bathroom) and love to make people laugh. I love to understand how things work and that’s why I love DIY videos and YouTube of course. Follow me on Twitter @EmerieOkwara
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