There was palpable excitement among industry players and the common folk when the Mobius II was released to the market. Kenya had finally achieved a major milestone by locally manufacturing a functional vehicle. Like most trending issues, the excitement waned and soon enough petroheads were back to regaling the populace with reviews of European, Japanese and to a smaller extent, American cars. This, perhaps, stems from the fact that the car had a lot of rough edges (practically and figuratively speaking). This is also attributable to the fact that the fast-growing Kenyan middle class are mostly throwing their money at luxurious SUVs.
The Mobius II is nothing but a rugged and basically functional SUV – more practical in rural roads and the wild. IT lacked features like windows and air-conditioning. Its 1.6 litre four-cylinder engine merely produces 86 horsepower to propel it to 75mph. According to the car manufacturer, omission of ‘non-essential’ features was geared towards making the vehicle highly affordable, retailing at Kshs 950,000 to 1 million.
The car manufacturer seems to have taken note of buyers’ dissatisfaction with the earlier model and made vast improvements in the second-generation Mobius II. The new model is sleeker whilst maintaining the ruggedness of the earlier model, necessary for local road conditions. It has a 35cm ground clearance, load capacity of 625kg and optimal weight balancing. The exterior has been smoothened a bit to make it reminiscent of earlier versions of the Range Rover. The interior is also markedly more comfortable with a capacity for 5 passengers. It is powered by a 5-speed manual, 4-cylinder, 16-valve 1,798 cc VVT engine.
Obviously, there is a slight increase in price, the vehicle now retails for a maximum of Kshs 1.3 million.
Nonetheless, the SUV still lacks the bells and whistles you would expect from high-end car models. There are no air bags, reverse cameras, driver assist technology or GPS-guided navigation.
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