My visit to the DT Dobie Kenya Headquarters in Nairobi got me asking “What is Life?”
Have you seen yourself walking into a showroom and driving out a crispy fresh brand new car?
Have you ever imagined yourself driving a motie that is the most intelligent of its kind?
Have you ever asked what other people do with their lives to get to where they are?
Have you ever looked at life from a different perspective at some point?
Have you ever?
I met the General Sales Manager Mr. Samwel Yiapan who took me around to check out the moties they had in stock.
DT Dobie Kenya – one of the subsidiaries of CFAO Automotive, a division of the CFAO Group, are the authorized distributors for Mercedes Benz, Volkswagen, Jeep, Great Wall and Dodge. They have 5 showrooms around the country in Kisumu, Eldoret, Nakuru, Mombasa and the HQ in Nairobi. The headquarters is split into different sections by brand.
There was only one model on the Jeep section. The Jeep Renegade going for 3M and has a lot of space in it. This model comes in both Manual and Automatic transmission. This 1.4 liter machine has 140 Horsepower with 103KW @ 5, 000 rpm sits on 17 inch wheels.
American car manufacturer Dodge had the Dodge Journey, a 3.6 liter V6 petrol engine, 280 Horsepower but is not 4WD, traction control, electronic information center, sunroof with express open and close, heated front seats, full leather seats. The Dodge Journey is priced at Kshs. 4.5 M. However, Samwel tells me that the market is not receptive to the American brand just yet.
Chinese pickup and SUV maker, Great Wall motors has a section with the double and single cabin Great Wall Wingle 5 with a Mitsubishi engine which comes in petrol only as diesel is “Too refined for the market” says Samwel.
The Volkswagen side had a single cab 4wd pickup which looks stronger and bigger than other players in the market. I learnt something about oil changes, this VW pickup gets its oil changed at 9,000 KMs while others get it done at 3,000KMs. Again, perception in the market is the Volkswagens are too expensive. But say you have a biashara that needs a pickup. Would you rather buy an affordable one that keeps disappointing or buy one that will not give you headaches for a while?
Then I met the Caddy Panel Van that looked exactly like the Peugeot Partner. It has a 1.6 liter engine with proper space ideal for deliveries.
The Volkswagen Transporter is literally an offspring of the Caddy and the pickup, bigger & enclosed. The van comes in a 5 speed manual transmission with 102 HP and torque of 250 Nm @ 1500 – 2500 rpm. Safety features include Anti-locking Brake System (ABS) , Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD), Electronic Differential Lock (EDL) , Power steering and Airbags.
The Amarok is a BOLDER looking pickup model off the VW line.
What is most interesting about The Polo Vivo is that it is assembled here in Kenya, here’s A Car-nversation about the VW Polo Vivo
I have always had a thing for the Jetta generation. Seeing its latest edition at the showroom gave me LIFE! The sight of the consistency in its design over the years is too refreshing.
Then we walked into the last part of the showroom which was the Mercedes Benz section, talk about saving the best for last! This was all intentional. There was a plaque and the Mercedes Benz emblem on the wall. This side felt expensive, elegant, exciting. There was 3 models on display. I only went into 2 of the ones in the showroom and one that was outside. Did I just insult smaller looking cars?
The New E 250
When I was introduced to this model as “The most advanced Mercedes in the World, the most intelligent.” I giggled. That intro was all justified when I went inside. Autonomous parking, changes lanes on its own, start stop feature for traffic, the technology on this baby isn’t even on the S Class.
The new E250 has 64 different colours on the ambient lighting feature, voice assistance, bird’s eye view that shows you the entire surrounding. Auto start feature, 5 driving modes (Eco, Comfort, Sport, Sport plus and Individual) , internet connectivity, car play, media, Bluetooth and point to point navigation that works very precisely predicting unmarked roads and traffic as well. The sound by Harman Cardon is so LIT! The sunroof opens up all the way to let you get sun kissed by the NairoBae sun.
It has a smaller engine than other E classes, with the 2 liter engine you get power only when you need it. Saves the environment. The 9 forward driving gears with 255 Horsepower, smaller engine more power output because of the turbo system, turbo kicks in when it is required.
There are only 5 of these on Kenyan roads after the model was launched end of October last year. 1 of which is both lady owned and an AMG. By the time I was done with this car, I was convinced that 10.6 Million can buy you happiness and everything nice.
Then we moved to an SUV of the S class, the GLS. A 7 seater with a telephone, heated cup holders, 7 driving gears, 5 driving modes you can switch to while you are driving that raises and lowers your car in a somewhat mild motion. A redundancy system for those times when your push button fails. A better off roader than the G Wagon. Only 2 of these September 2016 models are on our roads. I was asked to guess how much the GLS goes for but I guessed way much higher than 16 Million.
I was overtaken by events that we skipped the GLA 250 and went to the parking lot to check out the G Wagon which was parked outside.
Seeing the AMG badge on a Mercedes means that the car has more power, a more aggressive look, better handling and stability.
The G 63 has a 5.5 liter V8 Bi Turbo engine that sounds like a BEAST when you floor it. The black and white interior is not as sophisticated as you would think it should be, maybe their focus was under the hood. AMG models have more carbon fiber used on them than on the regular Mercedes Benz models. Making it your choice for off roading could be a little bit of an issue unless you change those wide tires into narrower ones. This is so cool though… Whoever makes each of these cars has to sign it under the hood just to leave a mark on the car!
This baby will cost you a whooping 25M
Again… My friends… What is life?