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Best Cars To Buy As A Nigerian First Time Car Buyer

Let’s look at the Top 10 Best Cars To Buy As A Nigerian First Time Car Buyer. After this piece, get your wallet out because you’ll have made an informed choice.

2023 Toyota Corolla Hatchback
2023 Toyota Corolla Hatchback

We’ve all dreamt of that point in our lives when we have finally outgrown teenage and can buy some things of our own. In our young minds then, Cars would usually top that list.

What’s not to like about cars, right?

They move you around swiftly. You get to impress your crush because you have changed your status. You can look at the person beside you at the traffic light like Vin Diesel.

I mean, owning a car should be everyone’s dream. But it can get very confusing to make your choice. There are a lot of car brands out there and it’s confusing to stick with one.

Especially if your eyes are everywhere.

I’m here to help you trim the choices you have by bringing you the Top 10 Best Cars To Buy As A Nigerian First-Time Car Buyer.

Here you can now make informed choices. You don’t have to stick with the idea of getting a BMW because it means Be My Wife (that was too specific).

With that said, let’s jump right in.

Best Cars To Buy As A Nigerian First Time Car Buyer

Lexus RX
Lexus RX

Don’t judge this last by all the fine pictures you’ve been seeing since. They are a result of excellent photography.

Number one on the list is:

1. Toyota Highlander

Toyota Highlander 2005
Toyota Highlander 2005

For the sake of this article, I’ll be focusing more on affordability. If you are here for the extravagant. Remind me to write yours later.

Toyota Highlander is one of the best choices you can make as a first-time car buyer. I would advise foreign used because they tend to use cars with love and affection.

Nigerian used cars usually go through “Nigeria”. Haha, I’m kidding, guys. From Model 2001 to 2005, you can choose any of these. If you choose to go higher, you will understand the price increase.

Let’s start from the outside, The Toyota Highlander is perfect for Nigerian roads because of its distance to the ground. It’s also very sturdy. How do I know? I’ve driven one before.

The Engine gauges the use of fuel. You don’t have to be a regular customer at the filling station.

Usually, there are six trims: L, LE, XLE, Sports, Limited, and Platinum. The XLE and Limited versions are especially popular.

The Limited trim offers upgraded features like a better sound system, leather seats, and improved engine performance.

Meanwhile, the XLE trim features a sleeker look with a moonroof and heated soft-textile seats.

Does this mean the Toyota Highlander is all good and zero bad? Nah. It usually has an engine oil rupture problem.

“Engine oil rupture” in vehicles typically refers to a situation where the engine oil leaks or bursts out from its intended containment system, such as the oil pan, gaskets, or seals.

This can occur due to various reasons, including worn-out gaskets or seals, over-pressurization of the oil system, impact damage to the oil pan, or excessive engine wear.

To get a Toyota Highlander ‘Foreign-used’, you should budget 4 million to 6.5 million. For Nigerian used, it is considerably lower.

2. Toyota Corolla

Toyota Corolla 2008
Best Cars To Buy As A Nigerian First Time Car Buyer

When you think Toyota Corolla, you should think of Engine capacity and fuel minimization. This car is great for its dual purposes, whether personal or commercial.

It is also insanely affordable and accessible. You can’t pass a day on a Nigerian road and not find it.

If you are getting a Nigerian used, ensure to do enough inspection. Toyota Corolla is good at hiding its fault.

Its engine is comparatively cheaper compared to other cars. This makes it highly sought in the Nigerian Car world.

I’m going to aim higher a bit here, I’ll be leaving the 1996-2001 models and moving to 2002 – 2008. These models offer more comfort and space. They are the ones you see used for UBER or Taxify.

The easiness of maintenance makes it a good choice. Any model higher than 2008 would demand from you more dough. I’m talking money.

The Toyota Corolla offers various trims, including the LE and SE models. The LE has 139hp with a 1.8-liter engine, while the SE has about 169hp with a 2.0-liter engine.

The LE achieves 30mpg, while the SE reaches 36mpg. The most reliable Corollas are from 2004 to 2009.

Used Corollas in Nigeria range from 800k to 5m naira, and tokunbo(Foreign used) models from 2010 to 2020 cost NGN 4m to 15m.

One issue with the Toyota Corolla is the bad shock absorber. It finds it hard to cope with the bad roads in Nigeria. Also. check your engine oil regularly.

A word is enough for you. You are wise, I’m sure.

3. The Lexus RX Series (RX 300, RX 330, RX 350)

Lexus RX
Lexus RX

Lexus, Lexus, Lexus. It’s a perfect combination of Luxury and power. With it’s powerful V6 engine, it can handle any stress.

The build of Lexus is very comfortable and it has an impressive interior. The Lexus RX 300 and RX 330 debuted in 2003, with the former sporting a 3.0-liter V6 engine and the latter a more powerful 3.3-liter engine.

In 2006, they were succeeded by the RX 350, which featured a 3.5-liter V6 engine.

The RX 350 from 2015 to 2020 offers advanced luxury features for comfort, confidence, and elegance.

It’s a robust vehicle with Toyota technology, though Lexus surpasses Toyota in technology, style, safety, and interior luxury.

Despite some pricier spare parts, they offer reliability. ‘RX’ means Radiant Crossover, reflecting its SUV design.

When inspecting used RX Series, I scan for electrical faults and check transmission. Prices: used RX 300 (2003-2005) range from #1.3m to #1.9m, RX 330 from #1.8m to #2.9m, and RX 350 from #2.8m to #3.7m, with various grades and options.

4. Hyundai Elantra

Hyundai elantra
Best Cars To Buy As A Nigerian First Time Car Buyer

When you think Hyundai, you think flashy, stylish and feel. The brand is na eye magnet and a chick-magnet, boy-magnet too.

It comes highly recommended for any first-time buyer. In terms of Engine capacity, it successfully beats the Toyota Corolla 159hp:139hp (hp means horsepower).

The feel of the Hyundai Elantra is also inspiring. It’s the type of car you’d want to cruise into an office meeting or an old-school reunion.

Other advantages include; its reliability, fuel economization, impressive engine and gearbox, relatively cheap parts

Contrary to the Corolla, the shock absorber for this car is strong enough to withstand hit. It also has incredible suspension.

Common issues with this car include engine ticking or tapping noises, as well as problems with the electronic power steering system.

These issues tend to arise around 170,000 miles or even sooner if the vehicle is not properly maintained.

Price: N2.5M to N5m (Foreign used), N1.7m to N3.2m

5. Toyota Camry

Toyota Camry
Toyota Camry

If you don’t know this car, you are probably not a Nigerian or you are a tourist. Toyota Camry goes by the unique name, “Muscle”.

I never understood why though. For a car that dents easily, there should be a new name. It is an attractive car though and an amazing choice for any first-time buyer.

When you are behind the wheels of a Toyota Camry, you will be tempted to put your legs to the throttle. Careful though, Heaven and hell is closer than you think.

It is adequately spacious and can accommodate anyone of any size or weight. It also has a good suspension system. You’ll see it being used for UBER too.

Toyota Camry hs releases from 1999 to 2020. The higher the year, the costlier it gets. If your budget is from 1.5m to 3m, look from 1999 to 2005.

If your budget is from 7m to 20m, look from 2012 to 2020.

6. The Honda Accord

The Honda Accord
The Honda Accord

The Honda Accord is also a popular name in Nigeria. No matter the year, it has proven to be worthy of the respect it is “accorded” (Get it?).

There are some rumours about how Honda is unreliable. Well, I stand here today to say that isn’t true. It’s actually a very reliable make.

It has an insane balance on the road, even when you are going as fast as 120km/h.

The Honda Accord is a sleek choice worth considering among Best Cars To Buy As A Nigerian First Time Car Buyer.

Despite some Nigerian drivers warning about potential suspension issues, the suspension is actually robust and dependable.

It’s untrue that the front suspension can suddenly fail without warning. Typically, there are signs like persistent noises that precede any potential failure.

Neglecting to address these warning signs may result in unexpected breakdowns.

When purchasing a tokunbo or Nigerian-used Honda Accord, ensure a thorough inspection including scanning for hidden faults, test driving, checking oil levels, and examining for rust on the chassis.

During the test drive, evaluate acceleration and gear shifts for smoothness. Check the dashboard to ensure all gear position lights are functioning properly.

Count gears and confirm brake pedal response when engaging gears like L2 manually.

Price: N600,000 to N6.8m

7. Ford Edge

2012 Ford Edge
Best Cars To Buy As A Nigerian First Time Car Buyer

The price range for tokunbor Ford Edges from 2007 to 2010 is between #2m to #3.8m, and for those from 2015 to 2020, it ranges from #10m to #12m.

Nigeria-registered/used models from 2006/2007 are priced at #1.4m to #2m.

Brand new Ford Edges are available from #15m to #25m when purchased from Choscharis or imported.

Choosing a new, foreign-used, or Nigerian-used Ford Edge offers durability and fuel efficiency, making it a smart investment.

As an American brand, it guarantees quality. Alongside ample cabin space, the interior features a well-designed and appealing layout.

It is renowned for its excellent highway safety and durability, with a reliability rating exceeding 200,000 kilometres if properly maintained.

8. Mercedes Benz C series

Mercedes Benz C series
Mercedes Benz C series

The Mercedes Benz C Series is one of the best cars you can get as a first-time buyer. This advice comes highly recommended because I have driven one before.

If you’re confused about which “C” to buy, you can check out, C200, C230 and higher. As far as your mind and pocket can take you.

The Mercedes Benz C series is very sturdy and firm. It can take you on long journeys without fear.

You should note that not just any mechanic can repair faults in Mercedes Benz. Their parts are also not easy to get.

You don’t have to press that throttle too much before your ass is cruising through the streets. Mercedes Benz is a household name and in addition to function will give you status.

Check the gear oil regularly (speaking from experience). It is not very merciful on fuel usage though. So you must be ready to spend on that.

Are you a struggling young adult who just wants to get his or her in order? I won’t advise this for you.

The price ranges and depends on the model.

See : Mercedes-Benz C-Class in Nigeria

9. Toyota rav4

Toyota rav4
Toyota rav4

Toyota Rav4 is a family Car. It’s spacious and can accommodate a normal nuclear family. Rav4 is very popular in Nigeria.

It is high from the ground and can easily navigate Nigerian Roads. The issue with Rav4 is it usually gets old quickly. Dents show on it quickly.

It wouldn’t be my go-to choice as a first-time buyer but it can be a great choice if you are not the only person that would use it

Rav4 economises fuel, has good suspension, okay security system (you can make it better though).

It’s not number one on my list of Best Cars To Buy As A Nigerian First-Time Car Buyer

See: Toyota Rav4 in Nigera

10. Honda Civic

Honda Civic
Best Cars To Buy As A Nigerian First Time Car Buyer

The Honda Civic is renowned for its fuel efficiency, reliability, and comfortable ride, making it a practical choice for many drivers.

Its spacious interior and practical design make it versatile for everyday use. However, some may find its styling uninspiring, and its infotainment system and suspension could use improvement.

Despite these drawbacks, the Civic remains a top contender in its class due to its overall dependability and excellent value for money.

That’s it guys. I hope you have made your choice. If you haven’t, then you are not easily satisfied.

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My Final Remark

“Sew your clothes according to the material you have”- My mum

Buying a car in Nigeria as a first-timer can be strenuous on you and your pocket too. So, it’s best you approach it with an open mind and choose what won’t break you.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What car is best for first-time buyers?

Skoda Fabia
Kia Picanto.
Hyundai i10.
Toyota Aygo X.
Fiat Panda.
Volkswagen up!
Volkswagen Polo.
Dacia Sandero.

2. What to do after buying a car in Nigeria?

Identify and Fix Minor Issues.
Get a Trusted Mechanic.
Work on the Fluids.
Change the Filters.
Inspect the Brakes.
Check the Health of the Tyres.
Read the Owner’s Manual.

3. Which Used Cars Are Selling the Fastest in 2023?

Toyota Sienna Hybrid.
Toyota C-HR.
Honda Civic.
Honda CR-V.
Honda Insight.
Hyundai Venue.
Acura RDX.
Toyota Highlander Hybrid.

4. What is the easiest car to drive as a beginner?

Hyundai i10.
Fiat 500.
Ford Fiesta.
Renault Zoe.
Toyota Corolla Touring Sports.
Mercedes A-Class.
Nissan Qashqai.
BMW 3 Series.

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