Publisher’s Note: Criteria for Choosing Top 25 Most Stunning Cars of the Year 2022

Most Kenyans do not actually read. They scantly scan and jump to react, mostly criticize and condemn. Here, the team is motivated once more, by an old adage, ‘A tiger does not lose sleep over the opinion of sheep’.

With over 300 car models from small to compact to medium to large sizes and different trim levels is a magazine able to pick out only 25, without starring trouble? Which criteria can be used in comparing, choosing and ranking these cars against each other? Which car segments do you leave out and why? This is a big business risk which we should not have done and cannot do. Yet, the team has, motivated by three knowns:

First, this act of courage, if not outright mischief, reminds me of a brainy quote by Thomas Carlyle, ‘Permanence, perseverance and persistence in spite of all obstacles, discouragements, and impossibilities: It is this, that in all things distinguishes the strong soul from the weak’.

Second, the American aviator, Amelia Earhart (1897-1937) adds, ‘The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure, the process is its own rewards.’

Third, most Kenyans do not actually read. They scantly scan and jump to react, mostly criticize and condemn. Here, the team is motivated once more, by an old adage, ‘A tiger does not lose sleep over the opinion of sheep’.

The job was done and a list of 25 submitted.  In the final list, we zeroed in on executive saloons, SUVs in all segments and double cab pickups, as these have multiple uses, including family transport.

The finalists are not based on market share, or popularity or preference by consumers. The main criteria are a car that stuns even those on the kerb or roadside, who may not even have a driving licence, but who may aspire to owning a car one day. It is ability to turn heads 90-120 degrees, as these cars pass by.

Even then, we tried as humanly as possible to level the playing field, by listing down key criteria that each car in the chosen segments can be shortlisted on. We did not exclude cars without official dealers in the country. As all cars these days are nearly the same, the criteria are highly subjective and tricky to execute:


Here, we considered visually and from the brochures, the quality and styling, including the real use of materials. For example, genuine high-quality leather scored more than the faux leather that most of the car manufacturers often use. The finish or stitching is another example.


Here, we compared the information from the brochure to the actual benefit of the feature or technology to the consumer, the positioning and ease of use, in all major areas including new technology internal combustion engines, to fuel systems, to suspensions and automatic transmission and steering. Interior cabin space, ease of entry and seating and practicality of infotainment systems were considered. We involved reputable car bloggers and columnists to help reach some consensus.


Presence of practical passive and active safety features was checked, including presence of features that assist the driver to minimise impact on collision or to outrightly avoid the collision in the first instance.


For those vehicles emphasizing on luxury, it was checked if indeed, the car rides like a luxury car and has quality trims, including leather trims that scream luxury. An off-roading SUV must surmount every obstacle. Here, we count the Land Rover in.


Lastly, we compared the cost of the luxury trims and features incorporated in the car. It is at this point that we easily identified our number one, Mazda CX-9. It was that easy. The Mazda CX-9 gives the consumer real value for money. For some of them, the model’s name aided in case of a tie: Jaguar, Porsche, Lexus and Audi. These models are usually reserved and hardly needs to sing, scream or throw tantrums, to draw attention.

Of course, we have others that nearly, nearly made the cut, but were one or two units shy of getting into the Top 25 mark: Kia Sportage and the Toyota Hilux Double Cab.

For those who may differ with our methodology, we respect your opinion. It is not an easy task for the faint hearted. We welcome your views on this list. The Top 25 here are cool cars that can make their way as computer or smartphone screens or even in teenage bedroom walls as posters, any time.


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Dr. Hanningtone Gaya

Dr. Hanningtone Gaya

Kenya’s Dr Hanningtone Gaya, holds a PhD in Commerce in Business Management from Nelson Mandela University (NMU), is viewed as an authority in country branding and is the founder chairman of the Brand Kenya Board.

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