Publisher’s Note: Criteria in Determining Business Monthly EA 2023 Top 25 Most Stunning Cars on the Road

The range spans from small compact SUVs to mid-size, from luxury to super luxury, encompassing various trim levels and engine performances.

By Dr Hanningtone Gaya, CEO – The Knowledge Warehouse Kenya

It’s that time of the year when Business Monthly EA stirs up trouble, comparing over 325 car models on Kenyan roads to select only 25. These chosen ones are then bestowed with the honour of being the most stunning cars in 2023.

The range spans from small compact SUVs to mid-size, from luxury to super luxury, encompassing various trim levels and engine performances. The process of comparing, selecting, and ranking these cars against each other is not for the faint-hearted.

The decision of which cars to include and which ones to omit, which segments to consider and which ones to overlook, is no mean feat. The exercise is also fraught with managing the business risks that typically accompany such announcements. Are these risks truly worth it?

In 2023, the magazine was motivated by a number of reasons, the most important being the NCBA-sponsored KMI Motor Show at the upscale Sarit Centre Mall. The outcome is as unpredictable as the footprints that will be etched on the floor of the exhibition hall, as car enthusiasts visit some stands more than once, spending quality time sampling the features on offer, or voting with their feet by ignoring particular stands altogether.

In addition to the tens of catalogues and other giveaways at the Motor Show, the attendants will be treated to a free hard copy of the special issue. Now, we borrow from the 2022 criterion:

Firstly, 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.”

Secondly, 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 reward.” Or you can decide to self-sabotage, by letting fear of possible reprisals get the better of you.

Thirdly, most Kenyans do not actually read. They scantily scan and jump to react, mostly criticise and condemn. Here, the team is motivated once more, by an old adage, “A tiger doesn’t lose sleep over the opinion of sheep.” These 25 cars could be what they are, wrung out of our own biassed opinion.

Read on. We zeroed in mainly on luxury SUVs, the main love of most motorists, going by the sales statistics. And we threw in a few legendary (but not aged) executive and luxury saloon cars. A Double Cab made it to the list, thanks to its multiple uses, including family transport and easy access to information.

The finalists aren’t selected based on market share, popularity, or consumer preference. The primary criteria revolve around cars that stun even those on the kerb or roadside – individuals who might lack a driving licence or purchasing power, but nurture aspirations of owning such cars one day. Or simply, car enthusiasts. In a nutshell, these are cars with the aesthetics and features that turn heads 90-120 degrees as they cruise by.

What’s more, cars without official dealers in the country, yet being bought in hundreds, have been included. As cars these days are nearly the same, the outcome may be highly subjective and was tricky to execute. They included:

Design

In this aspect, we carefully considered visual elements such as quality and style, including the materials used in the interior trims. For instance, genuine high-quality leather scored higher than the faux leather often used by most car manufacturers. The finish and stitching play a crucial role.

Cabin

The interior cabin space, ease of entry, seating comfort, and the practicality of infotainment systems carried the greatest weight. This is what the occupants experience firsthand.

Perception of Luxury

We meticulously compared the luxury trims and features incorporated in the car as standard: cars that do not need to throw engineering and design tantrums to be noticed.

If you find yourself in disagreement with our list, take heart. We know it is subjective and 2024 may be your turn. Read on, albeit grudgingly. Cars are very emotive, after all.

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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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