Afghans Love 4-Speed Automatics

Derek Kreindler
by Derek Kreindler
afghans love 4 speed automatics

Car guys may mock the Toyota Corolla for its outdated powertrains and total lack of driving thrills, but no car dominates the landscape of Afghanistan in quite the same way.

Agence-France Press takes a look at the Afghani love affair with the Corolla – said to account for as many as 80 percent of all vehicles registered in Kabul. Afgahnis buy them for the same reasons as everyone else; they’re cheap, durable and inexpensive to maintain. The Corolla is so ubiquitous that taxi dispatchers advise passengers to look out for a “blue 2002” or “white 2007” since its implied that the taxi will automatically be a Corolla.

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  • Flybrian Flybrian on Jun 27, 2013

    So this is where all the high-mileage frame-damaged and TMU wrecks from the Imperial Night auction in Orlando end up...

  • NoGoYo NoGoYo on Jun 27, 2013

    @Russcyle: If your 3.4/4 speed combo is anything like my 3.1/4 speed combo, the engine runs out of RPMs so fast you don't even notice the end of gears. Try to keep it going down the highway and the engine seems to just fall flat on its face because the super-restrictive heads/intake manifold/exhaust manifold and crap cam make for a garbage powerband.

    • See 3 previous
    • NoGoYo NoGoYo on Jun 27, 2013

      @ajla Only real problem is that GM's only major advancement during its lifespan was changing from carburetion to fuel injection. No attempt at a SOHC 60V6, no update of the DOHC 3400 for more power, nothing. At least the Buick 3.8 actually did get some genuine improvements during its lifespan.

  • Volt 230 Volt 230 on Jun 28, 2013

    Despite the constant put downs of this car, I am noticing a lot of young people with limited resources and who rather spend their money having fun and going out, driving these boring, appliances. I guess to them getting there is NOT half the fun,

    • Flybrian Flybrian on Jun 28, 2013

      If you have limited resources, there are comparable and even superior choices for LESS money.

  • Jacob Jacob on Jun 29, 2013

    For a car to be popular in Afghanistan, it has to be reliable and relatively low cost. I can see why a Corolla with 4AT would fit the bill. 4-speed AT is an old 90s technology. Toyota by now probably has figured out how to build it inexpensively and highly reliably, and all of the R&D expenses had been recouped years ago. So, it's not surprising Afghans prefer to take the 4AT over MT.

    • 28-Cars-Later 28-Cars-Later on Jun 29, 2013

      Agreed, Afghanis have far bigger problems then finding time to take fancy cars into a shop.