Pakistani automotive industry has always been a ‘peculiar’ place owing to the unconventional preferences of the Pakistani buyers.
To begin with, our decision to buy a car is driven by the car’s ability to hold-up in terms of resale value. Secondly, because the road and traffic conditions aren’t exactly the most ideal, with the exception of a handful of roads in the big cities, reliability also plays a huge factor in the decision to buy a car.
With that said, there’s only a handful of cars that we are willing to consider, completely closing the doors for new options, the addition of whom can possibly do a lot of good things for the overall automotive industry of Pakistan.
Although there’s no denying the fact that the said factors are important in terms of making a decision, it shouldn’t result in a tunnel vision while opting for a new set of wheels.
The cars are included in the list bearing in mind the overall specs, features, built quality and the fact that they’re a non-popular choice. Here are the 4 brand new cars being offered in Pakistan today that meet the criteria but go unnoticed:
Among the brand-new compact family hatchbacks, FAW V-2 is perhaps the ultimate bargain car. Although the car has just one variant, that offers solid performance, a decent ride quality and a spacious cabin that can easily seat 4 passengers aside from the driver.
The car features a 1.3 liter DOHC 16-valve EFI engine borrowed from Suzuki, mated to a 5-speed manual transmission along with various features such as drive and passenger-side airbags, Air Conditioning, ABS Brakes, Alloy Wheels, power windows and door-locks, electronic power steering, power mirrors, key-less entry and immobilizer, all of which can be had for Rs. 15.7 Lac. That’s roughly the same price as Suzuki Alto, which is an entry level car with fewer features and less comfort.
However, according to the owner reviews, the car is said to have a less than spectacular fuel economy of around 12km/l within city and an interior that’s as cheap as Suzuki’s.
Still, in a market where most of the cars in the same category are going for around 20 Lac or more while offering a much weaker performance, the FAW V-2 seems like the ultimate bargain car and is also admired by most motorists and automotive experts as the provider of fantastic value for money
Suzuki Vitara GL+1.6
Sporting contemporary paint scheme and a handsome offroader look, this compact SUV provides a lot of promise to the enthusiasts who wish to haul around groceries and families in style. The car is offered in two variants, namely, GL+1.6 and the GLX 1.6.
Both variants feature a DOHC 1.6 liter, 4 cylinder engine mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission. The car makes a fairly healthy 115 horsepower and 156 newton/meters of torque, capable of delivering a fairly punchy performance if and when needed.
Other features include 7 airbags for security, immobilizer, digital climate control, ABS brakes, traction control, cruise control, rear climate vents, keyless entry among other basic components. The GLX trim also offers a more impressive range of features including an advanced infotainment system, panoramic sunroof, keyless go and a few subtle cosmetic differences from the GL+.
The GL+ can be had for Rs. 34.9 Lac whereas the range topping GLX for Rs. 55 Lac. Among the brand new compact SUV’s such as the Toyota RAV4, Nissan Juke, Honda Vezel/HR-V etc. the Vitara actually seems to be a great value for money, especially the GL+ version since it is among the very few cars that offer such a wide range of safety and tech features at the said price point.
Isuzu D-Max V-Cross
The pickup truck market has always been strong in Pakistan with only Toyota enjoying the spoils of monopoly for the last decade or so. But now, with the relaunch of the Isuzu brand, it is safe to say the competition has gotten fierce.
The Isuzu D-Max comes in various trim levels with the V-Cross being the range topping variant that has been introduced as an answer to the Toyota Hilux Revolution. The V-Cross features a 3.0 Liter Turbocharged 4 cylinder diesel engine mated to a 5-speed automatic transmission capable of making 161 horsepower and 380 newton/meters of torque.
Other features include driver and passenger-side airbags, climate control, infotainment system, backup camera, satellite navigation, power seat adjustment among all the basic specs.
The V-Cross edition comes in at Rs. 54 Lac which is considerably less as compared to its competition, making it a great value for money product as well. Plus, this vehicle has all the key ingredients to become a favorite of the pickup market, which could lead to other automakers introducing newer and hopefully better options to create a healthy market competition, benefiting themselves as well as the buyers.
We all know that there are only 3 major favorites in the Pakistani automotive market when it comes to the economy-sedan class; namely, Honda City, Civic and the Toyota Corolla XLI/GLI. With that said, the launch of Suzuki Ciaz was a breath of fresh air to say the least.
The car comes in two variants, i.e. manual and automatic, both of them featuring a 1.3 DOHC 16 Valve EFI 4 cylinder engine with variable valve timing technology, capable of making 91 horsepower and 130 newton/meters of torque. Features include driver and passenger-side airbags, ABS brakes, power-operated windows, door locks, mirror, immobilize, keyless entry, among other basic features.
The manual variant comes in at Rs. 23 Lac while the Automatic at Rs. 25 Lac which perhaps the least expensive in the market. With the said features and the fact that the car is fuel-efficient, has a trunk and can seat 4 passengers with ease, the car seams a great value for money.
The catch here is to urge people to be more welcoming of newer products. These aforementioned products have all the elements of a promising step in the right direction for the Pakistani automotive industry and as the end consumers, we should all encourage this step by at least giving these cars some consideration.
A few new automakers including FAW, Hyundai, Kia and Proton are set to start offering new cars to the public by the mid of 2020. Therefore, it’d be in our market’s best interest to be on a lookout for the new products and enjoy a bigger variety of options going forward.