5 Sedans that can make it big in the Pakistani auto market [DETAILS + VIDEOS]

Here is a list of 5 subcompact sedans that have the potential to do well in the Pakistani auto market.

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Five cars that have the potential to make it big in Pakistan.

Pakistan’s subcompact sedan market has been ruled by the Toyota Corolla (now replaced by the Toyota Yaris) and the Honda City for the longest time. Now that the new player — Changan Alsvin — has entered the market, the variety in this segment has  seemed to increase.

With the automotive market progressing in an upward trajectory, more new players are likely to enter the sedan market in the coming days.

Here is a list of 5 subcompact sedans that have the potential to do well in the Pakistani auto market:

1. Fiat Tipo/Ægea

The 1st generation Fiat Tipo/Ægea is a sedan from Italy that has been famous in the small car market of Italy, Germany, France, Spain, Europe, Turkey, the United Kingdom, Mexico, and Argentina. The vehicle debuted at the Istanbul Motor Show in 2015, and the automaker produced the 500,000th unit of the car in 2019 in Turkey (where it is still in production).

Engine of the Fiat Tipo/Ægea:

The vehicle is offered in seven different engine options depending on the demands of specific markets. The most common choice is the 1.6-liter, 4-cylinder, naturally aspirated petrol engine that makes 108 hp and 152 Nm of torque and can be mated to a 6-speed Aisin automatic transmission.

Salient Features of the Fiat Tipo/Ægea:

  • A 10-inch smart infotainment screen
  • Driver and passenger airbags
  • Front disc brakes with an Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)
  • Electronic Brake-Force Distribution (EBD)
  • Brake Assist (BA)
  • Automatic Climate Control
  • Adaptive Cruise Control
  • Lane Keep Assist
  • Collision Warning
  • Parking Sensors
  • A Backup Camera
  • An Immobilizer System

Price of the Fiat Tipo/Ægea:

The vehicle’s price starts at 134,000 Lira (2.62 million PKR) in Turkey and goes up to over 200,000 Lira (3.9 million PKR), depending on the car’s features.

Experts speculate that if the vehicle is launched in Pakistan with a good dealership network and after-sales services while being kept in the lower range of its price bracket, it could become popular.

2. Mazda 2

Japanese cars are extremely popular in Pakistan due to their reliability. Considering this, it is a shame that a Japanese car company as well-known and as reliable as Mazda does not operate here. Mazda should make its way to Pakistan with its Mazda 2 to fill that void.

The 4th generation Mazda 2 was debuted at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show in the hatchback form. The sedan was launched later the same year at the Thailand International Motor Expo. Since then, the vehicle has been relatively popular in the USA, Europe, Japan, Australia, and Thailand, where it is still manufactured and sold.

Engine of the Mazda 2:

Although the vehicle comes with four powertrain options in the international market, the most common choice is the 1.5-liter Skyactiv-G, naturally-aspirated 4-cylinder petrol engine that makes 113 hp 148 Nm of torque. It is mated to either a 5-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic gearbox. It is also offered as a mild hybrid with the same engine paired with an electric motor and a 24-volt lithium-ion battery in specific markets.

Salient Features of the Mazda 2:

  • A seven-inch smart infotainment touch screen
  • Steering-mounted controls
  • Six airbags
  • Lane keep assist
  • Traction and stability control
  • Hill-start assist
  • Parking sensors
  • Collision warning
  • ABS
  • EBD
  • BA
  • Autonomous braking

Price of the Mazda 2:

In Thailand, the car is being sold for (between) ฿546,000 (2.73 million PKR) and ฿799,000 (3.9 million PKR), which is a bit more than what Pakistanis would be willing to pay for a small car.

Experts speculate that if the vehicle is introduced at a price range of Rs. 2.5 million to Rs. 3 million, it could do well.

3. Volkswagen Virtus

The Volkswagen (VW) is one of the most prolific automakers known worldwide for developing technologically advanced and well-built cars.

The VW Virtus is the sedan version of the VW Polo, which is one of the most popular subcompact hatchbacks, especially across Europe and in the UK. The vehicle is manufactured in Brazil and is sold across most of Latin America.

Engine of the Volkswagen Virtus:

The Virtus comes with three engine options. The most common one is a 1.6-liter, 4-cylinder naturally aspirated petrol engine that makes 110 hp and 155 Nm of torque and can be mated to a 5-speed manual or a 6-speed DSG automatic transmission.

Salient Features of the Volkswagen Virtus:

  • A 6.5-inch smart infotainment screen
  • Driver and passenger airbags
  • Front disc brakes
  • ABS
  • EBD
  • BA
  • Automatic Climate Control
  • Parking sensors
  • A backup camera
  • An immobilizer system

Price of the Volkswagen Virtus:

The car will soon also be launched in India at an estimated price of 1.5 million INR, which is about 3.2 million PKR.

VW made headlines in Pakistan a few months ago after revealing that the auto company would produce its vehicles here in 2022. The report detailed that the automaker had acquired the greenfield status under the Automotive Development Policy (ADP) 2016-21 and would begin producing its vehicles under it.

Experts speculate that VW may enter Pakistan’s passenger vehicle segment, and the Virtus could be its trump card.

4. Hyundai Accent

Ever since its return to Pakistan, Hyundai has been one of the most talked-about automakers in the market. Hyundai Nishat launched the Tucson SUV and the Elantra sedan in Pakistan in mid-2020 and early 2021. Although both the cars received impressive responses from the public, they have had a limited number of buyers due to their prices.

To establish more relevance in a market dominated by the Japanese trio, Hyundai needs to introduce a car within reach of a more extensive customer base, such as the Accent.

Engine of the Hyundai Accent:

The Hyundai Accent (Verna) is mainly offered with several powertrain options across various markets globally, the most common of which is a 1.5-liter naturally aspirated 4-cylinder MPi petrol engine that makes 113 hp and 144 Nm of torque and is paired to either a 6-speed manual or a 7-speed DCT automatic gearbox.

Salient Features of the Hyundai Accent:

  • An eight-inch smart infotainment screen
  • An automatic AC
  • A wireless phone charger
  • Cruise control
  • Six airbags
  • Electronic stability control
  • Tyre pressure monitoring system
  • ABS
  • EBD
  • A vehicle stability management system
  • Front parking sensors

Price of the Hyundai Accent:

The Accent is also sold in India as the ‘Verna’, starting at a price tag of 9,30,000 INR (1.98 million PKR) that goes up to 1.38 million rupees (2.95 million PKR).

Experts speculate that given its features, the Accent can be a fierce competitor in the B-segment sedan market of Pakistan.

5. Kia Rio

Rumor has it that Kia will soon be making more additions to its lineup in Pakistan. Many have speculated that the Korean automaker will introduce a subcompact car called the Rio to compete with the other B-segment sedans in the market.

The 4th generation Rio sedan was debuted in 2016 at the Paris Motor Show. The vehicle has since been fairly popular in North America, Korea, Mexico, Algeria, Russia, and even China (where it is sold as the ‘K2’).

Engine of the Kia Rio:

The vehicle is available with several engine options across the globe. The most common is the Gamma-II 1.6-liter, naturally aspirated petrol engine that makes 121 hp and 151 Nm of torque and can be mated to either a 5-speed manual or a 7-speed DCT automatic transmission.

Salient Features of the Kia Rio:

  • Six airbags
  • Parking sensors all around
  • ABS brakes
  • Stability control
  • Hill-start assist
  • Multiple drive modes
  • Steering controls
  • An eight-inch infotainment unit
  • USB connectivity
  • A reversing camera

Price of the Kia Rio:

The base price of the Rio sedan in the USA is 16,050 USD, which is almost 2.5 million PKR, making it about the same price as its competition in the Pakistani market.

Experts speculate that the Rio is popular and can bring tough competition to the B-segment cars in Pakistan.

Conclusion

The Pakistani market is in desperate need of healthy competition between the carmakers. To bolster this upward trend, the government must welcome more players to the auto market and create a wholesome competition wave to lead the local auto industry towards progress.

More choices in the segment would mean a more market-competitive pricing strategy, better products, and a more extensive lobby of automakers. A combination of all these would lead to better auto-policy formation to nurture the automotive market in the future. 

What are your thoughts on this? Please share with us in the comment section below.

    • Really? When Japanese cars are the best selling small cars in the US and Europe? People in North America and Europe prefer Japanese cars to the ones you are asking for. American and European small cars are Junkers that will cost you and arm and leg to repair.

      • There is a reason about Japanese care being the best selling and its easy maintenance whereas European and American cars are high end cars and not easy to maintain but they are much strong. Quality features now are almost same, suspension, engine durability are even better in European and American cars. Having said that, I dont know if anyone can beat a Nissan 🙂


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