Used Cars You Can Buy If Your Budget Is Under Rs. 15 Lac
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Around 6 or 8 years ago, Rs. 15 lacs would have been enough to buy a reasonably decent, brand new car. However, today Rs. 15 lacs, despite being a considerable amount, does not allow you to afford much of a choice in the market for brand new cars.
The idea of ‘brand new affordable cars’ has become obsolete as the value of cars has risen rapidly in recent times. In fact, there are only four locally manufactured passenger cars that can be bought brand new for under Rs. 15 lacs:
- Prince Pearl Manual – Rs. 1,149,000
- United Bravo Base Grade – Rs. 1,199,000
- Suzuki Alto VX and VXR – Rs. 1,198,000 and Rs. 1,398,000
- Zotye Z100 – Rs. 1,490,000 (probably extinct by now)
This is not to say that these cars are bad in any way, but they most certainly are expensive, as is every car in the Pakistani market right now.
While there are a limited number of cars when it comes to buying brand new vehicles under Rs. 15 lacs, the canvas opens up quite a bit if one shifts focus to the used car market. Rs. 15 lacs can provide the opportunity to choose a variety of interesting local used cars.
Here is a list of 5 used local cars compiled by Pro Pakistani.pk that can be bought under Rs. 15 lacs:
Note: The ranking of the cars listed below is based on performance, reliability, ease of maintenance, comfort, safety, and fuel economy. Each vehicle is scored out of 10 in the categories mentioned above to be ranked objectively from 5 to 1 (1 being the best). The chart is called the ‘Ownability Index’.
Number 5: Sixth-Gen Mitsubishi Lancer GLX 1.6
The 6th Gen Mitsubishi Lancer was offered in Pakistan as a CBU unit. The vehicle is easily one of the best and most underrated cars to ever grace the Pakistani automotive market, not because of any groundbreaking technology or features, but because of the driving experience.
The car features a 1.6-liter naturally aspirated 4 cylinder engine that makes a respectable 110 horsepower and 150 Nm of torque and can be mated to a 5-speed manual or a 4-speed automatic gearbox. Although the figures were less than those of the Honda Civic from the era, so was the weight of the Lancer, which allowed for a decent acceleration.
The car has a MacPherson Struts suspension setup in the front and a multi-link coil spring suspension at the back instead of a torsion bar setup being offered in multiple other cars at the same price point and segment, making Lancer a much more comfortable ride. It also features ventilated disc brakes at the front with ABS technology and a drum brake at the rear.
In terms of design, all the cars from this era were bloated and heavy, while the Lancer flaunted a sleek, simple, and elegant look. The vehicle offers a roomy cabin, excellent ergonomics, and superior outside visibility with a minimal amount of blind spots.
However, the reason why the Lancer has been ranked at the bottom is that it has some recurring reliability issues with a few engine components and the front suspension. Moreover, the unavailability of spare part dealers and mechanics for the Lancer makes its maintenance bothersome.
Here is how the Lancer scored in the Ownability Index:
Number 4: Second-Gen Suzuki Swift 1.3 DLX
The Swift has been a smashing success in Pakistani ever since its launch in 2010, as it was a fun and exciting vehicle to drive.
This compact hatchback is small, light, elegant, and relatively powerful, thanks to a 1.3 liter naturally aspirated 4-cylinder DOHC engine that makes 90 hp and 114 Nm of torque and is mated to a 5-speed manual transmission. There is an automatic variant in the lineup as well, but it is usually priced over Rs. 1.5 million even in the used market.
The Swift has a McPherson strut suspension setup in the front and a torsion bar coil spring setup in the back. Furthermore, it has ventilated discs upfront with ABS technology and conventional drum brakes outback.
The vehicle features optional fog lights, optional Sat-Nav, immobilizer system, power door locks, power windows, a good sound system with USB/Aux connectivity and four speakers, an A/C, and two-way steering adjustment.
However, this car has a few points of concern as well. Firstly, it is a gas guzzler; and secondly, it has surprisingly poor outside visibility due to its fat A, B, and C pillars and a high beltline. Furthermore, the suspension is more on the firm side, which makes the Swift ride somewhat harsh.
Here is how the Swift scored in the Ownability Index:
Number 3: Seventh-Gen Honda Civic EXi and VTi
This generation of the Civic is perhaps the most understated and underrated of all the Civic models. Since its release in 2002, a particular segment of people has found the 7th Gen Civic to be a very desirable car (particularly the facelifted eagle-eye version).
The car is offered in two main variants — the base EXi trim and the finer VTi trim. The EXi has a 1.5 liter, naturally aspirated 4 cylinder petrol engine that makes 115 hp and 142 Nm of torque. The car can only be paired with a 5-speed manual transmission.
The VTi is offered with a 1.6 liter, naturally aspirated 4 cylinder petrol engine that makes a healthier 132 hp and 151 Nm of torque. It offered the option of a 5-speed automatic transmission with Honda’s then-available new Progressive, Shift Schedule Management Technology (PROSMATEC).
Both trims of the Civic have ventilated discs on all four wheels, but the VTi also has the Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) technology, allowing for good stopping power. Both also have a MacPherson Struts coils spring suspension setup in the front and a double-wishbone coil spring setup outback.
The VTi trim level is also offered with extra goodies like 15-inch alloy wheels, a sunroof option, a better sound system, a pair of optional foglights, and a differently patterned fabric interior.
However, one of the challenges with this vehicle is that it is pretty hard to find one in good condition as its owners tend to keep it and drive it for a long time. Moreover, since it is a nearly 20-year-old car, the parts for the 7th Gen Civic are also hard to find.
Here is how the Civic scored in the Ownability Index:
Number 2: Fourth-Gen Honda City i-DSI
The calm, quiet, and silky smooth 4th Gen Honda City is one of the best economy used cars that can be bought for under Rs. 15 lacs.
It is equipped with a 1.3 liter, naturally aspirated 4-cylinder petrol engine that makes 82 hp and 119 Nm of torque. The car is offered with the option of either a 5-speed manual or a 4-speed automatic transmission. There is also a VTEC Steermatic variant with a 1.5-liter engine and a 7-speed CVT automatic transmission.
The i-DSI City has a MacPherson strut suspension setup in the front and a Torsion Bar coil spring setup in the back. It also has ventilated disc brakes with ABS technology in the front and conventional drum brakes in the back.
On the inside, the car has all the basic standard features like power door locks, power windows, a decent sound system with USB/Aux connectivity and four speakers, an A/C, 4-way steering adjustment, etc. Outside, the vehicle features alloy wheels and foglights.
However, a good condition VTEC Steermatic City is quite rare in the market, and if one is found in a decent condition, it is likely to cost over Rs. 15 lacs. Moreover, the car has certain issues with electronics. Most notoriously, the vehicle’s power window motor often malfunctions, whereby the window of the vehicle poses some problems. Plus, as it is a Honda, the ‘genuine spares’ are likely to cost a hefty bill for each maintenance run.
Here’s how the City scored in the Ownability Index:
Before moving on to the number one pick, here are some honorable used car mentions that can be bought under Rs. 15 lacs:
- N16 Nissan Sunny
- 2014 Suzuki Wagon R VXR
- 2nd Suzuki Cultus 2012-2016
- 9th Gen Toyota Corolla GLI
- FAW V2
Number 1: Ninth-Gen Toyota Corolla Altis
The Corolla Altis is the ultimate darling of the Pakistani automotive market due to its impregnable reliability and spectacular resale value. The AE100, also known as the ‘Indus Corolla’, can also be found in the high Rs. 8 lacs range despite having been driven for hundreds of thousands of kilometers. However, the car we suggest is the Corolla that succeeded the legendary AE100: Ninth Gen Corolla Altis.
The 9th Gen Altis was launched in the Pakistani market in mid-2006 and was sold until late 2008 before the 10th Gen Corolla replaced it.
The car is offered with a 1.8 liter, naturally aspirated 4-cylinder petrol engine that makes 134 hp and 171 Nm of torque. It can be paired with a 5-speed manual or a 4-speed automatic transmission.
The Corolla has ventilated discs at the front and solid discs at the back, with Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) technology. Since it is too big and heavy (1,300 kg), the brakes are known to be ineffective for a car of this stature. In terms of suspension setup, the Corolla has a MacPherson Struts coils spring suspension setup in the front and a torsion bar coil spring setup at the back.
The Altis is the finest of all the Corolla trim levels, with wood patterned plastic paneling, leather seats, a leather stitched 4-spoke steering wheel, a stitched gear knob, a better gauge cluster, an advanced sound system, a driver-side airbag, standard fog lights, and a few other improvements over the XLI and GLI trim levels.
On the outside, the car features body-colored door handles, mirrors and side impacts, side skirts, and alloy wheels that made it different from the lesser Corolla variants at the time.
Since the 9th Gen Corollas used to be pretty common, they can easily be found in the used car market in good condition.
Here is how the Corolla Altis scored in the Ownability Index:
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