For majority of those willing to buy a minivan, Pak Suzuki Bolan remains their first choice. However there is a problem.
The Suzuki Bolan that we see, is actually the seventh generation of Suzuki Carry ST-90 model that was produced internationally between 1979 and 1985. By 1985 it was already replaced by the eighth generation DA-71 Carry, however in Pakistan, Pak Suzuki still assembles the ST-90 Carry aka Bolan, which in 2018, has completed 39 years of its production life in our country.
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Apart from a fuel injected engine & some cosmetic changes to the front-end of the vehicle, Bolan remains almost entirely unchanged. And not just the fact that its unchanged, over all these years it has been deprived from basics that were present in the previous models.
There is no defroster/ heater, there is no trip meter, no adjustable seats, no seat-belts, no multi-speed intermittent wipers, no key lock at the passenger door & no rear windshield wiper etc. The Bolan comes without a collapsible steering column, there are no reinforced side protection beams, and the chassis isn’t high rigidity crash resistant too.
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For a vast majority of buyers, all this doesn’t really matter but if you are among those who know the real worth of their money and don’t think its justifiable to spend PKR 8.14 lac on something that was discovered some 40 years ago, thankfully there is an option.
The FAW X-PV has been around for a few years now and has developed a decent reputation in the market. It is a dependable minivan that offers a lot more than the Suzuki Bolan, in a reasonable amount of money. Let’s take a look at what an XP-V buyer gets compared to the one who opts for a Bolan.
1. Better Appearance
Obviously we are talking about minivans here so you cannot expect something that’s extra-ordinary beautiful to look at. However in comparison, the X-PV has a much better overall appearance than the prehistoric Bolan. The FAW X-PV has proper front and rear bumpers, side skirts, radiator grille with chrome strips and a protruding front-end which makes it look modern and complete.
2. Dual AC
When you can’t even see air-vents in Bolan, let alone find a fan or blower or to expect an air-conditioner, the X-PV comes equipped with Dual AC. This makes your journey pleasing specially during the scorching summer days.
3. The Bigger, the Better
FAW X-PV is bigger than the Bolan, in terms of length, width and height, and even has a bigger wheelbase too. The increased dimensions results in a spacious interior that offers greater head and leg room for occupants.
4. More Powerful Engine
The X-PV comes with a 970cc DA465QA engine that produce 60hp, compared to the 797cc F8B engine found in Suzuki Bolan that develops 37hp. Not many people know that the F8 series was Suzuki’s first 4-stroke engines ever, and its indeed a matter of pride for those who still buy this in 2018.
5. Five-speed Transmission
The X-PV comes with a 5-speed manual transmission compared to the 4-speed manual of Bolan. The 5th gear contributes towards better fuel economy and is an added advantage of the X-PV.
6. Better Suspension
The FAW X-PV offers front MacPherson strut suspension system which ensures a relatively smooth and comfortable ride quality than the Suzuki Bolan. Although the Bolan comes equipped with front struts as well, but in sudden braking it’s front badly dips down, which isn’t the case with the X-PV.
7. Better Tires
The X-PV comes equipped with 165/70 R13 tires which enhances road grip and stability of the minivan as opposed to 145/50 R12 of Bolan.
8. Disc Brakes
FAW X-PV comes with front disc brakes which results in improved braking capabilities of the vehicle. The Bolan on the other hand comes with front and rear drum brakes.
9. Better Seats
The X-PV has better fabric seat material as opposed to vinyl seats of the Bolan. The rear seats in X-PV comes with adjustable head rests too.
10. Better Dashboard
The dashboard of X-PV is indeed better looking and ergonomically designed than the prehistoric dashboard of Bolan. You don’t really need words to describe the difference between the two, let the pictures do the talking.
11. Better Steering Wheel
The FAW X-PV has a better steering wheel than Bolan. And not just better looking, but better to hold and to grip too.
12. Better Gauge Cluster
The meter cluster or gauge cluster whatever you want to call it, allows you to keep an eye on the speed, mileage, temperature and fuel of a vehicle. While the meter cluster of X-PV is beautiful, well-lit and easily readable. Its way better than what comes equipped with the Pak Suzuki Bolan.
13. RPM Meter
The XP-V also comes equipped with an RPM meter/ tachometer, housed alongside the speedometer. The RPM meter helps you keep track on the engine crankshaft revolutions, and they also signal rough idles and any inconsistencies with engine RPMs which could be the signs of engine related issues.
14. Trip Meter
The FAW X-PV also comes with a resettable trip meter which is used to measure distance travelled for a particular trip or a particular time period. Obviously this isn’t something to boast upon, but it’s worth mentioning since Pak Suzuki Bolan comes without one.
15. Full Wheel Caps & Mud Flappers
FAW X-PV comes with full wheel caps instead of plain steel rims as in Bolan and comes pre-equipped with mud flappers too.
16. Better Ground Clearance
Ground clearance is considered an important factor in our market due to poor road conditions and abruptly made speed brakes everywhere. Thankfully the X-PV again offers a better ground clearance of 155mm compared to 140mm of Suzuki Bolan.
17. Projector Headlamps
The FAW X-PV has projector headlamps, which unlike the reflector headlamps of Bolan gives better and controlled illumination of the road ahead.
18. Fog Lamps
Fog lights, as their name suggests are designed to be used in thick fog. Fog lights are meant to cut through the fog or mist and light up the surface of the road so that drivers can see well enough to stay on the road and within their lane. The X-PV comes equipped with front and rear fog lights as standard.
19. Euro IV Engine- Cleaner Environment
The engine in FAW X-PV is compliant to Euro-IV emission standards. Which means all that comes out of its silencer is cleaner than the Bolan which has been jerry-rigged to comply with Euro-II emission standards.
Off course the X-PV comes equipped with a heater, something that isn’t available with Bolan.
21. Door Storage pockets
The X-PV comes with better door trims with built-in pockets.
22. More Colors to Choose From
At the time of writing this article, the X-PV comes with a choice of 4 color options (Red, Silver, Grey and White) compared to 2 (Silver, White) available with Bolan.
23. Floor Carpets
In FAW X-PV you get a better covered floor than the all-empty Bolan.
24. Adjustable Seats
The front and back seats of the X-PV are adjustable just like any other car, unlike the fixed bench seats of Bolan which creates difficulties for the driver particularly on prolong driving situations.
25. Front and Rear Seatbelts
The X-PV comes with front 3-point and rear 2-point ELR seatbelts.
26. Key Opener at Passenger Side Door
Yes! That’s something great as you can lock and unlock the car from the passenger side door as well. Don’t believe us? Try doing so in a Bolan..
27. Proper Retract Side Mirrors
The X-PV has proper retractable side mirrors and gives a better view as compared to that of Bolan.
28. Multi-speed Intermittent Wipers
FAW X-PV has multi-speed intermittent wipers as opposed to mono-speed wipers in Suzuki Bolan.
29. The Warranty Advantage
FAW X-PV comes with a 3 years/ 60,000km warranty as compared to 2 years/ 40,000km warranty of Suzuki Bolan.
These are the 29 advantages a buyer gets when he opts for an X-PV. Furthermore during the ownership tenure, a buyer will enjoy a better performance, better fuel consumption, better ride comfort and better overall ownership experience with an X-PV.
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The FAW X-PV was first introduced in 2012 as CBU and was later assembled locally since September 2012. Being in the market for 6 years now, the X-PV has also developed a decent resale value so the risk of losing money has also perished to a great extent.
The X-PV is indeed a better buy compared to the Bolan in every possible aspect. And since more Chinese players are entering the market with their minivan options, FAW X-PV enjoys the status of being the pioneer among Chinese minivans available in Pakistan.
A computer animation professional with over 23 years of industry experience having served in leading organizations, TV channels & production facilities in Pakistan. An avid car enthusiast and petrolhead with an affection to deliver quality content to help shape opinions. Formerly written for PakWheels as well as major publications including Dawn. Founder of CarSpiritPK.com