According to an estimate, more than 75% of the world drives LHD (left hand drive) cars whereas the rest including us drives RHD (right hand drive) cars. Most countries that practice right-hand car driving are former (or current) British colonies.
South Africa like us, is among the few key markets where RHD cars are sold. And it has been a bit similar when it comes to the sort of cars available there. For example, Pakistan and South Africa were the only two markets in the world where right-hand drive FAW V2 and Sirius were assembled. BAIC started its sales operations with the BJ40 Plus SUV in both the countries. Similarly, Chery recently launched the Tiggo 4 Pro and Tiggo 8 Pro crossovers almost simultaneously in Pakistan and South Africa.
There are a number of other cars similar between the two countries but obviously, car buying options in South Africa are much more diverse compared to what we get here. Plus their standards, as well as safety equipment, are also very much more advanced than we have here in Pakistan. Most budget cars are either assembled within South Africa or sourced from India, which is a key exporter of cars to RHD markets.
But while we have a scarcity of reasonably priced cars in Pakistan, there are plenty in South Africa to choose from. Below are some of the new cars in the South African market priced below ZAR 200,000 range, which converts into approx PKR 24.0 lac as per current exchange rate. In this range, we only have 660cc Suzuki Alto variants as a mass-produced option with a nationwide presence. However you can consider the likes of obsolete United Bravo, Alpha, or Prince Pearl if these are luckily available in the city you live in.
Let us have a look at some of the affordable options in South Africa which come under PKR 24.0 lac (ZAR 200,000) range.
Hyundai Atos Motion – ZAR 196,900 (PKR 23.40 lac)
Hyundai Atos, better known as Santro in our part of the world was resurrected in India in the year 2018. Available with a 1.1L engine that produces 67 hp of power and 99 Nm of torque & comes paired with a 5-speed manual transmission, the Motion variant of Hyundai Atos is a perfect choice for first-time car buyers in South Africa.
Toyota Agya – ZAR 196,100 (PKR 23.30 lac)
Toyota which is best known for its affordability and reliability has got the Agya hatchback in its portfolio in South African market. The Agya is positioned as the cheapest car in Toyota’s lineup in South Africa. The entry-level hatchback comes in a single trim that’s well-equipped and is available in both manual and automatic transmission options. Under the bonnet is a 1.0L naturally aspirated 3-cylinder engine that produces 67 hp of power and 89 Nm of torque. Transmission options include a 5-speed manual and a 4-speed automatic.
Renault Triber Expression – ZAR 193,400 (PKR 22.98 lac)
One of the most practical options to have in a low-budget is undoubtedly the Renault Triber & more specifically its Expression variant. The 7-seat MPV gets powered by 1.0L three-cylinder petrol energy engine that generates 70hp of power and 96 Nm torque and has a 5-speed manual gearbox on offer.
Mahindra KUV100 NXT G80 – ZAR 192,999 (PKR 22.94 lac)
And its not just about cars exported to South Africa from India, but Indian homegrown automakers also have presence in the market there. Among these is the Mahindra KUV100 which has a 1.2L engine under the hood and churns out a maximum of 82hp and 115 Nm. Power is sent to the front wheels via a 5-speed manual gearbox.
Suzuki Swift GA – ZAR 189,900 (PKR 22.57 lac)
Probably one of the most astonishing things is the presence of new Suzuki Swift in this price bracket. Swift being one of Suzuki’s best sellers in South African market also happens to have its GA variant priced at just ZAR 189,900 which converts into PKR 22.57 lac. The Suzuki Swift comes with a 1.2L petrol engine that produces 82 hp of power and 113 Nm of torque. Power is sent to the front wheels through a 5-speed automatic transmission.
Suzuki Dzire GA – ZAR 189,900 (PKR 22.57 lac)
And even more astonishing is the Suzuki Dzire sedan which is based on the aforementioned Swift model. Priced from just ZAR 189,900 (PKR 22.57 lac) for the GA variant, the Suzuki Dzire offers the same 1.2L engine as found in Swift and comes with either a 5-speed manual or 5-speed automatic transmission options.
Datsun Go Five – ZAR 189,700 (PKR 22.54 lac)
The soon-to-be-discontinued Datsun Go is also available against a reasonable price tag in South Africa. It gets powered by a 1.2L three-cylinder naturally-aspirated petrol engine that produces 67 hp and 104 Nm. Power goes to the front wheels via a 5- speed manual gearbox only. Ghandhara was supposed to introduce Datsun Go in Pakistan as the vehicle was also seen testing on local roads, however the problem’s at parent company Nissan’s end forced Ghandhara to pull off the with the Datsun project. The brand was then discontinued from several markets across the globe as a cost-cutting measure by financially-worried Nissan.
Suzuki Celerio GA – ZAR 174,900 (PKR 20.78 lac)
The latest Suzuki Celerio also comes in this price range with a 1.0L unit under its hood. The engine produces 65 hp of power and 89 Nm of torque and has a 5-speed manual gearbox on offer, that sends power to the front wheels.
Renault Kwid Expression – ZAR 170,400 (PKR 20.25 lac)
Offered in the South African market for some time, the Kwid has become an entry-level fan favorite. The Kwid is powered by a compact 1.0L three-cylinder engine with a smart control efficiency and is equipped with a 5-speed manual gearbox.
Suzuki S-Presso GL – ZAR 156,900 (PKR 18.64 lac)
Suzuki S-Presso is another reasonably priced car on sale in South Africa which comes equipped with a 1.0L engine producing 67 hp of power and 90 Nm of torque. The transmission options include 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic.
BAIC D20 – ZAR 149,990 (PKR 17.81 lac)
The BAIC D20 is the most reasonably priced car on sale in South Africa. It is offered with a 1.3L engine that produces up to 114 hp of power and 128 Nm of torque. The D20 comes solely with a 5-speed manual transmission, sending power to the front wheels. Sazgar in Pakistan has the BAIC D20 in its pipeline but decided to launch the super-expensive BJ40 Plus SUV in the Rs 9.0 million+ price bracket.
Pakistan’s automobile market has been lethargic to make any progress due to hollow policies and undue protection to the assemblers. Competition barely exist in the market and whatever has been offered in recent years after the new Auto Policy has been targeted towards elites with super-strong purchase power.
It happens primarily because there are no restrictions in the policy that governs the mandatory requirement of vehicles to be introduced in the country, rather its on the assemblers will that whatever product gives them the maximum profit makes its way here. One of the reasons why more than 17 globally retired cars are still on sale in Pakistan, half of which were introduced here years after getting discontinued from the rest of the world.
For how long our auto sector will remain infant, only dependent on importing the parts of globally retired models just to assemble here? Perhaps its about time policy makers should start thinking seriously.
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