Al-Haj FAW has officially launched the local assembled 1300cc V2 hatchback earlier this week.
Introduced in Pakistan back in 2014, the V2 was being imported as CBU and since then has slowly but steadily built its reputation among the consumers. The V2 now becomes the only non-Japanese passenger car to be assembled in Pakistan.
Related: Local Assembled FAW V2 Launched
When the car was first introduced back in 2014 many believed that it will phase out of the market in a short time, as was the case with Chevrolet, Proton, Chery and Geely in the past. However the beginning of local production of V2 will not only give confidence to plenty of buyers who were reluctant to opt for the Chinese hatchback, but will also boost the sales of FAW V2.
The already available options in our market never directly compete with each other, as Honda & Toyota never brought anything that could rival Suzuki, and vice versa. But the launch of local assembled V2 has given an opportunity for the buyers to decide between local assembled products from different manufacturers in a given budget/ segment.
Related: The Oligopoly Redefined..
The V2 with its price and features offered can be compared to not one, but three Suzuki hatchbacks available in the market. Let us see how the FAW V2 stacks up against the Pak Suzuki offerings and see if it’s really worth spending the money on.
FAW V2 vs Suzuki Swift
V2’s immediate comparison is made with Suzuki Swift because before V2, Swift was the only 1300cc hatchback available in our market. Although development of both these cars dates back to the previous decade, as per the visual aspects the Swift has an edge over V2 both in terms of exterior and interior design.
Although the V2 has a good road presence but the design is a confusing blend of curves and sharp corners, and no wonder because the car was developed when Chinese had just started to come up with their own designs. On the other hand the Swift was an award-winning product of its time and turned many a heads in almost every market where it was introduced during the previous decade.
Both the cars are comparable in terms of specs & available features, in exception of a couple of differences. While the Swift comes with an automatic transmission option and navigation, it misses out driver & passenger airbags that comes as standard with the V2. However there is no automatic transmission available with FAW V2 which is a big drawback.
The V2 wins big in terms of price difference between the two. The Swift is priced at PKR 13.75 lac for manual and PKR 15.11 lac for the automatic variant; on the other hand FAW V2 costs just PKR 10.7 lac which is a huge difference.
FAW V2 vs Suzuki Wagon R
In terms of price, the V2 sits between the two available Wagon R variants so the comparison based on price is well justified. Wagon R VXR costs PKR 10.54 lac while the VXL cost PKR 10.94 lac.
However when it comes to comparing the specs and available features, FAW V2 clearly wins. Even the fully loaded Wagon R VXL misses out driver/ passenger airbags, ABS, alloy wheels, steering adjustment and rear power windows.
In terms of visual appearance if you think V2 looks odd, the Wagon R isn’t any prettier either. However the latter offers a relatively better looking interior and color combo than the Chinese rival. The Wagon R doesn’t really feel that bad once you step inside, however in case of V2 the questionable quality of interior & sound insulations are said to have been improved in the local assembled version.
Although both the vehicles fall in similar price range, the V2 comes with a bigger 1.3 liter engine compared to 1.0 liter of Wagon R, and offers a lot more than the fully loaded Wagon R VXL variant.
FAW V2 vs Suzuki Cultus
Pak Suzuki has replaced the old MK-II Cultus with the Celerio hatchback earlier this year. Internationally the Celerio is considered as a replacement of 1.0 liter Alto, since newer Alto generations come with a 660cc engine. Pak Suzuki however, wanted to continue with the success of Cultus nameplate hence the Celerio was rebadged as Cultus.
It carries the same engine found in the Wagon R and interestingly in many markets including India, the Celerio is even cheaper than the Wagon R. But Pak Suzuki has priced the VXR version at PKR 12.55 lac while the VXL version at PKR 13.9 lac.
The V2 which is based on Toyota’s New Basic Car (NBC) platform, the same platform on which the 1st generation Vitz was based, offers almost everything that the top-of-the-line Cultus (Celerio) VXL offers but considering the price of V2, which is PKR 10.7 lac only, it seems a better value for money.
Negatives of FAW V2
The V2 looks a great buy compared to the 3 Suzuki rivals; however there are certain aspects that have been keeping the buyers away.
Lack of trims
The V2 comes in a single trim, although the car is well equipped and offers everything you can ask for. Still, there is a reason why car manufacturers around the world offer different trim levels with each car in order to cater the diversified consumer preferences. Availability in a just a single trim hinders the sales of V2.
Lack of transmission options
There are a large number of buyers who prefer driving automatic cars, the V2 comes with manual transmission only which is considered as a drawback.
Positives of V2
Safest car in its class
FAW V2 comes equipped with driver & passenger airbags, ABS with EBD and built-in door crash beams can be labeled as the safest car available in its class. The V2 also has a 3-star crash test score from CNCAP.
Now that the V2 is assembled locally, it will give a lot of confidence to those who were earlier reluctant to go for it.
With a price tag of PKR 10.7 lac (ex factory), the V2 is a very affordable car specially when you compare it with other available options in the market.
In a market where competition barely exists, the local assembled FAW V2 is a ray of hope for consumers to get better equipped vehicle in a reasonable amount of money.
Given a change to buy, will you go for FAW V2? Cast your vote below and let us know with your comments.
|Overall Length||3600 mm||3600 mm||3755 mm||3760 mm|
|Overall Width||1600mm||1475mm||1690 mm||1680mm|
|Overall Height||1540mm||1670mm||1525 mm||1530mm|
|Kerb Weight||795 Kg||835 Kg||1050 Kg||981 Kg|
|Seating Capacity||5 persons||5 persons||5 persons||5 persons|
|Transmission Type||Manual||Manual||Auto/ Manual||Manual|
|Valve Mechanism||DOHC 12 valves||DOHC 12 Valve||DOHC 16 valves VVT||DOHC 16 Valve VCTi|
|No of Cylinders||3||3||4||4|
|Wheel Type||Alloy Wheels||Steel Rims||Alloy Wheels||Alloy wheels|
|Front Suspension||Macpherson Strut with coil springs||Macpherson Strut||Macpherson Strut with coil springs||Macpherson Independent,|
|Rear Suspension||Torsion Beam with Coil Springs||ITL||Torsion Beam with Coil Springs||Strut Arm Coil Spring|
|Front Brakes||Ventilated Discs||Ventilated Discs||Ventilated Disc||Ventilated Disc|
|Rear Brakes||Leading and trailing Drum||Drum||Drum||Drum|
|Power Windows||Yes||Front 2- VXL only||Yes||Yes|
|Power Door Locks||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|USB and Aux Cable||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
A 3d animation professional with over 20 years of industry experience having served in leading organizations & production facilities of Pakistan, an avid car enthusiast and petrolhead with an affection to deliver writings to help shape opinions. Formerly written for PakWheels as well as major publications including Dawn. Founder of CarSpiritPK.com