Hyundai-Nishat began their sales operations in Pakistan with the launch of its first Digital Showroom at Emporium Mall Lahore, which is also the first of its kind in the country. The company also introduced two vehicles including the Grand Starex light commercial MPV and the Santa Fe SUV.
Both the vehicles have remained in hot discussions on social platforms, specially the Santa Fe due to its outrageously high price tag. People were excepting from these newcomers something targeted for the masses, something well within the reach of the buyers, because that was the very purpose of the Auto Policy 2016-21, to attract new players in the market which will eventually create healthy competition in the sector. Unfortunately this doesn’t seem to be happening.
Hyundai-Nishat priced the Santa Fe SUV between PKR 16 million to PKR 18.5 million, which for easier understanding is 1 crore 85 lac. The price is three times more than what the Santa Fe is available for elsewhere, not to mention the pricey SUV in Pakistan which comes in a single trim, falls short of specs & equipment too.
Although Hyundai-Nishat calls it a premium offering, someone needs to remind them that it’s the Genesis brand which is supposed to be premium. It would have been more logical had Hyundai-Nishat introduced a Genesis product and priced it at PKR 18.5 million.
The Hyundai Santa Fe it isn’t actually a premium product for that matter. Its rather labeled as ‘premium’ because its super expensive. Yes it’s a mid-sized SUV with decent features on offer, something that competes against the likes of Toyota Fortuner, but it doesn’t give any liberty to the newcomer to price it in the league of the prestigious Toyota Land Cruiser Prado.
Not many people have the luxury to spend PKR 18.5 million on something on four wheels. But if you are lucky to have this sort of money at your disposal, here is where you can spend if you don’t really want to buy a Hyundai Santa Fe.
A Nice Bungalow
If you really don’t want to buy a vehicle, PKR 1 crore 85 lac can easily buy you a very decent bungalow, where you can live happily with your family for the rest of your life.
Three Kia Grand Carnival
Kia launched their Grand Carnival luxury MPV last year with a 3.3 liter V6 engine under its hood. The top-spec EX version is available for PKR 54.99 lac which means you can get not one or two, but three Grand Carnival MPVs and still save PKR 2 million, instead of the top-spec Santa Fe. This 2 million you save, will help you run these Grand Carnival MPVs across the country for a couple of years.
One Each: Honda CR-V, HR-V, BR-V
With this sort of money, you can collect Honda’s Vee trio. The imported Honda CR-V 7-seat SUV which is overpriced in its own respect is available for PKR 1 crore 7 lac, the HR-V comes for PKR 47.9 lac whereas the top-spec BR-V S is available for PKR 24.84 lac. All this sums up to make PKR 17.9 million, and you will still save nearly 600,000 with you if you don’t buy the top-spec Santa Fe.
One Each: Toyota Fortuner, Hilux Revo, Toyota Rush, Corolla Altis 1.6
You can also buy different Toyota vehicles in this budget. The 2.8 liter engine Fortuner Sigma4 with a monstrous 450Nm of torque, for PKR 67.99 lac. The Hilux Revo G for PKR 50.89 lac, the Toyota Rush automatic for PKR 42.5 lac and a Corolla Altis 1.6 automatic for PKR 25.74 lac. You can also buy multiples Toyota Fortuner, and Hilux Revo in a price of one Hyundai Santa Fe.
Four Isuzu D-Max V-Cross
In PKR 18.5 million, you can buy four fully loaded top-spec 3.0 liter Isuzu D-Max V-Cross 4×4 double cabin pickups. The D-Max V-Cross is available for PKR 46.75 lac.
But if you really wish to spend this sort of money on prestigious German brands instead of Japanese or Korean ones, then you have many options too. Vehicles such as the Audi Q5 SUV (PKR 19.3 million), Audi A6 saloon (PKR 18.5 million), BMW X4 SUV (PKR 18.5 million) and the BMW 7 series (PKR 19.22 million) are available in similar amount of money.
Furthermore, vehicles including BMW X1, 3-series, 5-series, Audi A3, A4, Q2, Q3, Mercedes Benz C Class and E Class models comes a lot cheaper and in some cases can be bought in multiple numbers too.
There is no way the price tag of PKR 16 to PKR 18.5 million justified for the Hyundai Santa Fe, perhaps only if Hyundai-Nishat labels it as a Genesis Santa Fe they might be able to sell more units of the over-expensive SUV in Pakistan. But then again, in the age of internet & social media, it’s no longer easy to dupe the auto enthusiasts of this nation.
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