The Automotive Development Policy (2016-21) has transformed the face of the Pakistani automobile industry beyond recognition. With the entrance of new players, Pakistan’s automotive scene has changed rapidly in the past 2 years. United and Prince are two new entrants in the market, and the people can’t help but compare their products with the existing cars, especially Suzuki Mehran.
United Bravo was just another episode of the story when the Chinese manufacturer launched it last year in competition with three-decade-old Suzuki Mehran. It would certainly be unfair to compare the two compact hatchbacks because Bravo outperforms Mehran in almost every aspect. Suzuki Mehran which will now be replaced with the all-new 660 cc Alto in later part of this year, has a couple of more months of production left. United Bravo has received a mixed response from the customers as some of them raised a question mark over its build quality. It’s somehow not understandable because Mehran neither has supreme build quality, to be honest. The battle was right at its peak when we heard another compact hatchback was making its way to Pakistan. This time its Regal motors in collaboration with Chinese DFSK producing 800 cc Prince Pearl Rex7.
As we know that Mehran will be out of the race very soon, leaving behind Bravo to face the immense competition from the Prince’s hatchback. But for now, let’s compare the three compact hatchbacks in terms of what they offer to their potential buyers.
Engine & Transmission
In terms of the engine and transmission, there’s nothing much that separates the three competitors. All being the 5-door hatchback come with an Overhead Camshaft water-cooled EFI engine under a 796 cc displacement. All producing nearly 60 Nm torque coupled with a manual 4 gear transmission. However, we’re going to see Prince Pearl in an automatic version too. The dimensions of both Bravo and Pearl are nearly identical with Mehran lagging by some margins.
Suspension & Braking
The suspension of Bravo and Pearl is comparatively better than Mehran with McPherson at the front wheel and arm coil spring at the rear. However, all the three hatchbacks come with a similar pattern of braking; discs at front and drums at the rear. The fuel tank capacity of Prince Pearl would be just a little less than the rest of the two.
The story begins from the outlook of the hatchbacks where Bravo and Pearl outperform Mehran without any competition. The two compact cars are stylish and present a modern-look as compared to the unconvincing old-school Mehran. The stylish angular crystal LED headlights accompanied by the fog lamps, take the lead over Mehran easily. The aluminium alloy rims of Bravo and Pearl are another better choice than the conventional steel wheels of Mehran. The rear of the hatchback, in case of Bravo and Pearl, is equipped with elegant brake lamps including a spoiler with an additional stop lamp.
While comparing Bravo and Pearl, both of them look almost identical, some might like one, and the rest would go for the other one.
Interior & Features
The most interesting part of this comparison is the interior and features offered by all three hatchbacks. Let’s set apart Suzuki Mehran first because honestly there is nothing much one can talk about its interior or features. Most importantly, if I am going to spend around PKR 8-9 lacs, I wouldn’t waste on anything like Mehran, in particular. It’s all exactly how it looked like back in the 1990s with a few cosmetic changes. Bravo and Pearl, on the other hand, have a stunning cabin space and dashboard. It’s built keeping in mind the modern standards of a hatchback. Buy Suzuki Mehran Interior Decoration Parts now!
However, so far what we have seen from the pictures, Pearl has an even better-looking interior than Bravo. There were a few question marks regarding the use of low-quality plastic in Bravo when it made its way to the roads. But, in my humble opinion, it isn’t as bad as many have assumed. Perhaps we expect even better quality from Prince Pearl due to a decent reputation of the company.
Moving on, both Bravo and Pearl have a multimedia display with an infotainment system installed. Other features include power steering, power windows, central locking, keyless entry, USB/AUX connectivity, heating, and air-conditioning. The instrument cluster of Bravo and Pearl is digital, unlike Mehran which has an old-looking analogue display. However, the reverse view camera and front fog lamps are not yet confirmed in the case of Pearl; both are available in Bravo. In terms of safety, airbags are yet to be introduced by any of the manufacturers which remain a point of concern for the potential buyers. As we speak about the seating capacity, all three hatchbacks can easily accommodate four adults.
One aspect where Mehran leads the pack is the availability of a spare tyre in the rear. So far, we haven’t seen a spare tyre compartment in Bravo which not makes it a suitable choice for travelling. We’ll have to wait and see if Pearl comes with this particular feature, if it does, will be ahead in the race.
The most important aspect when we compare low-budget compact hatchbacks is the price tag. In higher priced models, it might not be the point of concern for many buyers, but certainly, it matters with a low-budget target market. Suzuki had the luxury of setting their price on their own without any competitor, a few months ago. Mehran is currently being sold at PKR 8.6 lacs whereas Bravo was introduced at PKR 8.5 lacs last year. Due to the devaluation of Rupee against the US dollar, the auto manufacturer recently increased the price to PKR 8.95 lacs. This price tag of Bravo still seems justified in comparison with Mehran, as the former offers a lot more features in its unit.
How about getting the same sort of vehicle somewhere in between PKR 7-7.5 lacs? Yes, you heard it right. What we’ve heard so far suggests that Regal motors are looking to introduce their Prince Pearl Rex7 in the above-mentioned price bracket. If it turns out to be true, United Bravo would certainly feel the heat in competing with the new entrant. From a potential buyer point of view, one would go for an option which costs less under the same amount of features.
What is your perspective about these three compact hatchbacks? Let us know in the comments section below. Stay with PakWheels for all the latest updates on the automobile industry.