My Dream: A Suzuki Mehran VTi Oriel Prosmatec Fully Loaded

Modified Suzuki Mehran

“It came, it saw, it conquered, and it stayed forever” – it may sound like a phrase from a history book describing the introduction of capitalism, but it fits Suzuki Mehran just as well.

Despite being the worst car available in Pakistani market with substandard build quality, and by no means substandard price, it continues to sell in tens of thousands. Even the imports which are by far better value-for-money choice haven’t been able to kill the Mighty Mehran. Kill is a strong word, I doubt if they have even managed to put up a fair competition.

Having established the fact that Suzuki Mehran is here to stay, let us accept it wholeheartedly and contemplate on how to improve it. Yes, I giggled too, but let us at least make a wish-list of options we can put forward to Pak Suzuki to be incorporated in the Mehran to somehow justify the 650,000 rupees equivalent of sweat and blood we are paying for it.

I drove a Mehran some 10 years ago. On one of the main intercity roads after a slight bump at 70km/h, the axle disassembled and I ended up in front of an oncoming truck. Fortunately, the standards on which that 40 years old truck, laden with tons of gravel, was built were better than my almost new Mehran, and it managed to stop just in time with its front iron guard inches from my face. We sold it the next day and there hasn’t been a Mehran in our family since then.

Since then, I have seen them multiply on the roads. I have admired them being sold like hot cakes despite offering bare minimum. I have experienced multiple shocks at hearing their price hike, but never considered buying one. Until recently.

After being told that the Mehran is not what it used to be 10 years ago, the roads are better now, and it’s good for city commutation, I considered buying a used Suzuki Mehran for my younger sibling. I was disappointed though in my search. Every Mehran I looked at seemed effed up – rattles, emptiness, plastics, jerky ride, and immense cabin noise. Some good two dozen cars later, my friend who accompanied me came to a conclusion which I think was pretty accurate;

“Khurram, I think you’re expecting too much from a Mehran. Let’s try a brand new one and see if I’m correct”.

And he was. The almost new 600km driven, unregistered almost brand new Suzuki Mehran demanding 650,000 of my rupees felt exactly the same.

Hence this post.

There are at least a dozen less than 7 years old options this sort money can get me. And most of them will have the following;

  1. Better build quality
  2. ABS
  3. Airbags
  4. Power Steering
  5. Power Windows
  6. Better Cabin Space and Leg Room
  7. Insulated Cabin
  8. Better Air-Con
  9. A choice of automatic transmission

I am pretty sure I have missed some, but let us start with these.

On top of my list will be the safety features. Airbags may be asking too much from PakSuzuki, but ABS isn’t. Let us wake up to the fact that this is 2015 – ABS isn’t an option, it is a requisite. It isn’t a lavish service entertaining the rich only. It is a basic safety feature because life of someone in Mehran is as important as the life of someone in a new Honda Civic (believe it or not). And it is the kind of feature which wouldn’t meddle with the rest of Mehran’s ‘complex’ working mechanism. So please, pretty please, add an ABS.

Next comes the cabin insulation. I have seen Mehrans with aftermarket insulation jobs, and you know what? It works. If a novice with no automotive knowledge can use a few dynamat/insulation sheets to bi-fold improve his cabin quietness, an established motor company with thousands of employees, engineers, sound masters can do better for less. Not only does this make the whole travelling experience better because well, the doors close better, plus you don’t have to shout on top of your lungs to talk to each other over the sounds of Rikshaws and Qinquis and Bikes and your own engine screaming, you also get a very smart bi-product: Insulating actually helps the Air-Con cool the car quicker. So there’s your chance to kill two birds with one stone, please don’t blow this chance.

Then there is the power steering. Have you noticed how guys today are more pumped up in skinny shirts with huge biceps? Our friends at PakSuzuki are to be thanked for this. Do you imagine how eased will the drivers be if they don’t have to go through an arm-wrestling contest each time they have to take a u-turn? Folks at Bilal Gunj and Shershah install electric Power Steering in 6000 rupees. This includes their profit as well as well as labor charges for the half an hour job. Can your state-of-the-art facility match those roadside mechanics in craftsmanship and price? Oh and while you’re at it, a couple of motors for power windows wouldn’t hurt – just the front ones would do. Because in the 21st century, you know what are the only two other things left which have peddles you have to rotate? A bicycle, and a primitive sewing machine our mothers brought in their ‘jahaiz’.

The next thing on my wish list is a complete redo of the seats: Another one stone, two birds scenario. The better cabin space in many JDM mini hatchbacks like ESSE, Mira, Pino owes to the fact that their seats aren’t as fat as a Pushto film heroin. They are smartly designed, thin, yet comfortable. They shape into a bucket and hold you in place as opposed to the rounded Mehran’s seat where half your driving attention is spent on balancing yourself correctly each time you make a turn. With proper seats, I’m betting on at least 5 inch extra leg space and added comfort if Pak Suzuki looks into it.

And finally – the choice of an Automatic Transmission. Gone are the days when Automatic Cars were forbidden fruit. Since the introduction of imports, people have gradually started accepting A/T cars. With the current traffic situation where it’s pretty common to be stuck in traffic for half an hour, A/T comes out as a no-brainer. From my personal experience, I haven’t met a single person who has reverted from an Auto to a Manual. Life just gets easy if you’re driving an A/T. To all the manual transmission fans out there cursing me at this moment – when you buy an E36 M3, make sure it is a manual. But this is an 800cc Mehran for heaven’s sake; get an A/T, your left leg will thank you for it.

So that’s my wish-list for the 2016 Mehran. Mind you I am not asking for much. I haven’t mentioned Projection Headlamps, 8 airbags, dual zone climate control, 14 inch BBS Alloys, a CD player or a Navigation system. Mine is the most minimalistic approach to justify the not-so-modest price tag – it isn’t easy earning that kind of money in Pakistan.

What will make Mehran attractive for you for the price? Do you agree with my approach? Or what can or should be eliminated? Do you think there should be an upscale trim in Mehran? Don’t forget to post your suggestions below in comments. Who knows, maybe someone from Pak Suzuki wandering on the internet stumbles upon this blog-post and re-evaluates their business model.

Khurram Altaf

Master has given Khurram a pen. Khurram has got a pen and Khurram... Khurram is freee

  • Adnan Khan
  • Nabeel Rehman

    mehran should be ban.worst car no cosmetics , options , Ac is worst and the stupid suzuki guys manufactuing it with same shape.u can change the shape in these yrs every thng moved 4wd n human is all about moving fwd ,learning and evolution . not the case with pk suzuki

  • Saif

    Dilemma of current century: People are still focusing on Suzuki Mehran “RE-DO” -_- itni mehnat kisi khotay pe kar lo to woh bhi Shelby Khota ban jaey ga.

    Master has given them brain, they have got a brain…and these people are still acting brain-less. 🙂

  • Waqas Ghazanfar

    …….Have you noticed how guys today are more pumped up in skinny shirts with huge biceps? Our friends at PakSuzuki are to be thanked for this………. Just priceless,, 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 #lamao

  • Mati

    suzuki tried to change the shape and see what a horrible result this wagonR is. I hope they dont try the same experiment with our precious “good old mehran” 😉

  • Can’t wait enough for this piece of shi* to be discontinued…pitiful excuse of a car, this.

  • Rashid

    you dont have to look far. Just look across the border, what India has done with the same car, Suzuki-Maruti. I just saw an Ad today, they launched a luxury Salon car, and here in Pakistan they’re still living in 1985.

  • Arsalan Ghauri

    Excellent points. pak suzuki has compromised on quality and has always manipulated the middle class. pak suzuki should be banned in Pakistan. Diahatsu or mitsubishi should be allowed to invest in pakistan with better cars but same prices.

  • Khurram Altaf

    Well you don’t change a winning recipe you know.. /sarcasm

  • Khurram Altaf

    LOL.

    With the current situation of no-gas no-petrol in Pakistan, PakSuzuki may as well introduce a 6 seater ‘khota’.

    Atleast we’ll know who slipped them this idea casually in one harmless comment 😀

  • Khurram Altaf

    You’re asking for a 3 days mourning, rallies in punjab and shutter down in sindh, Haider.

  • MasroorGilani

    Casting pearls before swines

  • I loved each and every word of this article. This is absolutely true that local manufacturers have to do better. And I agree with all the Addons you suggested, these will surely give some sense to Pak Suzuki’s current price of Suzuki Mehran.

    Also, Pak Suzuki in my opinion will still keep selling this same car at same price until the gov make some rules as well as decrease those huge huge taxes on imports.

  • Daud

    everybody are saying true, that mehran is not a good car as it has a lot price. it should be not more than 300K to 350K for a Brand New.

  • We need a proper ‘creation-evolution’ debate, our nation

  • aftabnaveed

    I bought Honda accord 2005 euro luxury in Sydney for that price and yet driven 100000 only, Suzuki Pakistan is as pethatic as the govt of Pakistan, I would recommend Pak wheels shall dissallow posting of Mehran ads on its website to discourage people from buying it.

  • Fady

    As long as Mehran is a hot cake in the market and people still buying it, why would Pak Suzuki bother about the features of Mehran? They are still earning from the technology of 1980’s and it is us who are ok with only one fact that it will have a good resale unlike a fully loaded JDM car.

  • Fahad Mehmood

    Right.

  • Qassim

    I agree with you 100%!

  • aftabnaveed

    you see That’s the catch, no one is willing to give up their share, its not about taking down or blocking advertisement but educating people, if Pak Wheels cares about the safety of people, then they should have some sort of rules for non standard cars like Mehran, Pak Suzuki is doing it for money so are you guys what’s the difference?

  • Khurram Altaf

    What sort of rules on Pakwheel’s end for Mehran, please suggest.

  • aftabnaveed

    some sort of year, model, kms and condition etc, the ultimate goal is to discourage this low standard car, we know govt won’t do it, let the community take the initiative.

  • RIZWAN KHALIL

    well written article, pak wheels do make comparison for the japaneese car, some guidence.

  • Haroon

    Well I don’t suppose anybody from the government or Pak Suzuki would want to listen to whatever we have to say. I happen to have had the pleasure of meeting with a gentleman from the automotive industry and he said simply that since Pak Suzuki pays zillions of rupees to the government, nobody else is to be allowed into the country and that Suzuki can make and sell pretty much anything that want as long as it looks like a car. Same story with Toyota’s Corolla XLi, pathetic rip off for that sort of money without so much as power windows.

  • Zaffar Iqbal Durrani

    I totally agree. However, deli ma is that when Mehran is selling like hot cake in the present shape and earning lots of dollars so as per the Banya mentality of the businessman owners of Suzuki, I don”t see any future prospects. And The price of new Mahran is 715000.00 and not 650000.00. With Registration it is a package of Rs. 755000.00. Thanks to the government which is fleecing money from the poor people of Pakistan 😀
    Zaffar Iqbal Durrani

  • Arslan

    Dear u forgot to mention some big issues with Mehran rather than power steering and automatic transmission. I have been using Mehran since 2006. The biggest issue i face is the performance of AC (i mostly sweat with AC on and the pick of the car drops at a miserable level too, engine gets heated up so quickly if u stuck in some sort of rush and in Pakistani climate u have to use AC for about 8 to 9 months in a year). And the second biggest issue is the Braking System. (I have placed servo braking kit at the cost of 5000 PKR and its working so well).

  • Muhammad Idrees

    That the class of Pak Suzuki. this is total blackmailing every one knows you can’t get a car a brand new car in 750000 and thats is what they are doing. And since the new mira or esse are more than this price people moddle class is opting for mehran. That is the picture of Pakistan. Majboori ka faida uthao.

  • M. Asad Bin Faruq

    Totally agree below comments, pak wheels and any other reselling websites should ban advertisement of suzuki mehran, and start a hash tag #mehranbandkaro

  • Zubair Zaland

    My kids will one day drive the mehran you just wished for (Fingers crossed)
    it took them some 20 or more years to introduce efi, let them take some rest before they bother their baby brains to add anything else to the majestic mehran

  • Daniyal Ahmed

    I don’t think you have mentioned any of the real issues apart from one. The single biggest issue as someone already mentioned is the performance of the AC and the fact that the performance becomes miserable if AC is on while the car is stationary for too long.

    Second big problem is cabin space its just miserable. Leg space is also a huge issue.

    Next thing I’ll like improved are the shocks of the car. It’s just way too bumpy feels like a mini truck.

    I have personally never found braking too much of an issue. A car that simply cannot accelerate very fast doesn’t really need too good a braking system. Perhaps I have just used to it. Power steering is also really not a very big deal given the size of the tires. Power windows would be nice but you are perhaps forgetting that we are talking about the cheapest car in Pakistan.

    Automatic transmission would again be nice but you can’t be serious asking this in Mehran when even Cultus doesn’t have it.

  • Adeel Iqbal

    Sir pak suzuki is mangaing to sell mehran because we people say mehran lae lawo re-sale bht ache ha.we prefer resale over our comfort and safety.second thing is that paksuzuki has built a manopali instead of quality.they are paying a lot to maintain their manopaly.we all know that its 21st century and having a car is considered as a necessity then why govt is imposing huge import duty on cars i am not talking about luxury cars like Mercedes or BMW . obviously no one can ask this question from kings of Pakistan.By the way let me inform you that I came to Australia 4 months ago I sold my cultus 05 for 4500000 in Pakistan and bought BMW 380i 2002 for the same price here in Australia heads off see the difference and think that do we really have freedom???

  • Javed Khan

    100% agree boss also consider its interior looks like 1960’s Technology But what about our Pakistani people’s who just says “Jo bhi ho mehran jesi koi gari nae”

  • Hasanain Qureshi

    This is a respectful forum and I’m sorry to say that you should stick to journalism protocols and avoid words such as effed up. Even though it’s not the actual word and just and indication, but lets be serious you are kidding nobody. Everybody knows the meaning and you shouldn’t drop to low vocabulary levels, regardless the cause behind it. I hope u appreciate the comment rather than take it negatively.

  • Mashab Barech

    Bhai ak zerp zyada hoo gaya…….

  • Khurram Altaf

    You do understand the difference between blogging and journalism, right? Still, point taken, and noted.

    Please don’t take life so seriously. Lighten up. Lets see a smile on that pretty face 🙂

  • Khurram Altaf

    Sir 380 thora zayada ho gaya..50-60 kum kar lain. 🙂

  • Khurram Altaf

    The performance on AC in EFi versions has been improved a lot. You’ve gotta try that. Not at par with what’s desired, ofcourse.

    Regarding the braking – Again the EFi version accelerates way better than the non-efi version. Even the non-efi version does 100kmph, and trust me at 100kmph with zero safety features, you do need a brake. A slow accelerating car doesn’t need good brakes is not a wise thing to say.

    As for Powersteering – please try one with EPS installed. You’ll change your mind.

    A/T, Power Windows, Powersteering – yes, its the cheapest car in Pakistan which, unfortunately is not cheap at all. Hence the wish.

  • Khurram Altaf

    Please bring them up better so they know what to stay away from 🙂

  • Khurram Altaf

    Pakwheels, or anyone else for that matter can not do that without providing an alternate. The govt. however can implement minimum basic features to be present in any car to be sold in the local market. They wouldn’t – we both know that.

  • Khurram Altaf

    Arslan I did mention the ABS.

    Regarding AC, it has been improved in the EFi version.

  • Riz

    How about buying a few years old model Mehran for a lesser price and adding all these features manually? Won’t be as good as branded but still a good try for those who want to.

  • Muhammad Ubaid ur Rehman

    I totally agree with you. there should be some pre descirbed standards for any car to be sold here in pakistan. Our Govt will have to take it on serious note, they have to describe some terms and conditions according to the rates. Like if some one is selling car for 5 lacs. What should be at least include in it like allow rims, GPS navigation system, CD/DVD player etc. So the one can’t sell Mehran at least for 650000 Rupee. Also there is problem in people too who just gave priority to resale value then there comfort.

  • junaid

    A wonderful article. Very nice. All the necessary items mentioned above by Mr. Khurram should be in mehran. When i want to pirchase a car, i also rejected the mehran car from my list because it is nothing in 07 Lac rupees with no safety

  • Jawad Hussain

    i have purchased Mehran recently, VXR and i’m extremely disappointed with its poor mileage. its Euro II, and EFI. within city, without AC, it is giving me 12-13 kms a liter. any suggestions please.

    Also when i came out of my Mehran, i thanked God for being alive and complete 😛

  • You didn’t have to take that decision, get a used Alto it’s better than mehran at least in many ways !

  • hahah..

  • Alpha Bravo

    Article is good. But why u people keep on sharing the old multiple times repeated articles? Bring something new bro. We as a regular readers of your blog are fed-up of watching these articles again again and again..

  • Muhammad Yasir

    AUTOMATIC transmission is a MUST !

    anyone who argues otherwise for a pathetic piece of crap like Mehran has totally lost their mind !

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