The dream of an affordable car for the common person; Suzuki Mehran, has been one of the most loved and bought cars in Pakistan. There are several reasons for this. It is fuel-efficient, it is cheap and easy to maintain, spare parts can be found on any roadside auto shop, and it is relatively easy to find a good mechanic that can fix a Mehran. Mehran with no driving pleasure, no comfort, and no safety, is still one of the most loved cars in Pakistan. Proof to this is the recent hype that was created across Pakistan after the rumors of the arrival of Chinese Mehran in Pakistan.
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Ever since it came into the market in 1989, it has had no major changes in looks or design and the only technological advancement it has made is the electronic fuel injection. In 2012 Pak Suzuki started offering Euro II compliant Mehran to meet government standards. But there have been some changes like the removal of two A/C ducts in the dashboard, newly designed headlight, and front grill design. That’s pretty much the evolution the Mehran has had in 27 years.
A Mehran costs approximately between 6-7 Lacs depending on whether it’s a VX or a VXR (non-CNG and CNG etc.). A VX is the standard Mehran without luxuries like A/C while the Mehran VXR comes with a factory fitted A/C. Its price is actually not bad for such features. A good Japanese compact car of about the same specs would cost one around 9-10 Laks. The new Euro II upgrade of Mehran comes with EFI (Electronic Fuel Injection), which makes it more fuel efficient, fast and gives it a smoother feel. The EFI engine gives the car a mileage of 17km/l on highway and 13km/l in the city, which is not bad for the price. The car also has the decent top speed for easy motorway traveling, which is not bad for a car with 58 horsepower.
Mehran is quite cheap to maintain. All its parts are cheap, easily available and easy to repair. The average cost of maintenance, which you can do after using the car for 2000km-2500km goes to about 2000 Pakistani rupees. The 3L oil can cost about 1400 rupees, oil filter costs between 150-250 rupees (depending on the quality and make of the oil filter), the air filter costs 200 rupees or there about, and that’s pretty much the cost of its average oil change and maintenance. Who wouldn’t want a car with such low maintenance cost? I think the major reason Pakistanis still love Mehran is its affordability.
A common problem with older Mehran (before the Euro II upgrade) was the contact breaker, locally called the “point” by mechanics in Pakistan. It is ideally a good practice to get it changed after using the car for about 5000-7000km. The contact breaker is basically the part that gives current to the spark plugs; a faulty contact breaker would make the car jerk a lot and in worst cases won’t start the car at all. Another issue with it is the suspension, most Mehran owners are not satisfied with the quality of the suspension, on rough usage. The car still has leaf springs in the rear. The ride can be very bumpy in some cases.
Personally, I think Mehran is a very good budget car. Its cost of maintenance and fuel efficiency makes it one of the most bought cars in Pakistan. It is still in the hearts of many Pakistanis as a budget dream car.