Good News; FAW launched new v2 light car
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Good News; FAW launched new v2 light car
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As I have said previously, Pakistan automotive industry's unfortunate tragedy is that all new cars have been launched by complete strategic and marketing idiots.
It appears that, much like our politics, the decision s are made by family members of business men sitting as head rather than competent CEOs. This probably was the decision of haji sahib rather than someone who did a proper survey.
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The V2 is a good addition to the market and if Al-Haj can make a few improvements it could be a big seller :
Firstly, it needs the option of a 1.0 litre engine - the V2 is currently using a copy the of Toyota 1.3 engine (2SZ-FE or possibly under a licencing agreement) so it can easily accommodate the 1.0 version of the same engine (1SZ-FE) or the newer 3 cylinder unit (1KR-FE) Its not really competing against the Swift and it would be better suited with a 1.0 engine, obviously a 1.3 engine is better at handling motorway mileage.
Also need to improve dashboard design (but this is a matter of preference) and have the indicator stalk/switch on the right hand side of steering column, I know this is a minor detail but getting this right shows that the manufacturer is paying attention to detail.
However, I?m not expecting any changes soon, as it took Al-Haj over a year just to offer the option of A/C on the X-PV!
Only a Good Bank Leasing or Installment plan can overcome all doubts and confusions which every body have in their mind. People not take chance of 1 million PKR at once, FAW should introduce 70% down payment and rest of amount in equally 1-2 year installment. Its More practical when down payment is around 7 lakh (Equal to New mehran, Used Cultus, Satro) and rest of the 3-4 lakh in 2 years, all people of MEHRAN, COURE, WAGON R, Japanese 660cc will definitely consider this option, but currently when people see the price of 11 Lakh their mind immediately compare it with Used Vitz, Passo, etc and Brand Name consideration come first
Not sure of it but I think FAW are working with Bank Alfalah to offer lease?
I recently had the chance of test-driving the car at the I-10 dealership in Islamabad. It was quite brief as I got there around their closing time. Now, I drive a 2011 Cultus, kept VERY lovingly and in great condition, so I'll be comparing it to my ride naturally. The car's just fine, in short.
1st thing I noticed when getting into the driver's seat was the space; it's good. Similar, if not better than the cultus. The driving position is definitely more upright. Steering wheel is kinda thin but still feels ok in the hand. The dials are smallish, and slightly ugly/disappointing as compared to the cultus binnacle. Once the lights are turned on though, it looks perfectly alright as the lights are nice and bright. They could've looked better in orange or red but that's just personal preference. The seat belt material feels soft and lighter as compared to typical seat belts and looks flimsy and cheap, but belts (at least the front ones) work fine, as I'll write later. They feel nice and tight when being pulled out and retract quickly and snugly.
A staffer brought the car out of parking for me to drive. Stalled trying to do so as the car needed a bit more revs to get going unlike the cultus. We (me, two colleagues and the staffer) drove out and to the left towards Sabzi Mandi. Steering is smooth and light; (no comparison with cultus here ) and very responsive, although not quite as sharp as a JDM maybe.
The suspension worked very well. Isb folks know that this road is probably one of the most pathetic roads in the city with tons of potholes of all possible sizes, thanks to the heavy truck movement due to the Mandi and the Dry Port. I purposely hit every single pothole I could find in my lane and the car was very well behaved. No rattles, no violent jerks to the passengers, the suspension smoothed out the ride quite well.
I'm typically a low-rpm driver within the city; staying around 2.5k rpm for city driving, so naturally I stayed around the same mark. The car handled itself perfectly at this much revs, didn't feel underpowered or anything, although I did feel that this wasn't the engines's "sweet spot" for city driving; that would be around 3k IMHO. I successfully attempted an overtaking (just to annoy the staffer ) and the car was very quick to respond with very good pickup with the AC running. The AC's cooling was simply instantaneous. We got a blast of seriously CHILLED air as soon as the button was pushed. Typically, ANY car's AC usually takes at least a couple of seconds to start cooling; V2's AC was quick, too quick to be honest . During the overtaking, I did notice that although the brakes were not as quick to respond as Vitz's or Passo's, (there was quite a bit of play in the paddle) they are as grippy and effective as the JDMs' brakes.
People familiar with this area know that the Mercedes service center is located just around the corner from the FAW dealership so Mercs are regularly seen on this road. My friend in the passenger seat was fiddling with the knobs and buttons on the dash and asked me to turn on the dash lights. Naturally I looked at the switch-sticks for just a split second and then had to slam on the brakes real hard to avoid ramming a shiny, freshly waxed C-class . The ABS worked fine, no skid, no locked wheels, no banged cars thank God. The seat belt locks worked just fine too.
Thanks to this unnerving episode and time running out, we turned into I-10 on the last service road to go back. This road is usually peaceful so here I was able to go to 100kph briefly. The car was quite quick to accelerate, very zippy and responsive . Gear shifting was smooth and easy, without any hiccups but a bit vague (as if the stick is planted in pudding? ) although not as definite and snappy as the cultus. I've driven a 2011 City as well, and the gear stick in both Cultus and City seems to find the slot by itself, you only have to "encourage" it to move with a single finger The car has a nice throaty sound, deeper than the Cultus. It sounds great. You can hear it inside the car but it's not loud or noisy, it's kinda enjoyable. Handling and maneuvering the car through the traffic mess around the I-10 markaz chowk was not difficult at all, despite the size of the car. I did feel that the side mirrors didn't offer a view as wide as I would've liked, but that wasn't too much of a bother. Retractable mirrors would've been great though.
Got on the Chambeli Road (the side that touches the industrial area, not the residential area) which is a properly messed up piece of road. Ride all along the most screwed up part of the road was not bad at all. Turned into the street where Azeem Motors service center is located. That street has some impressive potholes and two awesome speed breakers The body never banged against the suspension once in the front or the rear.
I was able to fiddle with the dash now, thanks to the deserted street. The music system worked fine. Radio has good, clear reception. Speakers sounded nice. No unnatural sound quality. The music sounded just right. The USB port worked and the rear passengers were also able to clearly hear the sound from the front speakers. The dash lights are nice and bright and uniform, although the green color is a bit 90's . Vents are soft and easily movable, like any new car's. The air throw is great and my friend in the rear was able to feel the air flow even on the "2" setting of the blower. The blower is noisy on the top speed, but so it is in almost all cars. Heating too, is good and instantaneous. Mirror and windows worked fine, just not as smooth as JDMs.
Got back to the dealership and parked in the entry and noticed how your hand's going to get stuck between the handbrake lever and the passenger seat when you pull it up
The seats are nice and comfortable, better contoured than the CUltus seats. Leg room is GREAT both in the front and the rear. Front and rear seating position is more upright and so slightly more comfy as compared to Cultus. The interior quality is a bit of a let down as the light grey plastic screams China. It wouldn't have looked as cheap or flimsy in a darker color. The fit of the interior was almost perfect though. Exterior fit and finish is perfect without a doubt.
The car looks fine, drives fine and is definitely reasonably-priced (for the feature set). The only question remaining is its reliability and after-sales support from the company.
I may be going abroad for some professional training program soon. If I decide to sell my car before going, I'm definitely going to buy the V2 when I come back. Surely it is not as good as the JDMs, it is still a HUGE step up from the Mehran, Cultus, 1.0L Alto and that abomination of a car called WagonR (WTF were they thinking when they designed that ugly PoS)... Feature wise, it's gonna give the ridiculously- and cruelly-overpriced Cultus, WagonR and Swift a seriously tough time... At a factory price of 1049K, which other cars can you find in this kind of money? Under 1.1Mil, in new cars you can get the cultus and the ugly *** WagonR, in used cars a moderate mileage 2006-2008 vitz or passo and maybe 2008-09 City if I'm not mistaken. Specs wise the V2 can beat all the cars except JDMs where it still wins based on being new as compared to their 40k+ mileage IMHO.
The only, and by far the most lethal problem the V2 will face is the resale thing. Most of us view our purchase of a car as an investment and as such, we are naturally scared and apprehensive when venturing into the uncharted waters , in this case a new auto manufacturer... Let's wait and see, and hope for the best
"Tail dekhen tail ki dhaar dekhen"
Now, only if some Pakwheeler or a person they knew bought a V2...
Im with exubery here, a vehicle is a machine that requires a more unique launch approach than compared to toothpaste. No machine can be sold succesfully unless it can be serviced.
ZRS - Zulfiqar Racing Systems ..... - professionals at work - at crackwheels.com
FAW's offering 100K km/3 years warranty in SA I think. If they offered the same here, that could be a BIG attraction IMO...
No TV ads, few if any newspaper ads, two lousy billboards on an underpass over 7th avenue just won't cut it... :|
It would be great if they launch a standard version in it like Mehran VX with no features at a very low price to give hard time to Mehran, only very low price would be their key to success, not features.
They are offering 2 year warranty or 50,000km which ever comes first.
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Drive what you can handle.