Swift vs Saga: Expensive hatchback or cheap sedan, which is the better option?

So you have decided to get yourself a new car. You have saved enough money that now you want to treat yourself with some new wheels. But the time it took you to save that kind of money, things have changed. The hatchbacks are as expensive as what sedans used to be some years ago. But on the other hand, there are a lot more options in the market than there used to be.

There are various new players in Pakistan’s automotive industry now than what it was even 10-12 years ago.

On one hand, more options means you get to choose something as close to your requirements as possible. On the other hand, it also means some confusion as well in case you are not clear about what you want. And when it comes to options, the things have changed so drastically that now hatchbacks which were considered to be less equipped cheaper cars compared to sedans are now as equipped if not more.

So now that you have an almost fixed budget, what will you get? A well equipped hatchback or less equipped sedan at the same price? What is more important to you? 

The new top of the line Suzuki Swift cost around 3.1 million rupees. A top of the line Alsvin 1.5 Lumiere costs 3.2 million rupees. And the cheapest sedan of Pakistan, a top of the line Proton Saga costs 2.5 million rupees.

On paper, if you just look at the numbers, the Saga makes the most sense. I mean it is a sedan, albeit a small one, but still you get more boot space than any hatchback in this same category even if the cabin space is similar to a hatch. Simply put, you are getting more car for your money compared to both the Swift and the Alsvin.

And if you want something more powerful, with a bigger engine, then there is the 1.5 Alsvin. It is bigger than the Proton in size as well and arguably has better features and build quality as well.

Alsvin 1.5

And then there is the new Swift. On paper, it does not sound the best of the option. I mean a hatch for more than 3 million is a lot. But if you go a little further and carefully analyse the arguments against all three, maybe the Swift is not such a bad option. Maybe it is better than its competition. 

Why is that, you might ask. Well first of all the fact that it’s a Suzuki. No matter what you say about the brand itself, you have to accept that Suzuki offers one of the most reliable and easy to fix vehicles in Pakistan. They are not considered to be the most stylish or good looking but they are tough little cars that can get you from one place to another without a hitch.

And then the fact they are easy to fix. Literally every mechanic across Pakistan can fix a Suzuki. Their parts are available everywhere. You can find all necessary maintenance and service parts from even the remotest areas of the country. Suzuki’s extensive dealer network gives you a peace of mind that you wont be stranded in case something goes wrong.

On the other hand, both the Alsvin and Saga are new to the market. There are still a lot of unknowns about both these cars as well as these brands. Their after sales service support is not as extensive as Suzuki’s. Parts are expensive as well as hard to find. If something goes wrong on your trip to the north, you most probably won’t be able to find the required parts there. 3rd party mechanics are still not familiar with these cars. 

The Alsvin Lumiere comes with a DCT which itself is a tricky thing to fix even for the trained professionals. Most just prefer to replace the unit than repair it. And that means costly repairs.

Alsvin Gearshifter

Saga has its own fair share of troubles. Al-haj Proton has seen some serious supply chain issues with all their cars. There were zero Proton X70 sold in the month of March 2022 just because of poor supply chain and import problems. The fact is that the company hasn’t been able to sell enough units of the car for it to become common enough to have a 3rd party after sales support to the fact that its spare parts have been tough to acquire due to various import issues including Covid related delays.

And then there are the features of the cars and the fact how these cars are in reality compared to each other. And once again, being an expensive car, albeit a hatch, the Swift is far more equipped than the Saga or the Alsvin. For starters, you get six airbags in Suzuki DLX compared to two in both the Saga and the Alsvin. Besides that, you get keyless smart entry, push start, parking sensors, rear camera, cruise control, adjustable steering wheel with multimedia controls, power windows, engine modes, CVT, digital climate control, adjustable headlights, retractable side mirrors, DRLs, to name a few. Swift also comes with hill hold assist, stability control, and ABS + EBD.

New Suzuki Swift Dashboard

It is not like these features are exclusive to Swift only, and you won’t be getting any of these in Alsvin or Saga. In fact, Saga is also decently equipped. It even has hill hold assist which is a pretty handy feature if you are travelling in hilly areas. And Alsvin comes with idle control which shuts the engine off at stop lights to help save fuel. 

Proton Saga
Alsvin Dashboard

But Suzuki Swift definitely takes the lead in the powertrain department. Suzuki has been developing some pretty impressive engines for the last decade or two. Both their 660cc Alto and 1000cc WagonR/Cultus engines have proved to be one of the best in their respective class. Similarly, the 1200cc Swift engine is also very impressive. It makes around 81 bhp, which is more than enough for this hatchback. It is similar to Proton and less than 1.5 Alsvin which makes 105 bhp. But Suzuki’s engine feels much more refined and gives better fuel average as well. The CVT in Swift is also far superior than the 4-speed auto in Proton as well as the 5-speed DCT in Alsvin.

Suzuki Swift CVT

So now comes the question, are you going to play safe and get the Suzuki Swift, even if it costs more and cars are being used as investment in Pakistan considering the month price hikes. Or are you going to be brave enough and put your trust and money in names that are still new and mostly unknown. Yes there is a massive price difference between Proton Saga and Suzuki but the question is, is the saving of 5 lac justified for anyone to buy Saga instead of an established name like Swift? What are your thoughts on the matter? Let us know in the comments section below.

If you are thinking of upgrading to the new Swift, and want to sell your current car, CarFirst is the easiest and fastest way to buy or sell used cars in Pakistan. Book an appointment and sell your car in one visit through our various purchase centres across Pakistan.

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