The least expensive automatic SUV available in South Africa, a country with right-hand drive (RHD), is the Nissan Magnite AMT. The car is sent from India, where it is manufactured, to be sold in South Africa.
The base Visia trim costs ZAR 243,900 (PKR 37.9 lakh), the mid-spec Acenta variation costs ZAR 263,900 (PKR 41.01 crore), and the top-spec Acenta Plus version costs ZAR 279,900 (PKR 43.5 lac). This is despite the Magnite AMT being available as a CBU. Because of this, the Magnite Visia is now even more affordable than the out-of-date Kia Picanto AT, while the price of the Magnite Acenta Plus is the same as that of the Suzuki Cultus AGS.
A 1.0L naturally aspirated 3-cylinder engine producing 71 horsepower and 76 Nm of torque sits beneath the hood, mated to an EZ-Shift 5-speed AMT gearbox. 16.9 kilometers per liter of gasoline are the stated numbers. As stated by Nissan Africa's Marketing Director, Stefan Haasbroek: “We are thrilled to introduce the new Magnite EZ-Shift, which expands on Nissan's history as a leading global SUV and uses cutting-edge technology to provide a feature-rich crossover experience that exudes presence and flair. The 5-speed AMT budget models will fill the void left by the manual and continuously variable transmission (CVT) versions.”
Hill Start Assist (HSA), twin front airbags, seat belt warning, speed alert system, and ABS brakes with EBD are standard on all versions. The base Visia model had halogen headlights, a 2DIN audio system, rear parking sensors, and 16-inch steel wheels with plastic hubcaps. Next up is the mid-spec Acenta model, which has 16-inch alloy wheels, a reversing camera, dual-tone exterior colors, chrome door handles, keyless entry, a push start/stop button, an 8-inch touchscreen system, and a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS).
The top-of-the-line Acenta Plus has all the features of the Acenta version plus an additional 360-surround vision monitor and LED headlights. Nissan offers a 3-year/30,000km service plan and a 6-year/150,000km warranty for the versions.
In terms of buying price, the Magnite AMT is the least expensive car in its class on the South African market, and it also gets excellent gas mileage. The AMT variants of the already well-liked Nissan Magnite will appeal to a wider audience. Previously, the Magnite was only offered with manual and CVT transmission options.
In Pakistan, several taxes and charges amounting to nearly 40% of the cost of a car go toward funding the government treasury. That does account for the hefty cost, but what we receive in return are out-of-date, poorly constructed models with missing features. For more than thirty years, the local industry has remained in its infancy. More significantly, it is unable to fulfill a small number of orders because customers must always wait several months for vehicle deliveries, unless they pay a premium (in-kind) to have a magic happen and the vehicle becomes instantly available. Will the local car industry ever change? I'll wait and see.