Khodrocar_The cheapest to the costliest vehicle in Iran’s chaotic auto market
have two key features few if any can miss: high price and low quality.
The economy car known to all is SAIPA’s Pride. It comes in various
versions. The models that sell best are the hatchback Pride 111 and the
compact Pride 131, sold respectively for 480 and 430 million rials
($3,300 and 3,700).
Pride has been rolling out of the assembly lines since 1993 and is
based on a Kia Motor’s hatchback from the 1980s. The South Korean auto
giant put an end to the sales of the car in 2000.
Whenever there is talk of halting production of low-quality cars,
SAIPA’s Pride automatically tops the sin list. The vehicle is notorious
for low safety, poor mileage and high emission. Simply put, a major road
Aside from SAIPA’s Tiba and Runna — the other inexpensive car is the
Peugeot 405. The vehicle now sells for 770 million rials ($5,920).
The French automotive company launched the 405 in 1987. In 1992, and
as per an agreement with Peugeot, Iran Khodro started manufacturing the
model. Peugeot halted production of this car in the EU in 1997. In
addition to Iran, the vehicle is produced only in Egypt.
While the 405 is of better quality compared to Pride and is roomier, it is a notorious gas-guzzler.
The so-called low-cost and inexpensive models aside, local firms also
produce four cars which, relatively speaking, can be said are of
acceptable quality, albeit at a price
Next in line is IKCO’s locally designed Samand. The engine and
gearbox in the 405 is used in Samand but the vehicle is bulkier compared
to the French-derived sedan.
Samand was Iran’s first domestically-made sedan. It is available in
various options and can cost between 780 million and 1 billion rials
($6,000 to $7,920).
The so-called low-cost and inexpensive models aside, local firms sell
four cars which, relatively speaking, can be said are of acceptable
quality, albeit at a price.
The least expensive among the four is the Peugeot 206 and a darling
of most Iranians in the middle of the economic ladder. As is a norm with
local carmakers, the vehicle has been face-lifted numerous times and is
available with a variety of options.
Peugeot 206, made by IKCO, has a sporty look that makes it more
popular with younger people and can cost up to 880 million rials
Then there is IKCO’s Dena, another locally-designed sedan. Compared
to IKCO’s first shot at designing a vehicle (Samand), Dena looks much
better on the exterior. Under the hood it is a Samand twin.
Dena comes in various versions and has been face-lifted once. The
face-lifted version is Dena+ and can be bought between 1.06 and 1.50
billion rials ($8,150 and $11,460) – pretty costly going by local
Both IKCO and SAIPA used to work with France’s Renault prior to the
imposition of new US economic sanctions. IKCO manufactured Renault’s
Logan (locally known as Tondar 90 or L90) while SAIPA assembled the
Logan is one of the best vehicles available in Iran. People who own
this car for years are happy with their choice and recommend it as a
safe ride with low maintenance costs.
Sandero Stepway is also popular but its production was halted months ago and a new Stepway is hard to come by.
Logan and Stepway are respectively sold for 1.35 and 1.48 billion rials ($10,400 and $11,400).
One of the Iranian industries hurt by the new US sanctions imposed
last year is the auto manufacturing and assembling sector. Dependent on
imports for selected key parts, local carmakers have been struggling
hard to get around because banking with foreign suppliers and dealers
has become extremely difficult if not outright impossible.
The icing on the cake is the tanking of the national currency over
the past year. With the rial having lost almost 70% of its value and
foreign currency rates at all time high, car companies claim that making
and selling cars at 2017 forex prices is a thing of the past.