2016 BAIC D20 previewed in Malaysia, B-Segment hatchback to be CKD

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Unveiled alongside Malaysia’s first ever locally assembled full electric vehicle, the BAIC EV200, is the BAIC D20 compact hatchback model. It’s currently on display at the 2016 Malaysian Autoshow, which is also the venue for which the D20 made its global debut for the right-hand drive version.

The D20 is the main subcompact offering from BAIC and it will be locally assembled at the company’s production plant in Gurun, Kedah. Thanks to its Energy Efficient Vehicle (EEV) status, the D20 will be competitively priced against established players in the increasingly crowded subcompact segment.

QUICK FACTS

NameBAIC D20 1.3L ComfortBAIC D20 1.5L Comfort ManualBAIC D20 1.5L Comfort AutomaticBAIC D20 1.5L Fashion ManualBAIC D20 1.5L Fashion Automatic
Engine1,332cc; 4 cylinder DOHC1,499; 4 cylinder DOHC
Transmission5-Speed Manual5-Speed Manual4-Speed Automatic5-Speed Manual4-Speed Automatic
Max Power101 hp114 hp
Max Torque128 Nm148 Nm
Price (OTR with Insurance)TBA

BAIC actually has a stake in Mercedes-Benz, so it benefits from some of the brand’s past products. At first glance, the silhouette of the D20 resembles that of the B-Class. It sits on the same platform underpinning the original Smart ForFour, and the sedan variant is reportedly scheduled to be introduced next year.

The D20 lineup begins with the 1.3-litre Comfort trim as its base model, followed by four 1.5-litre variants which can be had either Comfort or Fashion trims. Regardless, all variants receive 14-inch wheels (the 1.3-litre variant gets steel wheel with covers) and daytime running lights. The sunroof, door visors and foldable door mirrors are exclusive to the Fashion trims. Six colours are being offered for the D20, including our favourite Madrid Red.

Inside, it isn’t shabby as many would perceive it to be. All variants receive the same fabric seats, dark dashboard setting and digital air conditioning. The single slot CD player with USB and auxiliary support is standard as well, but a 6.5-inch touchscreen infotainment system can be optioned.

Two petrol mills are offered for the D20 – a 1.3-engine that makes 101 hp and 128 Nm of torque that can only be had with a five-speed manual transmission. The 1.5-litre engine meanwhile develops 114 hp and 148 Nm and is mated to a four-speed automatic. All powertrains are Euro 5 emissions compliant.

Just like the EV200, the safety kit for the D20 is limited to two frontal airbags, Isofix anchoring points and ABS with EBD. Also, BAIC has yet to reveal the pricing of the cars, but expect the figures to be disclosed soon. Apparently, the highest-specced D20 will cost lesser than RM55k. If that’s the case, it may be bad news for Proton and Perodua but to Malaysians, an extra choice isn’t a bad thing after all.


IMAGE GALLERY

2016 BAIC D20

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Travis Chang

Travis Chang

While his day job is as exciting as a certain beige saloon, he knows a thing or two about cars and motorsports. The true definition of motoring nirvana according to him is a clear and twisty tarmac surrounded with mesmerizing vistas, followed with a track list of indie tunes on the stereo. Any cars will do fine, not so for big MPVs which he loathes...
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