The 2015 Bangkok International Motor Show was indeed quite an eye-opener for me, as it was my first time attending an international motor show held overseas. The local KLIMS truly pales in comparison. The interesting thing about the Bangkok International Motor Show is the selection of cars, and despite Thailand being just a border away, they did have quite a selection of cars there. Let’s take a closer look at what cars we may not see locally.
Quite possibly one of the newer cars on display, the Suzuki Celerio is the replacement for the ageing Suzuki Alto. The Suzuki Celerio is an A-segment hatchback that competes against the Honda Brio in Thailand. It is powered by Suzuki’s tried-and-tested 998 cc 3-cylinder engine, that can be mated to either a 5-speed manual or a CVT. The basic Suzuki Celerio GA MT retails for 359,000 baht (~RM40,892 before tax), while the Suzuki Celerio GL CVT will cost 439,000 baht (~RM50,000 before tax). The range-topping GLX CVT will set buyers back for 488,000 baht (~RM55,615 before tax).
Suzuki Celerio photo gallery
Also from the same booth, the Suzuki Ertiga is also unlikely to make a Malaysian debut. This MPV is powered by the same 1.4-litre engine that powers our Swift locally, and has 95 PS and 130 Nm of torque. The seven-seater Suzuki Ertiga can be mated to either a 5-speed manual or a 4-speed automatic transmission. The basic Suzuki Ertiga GA MT will cost buyers 554,000 baht (~RM63,000 before tax). Moving one level up, buyers can choose the Suzuki Ertiga GL AT for 639,000 baht (~RM72,798 before tax). For those who wants everything, there’s the Suzuki Ertiga GLX AT for 689,000 baht (~RM78,503 before tax).
Suzuki Ertiga photo gallery
From Nissan’s booth, we do get most of what the Thais get, except the Nissan March. Billed as Thailand’s first eco car, the Nissan March sports a tiny 1.2-litre engine with just 79 horsepower. Those interested in the little eco car, be prepared to be shocked, as Nissan Thailand is offering ten (10) variants of the March! Thanks to the Thai eco car tax rebates, prices start from just 338,000 (~RM38,500 before tax) for the basic March S MT, all the way to March VL CVT for 558,000 (~RM63,562 before tax).
Nissan March photo gallery
Found at Honda’s booth is the Brio. Like the Nissan March, the Honda Brio also qualifies for the Thai eco car programme, which provides attractive tax rebates. The Honda Brio is available in India, Thailand and Indonesia. Power comes from a 1,198 cc inline-4 i-VTEC engine with 90 horsepower and 114 Nm of torque. Power gets transferred to the front wheels via a 5-speed manual or CVT. Unlike the Nissan March, the Honda Brio is available in just 5 variants, ranging from the basic Brio S MT for 436,500 baht (~RM49,729 before tax) all the way up to 533,500 baht (~RM60,781 before tax) for the Brio V Limited CVT.
Honda Brio photo gallery
Honda Brio Amaze
For those needing the extra boot space, Honda Thailand has the Brio Amaze. The Honda Brio Amaze has the same engine and gearbox as the Honda Brio. In terms of boot space, the Brio has just 175-litres of usable space, versus the 400-litre boot space on the Brio Amaze. As the Honda Brio Amaze (and Brio) are marketed as eco cars, don’t expect much luxuries from the interior, as the front seats has integrated headrests. The Brio Amaze does get a rear armrest for passengers. Buyers in Thailand can choose from 4 variants of the Brio Amaze. The base line Brio S MT costs 454,000 baht (~RM51,724 before tax), while the range topper Brio V AT costs 521,000 baht (~RM59,363 before tax).
Honda Brio Amaze photo gallery
Sitting on the Honda Brio’s platform in the Honda Mobilio. The MPV competes against the Suzuki Ertiga we posted above. Unlike the Brio its based on, the Honda Mobilio has a 1.5-litre engine under the hood, with 120 PS and 145 Nm of torque going to the front wheels via a 5-speed manual or CVT. Pictured here is the range topping Mobilio RS AT, which retails for 739,000 baht (~RM84,233 before tax). Those wanting a cheaper variant can opt for the Mobilio S MT for 597,000 (~RM68,033 before tax) or the Mobilio S CVT for 642,000 (~RM73,148 before tax).
Honda Mobilio photo gallery
Honda Accord Hybrid
We all know that Toyota has the Camry Hybrid, but not many of us are aware that Honda also has a Accord Hybrid. Unlike the Honda Insight’s IMA system, the Accord Hybrid has a Intelligent Multi-Mode Drive (i-MMD) system with 2 motors and a 1.3 kWh lithium-ion battery. This system enables the Accord Hybrid to run on full EV mode, but just for a few kilometers. Main power comes from a 2.0-litre Atkinson cycle engine. When paired with electric motors, total output is rated at 169 horsepower and a whopping 307 Nm of torque. Honda Thailand is offering 2 variants of the Accord Hybrid, with prices starting at 1,659,000 baht (~RM188,989 before tax), while the Tech variant costs 1,899,000 (~RM216,315 before tax). The Honda Accord Hybrid was launched in Thailand last year, and Honda Malaysia was studying the possibility of bringing it in. Perhaps, with the launch of the Toyota Camry Hybrid imminent, perhaps Honda Malaysia may reconsider?
Honda Accord Hybrid photo gallery
We initially spotted this on the highway shortly after landing at the Suvarnabhumi Airport. Interesting SUV, we thought, as the front end was from the D-Max, while the rear end is new (to us at least). This Isuzu SUV is called the MU-X in Thailand, and is powered by the same range of engines that powers the D-Max, which includes a 2.5-litre VGS turbodiesel and a 3.0-litre turbodiesel. The 2.5-litre variant gets both 4×2 and 4×4 options, while the 3.0-litre is strictly mated to a 4×4 system. Prices start from 1,044,000 baht (~RM119,045 before tax) for the 2.5 4×2 variant, while the range topping 3.0 4×4 NAVI costs 1,419,000 baht (~RM161,836 before tax). There has been talks that Isuzu is considering to launch the MU-X locally. Do you think that the Isuzu MU-X can challenge the Toyota Fortuner and the upcoming Ford Everest here?
Isuzu MU-X photo gallery
Thairung Transformer Max
Called the Thairung Transformer Max, this military-styled SUV caught our eyes from afar. Yes, some may claim that it looks like a shameless rip-off of the iconic Hummer, but there’s more than meets the eye as the Thairung Tranformer Max actually sits on the Toyota Hilux platform. Motivation comes from a Toyota 3.0-litre D-4D turbodiesel engine, mated to either a 5-speed manual or a 5-speed automatic transmission. Prices start from 1,395,000 baht (~RM158,952 before tax) all the way up to 1,590,000 baht (~RM181,158 before tax).