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.
|Name||BAIC D20 1.3L Comfort||BAIC D20 1.5L Comfort Manual||BAIC D20 1.5L Comfort Automatic||BAIC D20 1.5L Fashion Manual||BAIC D20 1.5L Fashion Automatic|
|Engine||1,332cc; 4 cylinder DOHC||1,499; 4 cylinder DOHC|
|Transmission||5-Speed Manual||5-Speed Manual||4-Speed Automatic||5-Speed Manual||4-Speed Automatic|
|Max Power||101 hp||114 hp|
|Max Torque||128 Nm||148 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.
2016 BAIC D20