After wrapping up an exciting week in Bangkok, we decided to compile a short list of cars available in Thailand that we would love to see on Malaysian roads. Some of the more obvious, expensive ones are left out, with us trying to be as practical as possible (for once).
Those of us who assumed MG was long gone are mistaken, for the British manufacturer is still alive, albeit barely, thanks to Chinese investors. While only two models are currently on offer, this particular one, the MG3, captured the attention of everyone at BIMS 2015. The smart styling, spacious interior and relatively low price mark make a real good first impression.
In all frankness, we were won over by how good this little hatch looks. The neatly designed five-door-only MG3 doesn’t look like the budget car it is supposed to be. Attractively styled and well proportioned, the MG3 stands out from the less racy city cars we’re used to. There are three variants on offer, but all MG3 models get the same 105hp 1.5-litre petrol engine mated to a five-speed “SeleMatic” AMT gearbox. Pricing for the MG3 is between 479,000 baht (RM54,210) and 595,000 baht (RM67,338). There is good news; MG are reportedly preparing to enter the Malaysian market. So we may be getting to drive one of these very soon.
Making its big ASEAN debut at BIMS 2015, the Rayong-built Suzuki Ciaz certainly has the potential to do extremely well. The Ciaz sits at 4,490 mm long, 1,730 mm wide and 1,475 mm tall, with a 2,650 mm wheelbase. These dimensions mean the Ciaz is almost exactly as big(0r small) as the latest Toyota Vios.
As with the Swift sold in Thailand, under the bonnet sits a 1.25 litre four-cylinder petrol engine, delivering 90hp and 118Nm of torque. The Ciaz is available in Thailand with either a five-speed manual or a CVT.
If the Ciaz is to come to Malaysia, we expect it to pack a different powertrain, like the ones utilised for the Ciaz in India (1.4-litre petrol) and China (where it’s called the Alivio and uses a 1.6-litre petrol)
Prices have yet to be confirmed, but guesstimates place the Ciaz’s pricing at between 500,000-680,000 baht (RM56,300-RM76,600). We would love to see this one on sale in Malaysia, probably taking on the Toyota Vios, Honda City, and perhaps even the extra affordable Nissan Almera.
The Honda Mobilio is no stranger to Thailand. Launched earlier in the year, this mini-MPV has all the credentials to dominate the budget MPV market. The Thai-market Mobilio is available in three trims – a basic S, regular V and the sportier RS. All variants are powered by a 1.5 litre i-VTEC unit with 120hp and 145Nm of torque at 4,600 rpm. The SOHC powerplant is paired to either a stick shift (S trim only), or the CVT transmission found in the City and Jazz.
The Mobilio even comes with some decent tech; a touchscreen head unit with reverse camera, Bluetooth and HDMI access. A small differences is in the fact that this particular head unit features a handful of physical buttons, unlike the units found in the City and Jazz. Prices start from 597,000 baht (RM67,378) for the S trim, rising to 682,000 baht (RM76,971) for the auto-only V. The bells and whistles RS will set one back 739,000 baht (RM83,405). As with Honda these days, Modulo packages are available for all.