Published on March 27th, 2015 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Bangkok International Motor Show, part 2 of 3
We continue our rundown of the Bangkok International Motor Show with a few more manufacturers and their display. We left off at Isuzu, with their intimidating display of D-Max variants. This time, we start off with one of the more curious brands that has dropped off the face of the earth.
We don’t get MG over here in Malaysia, but Federal Auto was in talks with bringing the British brand into the country as a nice entry-level alternative to luxury cars. MG is no longer under British control, but as a company it has soldiered on to produce models that are a little more relevant and current.
The MG3 is their most prominent example, being a diminutive little hatchback that comes in a variety of styles. MG was pulling out all the stops for this model, putting on a whole song and dance routine for the launch.
The MG3 is powered by a 1.5-litre DOHC engine, with about 106 PS and 135 Nm of torque, and a 5-speed automated manual transmission. It’s an interesting little car, and if it ever does come to our market it may put up a reasonable fight against the Jazz and Fiesta.
Also on display was the MG6, which is MG’s longer sedan model. Looks the part, though how it drives and functions in the real world is yet to be seen.
In Thailand, Volkswagen has a variety of distributors. The one that focuses on passenger cars merely imports the Golf GTI and the Scirocco, and neither of these models were in display for the motor show. Instead, we have the more commercial-oriented distributor, Thaiyarnon. On display was the new Caravelle, which was also customised in certain respects by the distributor in order to improve luxury standards.
Also on show was the Amarok, which we have yet to see here. It could be an interested contender to fight against our established Japanese and American powerhouses, but no word on when the Amarok will see our shores from Volkswagen Malaysia.
Rounding out our second part of the motor show coverage is Nissan, which is proud to display their range of models. We have the Sylphy, which is already tried and true for our market, but we also have the X-Trail and Juke taking the centre stage.
The X-Trail is certainly making waves with its heavily revised styling and a more urban overall feel. It’s less of a utility vehicle and more of a passenger car, being a 7-seater for our market as well. CVT returns, as do powertrains, but for our Malaysian specifications we seem to have plenty of outfitted electronic goodies to make the car even more premium.
The Juke, on the other hand, is probably never going to come to our market. It could be a function of pricing, or the radical styling, or the general lack of demand, but this funky little crossover is something you’ll only see from grey importers. Even though some of the peppier versions are interesting propositions, it’s hard to sell a car like the Juke to a conservative mass market.