The crossover and MPV segments have two new contenders in the form of the BJ20 SUV and M50S from BAIC. The two new models were launched by Bayan Auto, distributor of BAIC cars, earlier today in their showroom in Chino Roces Avenue in Makati City.
The BJ20 is a compact crossover that has some familiar styling features to give it a rugged yet modern look.
It's powered by a Euro-5 compliant, 1.5-liter turbo petrol engine that produces 149 PS at 6000 rpm and 210 Nm of torque at 2000 - 4,500 rpm. It's paired with a CVT that drives the front wheels. It's held aloft by MacPherson struts in front and multi-link suspension in the rear, shod on 18-inch wheels. These help give it a 215 mm ground clearance.
In Luxury trim, the BJ20 is quite competitive with the market leaders, boasting of features like keyless entry, a push start button, electronic parking brake with auto-hold, hill-hold assist, a tire-pressure monitoring system, multi-meter, reverse camera, and a panoramic sunroof.
Its large, 10.1-inch touchscreen infotainment system boasts of Bluetooth, USB and HDMI connectivity channeled to 6-speakers. In addition, there are three 12V power supply sockets in the vehicle.
As for safety, it features four airbags, ISOFIX compatibility, and a built-in immobilizer system. It's also governed by ABS+EBD, brake assist, traction control, and ESP.
The BJ20 is offered in Standard trim for PhP 1,148,000 and Luxury Edition for PhP 1,288,000.
In stark contrast to the BJ20, BAIC's second offering, the M50S, is positioned for families. The C-segment MPV is a tall five-door capable of seating 7 or 8 passengers. Contrary to typical MPV design, the M50S uses a front-engine, rear-wheel drive layout.
It's powered by a Euro-5 compliant, 1.5-liter turbo to that found in the BJ20. In the M50S, however, it produces 116 PS at 6000 rpm and 150 Nm of torque at 4300 – 4500 rpm. The power goes through a 5-speed manual before sending power to the rear wheels.
Inside, the M50S boasts of Micro Fiber Leather in both Ultra Luxury and Luxury variants. The Luxury offers a choice of 7 or 8 seats, while the Ultra Luxury is strictly a 7-seater, featuring two captain chairs in the second row.
Entertainment is provided by a 9-inch touchscreen infotainment system channeled to four speakers. It has Bluetooth connectivity with USB and SD card slots.
As for safety, the M50S is equipped with ABS+EBD, dual airbags and a reverse camera.
The M50S Luxury is priced at PhP 638,000 while the Ultra Luxury is offered at PhP 668,000.
“We had to work hard to look for models that the Philippine motoring public wanted and needed at a price that would still be affordable. Hence we are here today to introduce the first salvo of new products...” said Bayan Auto CEO, George Chua.
He credits the recent implementation of the China-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement implemented at the start of the year for bringing down customs duties from 20-percent to 5-percent on certain vehicle models.
He assured those present that the new models will endure the worst road conditions and unpredictable weather, paired with the proper after sales service to assure customers many years of ownership satisfaction.