BAIC PH releases compact crossover and MPV offensive with BJ20, M50S

September 30, 2018

Bayan Automotive Industries Corporation (BAIC), the exclusive local distributor of BAIC vehicles from China, recently held an event at its flagship showroom in Makati. The agenda was to introduce its new contenders for the hotly-contested compact crossover and MPV segments; the BJ20 and M50S, respectively.

The BAIC BJ20 is styled to evoke a sense of adventure with its rugged exterior trim. Off the bat, it presents a boxy yet well-rounded body that’s accented with blacked out panels up front and in back. All these are given justice by what is perhaps one of the most enticing features it has in store… that 250 mm ground clearance. With this, drivers can tackle shin-deep flooded roads with ease and peace of mind, a much-needed necessity these days with all the rain and floods hampering the metro’s busy roads.

Interior-wise, it beckons with a rather sporty motif, complete with a flat-bottom racing-inspire 2-spoke steering wheel, faux carbon fiber dash trims, and 10.1-inch LCD infotainment system. This head unit is beefed up with goodies like Bluetooth/USB/HDMI connectivity, all routed to a total of 6 speakers for a more enjoyable ride.

For the Philippine market, BAIC offers the BJ20 in 2 kinds; Standard and Luxury. Highlighting the latter, it comes with added features such as keyless entry system, engine start/stop button, electronic handbrake, tire pressure monitoring system, and panoramic sun roof, among others. Safety features such as 4 air bags, OSIFIX child seat anchors, ABS with EBD, and traction control system are also found across the board.

Both variants run with a gasoline-fed 1.5L turbocharged mill that meets strict Euro-5 standards of emission cleanliness. This motor is paired to a CVT that channels all of its 147 hp and 210 Nm of torque to the front wheels.

It’s worth noting that the BAIC BJ20 Standard and Luxury are priced to compete with the long-runners in the class such as the Ford EcoSport and the BYD S1. With that being said, the BJ20 Standard is stickered at P1,148,000. The Luxury variant, on the other hand, is sold for P1,288,000.

Along with the BJ20 is the BAIC M50S MPV. As it stands, the Chinese brand pits the M50S against such vehicles as the Toyota Avanza and the Mitsubishi Xpander. On the outside, the M50S takes a page from the BJ20’s sporty vibe as it also comes with strategically blacked-out panels that give it a rather upbeat look.

Inside, the M50S invites its occupants with a considerable helping of Micro Fiber Leather. It also has a 9-inch head unit that’s fortified with tech like Bluetooth and provisions for SD card and USB. Safety is taken care of by its standard features such as dual air bags, ABS with EBD, and revers camera.

Another thing worth taking note is that the M50S is also offered in 2 variants; the Luxury and the Ultra Luxury. The biggest difference between the 2 kinds is the seating capacity. The former can seat up to 8 people, while the latter is sold only as a 7-seater with a couple of captain’s chairs in the 2nd row as opposed to the bench seat found in the former.

As for performance, both vehicles are governed by the same motor fitted on the BJ20. What’s different though is that the M50S’ engine produces lesser oomph at 114 hp with a pulling power of 150 Nm. However, what it lacks in performance, it makes up for in driving pleasure. That’s because the M50S gets a 5-speed manual across the range. In addition, this Chinese compact MPV stands out by rolling with a rear-wheel-drive configuration, something to make the driving purists happy.

Of note, the BAIC M50S Luxury and M50S Ultra Luxury can be driven home for P638,000 and P668,000, respectively.

Photos by Paolo Lesaca

About the Author

Randolph de Leon
Randy is a person with disability (PWD), a partially-blinded person with only his left eye functioning. Since childhood, the automobile has always been his passion, and is able to express it through photography and most recently, through writing as well. Outside the motoring beat, Randy spends time manning the media aspect of his business which he co-founded with his sister/college classmate. It's called Dragonlight Wellness and Solutions, a multi-business venture centering on improving peoples' lives through earning.