In addition to the EV200, BAIC has also introduced a petrol-powered version called the BAIC D20. Despite all the hoopla surrounding its electric cousin, this is actually closer to hitting showroom floors in 2017 – with prices set to be announced soon – and has already received Energy Efficient Vehicle (EEV) status from the government.

Locally-assembled (CKD) at the company’s plant in Gurun, Kedah as part of a joint venture with local partner Amber Dual, the D20 is said to be based on the first-gen smart forfour, with styling derived from the original Mercedes-Benz B-Class. Unlike the EV200 sedan, however, the D20 is a five-door hatchback. As with its twin, the Malaysian-spec version of the D20 is the brand’s first right-hand drive car.


As for what’s under the bonnet, the D20 ditches the EV200’s electric motor for a choice of two four-cylinder petrol engines. The 1.3 litre mill produces 101 hp and 128 Nm and is only available with a five-speed manual gearbox, while the 1.5 litre version kicks out 114 hp and 148 Nm and also has a four-speed automatic option.

The D20 comes in Comfort and Fashion variants, with the 1.3 litre variant only available in the former. The 1.3 litre model comes with 14-inch steel wheels with covers, while the 1.5 litre models all get alloy wheels as standard. The more powerful models also get an anti-UV windscreen, and only the Fashion models gain a sunroof.


Inside, all models get fabric seats, power-adjustable wing mirrors, digital air-con controls and a proper gearlever instead of the EV200’s Jaguar-esque rotary selector. The 1.5 litre variants receive a height-adjustable driver’s seat and a split-folding rear seat (the 1.3 litre’s folds whole), while the Fashion models benefit from sun visor mirrors, heated and power-folding door mirrors and automatic lights and wipers.

In terms of infotainment, all models get a CD/radio head unit with USB and AUX ports, with the Fashion getting multifunction steering wheel controls and a 6.5-inch touchscreen navigation system option as seen here, plus an optional reverse camera. Safety-wise, all cars get dual airbags, ABS with EBD and ISOFIX child seat anchors, while the Fashion gains a passenger-side seat belt reminder.