We’re back from Bangkok, where the 2017 Bangkok International Motor Show opened to the press earlier this week. Plenty of interesting metal on display at Impact Muang Thong Thani, the kind that is within the reach of the masses. True enough, crowds were waiting for the doors to open at noon on public days.

Plenty of what’s interesting at BIMS 2017 is applicable to Malaysia too; not just that, some are just around the corner and are set for a 2017 local debut. Our first stop was the Honda booth. Like the folks at Honda Malaysia, their Thai counterparts are in a bullish mood – how about two launches in a month? That’s what happened there in March, first with the Civic Hatchback and then the fifth-generation CR-V.

The CR-V is the bigger of the two, and not just literally. It’s a mainstay in the midsize SUV segment and has served families in our region since the first generation – the CR-V is a car we know well and love. But Honda didn’t just throw new metal on the same template. The new CR-V is the first one to get more than five seats, and comes with a third row to join the Nissan X-Trail in a 2-3-2 formation.

Also new for Thailand is a 1.6 litre i-DTEC turbodiesel option with 160 hp and 350 Nm of torque, mated to a nine-speed automatic gearbox with push button selection. The petrol option is the carryover 2.4 litre K24 with a CVT auto. We’re not sure if the seven-seat option and diesel engine will reach Malaysia, though. The latter is unlikely, and we’re expecting a petrol turbo instead. Also check out the Modulo accessories available.

The Civic Hatchback is the one enthusiasts are eyeing, although there are no immediate plans to bring the Civic FC’s five-door hatch sister to Malaysia. In Thailand, it’s available in a sole 1.5L Turbo CVT variant, priced at 1.169 million baht (RM149,620). The “Volkswagen Scirocco rival” produces 173 PS and 220 Nm of torque from 1,700 to 5,500 rpm. Unlike North America and Europe, there’s no six-speed manual option for Thailand. Only paddle shifters, and Modulo accessories.

Much less buzz across the aisle at Toyota, but the Vios facelift is new for 2017 in Thailand. With a bold, polarising face, the 2017 Vios builds on the technical update from last year (Dual VVT-i NR engine, CVT) and will be launching soon in Malaysia. It’s a big task for Toyota’s B-segment sedan, to go up against the Honda City facelift. Will this rather extensive facelift be enough? We’ll see.

The Audi brand was recently reloaded in Thailand, and the new distributor joined the BIMS party in a big way. The full range of Audi vehicles is now available there, and the entry point is the new Audi Q2. The funky compact SUV will be coming to Malaysia this year, and we took the opportunity to offer you a preview.

The Q2 is powered by a 1.4 litre TFSI engine with 150 hp and 250 Nm in Thailand, the same engine used in our second-generation Volkswagen Tiguan. The TFSI motor is paired to a seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch auto. Plenty of pep guaranteed in such a small package, but it will have to be cheaper here; up north, the Q2 retails for 2.299 million baht (RM294,707).

Nissan’s big push this year (in Thailand) will be via the Note hatchback. An eco car sister to the March compact hatch and Almera sedan, the high-roofed, Honda Jazz-style hatchback is based on the latest Note facelift, but does without the JDM car’s unique e-Power hybrid system as it needs to be affordable.

The high-spec 640,000 baht (RM81,905) VL comes with active safety features such as Forward Collision Warning, Nissan Intelligent Emergency Braking, Forward Emergency Braking (with pedestrian recognition), Lane Departure Warning, Around View Monitor and Moving Object Detection, things that are uncommon in the segment and price range. Despite official previews and local sightings of the pre-facelift car, the Note never made it to Malaysian showrooms. Would it have been a hit?

We were in Thailand, the land of pick-up trucks, and the likes of Nissan and Chevrolet brought dressed-up trucks to the party. The latest trend is the macho look pioneered by the Ford F-150 Raptor, and both the Nissan Navara Black Edition and Chevrolet Colorado High Country Storm featured chrome-replacing black trim and “dirt track” decals on their sides.

On the extreme end of the scale is the BMW M760Li xDrive Exclusive. The ultimate limo from Munich is powered by an M Performance TwinPower Turbo 6.6 litre V12 motor with 610 hp and 800 Nm. That’s more power than the related twelve-cylinder engine used by Rolls-Royce. The 12.499 million baht (RM1.6 million) beast isn’t an “M7” though, and you can find out why here.

It has been a gruelling three days at BIMS for photographer Sherman Sim and yours truly and we hope that you enjoyed our live coverage and galleries. To end on a high note, here’s our customary sign off post for your weekend enjoyment. Khob Khun Krab.