Toyota Fortuner

2.5, 2.7, 3.0 liter. B1,069,000-1,499,000

The Toyota Fortuner now comes in “super white” (yes, it’s a color), but only for the 2.5 G and 2.5 V models. As for the new in-car navigator, you’ll have to splurge on the 3.0 Navi V to get it. Still running on benzene and diesel, the 16-valve engine produces up to 163 horsepower in its 3-liter version. The new front light, tail light, console and front grille, give it a more minimal yet sporty design. Available in white, silver, dark grey, dark steel, black, gold and super white at Toyota showrooms nationwide. Try Phithan Toyota, 292 Surawong Rd., 02-973-1268-9. Open daily 8am-5pm.

Honda City

1.5 liter. B559,000-704,000

After the successful launch of the 2008 Honda City, Honda finally rolls out a minor update. Still running on E20 fuel with a 16-valve engine producing 120 horsepower, this facelift is all about looks. The model comes with a new front grille, front and rear bumper, and a new tail light, for a sportier, more current look. The interior too has undergone some changes such as the new chrome color console as well as the redesigned speedometer with a more futuristic look. Available in black, white, metallic, silver, and two new colors red and brown at Honda showrooms nationwide. Try Phra Ram 3 Group Honda Automobile, 358 Narathiwas Rd., 02-285-2244. Open daily from 9am-5pm.

Nissan Teana

2.0 and 2.5 Liter. B1.246-1.7 Million

This Nissan Teana revamp makes better use of the interior space and offers a more driver-friendly interface. Still supporting the E20 fuel with 24 and 16 valve engines producing up to 182 horsepower, changes on the exterior include a new front grille, tail light and fog light. On the inside, there are more compartments, a new speedometer design, multi-information display and a new air-conditioning and stereo system control design. Available at Nissan showrooms nationwide. Try Siam Kolakarn Trading, 2236 Petchburi Rd., 02-718-0691-3. Open Mon-Sat 8am-6pm.

The New Toyota Prius

On paper, the new Toyota Prius sounds pretty exciting. The new LED headlights are more durable, use less electricity and come with a headlight wiper for snowy days or off-road driving (useful in this town). The LED taillight gives it a sportier look, as do the 15-inch alloy wheels. But what we love is the multi-information display on the console which has all these little animations of how your car is creating or storing energy in real time. The new Prius also comes with traction control and an electronic gear shift. It produces 136 horsepower. Available in white, light blue, silver, black and blackish red at The 2012 Motor Expo and Toyota showrooms nationwide soon. 1.8 liter; B1.19-1.36 million. Available at Phithan Toyota, 292 Surawong Rd., 02-973-1268-9. Open daily 8am-5pm.

Ford Focus

The Ford Focus still comes in both four and five doors, and with both benzene, diesel and diesel turbo engines running on E20 fuel. What’s exciting is the new gearbox, allowing smoother shifting, the Control Blade Independent suspension system, which improves the rear wheel drive’s handling, and the new paired clutches in the TDCi Sport model for faster gear shifts. Available in white, black, silver, bronze, light blue and red in 1.8 and 2.0 liter; B809,000-990,000 at Ford showrooms nationwide.
Ford Sukhumvit, 21 Sukhumvit Soi 62, Sukhumvit Rd., 02-332-0046. Open daily 8:30am-6pm.

Volvo V60

The all new Volvo is a sports wagon designed for people who like space and safety but would like to retain an illusion of sportiness despite their two kids and dog. Designed to look more like a coupe than an estate car, the V60 supports E85 fuel and produces up to 180 horsepower. The V60 comes with Volvo’s braking assistance to prevent collisions at pedestrian crosses and on highways. The new cruise control system, too, looks out for you by measuring your distance with the car ahead. Available in white, silver, metallic, red and black in 1.6 liter; B2.249 million at Volvo showrooms nationwide.
Volvo Lumpini, 1028/2 Rama 4 Rd., 02-679-9979. Open Mon-Sat from 8:30am-5:30pm.

Toyota Yaris

Toyota rolls out an all-new Yaris focusing on sportier looks, particularly in its redesigned bumpers. Producing up to 109 horsepower with its 16-valve engine, the real highlight of the new Yaris is in the RS model (B734,000). Featuring a new front grille, smoke-color head lights and new 16 inch wheels, the RS also boasts an updated automatic transmission system that allows smoother gear changes. Finally, the new sport suspension system should hold its own even when tackling corners at high speeds. Available in white, metallic, silver, red, grey and black in 1.5 liter; B544,000-734,000. at Toyota showrooms nationwide.
Phithan Toyota, 292 Surawong Rd., 02-973-1268-9. Open daily 8am-5pm.

Lexus GS

The fourth generation of the GS model comes with a 24-valve V6 engine producing up to 209 horsepower. Lexus is now touting a “Progressive Luxury” concept, which just means it’s trying to be sporty and classy at the same time. The car is clearly focused on the driver: the interior and trunk are bigger, the steering more precise, and the display monitor wider (12.3 inches), making it the largest in its category. Available in 11 colors such as white, black, grey, blue and red in 2.5 and 3.5 liter; B4.59-6.69 million at Lexus showrooms nationwide.
Lexus Showroom, Sukhumvit Soi 18 Klong Toey Rd., 02-260-8123. Open Mon-Sat 8:30am-5:30pm.

Mercedes Benz M-Class

The third generation M-Class’ updates are pretty subtle but they really add up. With its diesel engine, intercooler turbo and new seven-speed auto transmission system, the M-Class delivers its 204 horsepower economically. It comes with a new front grille, new LED daytime running lamps, a new front bumper designed to house air intake vents, a sunroof and new 19 inch light-weight alloy wheels. The interior offers more space with wood trims. Finally, the command multimedia system offers internet access while you drive. Available in white, black, brown, silver and grey, in 2.2 liter; B4,490,000 at 2012 Bangkok International Motor Show and selected Mercedes Benz showrooms to be announced.
Mercedes Benz Thailand, 02-614-8888.

Hyundai Elantra

Korean car manufacturer Hyundai rolls out its latest model, the 2012 North American Car of the Year, the Hyundai Elantra. Producing 150 horsepower with a 16-valve engine, the Elantra comes with 17-inch race edition alloy wheels and a curvy design. Inside, you get front electric seats adjustable in 10 directions, a futuristic looking console, button start system and an illuminated speedometer. Outside, the body structure is made of ultra high tensile strength steel, which is both strong and lightweight. Available in white, silver, black, red and light blue in 1.8 liter; B899,000-1.198 million at Hyundai showrooms nationwide.
Streamline Automobile Co., Ltd. 59 Moo 15, Kanchanaphisek Rd., 02-924-7788. Open daily from 8:30am-5:30pm.

Mitsubishi Mirage

1.2 Liter; B380,000-546,000

Mitsubishi launches its first eco car, the Mirage, with a 22 km/liter fuel consumption. Apart from the small 12-valve engine, the Mirage compares favorably to bigger models: seven-inch DVD player and navigation system, automatic air conditioning (GLS Ltd model only), keyless operating system (GLS Ltd only) and an automatic head lamp shutoff system. Other interesting features are the use of high-tensile steel for the light-weight body and a new gearbox that lowers resistance when shifting. Available in eight colors such as white, yellow, green, red and black at Mitsubishi showrooms nationwide. Try Mitsu Sathorn, 40/1 North Sathorn Rd., 02-633-8092-5. Open Mon-Sat 8:30am-5:30pm.

Nissan Almera

1.2 Liter; B429,000-599,000

The first sedan eco car in Thailand, uses a special platform design that’s lighter without compromising solidity. Looking like a blend between the Teana and the Tida, the Almera is pretty big on the inside. Producing 79 horsepower with a 12-valve engine, the highlights of the Almera include the idle stop system that automatically disengages the engine transmission, automatic air-conditioning and the engine start system—nice options in this price range. Available in bronze, silver, black, white, red and blue at Nissan showrooms nationwide. Siam Kolakarn Trading, 2236 Petchburi Rd., 02-718-0691-3. Open Mon-Sat 8am-6pm.

New Suzuki Swift

1.2 Liter; Price TBA

It might look like nothing much has changed, but this little rascal packs a newfound punch. Producing 94 horsepower with its 16-valve engine (pretty impressive for an eco car), the Swift’s surprisingly roomy interior boasts a speedometer and consoles that look much better than the competition’s. The new Swift is also packed with an improved suspension system. Available in red, blue, copper, black, white, silver and grey at Suzuki showrooms nationwide. Siam International Corporation, 5/15 Phayathai Rd., 02-245-1171. Open Mon-Sat 8am-6pm.

Ford Fiesta: The Ford Fiesta isn’t new, but it now comes with a 1.5-liter engine (on top of the 1.4 and 1.6 models) to qualify for the eco rebate. Count B689,000-699,000.


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The 33rd Bangkok International Motor Show 2012
Under the theme “Technology Difference,” 20 major automobile brands, from BMW to Hyundai, will be present, but also motorcycle makers such as Ducati. Mar 28-Apr 8, 11am-10pm. Impact Arena, Muang Thong Thani, 99 Popular Rd., 02-833-4455. Free entry.

Dhaninat Kaewkumnerd

38, Webmaster of The BMW Society, drives a 2012 BMW Z4 28idrive

“I got my first BMW when I was 26. It was a used 1995 3-series.
My family was into Volvos and definitely did not like the idea of me getting a Beemer one bit, especially a secondhand one. I ignored them and know I made the right choice.
Restoring a car takes a lot of time and patience. You need to have passion.
I was so paranoid buying a secondhand car. Why is the owner selling it, did he kill someone? All sorts of things went through my head.
In the end, you take a test drive and you do your research and that’s really all you can do.
I made BMW Society, aka The BMW Club of Thailand, because I couldn’t find information on my used BMW, like where to find spare parts or how to determine if the engine is still good.
In our latest meeting, so many members showed up (with over 500 BMWs), that you couldn’t park.
If you don’t have a social life, you won’t think about tuning or modifying your car. It’s the same with women. If you don’t have a social life, you don’t want brand-name bags and nice dresses to show off who you are.
I don’t do street racing; I only race at certain events like quarter mile races or at proper racing circuits like Pira Circuit or Rangsit Klong 5.
Lots of people think just because we drive a BMW that we’re obnoxious drivers who love to race; this is not true at all.
I try not to get too crazy about my cars. I know some people who are so obsessed that they just can’t get enough. I don’t want to be at a point where it’s like collecting toys.”

Kitja Suwanyothin

42, member of Subaru Club Thailand, drives a 2009 Subaru Impreza.

“I first fell in love with cars by watching races. I’d steal my dad’s car to go see them.
Subaru cars are designed by Japanese engineers who design airplanes. Once you’ve driven one, you can’t drive anything else.
I own five Subarus. They are very addictive. Once you own one, you want more. It’s hard to stop.
Going at 160 kph in a Toyota freaks me out, but in an Impreza it doesn’t even feel like I’m going fast.
There’s always something I want to do with my car. It makes me want to make more money. So in a way, it teaches you the value of money.
My girlfriend complains I spend too much money on my cars, but I feel it’s better to have a hobby than to go have affairs and spend money on them.
Once when I went to Khon Kaen and it took me only four hours instead of seven. I left home at 10am with my friend and got there by 2pm. Then I drove back to Bangkok, dropped my friend at his house and got back to my place at 6pm. Not that I recommend going this fast.
If your parents buy you a car. Don’t tune it. Save up to buy your own car.

Fonthip Chongprawatsakul

25, member of the New Mini Society, drives a 2012 Mini Cooper Coupe

“I first fell in love with the Mini when I was in high school. I love the classic vibe.
This Mini Coupe is my first car. Her name is Panda.
Minis have a track-car feeling to them. It’s not a soft ride.
Buying a car is not a small investment, listen to what your parents have to say.
I love the New Mini Society. I just joined the club a month ago. It’s a warm loving community.
I’ve got plans for Panda’s modifications. I just want to express what I love.
Yeah, I’m crazy about Minis. I just got one and I already want another. I work close to my house and I’ve only had Panda for a month but the mileage is already at 1,000 km. I love taking her for a drive.
While driving Panda the tire pressure alert system tells me if the tire pressure is dropping. That’s why Minis are really good for women, they tell you if something’s wrong with your car so you don’t have to stop, get down and check it yourself.”

Napat Thatritorn

36, founder of the Thai Volkswagen Club, drives a Volkswagen Double Cab

“Many people who love Volkswagen work in design-related jobs such as architects, graphic designers or engineers. I think it’s because they all can connect to its special design.
This car grows more expensive as it gets older. People who buy them tend not to sell them. I once sold a deluxe edition 1950s Volkswagen Barndoor for B3 million, that’s how high the price can get.
My first Volkswagen was a van. I found it at a temple in Ayutthaya where someone had donated it. It was really awkward negotiating a monk.
I had to track down so many documents. The former owner had passed away and it took me two years with his daughter’s help before I was the legitimate owner of the car.
I own fifteen Volkswagens. I used to have more but some of them were sold to Volkswagen lovers both in Thailand and abroad.
My favorite is this Volkswagen Double Cab, it’s rare and I spent a lot of money and time restoring it.
Most people think of Volkswagen and only see the van or the beetle, but actually there’s much more to Volkswagen, such as the Double Cab or the Barndoor; some models might look similar but each of them is unique in their own way.
It’s very funny when I’m getting a new Volkswagen, since I tell people I’m getting a new car, but also that I need a tow. The car is new for me, but it’s actually a classic car about to be restored.
The hardest part about restoration is finding the parts and getting the right body color. You must be prepared to argue with mechanics because sometimes they just don’t understand that every little detail matters and that it’s something dear to your heart.
I got scammed by mechanics. I don’t want anyone who loves Volkswagen to experience the same thing, so I started the website.
We take lots of trips. We’ve been driving together to places like Rayong, Laos and Malaysia. It’s a great experience and a good memory.
Once on the way back, a light went on the dashboard on one of the member’s cars. We stopped the convoy and spent an hour checking the engine. Finally I asked to see the car’s manual. He had turned on the emergency headlights by accident. We teased him about it the whole way back to Bangkok.
Recently, I was driving my Volkswagen truck when a car cut me off. We pulled over and the owner of the other car apologized but said he’d been looking long and hard for this truck and wanted to buy it.
I declined but still, it’s good to know that there are many people out there who share my passion.

Nattapon Kaewtippanet

33, admin of Club Nissan Cube, drives a Nissan Cube Z11

“My first ride was a dek van motorbike, then I got myself a Honda Jazz. My family’s car broke down, so I gave them the Jazz and switched to using the Cube.
The Nissan Cube’s design is very unique; it’s not a mainstream car. And I know that I can tune it to my style.
It’s very comfortable. The inside seats feel like a couch.
The Nissan Cube is also perfect for lovers, there’s nothing between the front seats so you can get closer while driving. Girls really love that.
The Nissan Cube is a niche car, so club members help each other to find parts or recommend a decent place to modify it.
I used to race, now I only do it if members of the club or I have just installed something new to their car. It’s kind of a product test to see how well it performs after installation.
This car has brought me fun and excitement and, I’m not trying to sound cocky here, but girls too. It’s so weird, once I got the Cube I got many girls.
My license plate is “yor ying and gor gai.” My friends even tease me that my car is like a chick magnet. So now they say the license plate should be ying-gor (girls hooked).
It’s a cute car but also unique and masculine.
Once I parked next to a brand new BMW, and there were a bunch of girls walking around, and they seemed more interested in my Cube than the BMW. That makes me so happy and proud.
Buy it because you love it and don’t let girls get in the way of modifying it. Car tuning for guys is like shopping for girls, and at least it’s much cheaper than going to get massages.

Bunn Kasemsup

44, Webmaster of Bangkok Classic Car, drives a MGA Roadster

“There was this classic Fiat passed down through my family. My father used it and I used it in college too. I remember saving up and spending my allowance on restoring it.
I’d always wanted a red sports car and I love everything about the MGA. But more than that, the feeling of turning a dead car into a fully working one is amazing.
The MGA Roadster is like a piece of art, they’re well designed with meaningful details. These types of cars don’t exist in today’s world anymore.
I was already involved in buying and restoring classic cars like Mercedes Benz and Alfa Romeo, but I couldn’t find an MGA Roadster.
I was driving down Ratchada road one day and saw a red roadster. I drove next to the car, rolled down my window and asked the driver if he wanted to sell it. He declined but two years later, I ran into the same guy. He recognized me and told me that he’d be interested in selling the car.
I started the Bangkok Classic Car website in 2004. Our motto is, “If you love classic cars, you’re my friend.” You have to put yourself in the community to live it. I’ve created a home and it’s my duty to make it a welcoming and loving place.
Classic cars are my life. Even before I got married I made sure my wife understood my passion. This is not just a short term thing; it’s a long term commitment.
If you’re interested in them [classic cars], find out which type you really love. And think of it as a marriage, ‘til death do us part. Don’t just have it and park it. Use it, start it and take it for a drive.


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Top brands’ favorite new trick is to leverage their power with arranged marriages. Here are some of the child prodigies born from these label affairs.

Sennheiser and Adidas

German’s leading headphone maker Sennheiser and one of the top names in sports, Adidas, just put out these sport headphones that don’t fall off your head, look great and don’t cost a fortune. Featuring seven different models of headphones and in-ear earphones, the collection’s highlight is the HD 220 Originals. With its white and blue colors, the model is a wink at Adidas retro heritage, while the adjustable ear cups offer a secure fit.
At Sennheiser Store, 5/F, MBK Center, 444 Phayathai Rd., 089-483-7200. BTS National Stadium. B2,490

Uniqlo and Jun Takahashi

Japanese casual wear brand Uniqlo has a long history of successful collaborations. The one with Jil Sander just ended (unfortunately), but Uniqlo has moved on fast, hooking up with Jun Takahashi, renowned Japanese designer and founder of fashion house Undercover. The result is the Uniqlo x Undercover collection. It mixes the casual clothing Uniqlo is famous for with touches of high-end street fashion to create clothes that are both wearable, fashion-forward and family-friendly.
At Uniqlo stores. 3/F, CentralWorld. 999/9 Rama 1 Rd. 02-613-1465. BTS Chit Lom (and Central Rama 9).

ODM and Tofu

Hong Kong watch maker ODM and Japanese design team Devilrobots of Tofu Oyako cranked out this limited edition watch collection. The face is marked by Tofu’s signature characters using simple lines and vivid colors, while the watch is pure ODM plastic-fantastic goodness.
At department stores nationwide in red, pink and yellow at B5,750. You’ll also get one set of free Tofu charms and stickers. Try M/F, Siam Paragon, 991 Rama 1 Rd., 02-690-1000. BTS Siam.

Converse and Masafumi Watanabe

The Jack Purcell sneaker made its debut over 75 years ago before being purchased by Converse in the 1970s. It looks a lot like Converse’s iconic Chuck Taylors, but features the distinctive ‘smile’ strip across the toe. Fused with Masafumi’s contemporary street-wear aesthetics, chocolate brown rubber and oak-brown leather touches, the result is just gorgeous and exclusive—only 200 were made.
At Converse Carnival, 1/F, Siamkit Bldg., Siam Square, Rama 1 Rd. , 02-664-4598. BTS Siam. B6,990.

Greyhound and Rubber Killer

Chiang Mai bag designer Rubber Killer is cranking out a special collection with local fashion behemoth Greyhound. With minimal designs and the use of plain black, the collection covers just three bags: The oversized canvas B1,595, the classic rubber tote B3,595 and the mini rubber tote (pictured) B2,995. Don’t let the plain looks fool you, all the bags are made from used car tires and are 100% green on top of being extremely durable.
At Greyhound flagship stores. Try 3/F, The Emporium, Sukhumvit Soi 24 Sukhumvit Rd., 02-269-1000. BTS Phrom Phong.

JUST IN: Artist Series. Hipster darlings Urface are teaming up with veteran party organizers Dudesweet. The collection launch party will be on Mar 23. B3,580 at Urface, 430/29 Siam Square Soi 10, Rama 1 Rd., 081-458-6778.


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Hottest new stores from the young Thai designers.


Perhaps you’re feeling drab and your wardrobe needs a serious dash of color. Or maybe you love standing out in a crowd. Bold, bright and attention-grabbing best describes this collection of clothes and jewelry. Nope, there’s nothing understated here. The designer’s use of interestingly-angled lines is reminiscent of high-end 80s fashion runways—or even just a Cyndi Lauper music video. Designer Unawan Tangkaravakoon’s fitted dresses and paneling make for striking silhouettes. The jewelry is the real show-stopper, however, from ornate, décolletage-covering necklaces to chunky, studded bracelets for a sophisticated-yet-theatrical statement. Tops start at B3,300, dresses at B6,400 and accessories at B1,600.
979 Rama 1 Rd., Siam Center, 3/F, Room 337. BTS Siam. Open daily from 10am-9pm. 02-658-1125.

I Don’t Have a Name

Plaid shirts, Toms Shoes, colorful bow ties paired with T-shirts imprinted with Andy Warhol’s iconic Marilyn Monroe graphics—I Don’t Have a Name may not have one, but we do: hipster central. This shop is a young graphic designer’s dream. The brand was started by three friends on Facebook, one-and-a-half years ago and has now taken off. Their store has a fun and playful tone, and the dog design on many of their products is not coincidental, but rather a tribute to the designers’ love of man’s best friend. Focusing mostly on men’s shirts, prices start at B1,290 for long-sleeved plaid shirts and B490 for T-shirts. I Don’t Have a Name’s light-colored scarves start at B290 and bow ties from B250.
2, 88 Terminal 21, 2/F, Room 2122, Sukhumvit Soi 19. BTS Asoke. Open daily 10am-10pm. 086-320-5279.


Get ready for the party, with this designer’s focus on club-ready evening attire and accessories. You’re sure to swoon over the gold sequin mini-shift dress. Nithina Takviriyanun’s dresses cast a late 60s/early 70s vibe. Think Sharon Stone in Casino. Get ready to break out your matte lipstick and black eyeliner, ladies. Tops start at B1,200, dresses at B1,900, custom-made dresses at B6,500 and accessories like phone cases and bracelets start at B1,400.
2, 88 Terminal 21, 1/F, Room 1041, Sukhumvit Soi 19. BTS Asoke. Open daily 11:30am-10pm. 083-363-0911, 081-938-7707.


Kwanyo Maoon’s passion for secondhand clothing is the starting point for his embroidery designs of animals and shapes. His bespoke creations are a must for people who love to sport something a bit quirky, with T-shirts, shirts and polo shirts comprising the majority of the line. The shop also has one-of-a-kind canvas totes in black and white. T-shirts start at B450, polo shirts at B750, short-sleeve shirts at B750 and long-sleeve shirts at B950.
2, 88 Terminal 21, 2/F, Room 2104, Sukhumvit Soi 19. BTS Asoke. Open daily 10am-10pm. 084-011-1606.


This narrow, stall-like boutique is filled with simple, mostly solid-colored dresses and tops for women. Designer Sudathip Wongsod concentrates on flowing draping that’s flattering for almost any body type, with an ultra-girly bow design being a central theme throughout her collection. Her dresses and tops are perfect day-to-night options: paired with a jacket or cardigan they work for the office, and yet can be worn alone in the evening for a sweet and flirty look. Tops start at B1,400, dresses at B2,900 and scarves at B1,200.
263/13 Rama 1 Rd. Siam Square Soi 2. BTS Siam. Open daily noon-9pm. 02-252-5794, 087-323-0999.


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