Commentary Lifestyle

Proton X70, unsurpassed value-for-money

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Ahirul Ahirudin
Written by Ahirul Ahirudin

January 10, 2019

IT’S definitely the talk of the town, this Proton X70, with most possibly aware that it is based on the Geely Boyue and is the first SUV to be launched under the Proton-Geely partnership.

The X70 is available in four variants, starting with the Standard 2WD at RM99,800, followed by Executive 2WD at RM 109,800, Executive AWD at 115,800 and the Premium 2WD which retails at RM 123,800 on the road without insurance.

All are powered by a 1.8-litre turbocharged and direct-injected four-cylinder petrol engine, producing 181 hp at 5,500 hp and 285 Nm of torgue from 1,700 to 4,400 rpm paired to a six-speed automatic transmission.

Measuring 4,519 mm long, 1,831 mm wide and 1,694 mm tall, this car is actually bigger than some of its rivals, particularly the Kia Sportage or Volkswagen Tiguan, but is smaller than the Mazda CX-5 or Honda CR-V.

This car defies its price range because it is meant to compete with the likes of the CR-V or CX-5 but somehow Proton manages to price it closer to the Honda HR-V (B segment SUV). I’m not sure if it’s at the expense of Proton’s profit margin but those who are eyeing this car will definitely appreciate this.

This particular premium variant has all the bells and whistles but some of the noteworthy features are adaptive cruise control, real-time tyre pressure monitor, Brown Nappa leather seats and upholstery and nine speakers (with amplifier and subwoofers).

Safety measures go all the way here with the inclusion of six airbags, anti-lock braking system with electronic braking distribution and brake assist, stability control, hill start assist and rear ISOFIX child seat anchors, plus hill descent control as standard on all variants.

Opting for the premium nets you Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) which house a plethora of advanced safety features such as autonomous emergency braking, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, blind spot information system and intelligent high beam control.

Practicality wise, this car is a C-segment SUV and its closest SUV competitor in terms of pricing is the Honda HR-V which is from a segment below. Naturally, The X70 will have a space advantage for both passengers and your weekend groceries.

Boot space is 512 litres which is slightly smaller than the bigger Honda CR-V (522 litres). What does it mean? It means you can fit in your weekend groceries comfortably together with two large bags. The rear seats fold flat too, allowing you to store longer items such as your bicycle or furniture.

The drive

My first impression of the X70 is that it has a relaxed character especially in regards to its drive-train and comfort. That impression remains true to the end of my review.

The 181hp on tap might give one the impression that this is an eager and powerful car. Powerful yes, but it is not eager. The engine is tuned in such a way that power delivery is smooth and the 6-speeder further emphasizes that trait. To summarise how the drive-train performs, it basically makes every day driving a breeze.

Should you be in a hurry though, rest assured that the 181hp is not all bark and no bite. If you’re not careful you’ll find yourself accelerating way beyond the national speed limit. With that much power on tap, overtaking above this limit is effortless.

I took the X70 up Genting Highlands to see how it handled the uphill challenge and I am happy to report that this car has enough power to overtake even at the steepest of slopes there. Also noticeable was the hushed sound of the engine, which was nice.

The six-speeder has three drive modes namely eco, normal and sport and is built by Drive-train Systems International. It performs as it should, changing gears at the right time. No noticeable flaw could be found here. Overall, the drive-train is a smooth operator.

Refinement level is really good with wind, engine and tyre noise at a minimal level even when going above the speed limit. Combine this with the spaciousness of the interior and also the relaxed power delivery, you get a car that is worthy to ferry bosses at the back.

Handling is pretty average, some body roll can be felt when tackling sharp corners. You won’t want to tackle high speed corners with this. The steering is a bit too light for my liking even with sports mode activated but it makes tight maneuvering and parking an effortless affair. Combine that with the 360-degree camera, handling a car this big has never been easier.

360-degree camera allows you to view everything in proximity to your X70, making maneuvering in tight space a simple affair

360-degree camera allows you to view everything in proximity to your X70, making maneuvering in tight space a simple affair

Moving on to the ride comfort, this is where the X70 really shines. With MacPherson front struts and rear multilink suspension setup, the X70 sails through uneven roads, undulation and speedbumps like a champ, making our roads feel smoother than they actually are. It makes me wonder, if this premium model ride is so good even with a 19-inch inch wheel, how would it feel if it rides on the 17-inch of the standard variant which should be even smoother.

Creature comforts, such as the 9-speaker setup by Kenwood (amplifiers and sub-woofer included) and voice-command function really makes long-distance driving a pleasant affair.

Speaking of voice-command function, I had mixed feelings for this one. Controlling the cabin temperature, radio, media functions, sunroof and windows is easy using just your voice (detects only English for now) making it an effective system to keep your eyes on the road. However, on-board navigation using voice command isn’t that accurate, as it struggles to detect our various road names and you’re better of typing those locations in the system instead.

Lastly is on the fuel consumption. Bear in mind that I only had the car less than three days for this review, so this is not a long-term fuel consumption review, but to give you an idea of how fuel efficient this car is. I got an average of 11.8km/l which is not bad at all. This reading is from mixed highway/city drive including my drive up and down Genting.

From my fuel consumption reading, in theory, with RM100 of RON95 petrol at RM1.91cent per litre, you can travel about 600km. Proton claims that this car is a certified Energy Efficient Vehicle.

To conclude this review, The Proton X70 gives you comfort, connectivity and practicality for those in the market for a SUV. With a price tag that undercuts most of its C-segment SUV rival, you get a car which value is very hard to beat. Perhaps, this is the real game-changer for Proton and since Proton has said that it will release a new car every year after 2018, expect more to come.

Below is a link for the video review of the Proton X70 and click here for the full specifications for all variant of the Proton X70

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Ahirul Ahirudin

Ahirul Ahirudin