Recently, I was asked by a friend, “what is the best value SUV on the market at the moment?” The Proton X70 come to mind instantly. The next question comes after that would be, “is it really worth it to get a Proton for RM123, 000?” My instant answer was a firm yes. Proton recently are kind enough to let us have a go in the premium spec Proton X70 to explore and understand the SUV that single handedly revived Proton.
On the outside, the Proton X70 is a handsome looking SUV. Plenty of masculine lines that gives the Proton X70 that menacing look. The X70 will never look out of place when you park it beside any modern day SUVs as there are those premium looking LED headlights with daytime running lights and LED combination taillights. The 225/55 R19 that comes with the premium X70 enhanced the looks of the SUV even further.
Stepping inside the Proton X70, you will not expect the look and feel of the interior of a Proton. The interior of the X70 is very bright and airy, this is thanks to the humungous panoramic sunroof that span until the rear seats. There are plenty of soft touch materials that are laid out around the dashboard, and the whole interior is well put together with minimum panel gaps, which just screams premium for the X70.
When you’re sitting in the driver seat, the leather wrapped steering wheel that is nice to the touch. Personally, I would prefer to have the steering rim to jut out slightly to give the steering wheel a sportier feel. Another highlight that the drivers could lay their eyes on instantly when getting behind the wheel is the 7” high definition screen that proton use for the instrument cluster. It has all the necessary information will be displayed on the instrument cluster screens.
Proton put a lot of emphasis on the infotainment unit in the Proton X70. The whole infotainment system consist of an 8” android base head unit that is link to a Kenwood 9-speaker unit with subwoofer and amplifier. The sound quality from the whole setup is crisp and clear. One more feature about the interior that we’re impress about the Proton X70 is that it has 6 different USB ports in various location around the to keep everyone’s devices charged up when on the journey.
The thing that I really like about the infotainment system is the high resolution of the 360 degree camera that work seamlessly with the infotainment unit. You can clearly see your surrounding when you’re maneuvering the X70 in tight spaces. On the other hand, we would really hope that Proton would include Android Auto and Apple CarPlay to make the user experience more intuitive.
The seats in the Proton X70 is wrapped with soft and lush Nappa leather. The front seats are very comfortable and supportive to keep the driver and passenger at ease over long distance driving. Moving to the back, there are huge legroom and headroom for the rear passengers. Comfort level are high even if you fit 3 adults at the back. With the seat back folded down, you can further expand the 515L boot space to accommodate longer and larger items.
Safety was not compromise even though its the most affordable premium SUV in the market. For starters, you get 6 airbags, Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BA), Traction Control System (TCS), Hill Descent Control (HDC), Hill Hold Assist (HHA), Emergency Stop Signal (ESS), and 2 ISOFIX points.
If you are able to stretch your wallet for the full spec premium 2WD X70, you will be graced with even more safety related equipment to make the car safer. The premium X70 will be equipped with Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB), Forward Collision Warning (FCW), Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Blind Spot Monitoring System (BLIS), Intelligent High Beam Control (IHBC), Lane Departure Warning (LDW), and Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS).
Driving experience for the X70 can be describe as pleasant. There is a 1.8L turbocharged inline 4 engine that pumping up 184PS at 5,500rpm and 285Nm of torque from 1,700rpm to 4,400rpm, and power is transmitted to the ground via a 6 speed automatic transmission. The engine have sufficient power to move the 1.7 ton SUV around. When you’re getting off the line, the 1st and 2nd gear can feel slightly jerky due to the closed ratio for the 1st and 2nd gears, but once you get used to the gearing, you could drive the X70 even smoother. Once the X70 is on the move, the engine do have strong performance to take you up to speed.
To absorb all the bumps, the X70 is equipped with McPherson Strut upfront and Multilink suspension at the rear to make ride of the X70 feel sophisticated when going over uneven roads. The suspension setup do keep the X70 body roll well in check, thus giving you the confidence you need to chuck the SUV into corners. The confidence level of the X70 cornering ability is further enhance through the electric power steering of the SUV. This is because you can feel connected to the front wheels of the X70, which you will be able to tell you about the limitation of the tyres.
In order to slow the car down, you do get 4 wheel disc brakes that provided decent stopping performance that can bring a heavy SUV to a stop with ease. On the move, the NVH inside the SUV is very well suppress to make the SUV comfortable when travelling along the highway.
The Proton X70 will make your trip to your nearest Proton showroom totally worth it. We can tell you about the good and bad about the X70, but you’ll be more impress when you give the X70 a go real life. At RM123,800, you do get quite a lot of car for your money. With that price, you also get 5 years unlimited mileage warranty, 5 times free service labour, and 5 years data package for your infotainment unit. You can choose the X70 between 5 different colours, Armour Silver, Cinnamon Brown, Flame Red, Snow White, and the same colour as our test car, Jet Grey.