PROTON launches first SUV, starting price under MYR100K

After months of teasing and sneak peaks, PROTON today unravelled the much-anticipated Proton X70 – its first sport utility vehicle (SUV). Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad launched the vehicle at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC).

The Proton X70 is the first vehicle jointly developed by PROTON and Geely and the first PROTON product in the premium SUV segment. The global SUV sales were around 26.68 million in 2017, with over 10 million coming from China. The global SUV market is projected to hit 50.95 million by 2023, so PROTON’s entry is timely. The new segment vehicle is also seen as a key catalyst for the rejuvenation of the PROTON brand.

Proton X70 Tun M
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PROTON said that the development of the Proton X70 involved cross deployment of staff in China and Malaysia, testing in Malaysia’s climate as well as collaboration between local and international vendors.

Marketing efforts and pre-orders began in September, including the launch of an online booking portal, a first for PROTON. The Proton X70 also made its first official public appearance at the 2018 Kuala Lumpur International Motor Show (KLIMS). Since then, PROTON has received over 10,000 bookings of its first SUV.

It’s one thing to develop a car and another to build a network of sales and support. PROTON made significant investments in this area in anticipation of the Proton X70 launch. As part of its ambitious network expansion plan, it invited new investors to start PROTON outlets and offered generous incentives to existing dealers to upgrade their facilities to 3S and 4S centre. According to PROTON, 115 plans for such centres have been approved to date, with 71 already launched this year.

Proton X70
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Zachary Yoong | SoyaCincau

Intelligence that inspires

The Proton X70 is the most advanced PROTON vehicle ever, boasting segment-leading features, top notch safety, connectivity and clever tech.

Say “Hi, Proton!” and the built-in voice assistant will spring to life. Control your power windows, air-conditioning, navigation, music and more using your natural voice, and via the 8-inch infotainment head unit. Say “I’m hungry,” and the voice assistant will show you a list of nearby restaurants on the display.

Through a downloadable mobile app, you can monitor the Proton X70 as well as control various function remotely.

It’s also a true connected car, with built-in cellular connectivity supplied by Celcom via an eSIM.

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Safety first

PROTON has a stellar record in vehicle safety. Look no further than the Proton Iriz, Persona, Preve and Suprima S – all 5-star ASEAN NCAP certified.

The Proton X70 continues this pristine record, acing the ASEAN NCAP certification and placing itself near the top of its segment for occupant safety. The SUV received a perfect score for side impact and head protection, thanks to a super stiff HPF (hot press forming) cell supplemented by six airbags, ISOFIX child seat mounting points as well as seat belts with pretensioners and load limiters.

That aside, the top-end variant – the Premium 2WD boasts Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) that comprises nine advanced sensors and five cameras to constantly monitor your surroundings and react accordingly to keep occupants safe.

This includes Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB), Forward Collision Warning (FCW), Lane Departure Warning (LDW), Blind Spot Information System (BLIS), Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) and Intelligent High Beam Control (IHBC). You may recognise some of these features from Volvo, now a Geely company.

And there’s plenty more including a 360 camera and parking sensors, a Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Hill Hold Assist (HHA) and Hill Descent Control (HDC).

Proton X70
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PROTON offers four variants but only one power plant option – a 1.8-litre TGDI (turbo-charged direct injection) engine that outputs 135kW/181bhp @ 5,500rpm of power and 285Nm of torque. The energy efficient engine lugs the Proton X70 from zero to hero in 10.5 seconds. It’s not shabby, and it’s even certified as an Energy Efficient Vehicle (EEV).

PROTON quotes a fuel consumption figure of 7.8L/100kms (2WD model only) from its 60-litre fuel tank. Want to know how it stacks up with its biggest C-segment rival the Honda CR-V? Paultan has a good comparison of the Proton X70 vs Honda CR-V in terms of running service costs over five years.

By the way, the power plant is mated to a 6-speed automatic gearbox with a manual mode and a choice of a 2WD or AWD drivetrain.

As mentioned, the Proton X70 comes in four variants: entry-level Standard 2WD, Executive 2WD, Executive AWD and Premium 2WD. They offer different levels of kit and trim, with the entry-level getting fabric seat material, while the Executive 2WD and Executive AWD getting leatherette.

The top-end Premium 2WD has premium quality Nappa Leather with all the bells and whistles including a panoramic sunroof.

Colour options include Snow White, Armour Silver, Jet Grey, Cinnamon Brown, and Flame Red.

Pricing and availability

The Proton X70 is aggressively priced, and pleasantly lower than expected. The entry-level Standard 2WD variant is priced right below MYR100,000.

  • Premium 2WD – MYR123,800*
  • Executive AWD – MYR115,800*
  • Executive 2WD – MYR109,000*
  • Standard 2WD – MYR99,800*

*OTR price without insurance

With this generous amount of standard kit, you’ll be hard-pressed to find similarly-spec-ed vehicles at these price points.

The good news is, that’s not all.

For a limited time, PROTON is offering additional goodies for buyers, called Xtra packages which include:

  • Free labour for five scheduled service appointments (within 100,000km or five years)
  • Five-year unlimited mileage warranty (first for a national automotive brand)
  • Fiver-year free data (1GB per month)
  • Extra low financing rates from 2.34% per annum for qualified buyers

PROTON also unveiled a national price scheme where Malaysian car buyers regardless of whether they are in East or West Malaysia will pay the same price for the same vehicle.

For more information, visit PROTON.

By Vernon

Vernon is the founder and chief editor of A graphic designer by profession, he has a deep love for technology, cars, gadgets, food, and travel. He tweets too much and is also known as a caffeine bacterium ("life's too short for bad coffee"). Bleeds Blue (go Chelsea FC!) and considers BMW, Porsche, Alfa Romeo cars to have in the garage--for true petrolheads, that is.