While it’s completely understandable why the media and ultimately the public has fallen head over heels for Proton’s new crossover, it’s quite easy to overlook the car’s shortcomings when the bulk of it is so impressive.
We’re talking remote start capabilities, either through the key fob or the Proton Link app, Advance Driving Assistance System (ADAS) with Level 2 autonomous driving capabilities, a 360-degree view monitor, a panoramic sunroof, and the list just goes on.
What’s more impressive is that the X50 could very well be priced below RM100k. That being said, prices have yet to be confirmed and announced so we’ll refrain from speculating further. What we can share though, is what we’ve seen, touched and felt during our brief stint with the car at Proton’s Tanjung Malim plant last week.
Long story short, the X50 looks and feels like a car that’s twice as expensive (based on what we expect it to be priced). If Honda, Toyota, or even Kia were to slap their emblems on it and price it at RM150k or more, it’ll still have no problems drawing long queues outside showrooms and sell even quicker than the latest iPhone.
That being said, here’s where the X50 has been a victim of its own success. As the car is “almost perfect”, in terms of its value for money, it’s very easy to spot the slightest shortcoming and it lies within the 360-degree and reverse camera display.
It’s probably not the infotainment system’s fault, which now features the latest GKUI 19 operating system previously not available in the Proton X70. The displays were quite sharp and we’d even rate the user experience of it quite highly as it was smooth, responsive, and rather intuitive to use. Instead, if we deduced correctly, it’s the quality of the cameras.
With an interior that’s as well-built as the X50’s, with dual-tone leather seats in the Flagship variants and generous amounts of tasteful brushed aluminum-like trims, the clarity of the cameras is the complete opposite of what we know and expect of China when it comes to tech.
You don’t need to look far, just take their smartphones as an example, which has been giving established brands like Samsung and Apple a run for their money. It seems that they’ve somehow neglected that aspect of the car.
The clarity of the display was only as good as a 360p quality video on YouTube in our opinion, 480p at the very best and when it’s featured in a cabin with a fancy dashboard and panoramic roof, it’s a complete turn-off and has no place in such a quality environment.
With some weeks left to its launch (purely based on the word on the street), it’s unlikely that this article would make Proton’s team scramble. It’s just that with all the positive hype surrounding it, we felt it’s best to stay level-headed and objectively point out the pros and cons of the most exciting car to come out of Proton yet.