At long last, the highly-awaited Proton X50 is now launched in Malaysia. Pricing for the compact SUV starts at RM79,200 for the 1.5T Standard variant, topping out at RM103,300 for the 1.5 TGDi Flagship.

EXTERIOR

Based on the Geely Bin Yue, the exterior of the Proton X50 is not too dissimilar to its Chinese cousin, but just like its elder brother – the X70, several changes have been made to the exterior to give it a “more Malaysian Identity”.

These changes include the iconic infinite weave grille replacing Geely’s expanding cosmos design, “cradled” by a ethereal bow trim with red pinstripe lining. Smack in the centre of the grille is the Proton’s new circular badge, unveiled in September last year – the logo is also found on the wheels, which are 17-inches in diameter on Standard and Executive variants, and 18-inches on the Premium and Flagship.

Standard across the board are the full-LED headlights (automatic on Executive and higher) and LED taillights, rear roof-mounted spoilers, as well as quad tailpipe exits – yes, they’re actual functioning tailpipes!

In terms of dimensions, the Proton X50 measures in at 4,330 mm long, 1,800 mm wide and 1,609 mm tall. That makes it 4 mm (length) shorter, 10 mm wider, and 4 mm taller than the Honda HR-V, it’s key rival. Wheelbase is also 10 mm shorter compared to the Honda compact SUV.

The Proton X50 is available in six different exterior shades: Snow White, Armor Silver, Ocean Blue, Jet Grey, Citric Orange, and Passion Red. Jet Grey and Citric Orange is only available from the 1.5T Executive variant and up, while Passion Red is only reserved for the Premium and Flagship variants.

The Proton X50 1.5 TGDi Flagship stands out even further in the model line-up thanks to its variant-exclusive dual-tone exterior (black-painted roof) and panoramic sunroof. The Flagship variant also gets automatic windshield wipers.

PERFORMANCE

The Proton X50 is available with two powertrain options. Both engine are identical except for its fuel delivery system – the lower three variants (with the 1.5T designation) receiving a Port Fuel Injection (PFI) version, while the Flagship variant gets a direct injection engine, resulting in an increase in horsepower output.

Variant1.5T Standard, Executive, Premium1.5 TGDi Flagship
Engine1.5-litre turbocharged three-cylinder, port fuel injection1.5-litre turbocharged three-cylinder, direct injection
Transmission7-speed dual-clutch transmission7-speed dual-clutch transmission
Max horsepower150 hp @ 5,500 rpm177 hp @ 5,500 rpm
Max torque226 Nm @ 1,500 – 4,000 rpm255 Nm @ 1,500 – 4,000 rpm
0-100 km/hN/A7.9 seconds
Fuel consumption6.5 l/100 km6.4 l/100 km

Both engines are paired to the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission as seen on the Proton X70. The national carmaker said that model-specific tunings were made to suit the weight and engine performance of the Proton X50 better. The three-cylinder engine was also engineered specifically to reduce noise and vibrations, and are designed to last over 15 years and 350,000 km.

Aside from the powertrain, Proton also says that more than 400 parts were changed during the localisation process of the Geely Bin Yue. Chiefly, the suspension has been tuned to be more pliant “for Malaysian roads”, so it’s not just a plain LHD to RHD conversion!

We had the opportunity to take the Proton X50 for a short taster at the Sepang International Circuit earlier this month for a quick assessment of its performance – do check out our video here.

INTERIOR

Geely says that the design of the Bin Yue – and by extension the Proton X50 – is inspired by fighter jets, and the motif is most noticeable on the inside, as seen on the jet engine-like air conditioning vents. Standard interior equipment across the range include:

  • Two-layer dashboard with brushed-aluminium styled surface
  • Flat-bottomed steering wheel
  • Pistol-style electronic gear lever
  • Rear air-con vents
  • N95 cabin air filter

Only the Standard variant gets fabric seats and a urethane-wrapped steering wheel; all other variants are equipped with Leatherette upholstery, while the steering wheel is wrapped in leather. The Premium and Flagship variants take it to the next level with a dual-tone black and red leatherette interior with six-way powered driver seat, and a red dashboard top.

Both the Standard and Executive variants receive an eight-inch floating infotainment display in the centre of the dashboard, paired to an analogue instrument cluster with a digital multi-info display at the centre. Premium and Flagship variants meanwhile gets a larger widescreen 10.25-inch infotainment display, paired to a seven-inch digital instrument cluster behind the steering wheel.

The infotainment system on the Proton X50 runs on the GKUI 19 system with a cleaner tile-based layout (think BMW iDrive 6), promising improved speed thanks to the new E01 64-bit quad-core processor and a dedicated graphics processing unit. The updated infotainment system includes features such as Joox music streaming, online navigation with the Alibaba AutoNavi app (with data from Here Maps), as well as QDLink smartphone mirroring.

Always on connectivity is enabled with an eSIM located within the infotainment system on the eight-inch units, and inside the telematics box on the Premium and Flagship variants – the latter allowing for a wider range of “Hi Proton” functions including opening the windows, and even allowing for remote engine start through the mobile phone application.

SAFETY

The Proton X50 range kicks off with four airbags on the Standard variant, while all other variants receive six airbags as standard. The tyre pressure monitoring system and 360-degree around view monitor is also only available on the Premium and Flagship variants; Standard and Executive only get a reverse camera.

The Standard variant does not come with front parking sensors; Executive and Premium variants get two, while the range-topping Flagship variant gets four parking sensors in front.

However, the key selling point on the Proton X50 is its level two autonomous driving system, which is one step higher than even its own elder brother, the Proton X70. By using a millimetre-wave radar and high-definition cameras, the system is able to accelerate, brake, and even steer the compact SUV in certain driving situations, along with the following functionalities:

  • Intelligent Cruise Control (level two)
  • Auto park assist with support for both parallel and perpendicular parking (level two)
  • Adaptive cruise control with stop-go functionality
  • Lane keep assist
  • Lane departure warning
  • Blind-spot information system
  • Intelligent high beam control
  • Autonomous emergency braking
  • Forward Collision Warning

PRICING

The Proton X50 range starts at RM79,200 for the Standard variant, RM84,800 for the Executive variant, RM93,200 for the Premium variant, and topping off at RM103,300 for the 1.5 TGDi Flagship.

Prices are inclusive of the sales tax exemptions, which are applicable for all purchases until the 31st of December.

All purchase of the Proton X50 will include a five year unlimited mileage warranty, a five-year data package with 1 GB/month, and the Proton Insurance Programme.

The Proton X50 will be offered with interest rates starting from 2.22% pa. The first 30,000 bookings before the 31st of December will also receive a five-time free labour service package.


GALLERY


Previous articleThis limited edition BMW M4 has a carbon roof like you’ve never seen before!
Next articleNew Isuzu 3S centre opens in Taiping, Perak
Woon
Believes that a car is more than just numbers and facts, it's about the emotions they convey. Any car can be the right car for someone, but he'll probably pick a hot hatch over anything else.