The 2020 Proton X70 CKD (locally assembled) brought about a number of surprises for consumers. Not only did it got a new 7-speed dual-clutch transmission (DCT) and improved kit list, Proton has also revised the suspension on the X70 CKD for better ride and handling.
In the fully imported (CBU) units of the X70, it received high praises for its stellar ride comfort. It absorbed and filtered road undulations like nothing else in the segment. However, the flip side of the slack suspension is that it doesn’t like corners all that much.
The X70 is a heavy car, close to 1.7 tons and the soft-ish suspension would induce quite a noticeable body roll. It’s nothing alarming but the rear passengers would experience a fair bit of rocking motion through the bends.
To rectify this, or rather, to reduce this rocking motion, Proton has revised the suspension setup for the X70 CKD with stiffer springs and dampers. The result is the SUV does not roll as much (still a tad bit of roll, it’s a tall car after all) as the CBU versions.
Through long sweeping bends, the X70 now sits more confidently with lesser lateral body movement. Being in the rear seat through Karak highway I can attest that there is less rocking motion and the rear passengers don’t get thrown around as much anymore.
This makes being ferried in the rear seats a significantly more pleasant experience. As for the person behind the wheel, a byproduct of the stiffer suspension setup is the steering feels noticeably sharper and responsive to your inputs.
Is it as sharp as a BMW? Of course not, this is a comfort-oriented SUV after all. But it does add to the handling, giving it a more dynamic driving experience.
Despite the stiffer set up, the amazing feat is that the X70 did not lose any of its plush ride. In fact, driving the two CKD and CBU cars back to back, there was hardly any difference in ride comfort. That’s a testament to Proton’s engineers in the ride and handling department.
Proton engineers were quick to point out that the X70 CKD does not carry the Proton Ride & Handling branding for a simple reason – the suspension as not designed and developed by Proton themselves. They’ve merely refined the suspension settings to be more suited for Malaysian consumer’s taste.
All in all, although the Proton X70 CKD is not blessed with Proton Ride & Handling, the tweaks that Proton engineers have made have clearly made it a more composed car to drive without sacrificing ride comfort.