2020 Proton X50 – how will it affect other B-segment SUVs?

Zamil Syaheer · Mar 20, 2020 04:28 PM

The debut of Proton X70 in December 2018 took Malaysia by storm, so well that the C-segment SUV set a record for the most registration by an SUV during launch.

Proton X70

This is reinforced even further when the X70 took home Midsize Crossover and SUVs 5-seater category, and the Overall Car of The Year 2019 at the 18th Malaysia Cars of the Year Awards (previously known as COTY).

It catapulted Proton back to the top of the pyramid, once again becoming a major threat to other manufacturer in the local automotive industry. Continuing on with the momentum build by the X70, will the upcoming Proton X50 share similar limelight and success?

Lets look at the general overview below:

Proton X50 is set to tackle the B-segment compact SUV market, dominated by two Japanese rival, the Honda HR-V (review here) and Mazda CX-3 (review here). Based on the above, the X50 dashes ahead in the horsepower and torque game, including a class-leading 7-speed dual-clutch transmission.

Similarly, against its European rival, the Proton X50 makes both the Peugeot 2008 and Renault Captur looks like a child play. However, the biggest effect of all will be the selling price. We expect the X50 to be priced somewhere between RM 85,000 to RM 100,000, with an attractive specification list that might put even the bigger C-Segment cars to shame.

When it comes to trunk space however, this is where the X50 loses its sunshine a little. The Honda HR-V offers the biggest trunk space compared to the X50 and CX-3.

Even its European rivals offer a bigger trunk space, although still inadequate compared to HR-V. Interestingly, the Peugeot 2008 is the lightest car among the rest, while Proton X50 is the heaviest, which we assume comes from the bulk of safety tech equipped to the car. Not a bad thing, then.

Fret not, the X50 will shine back in terms of equipment level. Like its bigger brother, we expect the X50 to come similarly equipped with dual-zone climate control, panoramic sunroof, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, plus a 10.25-inch infotainment touchscreen running on the Geely Key User Interface (GKUI) which incorporates the infamous “Hi Proton” voice control.

We have tested the donor car, the Geely Binyue/Coolray in China last year. While there are several things that needs to be fine tune to suit our ‘fantastic’ local road condition and driving style, the car is a solid performer. The Binyue is also available in China with Level 2 semi-autonomous driving capability, though it’s unclear if our market supports this.

We strongly believe that once the X50 comes on sale, other manufacturers will have to start upping their game in order to fight Proton’s latest offering.