2020 Proton X50 vs 2020 Proton X70: Malaysia's hottest SUVs, which is better?

Sanjay · Jan 01, 2021 10:00 AM

With the launch of the 2020 Proton X50, Malaysians now have yet another SUV to shop for - even if it means waiting some time for one. Since prices for the X50 overlaps with the 2020 Proton X70, let's park these cars side-by-side, go through each point and then help you pick out the perfect Proton.

Note that we're pitting the range-toppers of each model, the X50 Flagship and the X70 Premium X.

Prices - not too different

We realise Malaysians are prone to cross-shopping between prices more than vehicle segments, and that's one of the main catalysts behind this article.

2020 Proton X70 vs 2020 Proton X50 Price
Proton X70 Proton X50

1.8 Standard

RM 89,800

1.5 Standard

RM 79,200

1.8 Executive

RM 101,000

1.5 Executive 

RM 84,800

1.8 Premium

RM 113,101

1.5 Premium

RM 93,200

1.8 Premium X 

RM 115,800

1.5 Flagship

RM 103,300

All prices are on-the-road, sans SST, valid until 30-June 2020.

Prices for the X50 overlaps the X70, but is it worth it? Let's take a closer look. 

Dimensions - X70 is bigger

One point for the X70.

Surprise, surprise, the X70 is the bigger car. The taller, wider and longer X70 offers a higher seating position but in turn feels a bit more cumbersome to drive and park in tighter spaces.

It's the opposite in the X50, which feels nimbler and easier to wrest around in mall parking lots.

2020 Proton X70 vs 2020 Proton X50 Dimensions
Dimensions Proton X70 Proton X50
Length 4,519 mm 4,330 mm
Width 1,831 mm 1,800 mm
Height 1,694 mm 1,609 mm
Wheelbase 2,670 mm 2,600 mm
Weight 1,675 kg 1,370 mm

But of course, numbers are nothing without context, so we'll touch on how the size differences play off in other aspects as we go further in this article.

Performance - bigger car, bigger engine

The X70's hood is propped up by gas struts.

As expected, the X70 gains a higher-capacity engine that's also more powerful than the X50's three-cylinder unit.

2020 Proton X70 vs 2020 Proton X50 Powertrain
Proton X70  Proton X50 Flagship

1.8-litre, turbocharged four-cylinder (Direct Injection)

184 PS / 300 Nm

7-speed DCT

Front-wheel drive

1.5-litre, turbocharged three-cylinder (Direct Injection)

177 PS / 255 Nm 

7-speed DCT

Front-wheel drive

The X50's hood is supported by a manual prop.

Note that both cars share the same 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission (DCT), but the X50 benefits from slightly sportier mapping to suit its engine characteristics.

This is the Premium variant, denoted by the 18-inch wheels but sans black roof.

Bear in mind too that X50 variants lower than the Flagship gets a different engine. A 1.5-litre, multi-point injection (MPI) turbocharged three-cylinder powers the Standard, Executive and Premium variants, with a lower output of 150 PS and 226 Nm.

Exterior - smooth or sharp?

There's no question which is the more subdued one - the X70. With clean, smooth lines all around, the Peter Horbury-designed X70 looks statelier than its newer stablemate. Some might say it's a little conservative, but that's not bad a thing since its very easy on the eyes anyway. 

But don't get us wrong, we still love how the X50 looks. It turns heads, elicits two-thumbs ups by random motorists but its appeal lies in sportier, sharper lines. Small details all-around - like quad-tailpipes, red brake calipers and a spoiler - gives it a more youthful energy. 

So that's the first part then. Still can't decide? Let's jump in. 

Interior - one is better than the other

Proton X50's interior.

If you're one for space-age looks, then the X50 has this in the bag. The jet-inspired interior certainly looks the part with its design but as we mentioned in our review, its flaws start to show itself upon closer inspection. 

To recap, the things we like about the X50's cabin is the overall modern looks, with black headlining, floating touchscreen infotainment system, flat-bottomed steering wheel and also the fully-digital instrument cluster.

X50's seats.

But our gripes with it are equally deep: the seats are a let down in terms of materials and abysmal thigh support, making long drives more tiring than it needs to be. Meanwhile, the audio quality is average at best and there's lots of hard plastics and cheap-feeling materials. 

The X70's interior.

The X70 meanwhile is just worlds apart. Sure, the design may not be ultra-modern, but it still looks great. The key thing about the X70 is how much more premium everything feels, from the soft Nappa leather upholstery, much, much more comfortable seats and better 9-speaker Kenwood sound system.

Talk about comfortable.

A few things unify both models though, such as rear air-conditioning vents with two USB charging ports and lack of Android Auto and Apple CarPlay support on the infotainment system. 

Practicality - X70 takes the cake

X70's boot.

Pop round the back and yet another point ties both cars together, and that's the fact that neither SUVs have best-in-class boot spaces. However, the X70's 512-litre boot fits two full-size suitcases rather easily, and the X50's 330-litre trunk can only manage one. Something to think about.

The X50's boot.

To put it in perspective, the X70's boot is 10 litres less than the Honda CR-V's (522 litres). Meanwhile, the Honda HR-V's 404-litre boot space is 74 litres more than the X50's.

Back to the Protons, both SUVs get a powered tailgate (standard fitment on the X70 Executive and above, optional extra on the X50). That said, the X50's powered tailgate lacks hands-free operation, which the X70 has. 

Driving experience - sedate or sporty?

No prizes for guessing which car offers what kind of ride. The X50 is noticeably sportier and nimbler, thanks to its tighter dimensions, lighter weight and of course, the BMA platform.

But don't take this to mean that it's a harsh car: Proton's 'Ride and Handling' recipe here is still tuned for comfort, offering a smooth ride that absorbs bumps very nicely. 

Having said that, you hear a lot more in the X50 in both good and bad ways. For the good, you get to hear the engine revving and turbo whistling, but on the flipside wind noise makes itself very apparent at speeds above 80 km/h.

On the other hand, the X70 offers a refined ride. It's supple, very comfortable and makes for a nice family cruiser. It's a bit reserved, offering a more relaxed driving position that naturally coaxes you to drive at a more leisurely pace. It helps that it's plushier and better insulated than the X50 too. 

Safety features - pretty much equal

TPMS is available on the X50 Premium and Flagship as well as X70 Premium/Premium X.

Both cars have 6 airbags and come with advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) but note that not all variants get them. For the X50, ADAS is available only on the range-topping Flagship, while the X70 gets it in the Premium and Premium X variant. 

The X50 and X70's ADAS systems share these functions:

  • Autonomous emergency braking (AEB)
  • Forward collision warning (FCW)
  • Lane departure warning (LDW)
  • Blind spot information system (BLIS)
  • Intelligent high beam control (IHBC)
  • Adaptive cruise control (ACC)

However, the X50's ADAS system is a little bit more advanced as it's considered Level 2 Automation. It's got Intelligent Cruise Control (ICC), and the Auto Parking Assist (APA) party-piece, making it the cheapest new car that parks itself.

ICC functions from standstill to 150 km/h, and works with lane centring assist (steering assist) to help keep the car in its lane. The X70 doesn't get both systems. 

Conclusion - X70 for family, X50 for flamboyance

As always, it all comes down to what you're buying an SUV for. If you're looking for a family SUV that's spacious, comfortable and practical, go for the X70. If you want to be seen in a cutting-edge car, then go ahead and plonk the deposit for the X50. 

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