Age is catching up - Proton X70 loses No.1 selling C-SUV crown to Toyota Corolla Cross
Hans · Jul 13, 2023 09:37 AM
Since its launch in December 2018, the Proton X70 has been the No.1 selling C-segment SUV in Malaysia. However as of January 2023, it no longer holds the leading position.
The new sales leader is the Toyota Corolla Cross. As of June 2023, cumulative sales of the Proton X70 stood at 6,116 units and Proton’s own press release lists the X70 as “2nd highest volume C-segment SUV” in Malaysia.
UMW Toyota Motor doesn’t publish the breakdown of its sales by model but checks with the publicly available Malaysia Automotive Association (MAA) production data show that as of May 2023 (June’s numbers are not published yet), Toyota’s Bukit Raja plant had produced 6,437 units of the Corolla Cross. In contrast, Proton’s Tanjung Malim plant had built 4,857 units of the Proton X70 in the same 5-month period.
Given that there’s an average 3-month waiting period for the Corolla Cross, it is safe to say that every single unit produced has a buyer waiting. As for the Proton X70, many dealers say they have stocks for immediate delivery to buyers.
The Proton X70 is not a bad car. In fact, it is in many ways superior to the Corolla Cross – it has a more powerful turbocharged engine (actually, it has two turbocharged engines), more expensive-feeling cabin materials, quieter ride at highway speeds – but you can’t fight ageing process and the X70 is starting to feel like a decade-old product.
The Proton X70 is based on the first generation Geely Boyue, which dates to 2016, which explains why it feels old.
In its home market in China, the Geely Boyue is already into the second generation Boyue L model, which rides on a new CMA platform. The older first generation Boyue however, is still sold alongside the newer Boyue L as a cheaper alternative to Chinese buyers.
The newer Toyota Corolla Cross made its global debut in July 2020, four years after the Geely Boyue. In human lifespan terms, that’s almost half of a person’s prime life years. Naturally, consumers prefer the newer, younger model.
However Malaysian customers would only get the Toyota Corolla Cross nearly one year later, in March 2021, due to delays caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Despite its age, the Proton X70 is still a very good buy today but when you are going up against Toyota, you can’t just be good enough and rely on tax-deducted national car pricing to fill the gaps in product and after-sales experience.
What the Toyota lacks in power is compensated by its superior fuel economy. It’s hard to find another SUV that offers a better, all-rounder balanced offering than the Corolla Cross’ mix of space, comfort, fuel efficiency, safety features, good after-sales, and proven resale value.
The Corolla Cross is also Malaysia's No.1 selling hybrid vehicle, and unlike the mild-hybrid Proton X90, the Toyota is a full-hybrid, meaning that it can do urban stop-go driving purely in electric power.
The new 1.5 TGDi Premium X variant sits between the 1.5 TGDi Premium and 1.8 TGDi Premium variants. It pairs the benefits of the 1.8 TGDi’s panoramic sunroof with the more fuel-efficient 1.5-TGDi GEP3 engine.
As a recap, here are the new 2023 Proton X70 range in Malaysia:
1.5 TGDi Standard: RM 98,800
1.5 TGDi Executive: RM 110,800
1.5 TGDi Executive AWD: RM 116,800
1.5 TGDi Premium: RM 123,800
1.5 TGDi Premium X: RM 126,800
1.8 TGDi Premium X: RM 128,800
The Proton X70 is available in two engine options – the newer, more fuel-efficient 1.5-litre 3-cylinder TGDi engine (177 PS / 255 Nm) or the 1.8-litre 4-cylinder TGDi (184 PS / 300 Nm), both are turbocharged, paired to a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.
Only the Executive AWD variant is all-wheel drive. All other variants are front-wheel driven.
The Toyota Corolla Cross is available in 4 variants, priced at:
1.8G: RM 130,400
1.8V: RM 137,400
1.8 Hybrid: RM 142,000
1.8 GR Sport: RM 142,000
The Toyota Corolla Cross comes in two engine options – a 1.8-litre naturally aspirated 4-cylinder (139 PS / 172 Nm) paired to a CVT-type automatic transmission or a 1.8-litre hybrid (98 PS / 142 Nm from engine, 72 PS / 163 Nm from motor) paired to a belt-less, planetary gearset E-CVT.
The GR Sport variant is based on the 1.8V variant but with chassis-stiffening upgrades.