Proton X70 – What needs improving?

Eric/Jan 24, 2020 10:00 AM

When Proton first launched the X70 back in late 2018, consumers were sceptical of the car’s Chinese roots – will it be problematic, they asked.

Well, that comes as no surprise, considering the history of Chinese cars sold here in the past.

With the X70, Proton and Geely hope to change the perception once and for all.

Despite all of their efforts, the X70 is not perfect and has some (minor) shortcomings.

Is the Proton X70's fuel consumption poor?

We are aware that a lot of owners have lamented about the X70’s poor fuel consumption, but let’s take a closer look.

We recently sampled the Honda CR-V 1.5 TC-P and took it around our test route – consisting of a mix of smooth-flowing and stop-go traffic, taking Jalan Damansara towards PWTC and back into Brickfields for a couple of loops.

On a Friday afternoon, the Honda CR-V returned 7.0-litre/100 km, factoring in the KL traffic after Muslim prayers.

We then sampled the X70 on a clear Sunday afternoon, whereby the SUV returned 7.5-litre/100 km, but after putting on a 10 percent equivalency adjustment factor, the X70 returns 8.3-litre/100 km.

With the numbers adjusted, the X70 consumes 1.3-litres/100 km more than the CR-V.

As such, when refuelling with RON95 fuel (current price: RM 2.08/litre), the X70 consumes at least RM 2.70 more for every 100 km travelled. Over a 500 km plus journey, you will need to fork out at least RM 13.50 more.

So yes, the X70 does consume more fuel than its rivals, but the actual amount is insignificant.

What about the infotainment system?

Yes, we are aware that the system features a fancy voice command system, but let’s face it – the voice command is best used as a “show-off” piece.

Despite Proton’s claims of the X70 “redefining connected mobility”, in reality it is far from the truth.

For a vast majority of Malaysian drivers, their go-to apps include Google Maps, Spotify, and Waze.

However, the Proton X70, being a product of China, does not feature these Western applications – in its place are a number of built-in Chinese applications.

Instead of Google Maps or Waze, you need to use Baidu Maps for navigation. Same goes for music streaming – you’re limited to Tencent’s Joox music streaming service for your music needs.

Sorry, no Android Auto for the X70

Further adding salt to the wound is Proton’s insistence on using MirrorLink, instead of the more superior options – Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

We explained why Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are superior over MirrorLink in this article.

Considering that Proton will be introducing the locally-assembled X70 soon, we do hope to see a change in its infotainment system.

There's also the maintenance costs

We also took a closer look at the maintenance costs of the Proton X70, comparing it against the Honda CR-V.

Over a period of 5 years/100,000 km, owners can expect to pay RM 4,897 to maintain the Proton X70, while owners of the Honda CR-V only need to fork out RM 3,958.

Wait, what?

Yes, the Proton X70 does cost more to upkeep, due to the 1.8-litre engine requiring 5 litres of engine oil, while the Honda CR-V only requires 4 litres.

Further adding to the overall maintenance cost of the X70 is its transmission fluid – owners need to fork out RM 500.96 to replace the fluid, as opposed to the RM 141.50 Honda CR-V owners need to pay for their CVT fluid.

With that said, owners of the X70 only need to replace the transmission fluid at every 60,000 km interval, while CR-V owners need to replace their CVT fluid at every 40,000 km interval.

But considering that the Proton X70 is some RM 40,000 cheaper than the Honda CR-V, the slightly higher maintenance cost can be easily overlooked.

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