Malaysians are eagerly waiting for Proton’s next compact SUV which is expected to arrive after the locally assembled Proton X70 which is speculated to be called the Proton X50.
Although Proton has never confirmed (nor deny) whether their next SUV will be called the Proton X50, we know that it will be based on the Geely Binyue – courtesy of Proton’s foreign strategic partner.
We’ve tested the Geely Binyue in China, not to lay a death sentence on the Proton X50, but to get a first taste of what prospective buyers can expect in the future when the car dons the Proton emblem.
The unit as tested is not the range-topping Geely Binyue Sport variant, instead, we got our hands on the mid-grade 1.5L turbo variant. Although doesn’t look as fast as the Sport variant, this 1.5L turbo is still furnished with most of the important bells and whistles like panoramic sunroof, intelligent voice command touchscreen infotainment system and electric parking brake.
Under the hood lies a 1.5-litre turbocharged 3-cylinder TGDi petrol engine that is co-developed with Volvo (used in the Volvo XC40 T3) mated to a 7-speed wet-type dual-clutch automatic transmission.
It packs 177 PS and 255 Nm of torque; all being sent to the front wheels only. If this engine option is offered to our Malaysian spec car, the Proton X50 would be the most powerful car in the segment.
Although the Geely Binyue never stops to impress throughout our time with the car, there are some improvements we hope Proton are able to put into their car especially in the areas of ride and handling. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration for the infotainment system would be a welcome addition too.