Launched back in December 2018, the Proton X70 is Proton’s first-ever SUV and is currently the most popular SUV on sale in Malaysia right now.
Much of its popularity can be owed to the Proton X70’s price tag, which starts from RM 99,800, positioning the much larger X70 against smaller competitors such as the Honda HR-V.
However, unlike other Proton models that are locally assembled, the Proton X70 is actually built in Geely’s Ningbo production facility in China.
A couple of weeks after the X70 was launched, Proton Edar CEO Datuk Abdul Rashid Musa told Bernama that Proton’s Tanjung Malim plant was undergoing upgrading works to assemble completely knocked down (CKD) versions of the Proton X70.
Fast forward to June 2019 and Proton has begun trial production runs at its Tanjung Malim plant, with full scale production expected to commence in the second half of the year.
We can expect the Proton X70 to receive some updates after the CKD version is introduced sometime after October 2019.
As such, the CKD version of the Proton X70 will likely benefit from local sourcing of several components such as new wheels and a new infotainment system with support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. A power tailgate could also be offered on the CKD version of the X70, as rivals such as the Honda CR-V and Mazda CX-5 already offer such a feature.
Although the existing Geely Smart Ecosystem (GKUI) infotainment system found in the X70 is built on the Android platform, the infotainment system lacks any form of Google services, so no Google Maps, Waze or even Spotify. Instead users have to make do with Baidu Maps and Tencent's Joox music streaming service.
There are rumours circulating on some sites that Proton will be replacing our Malaysian market X70’s 1.8-litre turbocharged engine with a smaller 1.5-litre turbocharged engine mated to a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic.
That is not true as the downsized engine is meant for export markets where cars are taxed based on CO2 output figures, such as Australia, Thailand, and Singapore. Our local market Proton X70 will soldier on with the existing 1.8-litre turbocharged engine mated to the 6-speed torque converter automatic.
Prices are unlikely to go down any further, but potential buyers can expect more features to be added to the X70 for the same price.