Pros and Cons: Proton X70 – Great on comfort, not-so-great on fuel

Shaun · Jan 16, 2021 06:00 PM

With all the buzz for the Proton X50, the Proton X70 might have gotten overshadowed recently. But that doesn’t mean the Proton X70 has lost its appeal because it still offers tremendous value for money.

To recap its prices, the Proton X70 is priced (OTR without SST and insurance) from RM 89,900 for the Standard variant, all the way to RM 115,800 for the Premium X variant.

If the Proton X50 doesn’t suit your needs and preferences, perhaps you need more space and prefer something even more comfortable, then the Proton X70 shall be right up your alley. Here are its pros and cons to help decide if the Proton X70 is the SUV for you.

Pros

  • Still the most comfortable SUV, Ringgit for Ringgit
  • Premium interior
  • Fantastic value for money

Cons

  • On the thirsty side
  • Tall boot height
  • Lacks Apple CarPlay/Android Auto

Pros – Still the most comfortable SUV, Ringgit for Ringgit

Despite having introduced stiffer springs and dampers for the locally-assembled Proton X70, the supple character and ride comfort of the fully-imported units are retained.

With the stiffer suspension set up, the X70 corners surefootedly. Body roll is well-managed for an SUV of its size and the most obvious effect is that the rear passengers now don’t get thrown around as much.

Seats are supportive with lumbar adjustment and ventilation function. Unlike the seats in the Proton X50, the seat base angle can be adjusted to provide better thigh support. Rear seats in the Proton X70 are also nicely sculptured and supportive.

Cabin insulation is also top notch with minimal rolling noise, be it engine or tyre noise. Although wind noise does creep in at higher speeds due to its shape. Combine the well-tuned suspension and comfortable seats with the quiet cabin, the Proton X70 makes for an excellent long-distance cruiser.

Pros – Premium interior

Build and material quality of the Proton X70 is exceptional for its price. The use of soft plastics throughout the top section of the cabin, brushed aluminium effect trim pieces, Nappa leather seats, and panoramic sunroof just lift the cabin ambiance.

Pros – Fantastic value for money

Taking the range-topping Premium X variant as an example, it gets a nine-speaker audio system by Kenwood, panoramic sunroof, powered tailgate with handsfree access, ventilated front seats, crisp-looking 360-degree camera, and ADAS.

Some of these features aren't even included in cars triple its price. No other SUV, save for the Proton X50, offers as much value for money.

Cons – On the thirsty side

If you squint hard enough, you might just be able to see 7.21 litres.

After a 67.7 km journey in mixed driving conditions of about 60 % city and 40% highway driving (identical driving conditions and route to when we tested the Proton X50), the amount of fuel required to brim the tank is 7.21 litres.

This gives a calculated fuel consumption figure of 10.6l/100 km. However, back when we tested the fully-imported (CBU) Proton X70, we achieved 7.5l/100 km during our tests. But it has to be noted that the test was conducted on a clear Sunday afternoon traffic with mostly highway driving.

Cons – Tall boot height

The Proton X70 boot floor is relatively high with small opening. We measured the distance from ground to boot for the Proton X70 at 83 cm. In comparison, the Honda CR-V’s boot height is 62 cm.

This makes loading and unloading heavy items more difficult in the Proton X70 than the lower boot floor and wider opening Honda CR-V.

Cons – No Apple CarPlay/Android Auto

The GKUI infotainment system in the Proton X70 doesn't support Android Auto – which after experiencing the convenience of voice control for Waze/Google Maps/WhatsApp in the Honda CR-V’s Android Auto, the X70’s China-centric system feels like a step backwards.

As brilliant as GKUI is, you are still forced to control your Spotify playlist from your phone, and it can’t read/reply your WhatsApp messages. We would gladly trade Geely’s GKUI for a proper Android Auto/Apple CarPlay integration.

Conclusion

To summarise, the Proton X70 is amongst the most comfortable SUVs you can buy for the money, its interior is well-built and feels upmarket, and it’s packed with convenience and safety features.

On the downside, fuel consumption is on the higher side especially in urban conditions, the tall boot height somewhat hampers practicality, and it lacks Apple CarPlay/Android Auto integration.

Should the infotainment system ever gets updated with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto connectivity, the Proton X70 would be a near-perfect family SUV, good enough for us to overlook its higher fuel cost.

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