This week saw the media preview of the Proton X50. Some might be tired of all the hype and some might even be tired of waiting for the official price list. Having said that, we predicted that the price of the X50 could range between RM 80,000 to a little over RM 100,000.
With that price, it is priced closely to Perodua’s SUV. No, not the D55L, that might be out in 2021. I’m talking about the Perodua Aruz. At RM 77,900 (inclusive of SST) for the top-of-the-range 1.5 AV, should you go for the rear-wheel-drive 7-seater over the smaller turbocharged 3-pot crossover?
Depending on what your needs are in a car, size does matter. If you need a car to bring the whole family down to Melaka and need extra space for the boxes of Nyonya pineapple tarts to share with friends, then the Aruz is the obvious winner here.
The Aruz is bigger than the X50, obviously. Both come from different segments with different targets. Still, the Aruz does have a sufficient array of safety features, especially at this price point. The Aruz comes with 6 airbags as standard while the top-of-the-range 1.5 AV adds the Perodua ASA 2.0 safety suite.
Rear legroom is decent even in the third-row thanks to the adjustable second-row seats.
Meanwhile, the smaller X50 doesn’t come short on safety features too especially on the top-of-the-line 1.5 TGDI Flagship. This includes BSM, LDW, LKA, AEB, and ACC with stop and go as well as 6 airbags. However, the X50 does lack in safety features as the price gets lower with the entry variant Standard only offering 4 airbags.
While indeed it lacks in space (and size for that matter) compared to the Aruz, the X50 has another trump card up its sleeve.
Or is it performance?
When the X50 was announced to use 3-cylinder engines on all variants, one of the most common issues is whether it can really deliver in performance. Well, worry not because based on our quick review, the X50 somehow delivers.
All those concerns of a 3-cylinder engine fade away the moment you drive the X50. Combined with the improved ride and handling from the Binyue and you have a crossover that feels like it's fun to drive.
Just that it sometimes doesn’t feel quick even with 177 PS/255 Nm from the turbocharged 1.5-litre direct injection engine. There is also a noticeable lag in the 7-speed DCT when it shifts but at least it feels smooth.
Then, there’s the Aruz and well, you’re back to the real world where practicality is more important in this 7-seater SUV than performance. In our review of the Aruz, we recorded a 0-100 km/h time of 15.7 seconds out of its 1.5-litre engine with 102 PS/133 Nm.
In Adrian's quick review with the X50 at Sepang, he did a time of 10.47 seconds (Proton's claimed figures recorded 7.9 seconds).
The Aruz is built on a body-on-frame platform, which combined with the rear-wheel-drive setup, the good ol’ realiable 4-speed automatic, and a pretty underpowered engine result in a slow and heavy SUV.
What about the third contender?
The real challenger of the Proton X50 is of course the Perodua D55L. Even though the powertrain of the D55L is still unknown for now – could it be the 1.5-litre from the Myvi or a 1.0-litre turbocharged 3-cylinder from the Japanese Daihatsu Rocky? – both SUVs share the same category.
But if you're wondering whether to book on an X50 or wait for the D55L, we got that covered right here.
For now though, which model should you choose between the X50 and the Aruz? Well, here’s the situation: if you’re the type of person who sees a need for practicality and space, the Aruz might be better suited for you.
But, if you crave performance and simply just can’t wait for the official prices to be announced, then the Proton X50 is the one. At least in the 1.5 TGDI Flagship. We'll do an in-depth review on the X50 in the future but do check out Adrian's quick review of the X50 at Sepang below.