Ratings: 2020 Proton X50 1.5 TGDI - High fuel consumption, but a good all-rounder

Arif · Jan 10, 2021 10:29 AM

An exciting new choice for a B-segment SUV is the Proton X50. Segment rivals include the Honda HR-V and Mazda CX-3.

Some fell head over heels for the Proton X50 upon its launch, while some are still on the fence on this vibrant little SUV. To break things down more objectively, we shall put it through our WapCar rating system.

Let's see how the Proton X50 scores.

2020 Proton X50 1.5 TGDI: Driving Performance - 35/50 pts, It's quick for what it is

2020 Proton X50 1.5 TGDI Flagship - Facts and Figures
Engine 1.5-litre 3-cylinder TGDI
Transmission 7-speed DCT
Power 177 PS @   5,500 rpm
Torque 255 Nm @  1,500 - 4,000 rpm
Weight 1,370 kg
0-100 km/h 8.6 seconds
100-0 km/h 39.5 metres

The vibrant-looking SUV has the performance to match its bright colours. The three-cylinder TGDI engine of the Proton X50 is more powerful than both the Honda HR-V (142 PS) and Mazda CX-3 (156 PS) at 177 PS. On paper, the transmission of the Proton X50 is also more impressive, utilising a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission.

We tested the 0-100 km/h acceleration time of the Proton X50 and managed 8.6 seconds. The claimed time is 7.9 seconds.

The TGDI Proton X50 also produces the highest maximum torque in its class with 255 Nm. If you desire a quick B-segment SUV, the Proton X50 will not dissappoint.

Braking distance is not the best in class with the Honda HR-V braking earlier by 2 meters. Braking modulation of the Proton X50 could also use some improvement.

Steering is well-weighted with decent feedback.

2020 Proton X50 1.5 TGDI Flagship - Driving Performances Breakdown
Engine Acceleration 4 / 5
In-gear Acceleration 4 / 5
Throttle Response 3.5 / 5
Transmission Shift Logic 2 / 3
             Smoothness 4 / 5
      Sport/Manual Mode 3 / 3
Steering   Accuracy 2 / 3
Response 2 / 3
 Weight & Feel 2 / 3
Braking Distance 2 / 3
 Feel 1.5 / 3
Handling  Chassis Balance 1.5 / 3
 Grip 1.5 / 3
 Load Reaction 2 / 3
Total   35 / 50 pts

2020 Proton X50 1.5 TGDI: Ride Comfort - 35/50 pts, Good ambience, but seats could be better

If you're used to older Proton cars, the X50 will impress you in terms of comfort. The bigger tyres and longer suspension travel absorb road undulations well, resulting in a comfortable ride.

Noise and vibration levels are also impressive for a three-cylinder engine. At higher speeds however, small turbulences near the side mirror area may cause additional noise in the cabin.

2020 Proton X50 1.5 TGDI Flagship - Noise Level
60 km/h 62 dB
90 km/h 65 dB
110 km/h 68 dB

The seat base could use some improvement by providing more thigh support for both the front row and second row.

You can't adjust the rake on the front seats.

2020 Proton X50 1.5 TGDI Flagship - Ride Comfort Breakdown
Sound Proofing 8 / 10
Suspension 7 / 10
Passenger Comfort 7 / 10
Seat Support 3 / 5
Ergonomics 3 / 5
Engine Refinement 7 / 10
Total points 35 / 50 pts

2020 Proton X50 1.5 TGDI: Quality and Features - 38/50 pts, A very well-equipped car

2020 Proton X50 1.5 TGDI Flagship - Panel Gaps (mm)
Location Driver Side Passenger Side Difference
Bonnet 3 4 1
Front Fender 3 3.5 0.5
Front to Rear Door 3 3.5 0.5
Rear Door to quarter panel 3 3 0
Tailgate 3 4 1

Panel gaps on the Proton X50 are not exactly symmetrical, but the difference between the left and right side is acceptable.

2020 Proton X50 1.5 TGDI Flagship - Paint thickness (µm)
Location Driver Side Passenger Side
Front Bonnet 118
Front Fender 127 124
Front Door 127 155
Rear Door 137 123
Rear Quarter Panel 130 124
Tailgate 119
Roof 112
Average paint thickness: 127 µm ±11 

Paint thickness is fairly consistent with only certain panels with larger deviations.

2020 Proton X50 1.5 TGDI Flagship - Exterior Material Use
Bonnet Soundproofing Material Thick
Struts Gas
Front Fenders Soundproofing Material Yes
Doors Front Windows Single Glazed
Rear Windows Single Glazed
Construction Multiple Piece
Tailgate/Boot Opening Manual (powered optional)

The Proton X50 is packed with features, enough to keep you exploring the car for a while after purchasing it.

The instrument cluster offers several personalisation options and the 10.25" touchscreen unit is very user friendly. 

The "Hi Proton" feature is more seamless than earlier versions.

Indicate left and the left-side camera will be activated

Although not a large car, the Proton X50 TGDI is equipped with a 360° camera that switches the display to the left or right side, depending on which direction you indicate to.

2020 Proton X50 1.5 TGDI Flagship - Cabin Material Use
Seat Seat Cover Leather
Armrest Armrest Cover Leather
Dashboard Upper Section Soft plastic
  Lower Section Hard Plastic
Front Doors Upper Section Soft Plastic
  Middle Section Leather
  Lower Section Hard Plastic

Safety features have received good attention too, with the Proton X50 being equipped with a full suite of ADAS and 6 airbags.

Under the ASEAN NCAP safety rating system, the Proton X50 scores an excellent five-star rating.

2020 Proton X50 1.5 TGDI Flagship - Quality & Feature Breakdown
Exterior Paint Finish 3 / 4
Panel Gaps 3 / 4
Assembly Quality 1 / 2
Interior Build Quality 4 / 5
Materials Used 3.5 / 5
Features Safety 8 / 10
ADAS 5 / 5
Luxury 3 / 5
Convenience 4 / 5
Infotainment 2.5 / 5
Total   36 / 50 pts

2020 Proton X50 1.5 TGDI: Space and Practicality - 31/50 pts, Lacks practical storage space

We have no complaints on the cabin space for passengers in the Proton X50. The intelligent design makes full use of the cabin space for the driver and all four passengers.

What the Proton X50 lacks is practical storage/cubby space. It doesn't take much to create clutter in the cabin of the Proton X50. 

The design of the front seat allows for better legroom for the rear passengers. Head room is not bad either.

2020 Proton X50 1.5 TGDI Flagship - Interior Space Breakdown
Front Row 7 / 10
Middle/Back Row 7 / 10
Third Row 0 / 5
Boot Space 3 / 5
Practicality 3.5 / 5
Storage Space 3.5 / 5
Visibility 4 / 5
Storage Flexibility 3 / 5
Total 31 / 50 pts

2020 Proton X50 1.5 TGDI: Fuel Consumption – 9/20 pts, Not the X50's strongest point

After driving for 71km in a mix of 60% city and 40% highway driving, a calculated fuel consumption of 10.2 l/100 km was obtained. Admittingly, it is on the higher side.

Fuel economy is not a strength of the Proton X50, but it is fairly compensated by the decent engine power and torque outputs.

2020 Proton X50 1.5 TGDI Flagship - Fuel Consumption Test Breakdown
Fuel Consumption 6 / 15
Eco Mode 2 / 2
Indicator Accuracy 1 / 3
Total points 9 / 20 pts

2020 Proton X50 1.5 TGDI: Purchase and Cost – 23/30, most affordable in its class

Compared to the Honda HR-V 1.8 L RS (RM118,581*) and Mazda CX-3 (RM126,829*) the Proton X50 1.5 TGDI Flagship is the cheapest, starting at RM 103,300. Despite offering a comprehensive combination of features, it still manages to be the most affordable.

*OTR without SST

The given warranty is of 5 years with unlimited mileage.

2020 Proton X50 1.5 TGDI Flagship - Service Costs
Month Mileage (km) Cost (RM)
1 1,000 -
6 10,000 275.54
12 20,000 342.70
18 30,000 358.22
24 40,000 459.35
30 50,000 358.22
36 60,000 637.15
42 70,000 358.22
48 80,000 459.35
54 90,000 640.10
60 100,000 438.10
Total 4,326.95

2020 Proton X50 1.5 TGDI Flagship - Purchase & Cost
Purchase Car Price 14 / 15
Warranty 4 / 5
Cost Maintenance 3 / 5
Fuel Cost 2 / 5
Total   23 / 30 pts

2020 Proton X50 1.5 TGDI: Conclusion - 169/250 pts overall

The Proton X50 scores well in almost all the rating pillars. It's virtually an all-rounder with a slight weakness when it comes to fuel consumption. It is a quick little SUV with a decent features (convenience and safety) and a decent level of comfort.

The cabin of the Proton X50 maximises passenger room and the exterior design is youthful and vibrant.

While the cabin has ample space, areas that could be improved are the seat thigh support and storage space. 

The Proton X50 offers the biggest performance numbers in its segment, and it comes at the fair expense of fuel economy. However, with everything else offered on the Proton X50, one could forgive its Achilles' heel.

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