Expert Review - Proton X70 P7-90A (2018-Present)
10 January 2019
Lament the circa-RM100k starting price all you want - the Proton X70 is well worth the price of admission. Spacious and well-built, it has an air of quality that is on par with the best in its class, while its ride and refinement puts even premium brands to shame. Only the imprecise steering and the responsive but flawed GKUI infotainment system count against it.
Despite tipping the scales at nearly 1,700 kg, the X70 is fairly sprightly - it's not the quickest thing out there, but the amount of power on tap is entirely adequate. The 182 hp 1.8 litre turbo engine pulls strong and remains remarkably hushed even at full throttle, and while the six-speed automatic gearbox is clunky at times and a little hesitant to downshift, it does the job well enough.
Ride & Handling
Drive the X70 and it's clear that the car has been designed first and foremost for comfort. The steering is slow and light, requiring a bit of twirling to get around corners, and there's plenty of body roll to boot. The upshot of all this is that its composure over rough roads and its ability to absorb the bumps are better than cars that are double, maybe even triple the price. Even on the Premium's massive 19-inch alloys, the X70 takes on crater-sized potholes with ease.
Another X70 strong suit. There's hardly any road and wind noise even at high speeds, and the plush ride is complemented by the large, supportive seats - the Premium's supple Nappa leather is an added bonus. The rest of the cabin impresses with plenty of soft-touch plastics, classy metal-like trim and solid build quality overall, even though a few subpar fittings here and there betray the car's Chinese origins.
As expected, six airbags and stability control are fitted as standard across the range, and the X70 earns a five-star ASEAN NCAP safety rating. Step up to the Premium model and you get items like autonomous emergency braking, lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring, auto high beam and adaptive cruise control, but the latter does not come with the Honda CR-V's stop-and-go function.
Even though the X70 is smaller than some of its rivals, it's far more spacious than you'd expect, with plenty of headroom and legroom both front and back; boot space is also sufficient for a long weekend away. One minor niggle - while there are plenty of cubbyholes on board, none of them are large enough to fit a modern smartphone, and the cupholders and under-armrest storage are also too small.
The X70 comes packed with kit for the price, with even the base Standard model coming with goodies like keyless entry, push-button start, dual-zone climate control and a seven-inch digital instrument cluster. The Executive models add LED headlights, a powered driver's seat and a 360-degree camera, while the Premium variant throws in a powered front passenger seat and a panoramic sunroof. The GKUI infotainment system and its glossy eight-inch touchscreen is also fitted as standard, but while the bright, high-res display is quick to respond, the much-vaunted voice recognition is hit-and-miss, the navigation system is unreliable and some of the English translations leave much to be desired.